Public Papers

Remarks at the Annual Republican Congressional Fundraising Dinner


Thank you all very much. Thank you, Guy, and thank you, Howard Baker, and thank all of you that made this dinner such a success. Thank you very, very much.

Let me just say that that is good news. And I'm very grateful to so many for this victory. And it's wonderful to be officially over the top. But I want to start by thanking both Dan Quayle and Marilyn, who have done such a wonderful job out on the campaign trail. And next, I thank all of those who have helped in so many ways, volunteering their time, their efforts. Barbara and I want to thank you and all those across the country who participated in this primary process to make these 1,105 delegates possible. Thank you all very much, wherever you may be.

I know to all it seems the way it does to Barbara and me: This has been a long election process. And we're only halfway through the journey, halfway to the goal. But there's some things I want to say. First, I have learned a lot in this campaign. I know better than I did the depth of the cares and concerns of those who chose to support us and of those who didn't. And lately I've been thinking of what we have in common, all of us who took part on the Republican side in this contest.

We all believe in America called America. We all believe the family is at the center of society and should be at the center of our thoughts as we make, in Washington, decisions that affect it. And the fact is, parties, like people, have tendencies. And we Republicans have believed in and protected some very important things.

We believe that Government has a place, but it also has limits on what it can and should do. Government can't solve everything. In fact, you always have to make sure Government doesn't start problems. We believe taxes should be small, not big. We believe those who pay them have rights, and those who benefit from them have responsibilities.

We believe that whatever the circumstances, cold war, hot war, relative calm, or a new age of peace and freedom, whatever the hand history deals you, there is one key to a safer, more peaceful world. And that is an American defense structure second to none. History has taught us that lesson, and Republicans always remember.

We believe in common sense. When something's broke, you fix it. Tonight so many of you came here to help me put an end to the obstruction and abuses of the Democratic majority in the Congress of the United States. When Ronald Reagan had a Republican majority in the Senate, led by Howard Baker, our great chairman, he made Reaganism a policy. He got a lot of his programs through. And my administration has put forth good ideas. We have a great Cabinet, new solutions. Then we've seen them killed by the Democratic majority up there on ``Heartbreak Hill,'' or worse, have seen a Democratic leadership that refuses to let the Congress even vote on the ideas that the voters back in 1988 overwhelmingly endorsed.

You know, the other day someone asked me how I could be for change. I said, ``Look, let me put it this way. I'm not out here trying to assign blame. We're all in this together. We must work together.'' But I told him, ``Change the Congress, and I will get the job done.'' It is that clear. We need a majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate. And that is one important thing that this election year is all about. And as I survey the scene and listen to the American people, this could well be the year. It really could well be the year we get control of both Houses of Congress.

Finally, we Republicans believe in the old wisdom, the enduring values, the enduring social values that we live by as we build a great Nation: Religious faith, honesty, personal responsibility, hard work, and merit. Styles come and go, fads and fashions fade, but the old enduring values never go out of style. I really believe that. I believe that a President with the right ideas, the right intentions, the right beliefs can get them through the right kind of Congress. We're here tonight because we agree on the big issues, on the issues that shape the world, and on the values close to home.

As President, I have made it my mission to preserve and protect three legacies close to all our hearts: a world at peace, and we have a great record to take to the American people on this; an economy with good jobs, real opportunity for all Americans, and things are looking much better for the economy now; and we must preserve a Nation of strong families, communities where every child has someone he can count on, someone who calls him by his name. I am very proud of Barbara Bush and of her loving concern for the children of this country.

History has taken a turn in the past few years and given us a wonderful opportunity. If we apply our good beliefs, our sensible, heartfelt beliefs to this great opportunity, then we can say that we will make a contribution to our country, a contribution to our children's lives, and a contribution to history. The stakes are just that high.

One more thing: I intend to win this thing. I intend to win it, and with your help we will win it big come November.

Thank you all. And may God bless the United States of America.

Note: The President spoke at 7:52 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Representative Guy Vander Jagt, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who introduced the President, and former Senator Howard Baker, dinner chairman.