Public Papers

Remarks at the Texas State Republican Convention in Dallas, Texas


The President. Thank you so much for that warm welcome. Let me quickly say hello to a few of our dais guests: our elected officials Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry, doing a superb job for our State. May I salute the great Mayor of Dallas, Steve Bartlett, who served so well in Washington and now serving this city with such distinction.

And now, on to the political types like you and me: Ernie Angelo and Penny Butler, the Texas GOP National Committee members; Fred Meyer, our great chairman of this Texas State GOP. I want to thank Beverly Kaufman and all the women, all the members of the Texas Federation who came to meet me and who are doing a great job for us; single out our Bush-Quayle team, Jim Oberwetter, Barbara Patton; and of course, Rob Mosbacher, the chairman of Texas Victory '92. We have a great Republican congressional delegation from Texas, and I'm pleased so many members of that Texas congressional delegation could attend. I wish we had more like them in Washington, DC.

And last but not least, I'd like to single out the master of ceremonies with whom I served so closely in Washington as we battled to get some things past the Congress, as we stood up against many things that the Congress were trying to ram down the throats of the people, and I'm talking about Fred McClure, the emcee, my great friend and yours. Thank you, Fred.

Now, let me just say at the beginning I have never felt as strongly as I do now: I am proud to be a Texan. Barbara and I raised our kids here. From 1948 on, we voted in every Presidential election here. I coached Little League here, built my business here, worked in the party here. My Presidential library will be here. My campaign started here. And when my work is over, I'll come back here. So it's great to be home. There is no place like Texas.

November 3d is but a few months away. And yes, the going's been rough for our country, but we're turning the corner. And I'll let the world in on a secret that you already know: I finish what I start. To finish the job the American people asked me to do, I need your help, Texas. Give me 4 more years as your leader, and let's get the job done.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. A strange political year, yes. But snappy answers and glib talk will not get the job done. Let somebody else become the darling of the talking heads on television; I'm going to keep on fighting to get something done for this country. You wait until August, and we'll roll up our sleeves and get in that campaign mode. But there's too much at stake for America to forget about trust and judgment and values; too much at stake, as we say here, to buy a pig in a poke. And you can count on this: We will win in November. And I am convinced we are going to carry Texas, and we are going to win going away.

Just the the last 4 years, the world that we have known for the last 40 years has changed. And by our willingness to stand up for freedom and stand against aggression and fight for what's right, we changed the world. And our mission for the next 4 years is to shape our new world, not just abroad but right here at home. It's a big job to set the course for the next 40 years, and it means solving big problems with a level head, with tolerance and good judgment. Being President is a demanding job, and a President must be temperamentally suited for the job. I have been tested by fire, and I am the right man for that job.

You and I understand America and her problems, and we understand where we must go. And we all want families strong and united, good schools, safe neighborhoods, job-creating economy, and a world at peace. Since becoming your President, I have been to all 50 States in the country. I have felt the heartbeat of America. I felt it up close -- farmers and ranchers and cities and city kids and teachers and truck drivers. I know the American people, and they are with us, but they're angry. They're angry at big Government, small results, and big excuses. And they are right: Government is too big, and it spends too much. And we've got to change that.

This election must be a referendum on some big ideas. And one of them is that Government works right without raising taxes. Unlike one of my opponents, I do not believe that the only way to ever balance the budget is, quote, a massive tax increase, unquote. The American people know that I proposed an amendment to balance the budget. They know I fought for it, the only Presidential candidate to support it. That's why in the fall, they will be with us. You send us more Congressmen from Texas who will do what the people want. And the people want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. And by the way, while you're still standing, the American people know that the President should have what 43 Governors have to control spending. They know I fought for it, and they will be with us. America wants the line-item veto. [Applause] Thank you.

Now, the taxpayers know how the budget gets busted. It's an arrogant, permanent, liberal, Democratic-controlled Congress, unaccountable to the people. The American people are with us, and it is time to limit the term for Members of Congress.

You and I know each other. And throughout my life in Texas you've seen me close up. When I sent our sons and daughters into battle in Panama and in Desert Storm, Texans anguished with me and overwhelmingly supported me. And when I agreed to pay a painful price for a spending controls deal on the budget, Lord knows you argued with me. And when I said I will not eat broccoli, every kid in Texas said, ``Yes!'' But through it all, you knew I wouldn't break with those Texas values that we hold most dear: freedom and faith, honor and decency, and, most of all, family.

History will record this: American leadership changed the world. Panama is a democratic country. Its democratically elected leaders, once beaten by those ``dignity battalions,'' are now back in office, and its narco-trafficking dictator in jail where he belongs. And Eastern Europe is free. Germany is united. Imperial communism is dead and buried. And just this week, Boris Yeltsin and I stood in the Rose Garden to announce the most sweeping nuclear arms cuts in history, eliminating those enormous multiwarheaded ICBM's that have threatened the world. That is something big. That is something spectacular. Dreams come true for America. And these kids here will sleep at night without the same fear of nuclear war. I am proud of that record, and I will take that record to the American people.

But let me warn you, let me just put out this one word of warning. For all the great triumphs that freedom has made, the world still remains a dangerous place. That's why a big idea in this campaign is defending America's interests abroad. And the best way to keep America safe is to keep America strong. The Soviet bear might now be a creature of the past, but there are still plenty of wolves out there, and you know who they are. But as our actions in the Gulf proved, we will defend our interests. We will keep the wolves at bay. And we will never let aggression stand.

Yes, our successes abroad have laid the foundation for stepping up our attack on these domestic problems. And as I work to correct what's wrong, I will always remember: The people don't work for the Government; the Government works for the people.

No, to set things on a track right here at home we must start with a moral, even a spiritual revival across this country, particularly when it comes to instilling values in our kids. So here's another big idea. Fads may come and go, but in the Bush administration the family will always be in fashion. And that's how we put first things first. Families united, fathers and mothers staying together in spite of tough times because they love their kids and want them to grow up whole and strong. It all begins with the family. And we must find ways to strengthen the American family. The Commission I appointed will do just that. And all of us should make suggestions that will help.

You know, some of the ideas that I've put forth for changing America unnerved those who cling to the old thinking of the status quo. Not everyone is ready for new ideas, so it's going to take some time. And 4 years just haven't been enough to finish our mission. Some people say, why can't you bring the same kind of purpose and success to the domestic scene as you did in Desert Shield and Desert Storm? And the answer is: I didn't have to get permission from some old goat in the United States Congress to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. That's the reason.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Let me just add a word about that. Let me add a word about that decision. It is just plain irresponsible and out of touch with reality to suggest that a President should take a poll and get a tax increase before he leads the world against aggression. What the people want from their leaders is leadership, and that's exactly what the American people got in Desert Storm. I don't need to take a poll to know what's right when it comes to standing up against aggression. So you can write that one down, some of these opponents out there.

And would I like to see our domestic agenda off and running? You bet. And I understand the frustration that's out there, the same as you: family values under siege, second-rate schools, too much violence on too many streets. An old-thinking Congress can't get the job done. And for 35 -- now, listen to this statistic -- for 35 out of the last 35 years the Democrats, the liberal Democrats, have controlled the House of Representatives. And what do the people see as a result? A crooked post office and a lot of bounced checks. Let's change that. Let us change that. We must break this gridlock and recapture the trust of the American people. And the way to do that is Republican control of the House, Republican control of the Senate. You give me a Congress like that, and you watch this country move again.

Go, Aggies.

There's a right way and there's wrong way to set a new course. And the wrong way is to give up when things get tough, pick up your marbles and go home. And I will not give up on America, not now, not ever. We are going to get the job done. There has been too much pessimism, too many people trying to get elected by saying how bad things are, too many gloomy TV news stories about what's wrong with America. It is my view that America will always be a rising nation. And we can and we will make this country better. I am an optimist about the United States of America.

After a tough, tough recession, a tough recession where many families have been hurt, confidence is returning. Confidence is beginning to come back, to return to our economy. Some good fundamentals are in place: low interest rates, low inflation, stronger growth in the first quarter. The United States is still the largest, the most productive economy in the entire world, and don't ever forget that. The biggest mission, the biggest idea of this campaign is to accelerate economic growth to create hope and opportunity for everyone. And with our exports still climbing, there's solid proof that Americans can outcompete anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.

Look right down a Texas road for examples: Texas beef on the market in Japan, Texas cotton to Europe, Texas oil and gas technology in demand everywhere. And I am going to fight to keep that technology state-of-the-art and to help keep our independent oil and gas producers competitive. I will keep pushing for a revised alternative minimum tax. And I'll keep pushing for cleaner fuels like natural gas. And I'll keep pushing to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, not by conservation alone, which is important, but by opening projects for domestic production like the ANWR in Alaska.

A rising nation educates her young people, and all across America a revolution in education, we call it America 2000, to bring back excellence to our schools. Well, we were the ones to start this revolution, and we are the ones that are leading it, and we will be the ones to complete it. And before we're done, whether it's public, private, or religious, parents are going to have the right to choose their children's schools.

And this audience knows it better than most, but there's another great and dynamic movement transforming our country. It's a volunteer movement of ordinary people solving problems right where they live, millions of courageous people taking direct and consequential action on their own. This is how we help create whole and good communities. And lest anyone forget, under my Presidency, this movement, this big idea is a national crusade. The real heroes of America, God bless them, are the ones we call the Points of Light, one American helping another solve these problems.

Despite the odds, we've had some successes on Capitol Hill. Legislation like the Child Care Act which said parents raise kids, not the Government; the Clean Air Act, linking a strong economy with a clean environment; the Americans with Disabilities Act, guaranteeing the disabled their rightful place in the mainstream. Give these people a chance, and that's what that legislation did. And sometimes my job up there, given the control of the Congress, is to keep bad things from happening. And when it comes to stopping bad legislation with my veto pen, it's Bush 26, the Congress 0. And it's going to stay that way.

I'm proud of our record. We've had to make the tough calls every day and every week. We proposed a better way for America, a new track for America. And like Texas, it is a big idea. And when Congress blocks the way, stuck in the muck of old thinking, we'll keep that heat on, keep pushing for change. One specific on that: The Congress may have a vision problem on that, the Congress may have a vision problem, but don't for a minute think that we're going to give up on the superconducting super collider. It is forward-looking, and the country needs it, and the world needs it. It's good for Texas, and it's good for the United States of America.

And when the American people send me a Congress with a commitment to change, we'll pass the laws and do the work that the American people deserve. But let me say this: With or without the Congress, we are going to give the American people what they want. And that's not excuses; that is action.

This is an age of great change for America. And that's what makes November 3d so important. Change can seem to threaten the most valuable legacies that we hope to leave our children: good jobs, strong families, a Nation at peace. Change breeds uncertainty and skepticism, and I understand that. But, look, we are the United States of America, one Nation under God. And the genius of America is everywhere. It is in a society that places a premium on performance, not glitz; on service, not selfishness. A society that captures what Texas is all about. And let the skeptic say that it can't be done. The optimist will say, let's get to work. And I am ready. And, yes, we're in the fight of our lives, but it's worth the fight. And we are in it to win.

And I appreciate this sensationally warm Texas welcome. And may God bless you all. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you all so much.

Note: The President spoke at 4:06 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas State treasurer; Rick Perry, Texas commissioner of agriculture; Beverly Kaufman, president, Texas Federation of Republican Women; Jim Oberwetter, Bush-Quayle '92 Texas chairman; Barbara Patton, Bush-Quayle '92 Texas cochairman; and Frederick D. McClure, managing director, First Southwest Co., and former Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. The President also referred to the Texas A M University Aggies.