tv 1988 George H. W. Bush RNC Presidential Candidate Speech CSPAN July 17, 2016 12:08pm-1:03pm EDT
>> the republican national convention starts tomorrow in cleveland. american history tv is looking at past republican conventions. hisge h.w. bush accepts party nomination at the 1988 convention in new orleans. he has served as ronald reagan's vice president for the previous eight years and in his speech, he says he wants a kinder, gentler nation any promises, no new taxes. he went on to beat democrat
thank you very much. . thank you -- thank you. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i have many friends to thank, tonight. i think the voters who supported me, i think the gallant men who entered the contest for this presidency this year and who have honored me with their support, and for their kind and stirring words. i think governor tom kane of new ofsey, senator bill graham , president gerald ford and , president ronald
we are going to win with the help of senator -- a young forcefulo has a been a voice in preparing the workers of america for the future. born in the middle of the century, in the middle of america, and holding the promise of the future, i am proud to have him at my side. many of you have asked, when will this campaign really begin? i have come to this hall to tell you and tell america, tonight is the night.
for seven and a half years, i have helped the president and gotten the most difficult job on earth, ronald reagan asked for and received my candor. loyalty andve my those of you who saw the president's speech last week and listened to the simple truth of his words will understand my loyalty all these years. now you must see me for what i am, the republican candidate for .resident of the united states
now i turn to the american people, to share my vote and intentions and why and where i wish to lead and so tonight is -- i will try to be fair for the other side, try to hold my charisma in check. [cheering] i reject the temptation to engage in personal references. as joe friday used to say, just the facts, ma'am. after all -- the facts are on our side.
i think the presidency is for a single purpose, a purpose that has motivated millions of americans across the years. i think the presidency can build a better america. it is that simple and that is big. i am a man who sees life in terms of missions, missions define and missions completed. when i was a torpedo bomber pilot, they do find a mission for us and before we took off, we all understood that no matter what, you tried to reach the target and there had been other missions for me, congress, china, the cia, but i am here tonight and i and your candidate because the most important work of my life is to complete the 1980.n that we started in
how do we complete it? we build on it. the stakes are high and the choices -- the choice is crucial for the differences between the two candidates are as deep and wide as they have ever been in our history. ,ot only to very different men -- two very different men, but different ideas of the future will be voted on this election day. what it comes down to is my opponents view of the world sees a long, slow decline for our country, an inevitable fall mandated by impersonal historical forces.
we were the dominant force for good in the world. we saved europe, cured polio, went to the moon and let the world with our culture -- lit the world with our culture. we are on the brink of a new century and which country jack -- country's name of the bear? i say it will be ours. our work is not done. our fork is not bent. there are those who say there's is not much of a difference this year, but america, do not let them pull you. two parties ask for your support. both will speak of growth and peace, but only one has proved it can deliver.
two parties this year. they asked for your trust, but only one has earned it. eight years ago, i stood here with ronald reagan and we promised together, to break with the past and return america to her greatness. eight years later, look at what the american people have reduced. the highest level of economic growth in our entire history. the lowest level of world tension in more than 50 years. some say this is not an election about ideology, that it is an
election about competence. it's nice of them to want to play on our field. that election is not only about competence. confidence is a never ideal. competence makes the trains run on time, but does not know where they are going. competence is the creed of the technocrat who makes sure is the the gearsake sure mesh, but does not understand the magic of the machine. is, this election is about the believe we share, the values that we honor, and the principles that we hold dear.
since somebody brought up competence, consider the size of our triumph. a record number of americans at work, a record high percentage of our people with jobs, a record high of new businesses, income.personal waye are the facts, and one you know our opponents know the facts is to attack our record, they have to misrepresent it. they call it a swiss cheese economy. tot is the way it may look
when we came in, we got it down to 4%. we cut interest rates in half. was up and climbing and now it is the lowest in 14 years. friends, eight years ago, this economy was flat on its we came insive care, and gave it emergency treatment and got the temperature down by lowering regulations and got the blood pressure down we lower taxes and pretty soon, the patient was up, back on its feet and stronger than ever.
than twice as many as europe and japan combined, and they are good jobs, the majority of them created in the past six years, paying an average of more than $22,000 a year, and someone better take a message to michael. that we have been creating good jobs at good wages. the fact is, they talk and we deliver. they promised and we performed, and there are millions of young americans in their 20's who the days of gas
lines and unemployment lines and now they are marrying and starting careers and to these -- to those young people, i say you have the opportunity you deserve and i am not going to let them take it away from you. the leaders of this expansion, the leaders have been the women of america, who helped create filled two outd of every three of them.
to the women of america, i say you know better than anyone that equality begins with economic empowerment. powere gaining economic and i am not going to let them take it away from you. . there are millions of americans who were brutalized by inflation. we rested it and we are not going to let it out on furlough.
we are going to keep that social security trust fund sound and out of reach of the big spenders. youamerica's elderly, i say have the security that is your right and i will not let them take it away from you. i know the liberal democrats are worried about the economy. they are worried it will remain strong, and they are right, it is, with the right leadership, .t will remain strong let's be frank, things are not perfect in this country. there are those who have not tasted the fruits of the expansion. i talked to farmers about the bills they cannot pay and
factory workers who deal with the strain of change and i see the urban children who play amidst shattered glass and shattered lives and there are a homeless and it does not do any good to debate endlessly which policy mistake of the 70's is responsible. they are there, and we have to .elp them we have to remember if we are to be responsible and compassionate, economic growth is the key to our endeavors. i want growth that stays and broadens and touches finally, , from kentucky to denver, chicago to new york. from the oilfields of oklahoma to the farms of the great plains . can we do it? of course we can.
we know how, we have done it. grow at ourue to current rate, we will be able to produce 30 million jobs in the next eight years, and we will do it by maintaining our commitment to free and fair trade, by keeping government spending down, and by keeping taxes down. our economic life is not the only test of our success. one issue overwhelms all the others. that is the issue of peace. look at the world on this bright august night, the spirit of democracy is sweeping the pacific rim, china deals the winds of change.
new democracy asserts itself in south america and one by one, the unfree places fall, not to the force of arms, but to the force of an idea. works. we have a new relationship with the soviet union. the beginning of the end of the soviet war in angola and with it, the independence of iran and iraq, moving toward peace. it is a watershed, it is no accident. it happens will we acted on the ancient knowledge that strength and clarity lead to peace. weakness and ambivalence lead to war.
weakness tempts aggressors, strength stops them. i will not allow this country to be made week again. never. the tremors in the soviet world continue. the hard earth there is not yet settled. perhaps what is happening will change our world forever, and perhaps not. a prudent skepticism is in order, and so is hope, but either way, we are in an unprecedented position to change the nature of our relationship,
not by preemptive -- but by keeping our strength. not by yielding up defense systems with nothing won in return, but by hard, cool engagement in diplomacy. my life has been lived in the shadow of war. i almost life -- lost my life, and i hate war. i love peace. we have peace. i am not going to let anyone take it away from us. our economy is strong, but not invulnerable. the piece is broad, that can be
is broad,the peace but can be broken. we will see change this year, but will it be change that moves us forward or change that risks retreat? roosevelt saidin we should not change horses in midstream. my friends, these days, the world moves even more quickly. , a switchgreat terms will be made. when you have to change horses in midstream, doesn't it make sense to switch to one who is going the same way?
an election is about ideas and values. it is also about philosophy. i have one. at the bright center, is the individual. isiating out from him or her the family, the essential unit of closeness and love. it is the family that communicates to our children, to the 21st century, our culture, our religious faith, our traditions and history. from the individual to the family, to the community and then out to the town, the church and school, and going out, to the county, the state and the nation. each doing only what it does well and no more. power must always be kept close to the individual, close to the hands that raise
the family and run the home. i am guided by certain traditions. one is that there is a god and he is good and his love well three has a self-imposed cost. we must be good to one another. has a self-imposed cost, we must be good to one another. also, learning is good in and of itself. the mothers of the jewish communities in the east would pour honey on the book so that their children would know that learning is sweet and the children we brought in from the field when a teacher came. that is our history. another tradition is the idea of
community. a beautiful word with a big meaning. liberal democrats have a odd view of it. they see community as a limited cluster of interest groups locked in conformity and in this passivee country waits while washington sets the rules. that is not what community means to me. we are a nation of tens of thousands of at that, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them voluntary and unique. this is america. the knights of columbus, the , theled americans veterans group -- the order of professional business women in diversity brilliant
spread like stars, like a thousand points of light and a broad and peaceful sky. does government have a place? yes. it is part of the nation of communities, not the whole, just a part. a government that remembers that the people are its master is a good and needed thing and i respect old-fashioned common sense. i have no great love, for the imaginings of the social planners. i like what has been tested and found to be true. for instance, should public schools -- public school teachers are required to lead our children in the pledge of allegiance? my opponent says no and i say
yes. should society be allowed to impose the death penalty on those who commit crimes of extraordinary cruelty and violence? my opponent says no, but i say yes. should our children have the prayero say a voluntary or even observe a moment of silence in the schools? my opponent says no, but i say yes.
barbara and i have an adopted granddaughter. on the day of her christening, we wept with joy. i thank god that her -- i thanked god that her parents chose life. i am the one who believes it is a scandal to give a weekend furlough to a hardened first-degree killer who is not even served enough time to be eligible for parole. i am the one who says that drug
resort. when a politician talks like that, you know that is one resort he will be checking into. my opponent will not rule out raising taxes, but i will, and the congress will push me to raise taxes and i will say no enable push and i will say no and they will push again and i lips,ay to them, read my no new taxes. [cheering]
let me tell you more. more about the mission on jobs. is 30 million jobs in the next eight years. everyone of our children deserves a first rate school. the democrats want power in the hands of the federal government, and i want power in the hands of the parents. i will encourage american schools. i will give more kids a head start and i will make it easier to save for college. i want a drug-free america and this will not be easy to achieve.
i want to enlist the help of some people who are rarely included. tonight, i challenge the young people of our country to shut down the drug dealers around the world. unite with us, work with us. zero tolerance is not just a policy, it is an attitude. tell them what you think of people who underwrite the dealers who put poison in that -- in our society. while you're doing that, my administration will be telling the dealers whatever we have to do, we will do, but your day is over. you are history.
i will do whatever it takes to make sure the disabled are included in the mainstream. for too long, they have been left out, but not anymore. i am going to stop ocean dumping. our beaches should not be garbage dumps and our harbors cannot be cesspools. traceing to have the fbi the medical waste, and we are going to punish the people who don't those infected needles
into our oceans, lakes and those infected needles into our oceans, lakes and rivers. we will clean the air. we must reduce the harm done by acid rain. i will put incentives back into the domestic energy industry, for i know from personal experience, there is no security for the united states in further dependence on foreign oil. in foreign affairs, i will continue our policy of peace through strength, i will move to further cuts in strategic and conventional arsenals of both
the united states and the soviet union. i will modernize and preserve our technological edge, and that includes strategic defense. priority ban on biological, chemical weapons from the face of the earth. that will be a priority. intend to speak for freedom, stand for freedom, be a patient friend to anyone, east or west who will fight for freedom. it seems to me that the presidency provides incomparable opportunity for gentle persuasion. i hope to stand for a new harmony, a greater tolerance. we have come far, but i think we need a new harmony among the races in our country.
we are on a journey into a new century, and we have to leave that tired old baggage of bigotry behind. some people who are enjoying our prosperity have forgotten what it's for. they diminish our triumphs when they act as if well is an end in itself and there were those who drop their standards along the heavy,if ethics were too and slowed the rise to the top. there is greed on wall street, influence peddling in washington, small corruption of everyday ambition. i believe public service is honorable and every time i hear
that someone has breached the public trust, it breaks my heart, and i wonder sometimes if we have forgotten who we are. who we are the people sundered a nation rather than allow a thing called slavery. we celebrated the individual, but we were not self-centered. we were practical, but we did not live only for material things. we believed getting ahead, but blind ambition was not our way. the fact is, prosperity has a purpose, it is to allow us to pursue the better angel, to give us time to think and grow. prosperity with a purpose means taking your idealism and making it concrete by certain acts of goodness. child, fromping a
an unhappy home learn how to read, and i think my wife for all her work in helping people to read in all her work in this country. that means teaching troubled children through your presence, that there is such a thing as reliable love, some say it is soft and insufficiently tough to care about these things. where is it written that we must act if we do not care, as if we are not moved? well i am moved. i want a kinder and gentler nation. two men this year ask you for support.
as for me, i have held high office and done the work of democracy day by day. , andrents were prosperous their children were lucky, but there were lessons we had to learn about life. john kennedy discovered poverty when he campaigned in west virginia. there were children who had no milk and young teddy roosevelt met the new america when he roamed the immigrants -- immigrant streets in new york. i learned a few things about .ife in a place called texas i was working on this part of the speech, barbara came in and asked what i was doing, and i looked up and said i'm working hard, and she said oh dear, don't worry, relax, sit back,
take off your shoes and put up your silver foot. we moved to west texas 40 years ago this year. we wanted to get out and make it on our own, those were exciting days. we worked in the oil business and started my own and in time, we had six children, moved from the shotgun to a duplex apartment, to a house, and lived the dream. high school football on friday nights, little league, neighborhood barbecues. people don't see their own experiences symbolic of an era,
but of course we were. else, who isne taking a chance in pushing into unknown territory with kids and a dog and a car, but the big thing i learned is the satisfaction of creating jobs, which meant creating opportunities, which meant happy families who in turn could do more to help others and enhance their own lives. thatrned that a good -- good done by a single good job could be felt in ways you cannot imagine. it has been said that i am not the most compelling speaker. there are those who claim that i don't always communicate in the clearest, most concise way. i dare them to keep it up, go
ahead, make my 24 hour time period. i may not be the most eloquent, but i learned early on that eloquence will not draw oil from the ground and i may sometimes be a little awkward, there is nothing self-conscious in my love of country. i am a quiet man. i am a quiet man, but i hear the quiet people others don't. the ones who raise a family, pay the taxes, meet the mortgage.
i hear them, and i am moved, and their concerns are mine. a president must be many things. he must be a shrewd protector of america's interests, and he must who leads the way to a more democratic planet and he must see to it that government intrudes as little as possible in the lives of the people, and yet remember that it is right and proper that a nation leader take an interest in the nation's character. he must be able to define and lead a mission. for seven and a half years, i worked with a great president, i have seen what crosses that big desk, i see unexpected crises that arrives and i see the problems that cymer on for decades -- that simmer on for decades and i have seen modest
decisions made with anguish and crucial decisions made with dispatch. i know that what it all comes down to this election, what it all comes down to after all the shouting and the cheers is the man at the desk, and who should sit at that desk? i am that man. [cheering] i say it without boast or bravado, i thought for my country, i served, i've built,
and i will go from the hills to the hollows. from the cities to the suburbs, to the loneliest town on the quietest street to take our message of hope and growth for every american to every american. i will keep america moving forward, always forward for a better america, or endless, enduring dream and 1000 points of light. this is my mission, and i will complete it. [cheering] thank you. -- that holds a special meaning. i have chosen one that we all know by heart.
one that we all learned in school. school. and i ask everyone in this great hall to stand and join me in this -- we all know it. to the flagegiance of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you all. [applause] ♪
>> the republican national convention begins tomorrow in cleveland and american history tv is looking at past republican conventions. up next, pat buchanan delivers what is now called his "culture the republican national convention in 1992 in houston. he endorses president bush and criticizes them a credit nominee, as well as his wife hillary. this is just under 30 minutes. listen, my friends -- we may have taken the long way home, but we finally got here, to houston.