tv 1988 George H. W. Bush RNC Presidential Candidate Speech CSPAN July 23, 2016 10:09am-11:03am EDT
convention in new orleans, he served up the vice president for ronald reagan for eight years, he says he wants a kinder, gentler nation and promises to read my lips, no new taxes. he beat michael dukakis in the general election with 53% to 45% of the popular vote and served one term as president, his speech is about one hour. [applause] president bush: thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you so very much. thank you very, very much.
thank you very, very much. thank you. thank you all very, very much. thank you. thank you. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. thank you very, very much. i have many friends to thank tonight. i think the voters who supported me. i think the gallant men who entered the contest for the presidency this year and have honored me with their support and for their kind and stirring words, i thank governor tom kane of new jersey. [applause]
president bush: senator phil gramm of texas. [applause] president bush: president gerald ford and my friend, and my friend, president ronald reagan. [applause] president bush: i accept your nomination for president. [applause] president bush: i mean to run hard, to fight hard, to stand on the issues and i mean to win.
[applause] president bush: there are a lot of great stories and politics about the underdog winning and this is going to be one of them. [applause] president bush: we are going to win with the help of senator dan quayle of indiana, a young leader who has become of course a voice preparing american workers for the labor force of the future. what a superb job he did here tonight. [applause] president bush: born in the middle of the century, in the middle of america and holding the promise of the future. i am proud to have dan quayle at my side. [applause] president bush: many of you have asked, many of you have asked, when will this campaign really
begin? i have come to tell you to tell america, tonight is the night. [applause] president bush: for 7.5 years i have helped the president conducting most difficult job on earth. ronald reagan has received my candor. he never asked for but he did receive my loyalty, and 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. [applause] president bush: now, now, you must see me for what i am, the republican candidate for
president of the united states. [applause] president bush: and now i turn to the american people to share my hope and inventions and why and where i wish to lead and so tonight is for big things, but i will try to be fair to the other side. i will try to hold my charisma in check. [laughter] [applause] president bush: you know, i reject the temptation to engage in personal references. my approach this evening is as sergeant joe friday used to say,
"just the facts, ma'am." [applause] president bush: after all, after all, the facts are on our side. [applause] president bush: i think the presidency for a single purpose, a purpose that is motivated millions of americans across the years. in the ocean voyages. i seek the presidency to build a better america. it is that simple and that big. i am a man who sees life in terms of mission, missions defined and missions completed. when i was a torpedo bomber pilot, they defined the mission for us. before we took off, we all understood that no matter what, you tried to reach the target. there have been other missions for me.
congress, china, cia, but i am here tonight and i am your candidate because the most important work of my life is to complete the mission that we started in 1980. [applause] president bush: and how do we complete it? we build on it. the stakes are high this year. the differences are deep and wide as they have ever been in our long history. not only two very different men, but two very different ideas of the future will be voted on this election day, and what it all
comes down to is this, my opponent's view of the world sees a long, slow decline for our country, an inevitable fall mandated by impersonal forces. but america is not in decline. america is a rising nation. [applause] president bush: he sees america as another pleasant country on the u.n. rollcall between albania in zimbabwe, and i see
america as the leader. a unique nation with a special role in the world and this has been called the american century because in it we were the dominant force for good in the world. we saved europe, cured polio, went to the moon and lit the world with our culture and now we are on the verge of a new century. what country's name will it bare? i say it will be another american century. [applause] president bush: our work is not done. our force is not spent. there are those that say there is not much of a difference this
year, but america, do not let them for you. -- them fool you. two parties this year as for yourself or, both will speak but only one has proved it can deliver. two parties this year ask for your trust, but only one has earned it. [applause] president bush: eight years ago, 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 produced, the highest level of economic growth in our entire history and the lowest level of inld attention -- tention
more than 50 years. [applause] president bush: some say, you know, some say this is an election about ideology, that it is an election about competence. well, it is nice of them to want to play on our field. [applause] president bush: but this election is not only about competence, competence is a narrow ideal. it makes the trains run on time but does not know where they are going. [applause] president bush: competence is the creed of the technocrat who makes sure the gears mesh but does not for a second understand the magic of the machine. [applause]
president bush: the truth is, this election is about the belief we share, the value that we honor and the principal that we hold dear. [applause] president bush: but since someone brought up competence, consider the size of our triumph. a record number of americans that work, a record high percentage of our people with jobs. a record high of new businesses, a record high rate of real, personal incomes. these are the facts. [applause] president bush: and one way you
president bush: you know the inflation was 13% when we came in. we got it down to 4%. interest rates were more than 21% and the cut them in half. unemployment was up in climbing and now it is the lowest in 14 years. [applause] president bush: my friends, eight years ago this economy was flat on its back, intensive care, and we came in and gave it emergency treatment, got the temperature down by lowering regulation and get the blood pressure down when we lowered taxes and pretty soon, the patient was up, back on his feet and stronger than ever. [applause]
17 million new jobs in the past five years, more than twice as many as europe and japan combined, and they are good jobs -- the majority of them created in the past six years, pay an average of more than $22,000 a year and someone better take a message to michael. [applause] president bush: tell him that we have been creating good jobs at good wages. the fact is they talk and we deliver. [applause] president bush: they promise,
they promise and we perform, and there are millions of young americans in their 20's who barely remember -- [applause] president bush: who barely remember the days of gas lines and unemployment lines and now they are marrying and starting careers, and to those young people, i say, you have the opportunity you deserve and i'm not going to let them take it away from you. [applause] president bush: the leaders, the leaders of this expansion, the leaders of this expansion has
-- have been the women of america who helped create the new jobs and filled two out of every three of them. to the women of america i say, you know better than anyone that equality begins with economic empowerment. you are gaining economic power and i am not going to let them take it away from you. [applause] president bush: there are millions of americans who are brutalized by inflation. we arrested it and we are not going to let it out on furlough. [applause]
president bush: and we are going to keep that social security trust fund sound and out of reach of the big spenders. to america's elderly i say once again, you have the security and it is your right and i'm not going to let them take it away from you. [applause] president bush: i know the liberal democrats are worried about the economy. they are worried it is going to remain strong and they are right, it is with the right leadership, it will remain strong. [applause] president bush: but let's be
frank, things are not perfect in this country. there are people that have not tasted the fruits of expansion. i have talked to farmers about the bills they cannot pay and i have been to the factories that feel the strain of change and i have seen the urban children who play the midst the shattered glass and shattered lives and there are the homeless and you know, it is not do any good to debate endlessly which policy mistake of the 1970's is responsible. they are there and we have to help them. what we must remember if we are to be responsible and compassionate is economic growth is the key to our endeavors. i want growth that broadens, touches finally, all americans from kentucky to the sunlit streets of denver, to the suburbs of chicago to the broad avenues of new york and from the
oilfields of oklahoma to the farms of the great plains. [applause] president bush: and can we do it? of course we can. we know how. we have done it. [applause] president bush: if we continue to grow at our 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. [applause] president bush: our economic life is not the only test of our success. one issue overwhelms all of the others and 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 feels the wind of change and new democracies in south america and one by one the un -free places fall, not to the force of arms but to the force of an idea, freedom works. [applause] president bush: we have a new relationship with the soviet union, the treaty, the beginning of the soviet withdrawal from afghanistan, the beginning of the end of the soviets crossing angola and with it, the independence of libya, iran, iraq moving toward peace. it is a watershed. it is no accident. it happened when we acted on the ancient knowledge that strength
and clarity leads to peace, and weakness and ambivalence leads to war. [applause] president bush: you see, you see, weakness temps aggressors. strength stops them. i will not allow this country to be made weak again, never. [applause] president bush: the tremors in the soviet world continue. the hard earth there has 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 concession but keeping our strength. not by yielding up defense with nothing won in return but by hard engagement in the tug and pull of diplomacy. [applause] president bush: my life has been lived in the shadow of war. i almost lost my life once. i hate war. i love peace. we have peace. i am not going to let anyone take it away from us. [applause]
president bush: our economy is strong but not invulnerable in the peace is broad but can be broken. we must decide, we will surely have change this year but will it be change that moves us forward or change that rips and retreats? in 1940, when i was barely more than a boy, franklin roosevelt said we should not change horses in midstream. my friends, these days, the world moves even more quickly. now, after two great terms, a switch will be made, but when you have to change horses in midstream, doesn't it make sense to switch to one who is going the same way? [applause]
an election is about ideas and values. it is also about philosophy. i have one. individual andhe radiating out from him or her is the family, the central unit of closeness and love. it is the family acumen against 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 on to the town, the church, the school, and still to the county, the state, and the
nation. each doing only what it does well and no more. i believe that power must always be kept close to the individual, close to the hands that raise the family and run the home. [applause] president bush: i am guided by certain traditions. one is that there is a god and he is good. his love while free has a self-imposed cross. we must be good to one another. i believe in another tradition that is by now embedded in the national soul, that learning is good. in and of itself. the mothers of the jewish ghettos in the east would pour honey on a book so the children would know that learning is
sweet. thethe parents who settled hungry would take their children in from the field when a teacher came. that is our history. there is another tradition and that is the idea of community. a beautiful word with a big meeting. the liberal democrats have an odd view of it, they see community of a limited cluster of interest groups locked in on conformity is. in this view, the country waits while washington sets the rules. that is not what community means, not to me. we are a nation of communities, thousands and tens of thousands of ethnic, religious, social, business, labor unions, neighborhoods, regional, and other organizations, all of this voluntary and unique. this is america, the knights of
columbus, the disabled american veterans, the business and professional women of america, the union halls, the bible study , a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like 1000 points of light and a broad and peaceful sky, does government have a place, yes. nationent is part of the of communities, not the whole, just a part and i do not hate government, a government that remains that people is the master is a good and needed thing and i respect old-fashioned common sense. [applause] 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
school teachers be required to lead our children in the pledge of allegiance? my opponent says no and i say yes. [applause] could society -- 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. [applause] should our children have the
prayero say a voluntary or observed a moment of silence in the schools? my opponent says no but i say yes. [applause] should free men and women have a right to own a gun to protect their home? my opponent says no but i say yes. [applause] president bush: is it right to believe in the sanctity of life and protect the lives of innocent children? my opponent says no but i say yes. change.
we have to change from abortion to adoption. [applause] president bush: let me tell you this -- [applause] president bush: barbara and i have an adopted granddaughter. the day of her christening, we cried with joy. i thanked god. that her parents chose life. [applause] president bush: i am the one who believes it is a scandal to get a weekend furlough to a hardened first-degree killer who has not served enough time to be eligible for parole. [applause]
--s -- my opponent now says he says it is the last resort, when a politician says that, you know it is the resort he will check into. [applause] president bush: 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, and they will push and i will say no, and they will push -- i and i will say no will say read my lips -- "no new taxes." [applause]
president bush: let me tell you about the mission on jobs. and eight, 3030 million jobs in the next eight years, every one of our children deserves a first-rate school. the liberal democrats want power in the hands of the federal government and i want power in the hands of the parents. [applause] i will encourage merit schools, i will give more kids a head
start and i will make it easier to save for college. america andg-free this will not be easy to achieve. [applause] but i want to enlist the help of some people who are rarely included. challenge the young people of our country to shut down the drug dealers around the world. unite with us. work with us. [applause] president bush: zero tolerance -- [applause] president bush: 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 our society and why you are 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. [applause] president bush: 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 they will not be left out anymore. [applause] president bush: i am going to stop ocean dumping. our beaches should not be garbage dunks -- dumps and our harbors should not be cesspools.
[applause] president bush: i will have the fbi traced the medical waste and we will punish the people who dump those infected needles into our oceans, lakes, and rivers. [applause] president bush: let us clean the air. we must reduce the harm done by acid rain. and also incentives back into the domestic energy industry where i know from personal experience that there is no security for the united states and further dependence on foreign oil. [applause] president bush: and foreign
affairs, i will continue our policy of peace through strength. further cuts in conventional arsenals in the united states and the eastern , ic and the soviet union will modernize and preserve our botanical article edge which includes strategic defense. [applause] , banned chemical and biological weapons from the face of your. -- from the face of the earth. that will be a priority with me. [applause] president bush: i 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 an comparable 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 and we are on a journey into a new century. leave that tired old baggage of bigotry behind. [applause] president bush: some people who enjoy our prosperity have forgotten that they diminish our triumph when they act as if itself andn end in those who drop their standards along the way as if ethics were too heavy and it slowed the rise to the top. there is graft and city hall and greed on wall street.
influence in washington, small corruption of everyday ambitions. believe public service is honorable. 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. that we are the people who sundered a nation rather than allowed -- allowing slavery and we rose from the ghettos and deserts and we live by standards , we celebrated the individual, we were not self-centered, we were practical. we did not live only for material things, we believed in getting ahead but blind ambition was not our way. the fact is that prosperity has a purpose. 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. anmeans helping a child from unhappy home learn how to read. bush fory wife barbara all her work in helping people to read. [applause] it means teaching troubled children that there is no such -- that there is such a thing as reliable love, someone -- some would say it is soft and insufficient to care about these things but where is it written that we must actively do not care, as if we are not moved,
well i am moved. i want a kinder and gentler nation. support,sk for your and you must know it. as for me, i have held high office and done the work of democracy there by day. yes, my parents were prosperous and their children were lucky. there were lessons we had to learn about life. discovered poverty when he campaigned in west virginia. there were children who had no milk. young teddy roosevelt met the new america when he wrote the immigrant streets of new york. i learned a few things about life in a place called texas. [applause] president bush: when i was
working on this part of the speech, barbara came in and asked what i was doing. i looked at her and said i was working hard, she said, dear, don't worry, relax, sit back, take off your shoes, and put up your silver foot. [laughter] [applause] president bush: we moved to west texas 40 years ago this year, the war was over, we wanted to make it on our own good those were exciting days, we lived in a shotgun house, one room for the three of us, work in the oil business and started my own. ,n time we had six children moved from the shotgun to a duplex apartment, to a house and
live the dream. high school football on friday nights. little league. neighborhood barbecue. people do not see their own experiences symbolic of an era. but we were. and so was everyone else. andwas taking a chance pushing into unknown territory with kids and a dog and a car. the big thing i learned is that the satisfaction of creating jobs which meant creating opportunity, which meant happy families who in turn could do more to help others. done by athat a good good job could be felt in ways you cannot imagine. it has been said that i'm not the most compelling speaker, and there are actually those who claim that i do not always communicate in the clearest and
most concise way. up,i dared them to keep it go ahead, make my day -- make my 24 hour time period. [applause] president bush: 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 sometimes awkward but nothing awkward about my love of country and i'm a quiet man. [applause] president bush: i am a quiet man
but i hear the quiet others ones who raise the family, pay the taxes, pay the mortgage, i hear them and i am moved and their concerns are mine. , president must be many things he must be a shrewd protector of america's interest and he must be an idealist who leads those who move for a freer and more democratic planet. and he must see to it that the little in intrudes as the lives of people and remembers it is right and proper that a nation's leader taken interest in the nation's character. he must be able to define and iad a mission, or 7.5 years have worked with a great president.
i have seen you expected crisis that arises in a cable and a young aids hands and i have seen the problems that summers for decades -- simmers for decades and i have seen modest decisions made with anguish and crucial decisions made with dispatch. so i know that what it comes down to this election, what it comes down to after all of the shouting and the jeers is a man at the desk, and who should sit at the desk, my friend, i am that man. [applause]
president bush: i say it without boast or bravado, i fought for my country, i have served, i have built, and i will go from the hills to the hollows, from the cities to the suburbs, to the loneliest town on the quiet 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, for an endless enduring dream and 1000 points of light, this is my mission and i will complete it. [applause] thank you. know, it is customary to
finish an address with a pledge or saying. that holds a special meaning. i have chosen one we all know by heart. one that we all learned in school. and i ask everyone in this great hall to stand and join me in this -- we all know it. i pledge allegiance to the flag 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] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]