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Public Papers - 1990 - November

Remarks at a Republican Party Reception in Rochester, Minnesota


Thank you for that welcome to Rochester. Rudy, thank you so very much. However, about the weather -- [laughter]. Forty-seven years ago, almost to this day, I was sent by the Navy to Minneapolis to learn to fly airplanes, and I never landed a plane on anything other than ice and snow, at least in Minneapolis, for 6 months. Don't tell me it's typical, but it is awful nice.

What a joy it is to be here. And let me first thank my friend of long standing, Wayne Newton, who flew all the way from Las Vegas here for this, and now back tonight. And one other matter of tremendous importance to this area -- and now I'm caught up in the fray -- is I want to congratulate the girls cross-country team at John Marshall that's going to the State finals and wish that -- right over here. Good luck at State.

And now for the business at hand. I am just delighted to show my strong support for a national leader in our party and one of America's greatest United States Senators, Rudy Boschwitz. It is essential he be returned to office.

And I might say I'm enthusiastic about Arne Carlson, the ``Rocky Balboa of Minnesota,'' a seasoned leader. Three days is all that's left, and he's going to defy the odds and become what you need: a new Governor for the State of Minnesota. I heard that this guy was in favor of shortened campaign seasons, but this is ridiculous. [Laughter]

And I am excited about the rest of our ticket: Joanelle Dyrstad and Kevin Johnson for attorney general and Dave Jennings and Bob Heinrich, John Burger for State treasurer. We've got good people running, and they need your support, too.

Let me just tell you why it's a pleasure for me to be out here for Rudy. He's a person that Minnesotans trust. I know that. He's one who does embody responsible government. And you know he's a member of the Ag Committee, the Senate Agricultural Committee. That means he's a champion of your dairy farmers and a real believer in the wonders of milk. And so, at Rudy's Super Duper Milk House at the State fair every year, he serves cherry-, banana-, and root beer-flavored milk. What worries me is, I don't mind cauliflower, but I hope he doesn't throw out that broccoli-flavored milk. That's where we draw the line. [Laughter]

And Arne, in introducing Rudy Boschwitz, referred to this, but after 10 years on the Budget Committee he is known in Washington and across this country -- Rudy -- as a tough fighter for lower taxes, a strong advocate of the spending freeze. And here's a Senator in a tight race who made the tough choice and voted for an essential budget agreement that's going to bring this deficit down 2 billion over the next 5 years. And while others were weeping because they didn't get it just the way they want, Rudy put the United States of America's interest and Minnesota's interest ahead of his own desire for this change or that. And that takes courage; that takes guts and independence. And we need more like him in the Congress.

You know, there's no higher domestic priority than the economy, the job-creating engine that every family in this country counts on. And in recent months, we've seen some uncertainty and concern. I'm concerned about the slower economic growth. And that's why a budget agreement was crucial and why I was willing to go the extra mile to get it. And despite tough negotiations, we finally got an agreement with the Democrats that control both the House and the Senate.

And there were clear differences. The Democrats wanted to do it all by raising taxes, including income tax rate increases for working Americans with that insidious indexing provision. They called it socking the rich, and it would have raised billion out of the working men and women of this country. And thanks to Rudy and others up there, we beat it -- beat it to its knees. And that isn't going to happen.

Rudy and I, if we'd had our way, wanted to do it more with spending. You see, I don't feel you're taxed too little; I feel because of the liberal Democrats in Washington, we're spending too much. And that's another reason we need him back.

But the best thing about this agreement was we did get strong enforcement provisions in the law. There was another one that's good, too -- we held the line on reckless cuts. Defense spending came down, but we eliminated the reckless cuts that would have cut into the heart of our national security. And that wouldn't have happened if we didn't have farsighted Senators like Rudy Boschwitz that know this world is not a tranquil place. We need people that understand the national security interest of the United States of America back there in the United States Senate.

But this is only part of what the battle is about, this fiscal sanity. Let's start with another issue here: the environment, our sacred trust. Rudy, coming from this land of 10,000 lakes, has been a strong advocate for sound environmental practice. I need his voice for the environment. We've finally gotten a clean air bill that I can sign. And that's good for Minnesota; it's good for the Nation; it's good for Canada and Mexico. And we are again in the lead for environmental purity all across this land of ours and across the Earth, but we've got to have more people that understand you can grow and still have good environmental practice. And that's where Rudy is, and I'm grateful to him.

The legislative logjam was broken. I want to give a little credit not only to Rudy but also to Dave Durenberger, because without them I don't believe I would have had a Clean Air Act that I can confidently and optimistically sign. So, I'm grateful to both Rudy and Dave on that one.

There's still a lot of work to be done on the Republican agenda. America, frankly, is fed up with crime. I hope you're doing a little better in Rochester, Minnesota, than we are as a nation as a whole. But nevertheless, Republicans, wherever they are, know that we need tough legislation. We know that the handcuffs belong not on our able police officers but on the criminals themselves. And that's the kind of legislation we were fighting for. Ever since I met with a couple of victims of crime, family groups, it occurred to me -- and I feel strongly about it -- that we need a little less sympathy for the criminal and a little more for the victims of these crimes in this country.

And shortly after I took office, I stood in front of the U.S. Capitol and called on Congress to pass tough new laws to help America take back the streets. And instead, in the final hours of this liberal-controlled Congress back there, Democratic liberals choked up and completely gutted our package to fight back against violent crime. Republicans fought for habeas corpus reform and stopping convicted criminals from endlessly abusing the appeals process. We fought for reforms of the exclusionary rule, a judge-made law that lets the guilty go free. And Republicans fought for a real Federal death penalty for drug kingpins and terrorists and those who kill our police officers. And the Democrats blocked it. And we need more Senators like Rudy to stand up in the next Congress and fight for that.

So, if you get the idea that I'm enthusiastic about Rudy Boschwitz, you're beginning to get the message. He's a class act. He's a class act with a great family. Please send him back to Washington.

And so, my main message here today is one of partisan politics, because I believe with Arne as Governor and Rudy in the Senate you're going to be in good hands -- very good hands, indeed. But you know, let me now just ask you to set partisan politics aside for a minute, because I want to talk to you about a subject that is in the hearts and on the minds of every single American. And I know that everyone in this country is vitally interested in the Persian Gulf situation.

And you know, former Senator Vandenberg was absolutely right when he said politics ends at the water's edge. And I'm grateful to the leaders -- Democratic leaders, Republican leaders, Democratic Members, Republican Members of the House and Senate -- for their strong bipartisan support. But I thought I owe it to the American people to keep affirming and bringing as best I can our message of purpose on the question of why we are there.

Let me first be clear: There will be no compromise on the stated objectives of the United Nations Security Council resolution, none at all. And the reason is this: We cannot compromise with brutal, naked aggression. We cannot permit one country to bully a neighbor and take it over without making them pay the price.

And let me make another point. Let me make another point. The brutality against innocent civilians will not be tolerated, and that will not stand, either. What's happening to those so-called guests -- really hostages -- is uncivilized. And the world should rise up and demand that those people be let go. It is outrageous what Saddam Hussein [President of Iraq] is doing.

No one, no one, wants a peaceful solution to this situation more than I do -- nobody at all. No one, however, is more determined to see this aggression turned back than I am. We forged together the most fantastic international coalition in history. We've resurrected the Security Council of the United Nations, with 10 resolutions passed condemning this brutal aggression and holding of innocent people hostage. And I will do my level best to hold that coalition together, to see that these international sanctions work, and that Iraq get out of Kuwait -- and without condition -- and free the people that they are holding in contravention of international law.

Now, we are determined, and the world understands it. And thank God the people of the United States understand that it is only the United States that has the strength and, I would say, total commitment to stay the course and see that this aggression is turned back.

These are not easy times. These are not easy times at all. But I have never been more proud of the young men and women -- all volunteers -- highly motivated, beautifully trained, who are serving halfway around the world than I am today. These are the finest young men and women that have ever served in the Armed Forces of the United States. And we will not let them down.

And so, let me shift back now 180 degrees. I wanted to get you that message of how strongly I feel and end this way. It is right that we participate in partisan politics. It is right that I as the President go around this country talking about the men and women that I want elected to office, as the Democratic leaders are doing for their candidates. And it is right that I came to Rochester, Minnesota, today to tell you from the bottom of my heart -- and I seldom speak for the Silver Fox, that's Barbara, my wife -- and this one I confidently do. And even our dog, Millie, agrees with this -- [laughter] -- that we strongly support Arne Carlson for Governor. And we urge you -- we cry out: Send Rudy Boschwitz, our friend, your admired Senator, back to Washington, DC, for 6 more years.

Thank you, and God bless all of you.

Note: President Bush spoke at 12:22 p.m. in the gymnasium of John Marshall High School. In his remarks, he referred to entertainer Wayne Newton; Joanelle Dyrstad, candidate for Lieutenant Governor; Dave Jennings, candidate for secretary of state; Bob Heinrich, candidate for State auditor; Senator Dave Durenberger; and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Following his remarks, President Bush traveled to Sioux City, IA.

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