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Public Papers - 1992 - February

Remarks at the Bush-Quayle Campaign Kickoff in Bethesda, Maryland


Thank you, Connie Morella. What a great Congressman you have in Connie Morella. She's doing a superb job. And thank you very much. Let me salute our State chairman, two words come to mind, strong and decent, Helen Bentley, Representative Helen Bentley, who's leading our campaign in this State. And another of our great delegation from Maryland who is not here, Wayne Gilchrest, he was unable to join us, but doing a great job for us in Congress. And greetings to your State Republican chairman, Joyce Terhes, and to Republican national committeeman Dick Taylor.

My thanks to the Maryland Bush-Quayle leadership who are here and to Howie Dennis for performing the master of ceremonies duties tonight, first-class job. I don't know where the Barons band is, but they are doing a great job. And thank you, Barons, right there. I'm very happy to see three who served us so well in Congress, Charles ``Mac'' Mathias and Larry Hogan, my classmate Gilbert Gude. And I notice several fine Republicans here seeking your votes for delegates to the national convention. Well, I'm pleased to have their support, and I'm sure they'll have yours come March 3d. We need to elect them as delegates to our convention.

I'm delighted to be back with Connie here in Montgomery County and especially on the home court of the victorious battling Barons.

A week from Tuesday, hard to believe, but that's the day, Marylanders are going to make a big decision. And I know what the outcome will be. Together on March 3d, we're going to take a giant step closer to a great victory on November 3d. This vote carries a special meaning for Maryland and America. We've come to an exciting moment in our country's history, a crossroads, a place where one era ends and another begins.

From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the last gasp of imperial communism, from the four decades of the cold war to the 40 days of Desert Storm, America has led the way. We won the cold war -- history will show this -- we won the cold war because we Americans never shirked responsibility. We had a job to do, and we did it. That's why today, as the cold war ends, America stands alone the undisputed leader of the world.

Now the challenge has come home, as it has before. Time after time, we lifted ourselves up, we asked more of ourselves, more of each other. And each time, America met the challenge. And this time, America will do it again.

Our first order of business is to get this economy moving. I know how to do it, and so do you. It's just plain common sense.

A month ago, I sent the Congress an action plan to jump-start the economy. We start by encouraging investment, to create jobs. We cut taxes that punish success, discourage saving, and stunt the growth of business. We boost real estate values by making it easier for young families to buy their first home.

The bottom line is this: My plan will work because it puts Americans to work. And I ask for your support. According to housing experts, my incentives for the housing industry alone will create 415,000 jobs this year. That's what this plan will do.

But just as important is what it doesn't do. It doesn't increase the deficit. It doesn't cloud the real issues with feel-good political gimmicks. And it doesn't raise tax rates on the American people. Maybe that's why the opposition in Congress are digging in against the plan.

When I presented this plan, I gave Congress a deadline to pass it: March 20, 25 days from now. But instead of putting this plan to a quick, clean vote, the Democrats in Congress went behind locked doors with the special interests and patched together a deal of their own. It's a bad deal for the American people.

True to form for the Democrats in Congress, their scheme will raise tax rates on the American people, permanently. In fact, Senate Democrats want to jack up the rates of people making ,000 a year. That's right, ,000. I've said it before, when they say they're aiming at the big guy, they end up hitting everybody else. And we can't let them do that. In return for this massive tax increase, the Democrats offer a temporary tax cut, amounting to about a quarter a day. Twenty-five cents a day, even a tooth fairy can do a little better than that one. [Laughter] Then after 2 years, the 25-cent tax cut vanishes. But the tax increase stays forever.

Well, you don't have to be an economist to figure it out. The last thing the American people need right now is a tax increase. And to pay for their plan, the Democrats want to borrow billion from our children, pass on an IOU in the form of an enormous increase in the deficit. Raising taxes and deepening the deficit: That's their idea of speeding up the economy.

If the Democrats really want to send me this kind of nonsense, I will veto it. The American people have had enough of that old game of tax and spend. To the Democrats on Capitol Hill, I'll say it again and again and again: Meet this deadline, pass this plan, and get this economy moving. Do something good for the American people.

That's an example of what this election is going to be about, a clash between two views of America. The differences couldn't be clearer. Our view, the Republican view, is based on a fundamental principle: Government is too big, and it spends too much. Believe it or not, some people still don't understand that. You'll see some of them over the next week asking for your vote. When they do, ask them a few questions. Their answers will tell you all you need to know about how they see America's future. Ask them who should choose a family's medical care, parents or the Government? I say the parents. The last thing we need is the Government -- --

I think this young lady has a question. It's about AIDS. Let me say this because it's a matter of real concern. Under our administration, spending to fight AIDS is way, way up. And it's going to continue to stay up until we beat that disease. It is way up. And it's going to stay up until we whip that disease. And right here in this area in the National Institutes of Health, they're doing a superb job fighting to find an answer to that dreaded disease. And we're going to keep on doing it.

The last thing we need is the Government standing between you and your doctor. I have a sound health plan that makes insurance available to all. And we need to pass it as soon as we possibly can.

Connie and Helen have championed child care. And ask them -- but better still, let's ask the Democrats who should control a child's day care, parents or the Government? I say the parents, not some bureaucrat down there in Washington.

And ask the Democrats who should choose a child's school, the parents or the Government? And I say the parents must have the right to choose their children's school.

We Republicans have always understood the way to keep America first is to put America's families first. And those are just some of the issues we face. In 1992, the first election of the post-cold-war era, you'll decide what kind of medical care your family receives, what kind of schools your children will go to, what kind of jobs you'll have.

And it will be a tough fight. And I know that. And I don't go seeking unnecessary conflict. But when principle is at stake, I fight to win. And make no mistake about it: We are going to win the primary, and we are going to win the general election. And we win by setting the pace. We win by leading.

This American century has taught us many lessons. Above them all is this: When it comes to jobs and economic growth, if America is to succeed at home, it must lead abroad. This year, America is exporting more than ever before. And over the past 5 years, nearly half of America's real income growth has been in exports. And that means jobs for American workers, markets for American goods.

No one said it was easy. Leadership demands character and experience. But right now we hear that America has no business leading the world, that we should just lock the doors and pull down the blinds and hope the world goes away. Well, America is not that kind of country. Never before in this Nation's proud history have we turned our back on a challenge. And we are not going to start now by becoming an isolationistic country.

Americans don't cut and run; we compete. You see, I believe in the American worker. And let's not build walls. Let's open markets, let our workers go head-to-head. When they do, the world will see Americans can outthink, outproduce, and outperform anyone in the world, anywhere, anytime.

And so, in summary, let me just put it this way: I want you on March 3d to send a message to those doomsayers and the pessimists. They say our economy has fallen into an abyss. They say America is a weakened giant. I say, ``Bunk.'' We are the United States of America, and we can compete with anybody. I've heard these doomsayers all my life; so have you. Think back a year ago, one year to this very day. While American men and women risked their lives halfway around the world, what did we hear from those professional pessimists? They spoke of defeat and humiliation. They spoke of a long and bloody war, another Vietnam, a quagmire. Well, they were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

Here in this county, here in your home county and all across the country, Americans are ready to move, ready to face the challenge and meet a new American destiny. So, I ask you on March 3d to cast your ballots for George Bush. The fight for our future has just begun, and it will continue for 4 more years.

Thank you for your trust.

Note: The President spoke at 6:18 p.m. at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

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