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Public Papers - 1992 - March

Remarks at a Bush-Quayle Rally in Jackson, Mississippi


Thank you all. Thank you, Governor. And may I pay my respects to Governor Fordice, thank him for that introduction, and tell him how glad I am to be working with him to help solve the many problems of our Nation. And it's great to be with you, Kirk, and of course with the First Lady, Pat. You both are off to a wonderful start for this State. And to the Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor Briggs, and to Mayor Charles Evers, it's an honor to share the stage. And then I see some of our Mississippi Bush-Quayle team, my dear friend Clarke Reed and Evelyn McPhail and Ann Wilson. And thank you, Reverend Felder, for the invocation; to Anna McDonald for her beautiful singing; Jerry Clower, who had you all in stitches, doing a great emceeing job. And may I thank the Mississippi Valley State band and also Pearl High School. Thank you all for the great music.

I know of the interest in agriculture here, and I have an announcement of interest to Mississippians. I will nominate Jim Huff of Taylorsville to join my administration in Washington as head of the Rural Electrification Administration. His farming, his ranching, his manufacturing, and Government experience make him the perfect choice to lead the REA. Insured loans and loan guarantees have helped provide service to 600,000 customers in Mississippi, so it is fitting that a native son of Mississippi takes on this important job.

Now, about the business at hand, it's refreshing to be here. And it's always refreshing to get away from Washington. I share your pride in your new Governor, Kirk Fordice. You see, he's a commonsense leader who shares our values and visions for America's future. And these values, if you do your history, these values have changed the world. And we need them now to change America.

We're in a battle for our future. We're determined to leave our kids the best possible legacy. And we want America to lead the world in good jobs with productive work. And we want to remain a force for world peace and freedom. And we're fighting to protect our most basic institution, the American family. And that's why this year of decision is so important for America. And that's why next Tuesday's election, the primary election, and then the November general election are vital to our future. And I'm asking you to get out the vote and create a resounding mandate for transforming America. Let's nominate and elect men and women who share our values. We've got much more to do to get America on the right track. And so I'm asking you for 4 more years as President of the United States.

This country was built on faith and family and freedom, and we must renew those sources of our strength. We must allow common sense to prevail in our welfare system, restore the connection between welfare and work. Americans aren't coldhearted; we're a caring people. We support those families that need help. But we want to see government at every level work together to track down those deadbeat dads, the ones who can't be bothered to pay the child support. And we've got to break the cycle of dependency that destroys dignity and passes down poverty from one generation to the next. That's wrong. It is cruel. And we've got to work together, coming together to change it. We're encouraging States -- full cooperation from the Governor -- to innovate with workfare, with plans that help people break that dependency and begin learning work skills.

And we will continue also in another front to fight for parents' right to choose their schools, school choice. School choice is at the heart of America 2000, our strategy to literally revolutionize American education. And my wife, Barbara, recently joined Governor Fordice and your lovely First Lady, Pat, in the town of Winona to kick off Mississippi 2000, your own State's commitment to fundamental reform. We're going to stay the course and help every single kid in America have the best possible education. That means you.

Today, March 6th, is a World Day of Prayer. And I think it's quite a commentary on things that the World Day of Prayer is observed a lot more fervently in Mississippi and in our State of Texas than it is in Washington, DC. And speaking of Washington, the House there and the Senate both open their daily sessions with a prayer. But there's something wrong when our kids cannot participate in voluntary prayer in the classrooms of the United States of America. And we need to change that.

You see, parents, not some bureaucrat in Washington, know what is best for their children. And that's why I worked to win a child care bill, a good one, that provides parents the rights to choose who provides the care. And we know America is first as long as we put the family first.

For 3 years I've had to fight the liberal leadership of Congress. And I'm going to continue to stand for the principle, no matter how daunting the odds. We fought, and we put judges on the bench who know the rule is to interpret the law, not to legislate from the Federal bench. I'm delighted that David Souter and Clarence Thomas are now members of the Supreme Court.

And also another point: I'll use the veto when I have to, to stand for principle, to stand up for family values. And sometimes even my friends said I was flirting with defeat by casting a veto instead of cutting a deal. But we've never lost a veto fight, and I will never hesitate to use the veto when principle is at stake.

Now, I'm sure you all have been reading in the papers, once again the liberal leadership of the Congress is on a collision course with my veto. You remember I asked Congress to pass tax cuts and incentives, investment incentives to get this economy moving again, and that means pass a new investment tax allowance. To get real estate up and running, that means pass incentives like a ,000 tax credit for those first-time homebuyers, those young marrieds that want to buy their home for the first time. It means rewarding risk to those who create jobs, and that means cut the tax on capital gains so we can get more businesses going.

But instead of passing my plan, the big spenders who control the United States Congress had other ideas. They pushed through one of their own. And here's what's in it for you: a tiny temporary tax cut, 25 cents, a quarter a day for each man, woman, and child in America. And here's the catch: You can keep that quarter in exchange for 0 billion in new taxes. Now, the Democrats call that new revenue. And I call it your money. If you feel the way I do, tell the Congress, ``Keep the change, and keep your hands off the taxpayers' wallets.''

Now, right here in Mississippi, you don't take storm warnings lightly. Hurricanes and tornadoes, nothing to trifle with. Well, Congress better not mistake my veto warning. The storm flags are flying. And if the liberals send me that tax bill, I'll send it back faster than a Mississippi whirlwind. And I will veto it the very day that I receive it.

And let me say to the Congressmen that might be listening up there in Washington: Remember, I've set a deadline, March 20th. And I've said to you all: Pass our plan. Get our economy moving. Do something for the American people. Set politics aside and stimulate this economy so the men and women of Mississippi and across our country will have more jobs.

I like a good fight. And we'll fight if we must, and we will win. And we'll keep to our course of leadership in the world economy, and that's absolutely a must if we're going to succeed economically at home. Trade with our neighbors, trade with the world is vital. It is absolutely essential here in Mississippi.

A couple of months ago, I visited Peavey Electronics in Meridian. And they told me 40 percent of their sales are exports. Across the State, 45,000 jobs now depend on exports. And remember, every billion dollars more in manufactured exports means 20,000 new jobs, and each extra billion dollars in agricultural exports means thousands more jobs on Mississippi farms and in Mississippi agribusiness.

But my opponents are peddling protectionism, a retreat from economic reality. And you cut through all the campaign statements and the patriotic posturing and all the tough talk about fighting back by shutting out foreign goods. Look closely. That is not the American flag they're waving; it is the white flag of surrender. And that is not the America that you and I know. We do not cut and run; we compete. Never in this Nation's long history have we turned our backs on a challenge, and we are not going to start doing that now.

And I put my faith in the American worker. Level the playing field, and the American worker will outthink, outproduce, and outperform anyone, anywhere, anytime. And you know what Dizzy Dean said, ``It ain't bragging if you can back it up.''

No, we're America. We're in the State of Mississippi. And because we're strong, because we value faith and family and freedom, we're the world's greatest power. Because whenever our values are threatened, we fight to defend them. We need to keep our defenses strong. In my State of the Union Message, I proposed far-reaching but still responsible cuts to bring our Armed Forces into line with the new realities of the world. But the liberals, true to form, want to put down the scalpel and pick up a meat ax, and we cannot let that happen to the defenses of this country. I will keep America strong, and you can count on it.

As President, I have a constitutional responsibility for the national security of this country. And as long as I am President, I guarantee you we will have defenses strong enough to meet our responsibilities. We were ready when Iraq's brutal dictator invaded Kuwait, and we will be ready when we face the next crisis; make no mistake about it. We must let the world know this: Whatever the challenge, America will stay strong. We are the undisputed, trusted leader of the world. And as President, I will keep it that way.

Think back a year ago, think back just a year ago to the calm after Desert Storm. Ask any one of the proud sons and daughters of Mississippi who became the liberators of Kuwait, and they will tell you military strength doesn't mean a thing without moral support right here at home.

And yes, we all know there were those who didn't support us then. There are those who second-guess us now. But not here, not in the State of Mississippi. And when I drew that line in the sand, you stood with me. And never would this country tuck tail and let aggression stand. America did what was right and good and just, and America prevailed.

And we're bringing that same spirit to the fight we face today. I want you to join me. Bring that same Desert Storm spirit to solving these problems at home, and let our opponents sound the retreat, run from the realities, seek refuge in a world of protectionism and high taxes and big Government. And let them drone on about what's wrong in America. We know what is right about our country.

And that brings me to another point, and I want to say it right here in front of the capitol of this great State: Desert Storm brought us together, Americans of every color and creed. And I am counting on the good people of this State and all across our country, the other 49 States, to build on that harmony. And let's stand up and reject the ugly politics of hatred that is rearing its head again. Racism and anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in the United States of America.

Let me close with just a couple of words from the heart. Barbara and I are blessed. Let me say parenthetically -- it's a little husbandly pride -- I happen to think this First Lady is doing a pretty fine job for the United States of America and for these kids here. But we view it this way: We're blessed to serve this great Nation of ours at a moment when so many of the old fears have been driven away, when so many new hopes stand within our reach. Maybe you do the same thing, but every day, every day I thank God that our young people will be able to follow their dreams without the nightmare of nuclear holocaust hanging over us as it did just a few years ago. And since the day I took the oath of office I made it my duty always to try to do my best, try to do what is right for this country. I've given it my level-best, and I am not done yet.

And you and I have more work ahead before we've finished our mission. It's a battle for our future: It's about jobs; it is about family; it is about world peace, the kind of legacy we will leave these young kids sitting here in front of me today. Together, we've made a great beginning to renew the miracle of American enterprise and to strengthen those fundamental values of family, faith, and freedom. And now we're approaching an hour of decision, next week. Don't wait until November. I'm asking you to vote on Tuesday in the Republican primary. Give me your vote in this important election next Tuesday. Help me win 4 more years to lead the fight for the values we share.

Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 4:52 p.m. at the State Capitol Building. In his remarks, he referred to Clarke Reed, State chairman for the Bush-Quayle campaign; Evelyn McPhail, chairman of the Republican Party of Mississippi; Ann Wilson, Republican national committeewoman; and Rev. Bert Felder, senior minister of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, Jackson, MS.

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