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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks at a Rally in Houston, Texas

1992-11-02

The President. What an awesome array -- --

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. What an awesome array. What a great homecoming and a great welcome back.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Thank you very, very much. Thank you, thank you. Thank you so very much. Thank all of you. And may I start by thanking this awesome array of wonderful people, Bob Hope and all the rest of them, for being with us tonight. Thank all of you from the bottom of our grateful hearts.

Texas, that's where it all started for Barbara and me: 44 years ago when we moved out to Texas, west Texas, we voted in our first Presidential election out there; here in Houston, 30 years ago, when I gave my very first speech on my own behalf. And tonight, in Texas, I will give my last speech ever on my own behalf as a candidate for reelection as President of the United States.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. You know, when we drove that car out to Odessa 44 years ago, we were tired and we were worn out. Our spirits were high. We knew we had big things in front of us. And tonight we come home from another long, long journey a little tired, a little worn, but fired up because we are going to win this election tomorrow.

We are on the verge of something big. We are on the verge of something very, very big, something historic in American politics: the biggest comeback in American political history. And this guarantees it. I'm not much for predictions. No, I just tell the truth, and they think it's hell. You remember Harry Truman? I'm not very much for predictions, but come Wednesday morning, there's going to be a whole lot of pollsters looking around for something else to do. And America's going to be moving forward. America will be moving forward again, united, strong, ready to move this country into the end of this century with a lot of power. And the bottom line is this: Yes, we will ``Annoy the Media and Reelect Bush.''

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. We came to Texas, as I said, 44 years ago to begin our lives. I got the book-learning back East, but I learned about life right here in Texas, first at Corpus Christi where I got my Navy wings -- and yes, I am proud that I served my country in war -- and then out west in the Permian Basin and later right here in the Gulf Coast. We come here tonight to begin again, begin the process of American renewal, because we know that we have changed the world. Now let's get together and help change America and lift everybody up.

And so the pundits say our campaign is against the odds. So what. I have a feeling the gods are smiling on us, and I know we're going to win this campaign. And here is why: My confidence stems from a simple fact that even in this time of uncertainty and transition, the American people share our values. And that's one of the reasons we'll do it, some simple, commonsense beliefs that Barbara and I learned right here in the great State of Texas. I learned that the strength of our Nation does not end up on the marble mausoleums along the Potomac but in the souls and the hearts of the hard-working people in places like Tyler and Waco and Corpus and Houston.

And while Governor Clinton dreams, while he dreams -- --

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. -- -- while he dreams of expanding the American Government, I know what really matters: I want to expand the American dream.

And in Texas, I learned that family and faith and certainly friends are all there really is, and that America always will be indivisible, undivided, one Nation under God. It was here in west Texas in the oilfield I learned that a person's word is worth a million dollars, just the word of honor, and that if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. And it was there that I learned that great nations, like great men, must keep their word of honor. And I have done that as President of the United States. Great men, like great nations, must also do that.

And I learned about character. Character is what you are when no one's looking and what you say when no one is listening. And I learned that character really is the father of leadership -- not money, not fame, not intelligence. It is character. And here in Texas, or in the Oval Office, character counts.

And most of all, right here in Texas at Sunday dinners or at those Friday night football games, I was reminded every single day that there is no place like this great Nation. We are a special land with a special spirit. There is no place like America. And don't let Clinton and Gore tell you we're a nation in decline. We're a rising nation. We can solve any problem. And I want to lead this country to new heights for 4 more years.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. And so I offer in this campaign a proven record of leadership, leadership that has literally revolutionized the world. Leadership that has been tested by fire. Leadership that has made our children dream the sweet dreams of peace instead of the nightmare of nuclear war.

And I offer trust, not in Government but in you, the American people. And I offer a deep and abiding faith in the future of our great Nation. Clinton and Gore say we are in decline, something less than Germany but a little more than Sri Lanka. They are wrong. We are the United States of America, the greatest, freest nation on the face of the Earth.

And I learned a lot about life. I learned a lot about life right here. I learned that you fight when your back is up against the wall. You never give up when you're behind. You push on and you fight for what you believe in. And you will win.

There is no way that Barbara and I can ever adequately say thank you -- not possible -- thank you to the people in this room, thank you to the people of Texas, thank you to our friends here. I will single out one person who is at my side once again in the battle of my life, and that is Jim Baker of Houston, Texas, our great Secretary of State. And I remind you that time and again our political journeys, we've defeated the odds. And time and again we've proved the naysayers wrong. I think America likes a comeback. I think they like somebody that fights for what he believes in. And that's what I am doing, right here, right down to the wire.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Did you see the dispatch out of Baghdad a couple of days ago? Saddam Hussein is said to be planning a party in the streets of Baghdad for 500,000 Iraqis if we lose. But tonight I have a message for my friend Saddam Hussein: Cancel. Cancel the celebration. Cancel the celebration. We are going to win, and we are going to make you adhere to every single resolution passed by the United Nations.

You know, I will readily contend that I've never been too hot with words, and I think you know that. In fact, some of the more elite pundits say I can't finish a sentence. Well, they may be right from time to time. But I'll tell you something, though. I think you also know, I think especially the people here do, that I care very deeply about our Nation. And I believe that we must treat this precious treasure with great care. America is something that has been passed on to us. And we must shape it. We must improve it. We must help people and be kind to people. And then we must pass that on to our kids and to our grandkids.

And tomorrow you participate in a ritual, a sacred ritual of stewardship, a ritual that was conceived by liberty and nurtured by freedom and defended by the blood of those who came before. And when you walk alone into the voting booth, you will not spend more than a couple of minutes, but your voice will echo down the corridors of history. And with your vote, you are going to help shape the future of this, the most blessed, special nation that man has ever known and God has helped create. And so, look at your vote -- especially the young people -- look at your vote as an act of power, a statement of principle. And tonight I ask only that you think deeply about our Nation and about its needs, because tomorrow the polls don't matter. The pundits don't count. On election day, only conscience should be your guide.

And when America votes their conscience, we will unleash a great power, a power stronger than any tank, faster than any airplane. This power will sweep past the cynics and the pundits and the pollster, and it will sweep us into office. And it will lift America up. It will lift us up to new heights for all. Don't listen to those critics and those pessimists who can only win by telling you how bad things are. We can solve the problems. But we are the greatest, fairest, freest nation on the face of the Earth. And I ask for your trust and your support to lead our great country for 4 more years.

Thank you -- a most magnificent welcome home. And may God bless you all. May God bless our great country, the United States of America. Thank you all very much. Now let's go do it.

Note: The President spoke at 9:42 p.m. at the Houston Astro Arena. In his remarks, he referred to entertainer Bob Hope. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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