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For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
August 4, 2004
Vice President's Remarks at Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Jefferson County Fairgrounds
August 4, 2004
5:05 P.M. MDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Lynne. (Laughter.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Knock it off. (Laughter.) What are you guys doing for the next 90 days? (Laughter.) All right, come on along, and we'll go have a good time on the campaign.
We're delighted to be here in Colorado tonight. We've got many fond memories of this state. I spent the year before Lynne and I got married commuting from Laramie down to Boulder, until she finally agreed to marry me. It took a long time. (Laughter.)
I explain to a lot of people that the reason we got married is because Dwight Eisenhower got elected President of the United States in 1952. I see a lot of wonder out there. (Laughter.) Where is he going with this story? But in 1952, I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska with my folks. Dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service. Eisenhower got elected. Dad got transferred to Casper, Wyoming. And that's where I met Lynne. And we grew up together, went to high school together, and later this month, we'll mark our 40th wedding anniversary. (Applause.) But I told people the other night -- I said, if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's election victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter.) It's absolutely true.
Well, it's great to be here today. This looks like Bush-Cheney country. (Applause.)
And I want to thank your Congressman, Ben Beauprez, for being with us today --( applause) -- and handling master of ceremonies. (Applause.) And I know we've got Congressman Tom Tancredo with us, as well. (Applause.) I had the opportunity to campaign for Bob earlier this year, as well as the last time he ran two years ago -- I know you're going to send Bob and Tom back to Washington to serve in the United States Congress. (Applause.)
Congress is well led by Governor Bill Owens -- Colorado is well led by Governor Bill Owens. (Applause.) And your United States senators, Wayne Allard and Ben Nighthorse Campbell. (Applause.) And although we're sorry to see Ben step down, we know you're going to replace him with a Republican United States senator. (Applause.)
It's also my privilege to bring best wishes to all of you from our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)
Now, you might have heard, there was a little political gathering up in Boston last week. (Laughter.) Some of you may have watched it. I didn't. (Laughter.) And now I have an opponent. (Laughter.) No, I really -- I really do. I have an opponent. I'm told that Senator Edwards got the job because he's sexy, charming, has great hair. (Laughter.) And I said "How do you think I got the job?" (Laughter and applause.)
It's hard to believe, but we're now less than three months from the election. The President and I are going to be working hard over the next 90 days. You'll see plenty of us here in Colorado because it's a key state. We were tremendously proud to carry Colorado in 2000. And with your help, Bush-Cheney is going to carry Colorado again on November 2nd. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir. I'm about to talk about that. (Laughter.)
This election could not come at a more crucial time in our history. Today we face an enemy every bit as intent on destroying us as the Axis powers were in World War II, or Soviet Union during the Cold War. The enemy, in the words of the 9/11 Commission report, is "sophisticated, patient, disciplined, and lethal." What this enemy wants, as the 9/11 report explains, is to do away with democracy, end all rights for women, and impose their way of life on the rest of us. And as we saw on the morning of 9/11, this enemy is perfectly prepared to slaughter anyone -- man, woman, or child -- who stands in their way.
This is not an enemy we can reason with or negotiate with or appease. This is, to put it quite simply, an enemy that we must destroy. (Applause.) And with President George W. Bush as our Commander-in-Chief, that is exactly what we will do. (Applause.)
In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on America, people in every part of the country, regardless of party, took pride and comfort in the conduct of our President. They saw a man calm in a crisis, comfortable with responsibility, and determined to do everything necessary to protect our people.
Under the President's leadership, we removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and closed down the camps where terrorists trained to kill Americans. (Applause.) Under the President's leadership, we removed the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Applause.) This was a man who had developed weapons of mass destruction, started two wars, and provided safe haven for terrorists. Saddam Hussein once controlled the lives and future of nearly 25 million people; tonight, he is in jail. (Applause.)
Freedom still has enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we will defeat those enemies. The rise of democracy in that troubled region of the world will be a crucial setback for the terrorists. Because we have been strong and resolute, these nations will not go back to the camp of tyranny and terror. And America will never go back to the false comforts of the world before 9/11. Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. (Applause.)
From the beginning, America has sought -- and received -- international support for our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But as the President made very clear, there is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations and submitting to the objections of a few. (Applause.) President Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of the United States. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We're on the offense in the war on terror, and the President's opponent, Senator Kerry, doesn't approve.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: He looks at the progress we've made and charges that somehow we're helping terrorists recruit new members. That is a deep and dangerous misunderstanding of the war in which we are engaged. As President Bush said on Monday, it is a ridiculous notion to assert that because the United States is on the offense, more people want to hurt us. We are on the offense because people do want to hurt us. (Applause.)
The murderous acts of 9/11 made that clear. Because we took the fight to the enemy, the terrorist training camps are now closed. (Applause.) Because we've taken the fight to the enemy, we've been able to uncover critical information about terrorist plots, including preparations that they have underway to attack the United States. The specific terror alert that Secretary Ridge issued this week came in large part from information we captured abroad. Our fight against the enemy overseas is improving our security here at home. Anyone who does not understand that going on the offense in the war on terror is vital to our defense cannot make America safer. (Applause.)
Our nation is extremely fortunate during these times of testing to have the dedicated service of our men and women in uniform. (Applause.) Lynne and I were in Colorado Springs on Monday -- (applause) -- with the service members who make up the new Northern Command, who are doing an outstanding job of defending our homeland. These men and women represent the very best of the United States of America. (Applause.)
I note the presence in the crowd here today of veterans from Vietnam, from Korea, from Desert Storm, from Iraq. I want to thank you on behalf of all of us for what you've done -- (Applause.)
One of the most important commitments that George W. Bush and I made during the 2000 campaign was that our armed forces would be given the resources they need and the respect they deserve, and we have kept our word to the United States military. (Applause.)
There are some important differences between us and the folks you saw in Boston last week. (Laughter.) And there's one story that makes that about as clear as anything could. It starts with Senators Kerry and Edwards voting yes when the President asked the Congress to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. But then, when it came time to vote for funds that would provide our fighting men and women with body armor, ammunition, jet fuel, and spare parts, Senators Kerry and Edwards voted no.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Only 12 members of the United States Senate opposed the funding that would provide vital resources for the troops. Only four Senators voted for the use of force and against the resources our men and women in uniform needed once they were in combat. Only four. Senators Kerry and Edwards were two of those four.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: At first Senator Kerry said that he didn't really oppose the funding. He both supported and opposed it. (Laughter.) He said, and I quote, "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." (Laughter.) That sure clears things up. (Laughter and applause.) Lately he's been saying he's proud that he and John Edwards voted no, and he explains that his decision was "complicated." (Laughter.) But funding American troops in combat should never be a complicated question. (Applause.) It's simply wrong to vote to commit our troops to combat and then refuse to provide them with the resources they need. We need a President who will back our troops 100 percent, and that's exactly what we've got in George W. Bush. (Applause.)
These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds, saying one thing one day and another the next. Our country requires strong and consistent leadership for our actions overseas, and the same is true for our policies here at home. When President Bush and I stood on the inaugural platform on the west front of the Capitol and took the oath of office, January of 2001, our economy was sliding toward recession. Then, on 9/11, terrorists struck our nation and the economy was shaken once again. We faced a basic decision -- to leave more money with families and businesses, or to take more of the American people's hard-earned money for the federal government. President Bush made his choice. He proposed and he delivered tax savings to the American people -- not once, not twice, but three times. (Applause.)
The Bush tax cuts have helped our national economy create jobs now for 10 consecutive months. We've added more than 1.5 million new jobs since last August. Here in Colorado, more than 35,000 jobs have been created since February -- and your unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, down more than a full point since last summer, and well below the national average. Home ownership is at an all-time high. Mortgage rates, and interest rates, and inflation are all low. Consumers are confident, businesses are investing, and families are taking home more of what they earn. (Applause.)
We know there are still challenges, especially in our manufacturing community. The President and I will not be satisfied until every American who wants to work can find a job. But this is a strong economy. It's growing stronger. The Bush tax cuts are working. (Applause.) And over the past year, the economy has grown at a rate of nearly 5 percent. This is a strong economy, and it's growing stronger every day. The Bush tax cuts are working. (Applause.)
These past four years have brought historic progress in other areas as well. Under the President's leadership, we passed Medicare reform, and gave senior citizens more affordable access to modern medicine and prescription drugs. Under the President's leadership, we passed a responsible environmental law called the Healthy Forests Act, and helped reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires across the West. (Applause.)
And under the President's leadership and working with our friends in Congress, we have also taken unprecedented steps to protect the American people. To give law enforcement the tools they need to track down terrorists, we passed the Patriot Act. (Applause.) To focus our government on the mission of protecting the American people, we created the Department of Homeland Security. (Applause.) To fund cutting edge drugs and other defenses against a potential biological weapons attack, we passed Project BioShield. And as the President announced on Monday, he will also seek enactment of a law to create the position of a National Intelligence Director, to lead our efforts across intelligence agencies and to serve as the principal intelligence advisor to the President. (Applause.) Today, under the President's leadership, every American can be certain we are doing everything in our power to defend against another terrorist attack.
Our accomplishments these past four years have made America safer, stronger, and better. They also demonstrate something about the character of our President. He didn't go to the White House to mark time, or to spend his energy on small goals. He went to take on the big issues, and to make serious reforms. He has led with confidence, with clear vision, and unwavering purpose. He's made hard choices. He's kept his word. And that's exactly how he will lead the country for the next four years. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: In our second term, we will keep moving forward with our pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. We will work to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Applause.) We will work to help end lawsuit abuse because we know that it's a lot easier for America's businesses to hire workers if they don't have to keep hiring lawyers. (Applause.)
We will work for medical liability reform. America's doctors should be able to spend their time healing patients, not fighting off frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.) In our second term, we will continue to move forward on a comprehensive energy policy to make the nation less dependent on foreign sources of oil. (Applause.)
Our opponents have a very different vision for our country. They talk about jobs, yet they never explain how they would put a single American back to work. They opposed our tax relief, and now they're proposing massive increases in federal spending.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: They helped block the energy plan in the Senate. They oppose effective reform of the legal system, and they're against medical liability reform.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Their big idea for the economy: raise our taxes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: What we're hearing from the other side is the failed thinking of the past, and we're not going back. (Applause.)
President Bush and I will also continue to defend our society's fundamental rights and values. We stand for a culture of life, and reject the brutal practice of partial birth abortion. (Applause.) We stand strongly for the Second Amendment and will defend the individual right of every American to bear arms. (Applause.) We believe that our nation is "one nation under God." And we believe that Americans ought to be able to say "under God" when they pledge allegiance to the flag.
We have a situation in the United States Senate where Senate Democrats -- including Senators Kerry and Edwards -- are using the filibuster to block the President's nominations to the judiciary.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Recently, Democrats used obstructionist filibuster tactics to keep the Senate from voting on four of the nominees that the President sent forward. One of them was Bill Myers, a Westerner, a friend of mine, somebody I've known for many years, a fine man with widespread bipartisan support for his personal integrity, his judicial temperament, and his legal experience. If Bill Myers had made it to an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, he had the votes to be confirmed to the Ninth Circuit, which by the way is the circuit that decided we should not say "under God" when we pledge allegiance to the flag.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Sounds to me like they could use some new judges on the Ninth Circuit. (Applause.) What the Democrats are doing is outrageous, and it's another good reason to make certain Colorado sends a Republican to replace Ben Campbell in United States Senate. (Applause.)
On issue after issue, President Bush has a clear vision for the future of the nation. Abroad, we will use America's great power to serve great purposes, to protect our homeland by turning back and defeating the forces of terror, and to spread hope and freedom around the world. Here at home, we will continue building a prosperity that reaches every corner of the land so that every child in America has a chance to learn, to succeed, and to rise in the world. (Applause.)
The President and I are honored by your confidence in us, by your commitment to the cause we all share. We're grateful to our many friends across the great state of Colorado. I want to thank you for this tremendous welcome today. We're proud to have you on the team. And together, on November 2nd, we'll see our cause forward to victory.
Thank you. (Applause.)
END 5:30 P.M. MDT