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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 29, 2004
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory '04 Rally in Henderson, Nevada
Henderson Pavilion at Liberty Pointe
5:45 P.M. PDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very, very much. I'm so happy to be here with your First Lady Dema Guinn. She's so terrific. And thank you very much Governor Lorraine Hunt. Thank you for being here with us today. (Applause.) Also Darlene Ensign, the wife of Senator Ensign is here. (Applause.) Dawn Gibbons, wife of Congressman Gibbons; Laurie Porter, wife of Congressman Porter. Thank you all very much for being here with me. (Applause.)
The Nevada Republican Party Chair Earlene Forsythe is here. And Beverly Willard, the Republican National Committee National Committeewoman is here as well. Thank you both. (Applause.)
And thanks to each and every one of you for coming out today. I'm so happy to see all of you. I was so thrilled just a minute ago to get to visit the Mammovan that your First Lady Dema Guinn sponsors. She sponsors an annual conference on women's health and I just had the chance to see her greatest pride and joy, Nevada's Mammovan. (Applause.)
The Mammovan is a mobile health center that travels to under-served rural parts of your state to provide women with free mammography and health screenings. And it's an exceptional service. This Friday marks the beginning of October, and there's no better way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month than by getting a mammogram.
All women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. And if you're younger than 40 but you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about when you should be tested. And make sure your mother and your sisters and your friends get mammograms.
There are many factors of risk for breast cancer, but our greatest risk is ignorance. Education, preventive screenings and early detection can save lives. (Applause.)
I also want to thank the very special Mammovan team and all the women of Nevada who are working hard to make a difference in your communities and in our country.
We all know that empowered women are vital to a democracy. (Applause.) And this is even clearer to us today as we look around the world and we see what happens in countries where half of the population is left out. I'm proud that in my husband's administration, there are more women in senior positions than any other presidential administration in history. (Applause.)
Dr. Condoleezza Rice advises the President on foreign policy and Margaret Spellings is in charge of domestic policy. That means at the White House, women are in charge of everything abroad and everything at home. (Applause.) That sounds about right to me.
And it's not just that way in the White House. Across America, millions of women are raising families, working full time, going to college, starting their own businesses and caring for their parents. And many women are doing all of these things at once. (Applause.)
Just think about the differences between our lives today and the lives of our parents or grandparents. Today, in most families, both parents are working outside the home, including two-thirds of all mothers. And more single parents are doing double duty alone. More entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses, workers are changing jobs often during their lifetimes, and more people are going back to school to keep up with the changing economy.
At our convention in New York, President Bush outlined his agenda for a new term. Helping families face the challenges of this changing world is at the heart of the President's plan. (Applause.)
We know that all opportunity starts with education. Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act, our schools are improving with higher standards, accountability and the most federal funding ever for elementary and secondary education. (Applause.) Education experts are using scientific research to determine which programs help students learn and then we're informing teachers and principals so that they can use the most effective programs in their classrooms. More children are now reading at grade level and scores in math are improving. And we owe much of this success to America's incredible teachers. (Applause.) More women are entering college or going back to school to advance their careers.
The President wants to work with community colleges to make sure career training is more accessible to all Americans. And because higher education is a dream for so many, the President wants to make more Pell grants available so that Americans can get their college diplomas. (Applause.)
And when these graduates go to work, I'm proud to say that a lot of them will go to work for a woman boss. (Applause.) Ten million women in America own their own businesses, and that sisterhood just keeps growing. (Applause.)
Millions of families and small business owners are saving more of their own money because the President worked to pass the largest tax relief in a generation. (Applause.) And just in case you don't know, a lot of small businesses are either sole proprietorships or sub-S corporations, which means they're taxed with regular income tax. So when you talk about tax cuts, you're also talking about the tax cuts that help small business owners expand their businesses and hire more people. (Applause.)
America has added 1.7 million jobs since August '03. that's more than Germany, Japan, England, Canada and France added, combined. (Applause.) We know that we have more work to do to make sure prosperity reaches every corner of our country, and I am pleased that last week the United States Congress voted to extend the tax relief. This gives families and small businesses added certainty to keep on the path to greater prosperity. (Applause.)
Last month, I met with Carol Schneider, who owns a temporary employment agency in Grafton, Wisconsin. Thirty years ago, Carol started her own business in a neighbor's back bedroom, complete with $500 and a barking dog. (Laughter.) It wasn't easy to grow her business, especially when she was going to community college, working full time and raising three young children. But Carol refused to give up. Today, she manages 100 employees in 14 offices, and she leads a company worth $36 million. (Applause.)
Carol told me, "The economy is doing great, and it's because President Bush's policies allow people to keep more of their own money and to spend it how they choose." (Applause.)
For small business owners like Carol, and for working families, President Bush will work to make tax relief permanent. (Applause.)
My husband also wants to help working moms and dads keep something we never have enough of, and that's time -- time to play with our kids, or time to take care of our parents. President Bush will work with the Congress to make flex time and comp time available so that more Americans can better manage the demands of work and family. (Applause.)
Another growing crisis that's of particular interest to women is doctors and medical liability reform. Recently, I traveled to Philadelphia, where I met Erin Zezzo, who learned about junk lawsuits the hard way. Erin had a trusting relationship with her OB-GYN, who had delivered her first two children. Into her third pregnancy, Erin's doctor stopped delivering babies, because he couldn't afford the medical liability insurance. Erin had to find a new doctor when she was six months pregnant.
Frivolous lawsuits raise the cost of insurance and they drive good doctors out of practice. President Bush will work to reform the medical liability system and reduce junk lawsuits. (Applause.)
All of these issues are important to our families and to the strength of our nation. But as we mark the third anniversary of September 11th, I believe what's most important is my husband's work to protect our country and to defeat terror around the world. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! (Applause.)
MRS. BUSH: The terrible acts of September 11th showed us the threat we face. But they also called us to the great work of promoting freedom in the far corners of the world.
President Bush and I want all of our men and women in uniform and their families to know how much all Americans appreciate their service. (Applause.) We appreciate courageous Americans like Josh Bunker, an E-4 Specialist in the Nevada National Guard. Josh recently returned from a year of duty in Iraq, and his mother, Theresa, is with us today. Thank you, Theresa. (Applause.)
Theresa, thank your son for us. And know that you and your family and all of our military families are in the thoughts and prayers of every American. (Applause.)
As we do the hard work of confronting terror, we can be proud that today 50 million more men, women and children have the chance to live in freedom, thanks to the United States of America and our allies. (Applause.) After years of being treated as virtual prisoners by the Taliban, the women of Afghanistan are now able to leave their homes without a male escort. And after being denied an education, even the chance to learn to read, the little girls of Afghanistan are in school. (Applause.)
More than 10-and-a-half million Afghan citizens have registered to vote in this fall's presidential election, and more than 4 million of that number are women. (Applause.)
Because we acted, the people of Iraq are now free from the tyranny of a brutal dictator. President Bush met with Iraq's new leader, Prime Minister Allawi, at the White House just last week. Imagine, a President of the United States and the leader of Iraq meeting together at the White House. (Applause.)
Prime Minister Allawi said that the Iraqi people are determined to exercise their right to vote this January, even as they face violence from those who oppose democracy. These acts are grim reminders of why our work to defeat terror and to support free societies in the Middle East are so important.
We still have hard work to do, but we'll stand with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan while their hopes of freedom are being fulfilled. (Applause.)
Building a democracy takes time. Think of how long it took us in our country, even though we were given the perfect document by our founders. It took almost 100 years after our founders declared all men are created equal to abolish slavery in America. And not until 84 years ago did American women get the right to vote. (Applause.)
On the 4th of July, George received a letter from Lance Corporal Laura Barrow who is serving in Iraq. And we were moved by her dedication. She wrote, "Our nation did not win its freedom overnight. It took many brave men to establish the free democracy we call America. The same will be true of Iraq. It will take many brave men and women with conviction and resolve to establish a free democracy so that the Iraqi people will enjoy the same freedom as Americans. I'm proud to be serving my country. I believe in this cause, Mr. President." (Applause.)
My husband knows that there's more to do to make our country safer and stronger and more hopeful. And he'll continue the work of holding America forward while holding on to our timeless ideals.
In the next five weeks, talk to your neighbors about the President's accomplishments and his plan for a new term. Reach out to Democrats and independents who appreciate strong and optimistic leadership. Make sure your friends are registered to vote and then turn them out at the polls. Everything you do to help will be a huge help in the President's campaign.
This Thursday night in Miami, the American people will see the strong, decisive man I have known for the last 27 years, a man who says what he means and does what he says. (Applause.)
These are times of change for our nation, but they're also years of promise. George and I grew up in West Texas, where the sky seems endless and so do the possibilities. My husband brings that optimism, that sense of purpose, that certainty that a better day is before us to his job every day. And, with your help, he'll do it for four more years. (Applause.)
Thank you all so much. Thank you. God bless America. (Applause.)