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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 7, 2004

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory '04 Rally in Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City Convention Center
Sioux City, Iowa

1:15 P.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all very much. (Applause.) And thank you very much, Speaker, Mr. Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives, Christopher Rants. Thank you so much. Thank you for the introduction and thank you for being here with me. I also want to thank all the other state officials who are here. I think some may have spoken before I came here.

I want to thank Mayor Dave Ferris from Sioux City for welcoming me here. Thank you very much, Mayor. And thanks to all the Republican candidates who are here, including Karen Butler and Keith Radig, who are both running for the State House and Dave Mulder who is running for the State Senate. Thank you all very much for joining me. (Applause.)

I'm so happy to be back in Iowa to talk about why it's so important to work on President Bush's reelection campaign. George and I were here in Sioux City a couple of weeks ago together, and he was in Des Moines, as all of you probably know, on Monday, which is where he signed the extension of the tax relief bill. (Applause.)

And I'm sure we'll be back in Iowa before November 2nd and, with your help, we're going to win the state of Iowa. (Applause.) I've had the real privilege of traveling around our country for the last three-and-a-half years, but really from coast to coast for the last several months, and I've met so many people who have a very deep love for our country, and for our President. People all across America see what you and I see, and that is that my husband is a man of great character and conviction. (Applause.)

We've watched as President Bush has led this country through the most historic struggle of our generation. We've been through a lot together these last four years, but today our economy is growing, we're closing the achievement gap in our schools, and America is safer and stronger, thanks to the President's decisive leadership. (Applause.)

In Ohio, I visited with a business owner who summed up our success this way. She said, "President Bush was born for such a time as this. He never wavers when it comes to doing the right thing. It makes me feel so secure to know that our leader has such a love for our country." (Applause.)

These are historic times, and they're also times of change that require new ideas for our country. Just think about the differences in 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 business. Workers are changing jobs often during their lifetimes, and more people are going back to school to keep up with our 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. We know that all opportunity starts with education. Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act, our schools are improving with higher standards, with accountability, and with the most federal funding ever for elementary and secondary education. (Applause.)

More children are reading at grade level, and scores in math are improving. And we owe much of this success to America's incredible teachers. (Applause.)

Megan Bishop is a third grade teacher at Sacred Heart School, and we're so glad that she's here today. Is she over there? Thank you, Megan. Thanks for teaching school. (Applause.)

As we help our younger students, we also need to make sure that our students in high schools are well prepared for the new jobs of the 21st century. We want high school students to have increased math and science training, because we know that's where the new jobs will be. President Bush wants to make it easier for high school students to take courses at community college and earn credits toward their degrees before they even graduate. He also wants to make federal student financial aid more flexible, so that Americans can receive training, earn a degree, or take specialized courses that will help them get a great job.

And when these graduates enter the work force, 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 business, and that sisterhood just keeps growing. In fact, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men.

Small business owners and families are saving more of their own money because of the President's commitment to tax relief. And, just in case you don't know it, 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 businesses expand and hire more people.

America has added 1.7 million jobs since August 2003. That's more jobs than Germany, Japan, England Canada and France added, combined. (Applause.)

We know that we have more work to do to make sure that everybody who wants a job in America can find one. And I'm pleased that this week, right here in Iowa, President Bush signed a bill extending tax relief, so families and small businesses can stay on the path to greater prosperity. This bill, which was supported by both parties, extends the $1,000 child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, and the expanded 10 percent bracket. Overall, 94 million Americans will have a lower tax bill next year, including 70 million women and 38 million families with children. (Applause.)

Another growing crisis that's of particular interest to women and to doctors is medical liability reform. In Philadelphia, I met with 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 could no longer afford the medial 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 frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.)

My husband would also make sure that patients and doctors are in charge of health care, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

George believes that government should try to help people improve their lives, not try to run them. And one of the most promising ways government can help improve our lives is by supporting medical research.

The President especially looks forward to medical breakthroughs that may arise from stem cell research. You may not realize that, because many people have tried to distort his record. But the truth is, George W. Bush is the only President to authorize federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. (Applause.)

Last year, the federal government invested nearly $25 million in embryonic stem cell research and nearly $191 million in adult and other stem cell research. Many millions more are spent by researchers in the private sector.

My father died of Alzheimer's disease and I share the President's eagerness to find a cure for this devastating illness. I hope that stem cells yield cures and therapies for a myriad of illnesses, but I know that stem cell research does not offer a cure right now, and it's irresponsible to suggest that it does. The promise of research lies in the advancement of scientific knowledge and a growing understanding of how stem cells can be used to treat illnesses. The President's policy makes it possible for researchers to explore the potential of stem cells while respecting the ethical and moral implications associated with this research. (Applause.)

As President, my husband has met the toughest challenges with courage. He believes that his duty, the responsibility of every leader, is to find solutions to problems, not pass them on to future Presidents and future generations. (Applause.)

As we mark the third anniversary of September 11th, I believe what's important is my husband's work to protect our country and to defeat terror around the world. President Bush and I want our men and women in uniform and their families to know how much every American appreciates their service and their sacrifice. (Applause.) We appreciate courageous Americans like retired Marine corporal Bob Mahon, who's with us today. Bob, thank you for your dedication to our country. (Applause.)

As we do the hard work of confronting terror, we can be proud that 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 in their homes by the Taliban, the women of Afghanistan are now able to walk outside their door 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.

Those who question whether the people in the broader Middle East desire freedom need only ask the 10 million Afghans who have registered to vote in their first free presidential election. (Applause.) This Saturday will be an historic milestone for all of Afghanistan, especially for the more than 4 million women who will be heading to the polls.

Because we acted, the people of Iraq are now free from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Recently, President Bush met with Iraq's new leader, Prime Minister Allawi, at the White House. 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 violent acts are grim reminders of why our work to defeat terror and to support free societies in the Middle East is so important. We still have a lot of work to do, but we'll stand with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan while their hopes for freedom are being fulfilled. (Applause.)

Building a democracy takes time. Think of how long it took us in our country. 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. Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals, yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us.

Last Thursday night at the debate in Miami, the people of America saw the strong and thoughtful man I've known for 27 years, a man who says what he means and does what he says. This Friday, President Bush will once again talk to the Americans about his plans for making America safer and prosperous and for making the world more secure.

In the next four weeks, talk to your neighbors about the President's accomplishments and his plans for a second term. Reach out to Democrats and Independents who appreciate strong and optimistic leadership. Make sure your friends and neighbors are registered by October 23rd, and then make sure they go to the polls. Everything you do will be a huge help for the President's campaign.

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. Thank you, and may God bless America. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

1:30 P.M. CDT

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