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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 22, 2004

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory '04 Rally in Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua Airport Daniel Webster College Hangar
Nashua, New Hampshire

5:42 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, Jenna, for that very sweet introduction. One of the great things about having the girls on the campaign trail with us is getting to hear them talk about how much they love us -- (laughter) -- and in public, no less. (Laughter.)

We've had a terrific day today in your state. We started off this morning. We stopped first at Jack's Coffee House in New London, then we had a terrific event in Lebanon, and then we went on to another -- a W Stands for Women event was our next event at Hopkinton. Then we stopped at Mack's Apple House -- (applause) -- and we bought our pumpkins for the White House, which was terrific. (Applause.)

And now we're here, and I'm so glad to be here. This is a wonderful state for a road trip and this was the perfect day for a road trip. It was so great also to be able to see how beautiful New Hampshire is in the fall.

Kitty Sununu has been showing of your state to me all day and I'm so glad that she's here with me. Thank you, Kitty. (Applause.)

And a very special thanks also to my good friend Cindy McCain for being here. (Applause.) A few years ago, Cindy and I were on different buses -- (laughter) -- and their bus nearly knocked us off the road. (Laughter.) But I'm so happy that Cindy and Senator McCain are traveling with us now on the road to victory. (Applause.)

Thanks also to our beautiful Miss America, Erika Harold for joining us. I don't know if you all know, but Erika is a law student at Harvard now. (Applause.) And, of course, it's always terrific to be with someone who has the same accent I do. Thank you very much, Angie, very much for being with us. (Applause.)

And all of you heard how unbelievably moving Cheryl McGuiness is. (Applause.) It's been terrific to spend the day with her. She has such grace and such dignity and she lifts us up. And we really appreciate that. Thank you very much, Cheryl. (Applause.)

Thanks also to Mayor Streeter and his wife Jan and daughter, Stephanie, and to Paul Needham for welcoming us to New Hampshire to talk about why it's so important to reelect President George W. Bush. (Applause.)

George and I have loved visiting your state for years. Four years ago, we spent a lot of time here. And as all of you know, the Bush family has a summer home in neighboring Kennebunkport. A couple of summers ago, we were visiting George's parents to celebrate the 4th of July. George woke up at 6:00 a.m., early in the morning as usual, and he padded downstairs for a cup of coffee. And then he went in his parents' bedroom and he sat on the sofa and put his feet up.

And all of a sudden, Barbara Bush hollered, "Put your feet down." (Laughter.) And George's dad said, "For Goodness sake, Barbara, he's the President of the United States." (Laughter.) And Bar replied, "I don't care, I don't want his feet on my coffee table." (Laughter.) So you see, even Presidents have to listen to their mothers. (Laughter and applause.)

George is a lot like his mother. My husband makes his views clear and he stands on principle. And above all, when the President says something, he means what he says and he does what he says. (Applause.)

When our economy needed a jumpstart, my husband said that he would reduce taxes -- and he did. 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 today, our economy is growing and it's getting stronger every day. And in a new term, my husband will keep America on the road to prosperity by working to make sure taxes are kept low. (Applause.)

Four years ago, my husband said we were going to reform education in America, because too many children from our poorest schools were being left behind. And he worked with Congress to do just that. Today, the No Child Left Behind Act -- because of it, our schools are improving with higher standards, higher accountability, and with the most federal funding ever for elementary and secondary education. (Applause.) We'll continue to make sure every child receives an excellent education. And in a new term, my husband wants to make career training and student financial aid more accessible so more Americans can go to work to earn a college degree. (Applause.)

Four years ago, my husband said he would work with Congress to give seniors relief from rising health costs and the rising cost of prescription drugs -- and he did. Today, millions of seniors are signing up for their prescription drug card. And in 2006 when the full drug benefit begins, seniors will save even more. (Applause.)

And in a new term, the President will work to bring down the cost of health care by reforming medical liability systems and reducing junk lawsuits. (Applause.) When it comes to health care, to education, and to strengthening our economy, George believes that government should try to help people improve their lives, not try to run them. (Applause.)

As President, my husband has me the toughest challenges with courage. He believes that it's his duty, the responsibility of every leader, to find solutions to problems, not pass them on to future Presidents or future generations. And his first and most solemn duty is to protect our country and to protect the people of the United States. (Applause.)

The President has worked to defeat terror around the world. President Bush and I want the men and women of the United States military and their families to know how much every American appreciates their service and their sacrifice. (Applause.)

We appreciate the service of courageous Americans like Staff Sergeant Dion Ray Rowan and his wife, Jennifer, who is here today. (Applause.) We appreciate the sacrifice of Grif Dalianis and of military wives like Kelly Loring, who sang our National Anthem earlier. Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)

As long as my husband is Commander-in-Chief, our troops and our first responders will have the support they need, and the United States military will remain an all-volunteer military. (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.) Just two weeks ago, millions of Afghan citizens voted in their first free presidential election in the history of their country. And in a great display of how far Afghanistan has come, a 19-year-old woman cast the very first ballot. (Applause.)

The people of Iraq are working to build their country, even as they face violence from those who oppose democracy. Already an Iraqi independent electoral commission is up and running, political parties are planning campaigns, voter registration will begin next month -- and free and fair elections will be held this coming January.

The future holds great promise and, though many difficult struggles remain, the United States will be a constant friend to both nations. (Applause.)

Americans know that 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 -- and not until 84 years ago did American women get the right to vote. Building a democracy is not easy, but we know it's right. (Applause.)

This is a critical moment in our history. In just 12 days, voters will face a choice between an America that is uncertain in the face of danger or an America that takes decisive action to defeat terror and spread liberty. Americans can choose a leader who understands the threat that we face today. Families and business owners can choose a President who wants to keep taxes low so people can keep more of their own money. We can choose a President who wants a health care system where patients and doctors are in charge, not the government. (Applause.) And parents can choose a President who will keep us on the path to excellence and high standards in our schools for every single child.

The choice is clear. America needs the leadership of President Bush for four more years. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

MRS. BUSH: So, with less than two weeks left, I want to encourage you when you leave here today, tell your neighbors about the President's vision for making America better. Reach out to Democrats and Independents who appreciate optimistic and strong leadership. Get an absentee ballot if you'll be away from home on November 2nd. Then make sure you vote, and turn out as many people as you can. Everything you do will be a great 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 lies before us to his job every day and, with your help, he'll do it for four more years. (Applause.) May God bless you. May God bless America. (Applause.)

5:55 P.M. EDT END

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