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 Home > News & Policies > November 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
November 1, 2004

Vice President's Remarks in Sparks, Nevada
Sparks High School
Sparks, Nevada

5:21 P.M. PST

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. (Applause.) Am I going to have trouble with this crowd? (Laughter and applause.) Well, we're delighted to be back in the Silver State, and this looks like Bush-Cheney. (Applause.)

And I'm delighted to be here today. Of course, Lynne, talked about knowing me since I was 14. Which is true. But she wouldn't go out with me until I was 17. (Laughter.) I tell people we got married because Dwight Eisenhower got elected President of the United States. In those days, I was a youngster living with my folks in Nebraska. Dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service. Eisenhower got elected, reorganized the government, we got transferred to Casper, Wyoming, and that's where I met Lynne. We grew up together, went to high school together, and recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. (Applause.) I explained to a group the other night that if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.) I do like that story.

Well, we're delighted to be here. I noticed -- I don't know whether you saw that Senator Kerry recently went goose hunting in Ohio.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Of course, I noted he had a brand new camouflage jacket he wore, which made you wonder how often he'd gone goose hunting before. (Laughter.) My personal opinion is that his camo jacket was just an October disguise. It's part of an effort to hide the fact that he votes against gun owners every chance he gets.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: But if you want my opinion on the whole thing, John Kerry's goose is cooked. (Applause.)


THE VICE PRESIDENT: All right. (Laughter.) You're going to go far, young man. (Laughter.)

We have a great feeling about Nevada. With your help, tomorrow we are going to carry Nevada. (Applause.)

I want to thank your Congressman Jim Gibbons. He does a great job for all of us. (Applause.) Your Governor, Kenny Guinn, wasn't able to join us today, but I want to put in a good word for him, as well. (Applause.) And I want to mention two other superb leaders with us today: Attorney General Brian Sandoval and State Treasurer Brian Krolicki. (Applause.)

Let me also say a special word about somebody else who is here today I had the privilege of serving in Congress with many years ago. I was the congressman from Wyoming for 10 years. It was a -- Wyoming only had one congressman. It was a small delegation. (Laughter.) But it was quality. (Laughter and applause.) But I always -- I always felt a special affinity for members of Congress from Nevada because we had common interests and issues to work. But Barbara Vucanovich is here today. And she's a great friend -- (Applause.) She was a great ally of mine when we were both in the House, and I'm delighted to see her today. Barbara. (Applause.) Senator Jon Ensign joined me earlier down in Henderson. And I want to put in a good word for him. (Applause.)

And I want to thank all of you who have been involved in this grassroots effort for making phone calls, putting up the yard signs, manning the phone banks, and doing all the work that's going to be vital to turning out the vote. (Applause.) This campaign has the greatest ground game in American political history, and I want to thank you for being a part of it. (Applause.)

With only a matter of hours remaining in the campaign, the choice facing the America people could not be more clear. This is no ordinary time for America. We've all seen the tape of Osama bin Laden now. It's a reminder that we're engaged in a global war on terror. This is a conflict we did not choose, but it is one what we will win. (Applause.)

Three years ago, America --


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Control yourselves. (Laughter.) Yes, good luck. Right. (Laughter.)

Three years ago, America faced a sudden attack. And like other generations of Americans, we found that history had unexpected duties in store for us. 9/11 made clear the challenge of our time. And since that morning, we have seen brutal acts of terrorists around the world -? from a nightclub in Bali, to trains in Madrid, and a school in Beslan, Russia. Against this kind of determined, organized, ruthless enemy, America requires an aggressive strategy -? not merely to prosecute a series of crimes, but to fight and win a global campaign against the terror network. If the killers of September 11th thought we had lost the will to defend our freedom, they did not know America. And they did not know George W. Bush. (Applause.)

Under the President's leadership, we have reached around the world to capture and kill thousands of al Qaeda. In Afghanistan, the camps where terrorists trained to kill Americans have been shut down, the Taliban driven from power. (Applause.) In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat, and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Applause.) Nineteen months ago, he controlled the lives of 25 million people. Today, he sits in jail. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Treat him gently now. He has 24 hours to change his mind. (Laughter and applause.)

Because of President Bush's determination in the war on terror, leaders around the world are getting the message. Just five days after Saddam Hussein was captured, Moammar Ghadafi in Libya agreed to abandon his nuclear weapons program and turn the materials over to the United States. (Applause.)

The biggest danger we face today is having nuclear weapons technology fall into the hands of terrorists. The President is working with many countries in the global effort to end the trade and transfer of these deadly technologies. The most important result thus far is that the black-market network that supplied nuclear weapons technology to Libya, as well as to Iran and North Korea, has been shut down. And the world is much safer as a result. (Applause.)

Having liberated 50 million people, we are now supporting the efforts of the Afghans and the Iraqis to establish representative governments. In Afghanistan, 10 million people registered to vote, nearly half of them women. (Applause.) Elections were held three weeks ago, the first in the 5,000-year history of that country. (Applause.) And in January, the people of Iraq will vote, as well. And we will be safer as a result. (Applause.) One of the lessons that history teaches is that institutions of self-government turn the energies of people away from violence to the peaceful work of building better lives. Freedom is the best antidote to terrorism. (Applause.)

In all our efforts we have been aided by dozens of countries around the world. We will always seek international support for international efforts, but as President Bush has made very clear, there is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations and submitting to the objections of a few. We will never seek a permission slip to defend the United States of America. (Applause.)

The clearest, most important difference in this campaign is simple to state: President Bush understands the war on terror and has a strategy for winning it. Senator Kerry does not. (Applause.)

All doubt on the matter was removed recently when Senator Kerry said he wanted to lead America back to the place where we were ?- to a time when terrorism was, in his word, a "nuisance."


THE VICE PRESIDENT: When I read that, I thought to myself: When was terrorism only a nuisance? Was it a nuisance four years ago, when the USS Cole was attacked and nearly sunk and we lost 17 sailors?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Was it a nuisance six years ago when they attacked simultaneously two of our embassies in East Africa and killed hundreds of people?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Was terrorism just a nuisance 11 years ago, when the World Trade Center was first bombed?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Or 16 years ago, when Pan Am 103 was blown out of the skies over Lockerbie Scotland?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Or 21 years ago, when a suicide bomber in a truck loaded with explosives drove into a barracks in Beirut and killed 241 American servicemen?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: My friends, there never was a time when terrorism was just a nuisance. There never can be a time when terrorism is just a nuisance. Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level. Our goal is to defeat terror -? and with George Bush as President, that's exactly what we'll do. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: During this campaign, we've heard a lot of bold talk from Senator Kerry, but it cannot disguise a 30-year record of coming down on the wrong side of virtually every national security issue.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He first ran for Congress advocating the idea that we should deploy American troops only under the authority of the United Nations.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He then ran for the Senate on the platform that we should dismantle most of the major weapons systems Ronald Reagan used to keep the peace and win the Cold War.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: In 1991, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and stood poised to dominate the Persian Gulf, John Kerry voted against Operation Desert Storm.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: In the first debate, this year, Senator Kerry said that America had to meet some kind of "global test" before we could take military action.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: The President and I know better than that. We know that it is not our job to conduct international opinion polls. Our job is to defend America. (Applause.)

Now, in the closing days of this campaign, John Kerry is running around talking tough. He's trying every which way to cover up his record of weakness on national defense. But he can't do it. It won't work. As we like to say in Wyoming, you can put all the lipstick you want on that pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Applause.) That's my favorite line. (Laughter.) You want to hear it again?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: As we like to say in Wyoming -- (laughter) -- you can put all the lipstick you want on a pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Laughter and applause.)

These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds; or who fail to understand the nature of the struggle we're in. Our troops, our allies, and our enemies must know where America stands. The President of the United States must be clear and consistent. In his 20 years in Washington, John Kerry has been one of a hundred votes in the United States Senate ?- and fortunately on matters of national security, his views rarely prevailed. But the presidency is an entirely different proposition. A senator can be wrong for 20 years, without consequence to the nation. But a President -? a President ?- always casts the deciding vote. And in this time of challenge, America needs ?- and America has -? a President we can count on to get it right. (Applause.)

Our success in the war on terror is made possible by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.) President Bush knows that our dedicated servicemen and women represent the very best of the United States of America. (Applause.) I want to thank all of them, the civilian personnel who support them, their families, and the veterans with us here today for what they have done for all of us. (Applause.)

Senator Kerry takes a different view when it comes to supporting our military. He voted in favor of using force against Saddam Hussein, but then during the primary season 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, Senator Kerry voted "no."


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He offered a ridiculous explanation, which, frankly, I think will go down in the history of American politics. He said, and I quote, "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

AUDIENCE: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Look, the election is tomorrow. We got to get through this speech. (Laughter.)

But the real reason he turned his back on our troops was that he saw the polls. Howard Dean was the antiwar candidate and Dean was surging ahead in the polls, and so John Kerry, in order to advance himself in the Democratic primaries, turned his back on the troops.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He said his vote was "complicated," but, my friends, supporting American troops in combat should never be a complicated matter. (Applause.)

John Kerry turned to the polls again within the past couple of days. After the bin Laden tape was released, the Kerry campaign polled to see what his response should be.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He put his finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. (Laughter.) George Bush does not need a poll to know where he stands in the war on terror. (Applause.) He's a man of courage and conviction who knows how to lead America during a time of war. And we need him for four more years. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Our country requires strong and consistent leadership for our actions overseas, and the same is true 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, our economy was sliding into recession. Then terrorists struck on 9/11 and shook our economy once again. We had a basic decision to make ?- 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 cuts for the American people not once, not twice, but four times in four years. (Applause.)

Every American who pays federal income taxes benefited from the Bush tax cuts ?- and so has our economy. We've created jobs for 13 consecutive months ?- a total of over 1.9 million new jobs during that period. Here in Nevada, more than 110,000 jobs have been created since January of '02. (Applause.) Mortgage rates, interest rates, and inflation are low. Consumers are confident, businesses are investing, families are taking home more of what they earn. (Applause.) In a second term, we'll keep our economy moving in the right direction by making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Applause.)

We'll also work to end lawsuit abuse because we know it's a lot easier for America's businesses to hire workers if they don't have to hire lawyers. (Applause.)

We will work for medical liability reform, so that America's doctors are able to spend their time healing patients, not fighting off frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.)

President Bush and I will also continue to defend 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 our nation is "one nation under God," and that Americans ought to be able to say so when we pledge allegiance to the flag. (Applause.)

There shouldn't be any question about this ?- and there wouldn't be if we had more reasonable judges on the federal bench. (Applause.) The Democrats in the Senate have been doing everything they can -? including using the filibuster -? to keep the President's sensible, mainstream nominees off the bench.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: They're hoping to wait the President out. But I've got news for them. That's not going to happen because we're going to win this election. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: My friends, the differences between the President and his opponent are as sharp as they can possibly be, and the consequences for the country are enormous. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm almost through, but I could give you the whole speech again. (Laughter and applause.) That's a joke. I've got to get home tonight. (Laughter.)

On vital matters of national security, Senator Kerry offers a record of weakness and a strategy of retreat. President Bush offers a record of steady purpose, resolute action, and a strategy for victory. (Applause.) Senator Kerry wants to empower government; President Bush will empower the citizens of this great land. (Applause.) John Kerry seems to think that all wisdom is found in Washington, D.C.; George Bush trusts the wisdom of the American people. (Applause.)

The polls open bright and early tomorrow. And I'm asking every one of you to vote, and to get your friends and neighbors to come along. (Applause.) There is a great deal at stake in this election. And I want to ask for your support just as clearly as I possibly can. We need you. (Applause.)

If you want a President who will fight the terrorists on the offensive, and never relent in protecting our country, send George W. Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: If you want a President who will keep his word, and stand behind our military 100 percent, send George Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

If you want a President who will keep taxes low for families, farmers, and entrepreneurs, send George Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

If you want a President who will expand opportunities to start a business or own a home ?- if you want to live the American dream, send George Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

If you want a President who will insist on accountability in the classroom and keep parents and teachers in charge of the schools, send George Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

And if you are a Democrat, Republican or independent and you want a President who will stand up for America's enduring values, send George W. Bush back for four more years. (Applause.)

We're grateful to our many friends across the great state of Nevada. I want to thank you for the tremendous welcome tonight. We're proud to have you on the team. And together, tomorrow, we'll going to see our cause forward to victory.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 5:48 P.M. PST