The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 1, 2004

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory '04 Rally in Clinton Township, Michigan
Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
Clinton Township, Michigan

10:55 A.M. EST

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. (Applause.) Thank you, Congresswoman Candice Miller. Thank you very much, Candice for your friendship and for your service to your state, to your great state of Michigan. It's great to be with you here today. And also thanks to Dr. Albert "Al" Lorenzo, the President of Macomb Community College. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

And David Viviano is our Republican county candidate for Macomb County Prosecutor. (Applause.) And I want to thank each and every one of you. I want to thank all of you for coming out to see me today, I want to thank you for the hard work I know you've all done on the President's campaign. And thank you very much also for your friendship. (Applause.)

I also want to thank you for the privilege you've given me and my husband of serving our great country. (Applause.) Our lives have been enriched by meeting so many of our fellow Americans. As we've visited communities all over our country, we've witnessed the decency and the kindness and the character of Americans.

I'm a little nostalgic today. This is my last speech of the 2004 campaign. (Applause.)

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

MRS. BUSH: When I leave here -- thank you all.

When I leave here in a few minutes, I'll join the President in Des Moines, Iowa, and travel with him to the rest of our stops. We'll end up for a big rally in Dallas, Texas, and then at our ranch in Crawford, and we'll vote there tomorrow and then go on to Washington for the returns, where I know we'll get to see President George W. Bush reelected for four more years. (Applause.)

But today's election makes me nostalgic. And I was thinking back to 27 years ago when George and I were newlyweds and he was running for Congress. The race, that race didn't turn out like we hoped. But we joked back then that maybe he'd run again for office when we were 50. (Laughter.) Well, 10 years ago this week, we were just a couple of years shy of 50 and George was elected governor of Texas. He hasn't lost an election since and, with your help, we're going to carry Michigan tomorrow and go on to a great victory. (Applause.)

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.)

People ask me all the time whether George has changed. He's a little grayer. (Laughter.) And, of course, he's learned and grown as well as all of us have. But he's still the same person I met at a backyard barbecue in Midland, Texas, and married three months later.

He'll always tell you what he thinks. You can count on him, especially in a crisis. His friends don't change and neither do his values. He has boundless energy and enthusiasm for his job, and for life itself. He treats every person he meets with dignity and respect, the same dignity and respect he has for the office he holds. (Applause.)

He's a loving man with a big heart. He makes his views clear and he stands on principle. And, above all, the President says what he means and does what he says. (Applause.)

Four years ago, when our economy needed a jumpstart, my husband said that he'd reduce taxes and he kept his word. 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. And today, our economy is growing and it's getting stronger every day. (Applause.)

We've added 1.9 million new jobs in the last 13 months. Home ownership is at an all-time high in America. And more minority families own their own home than ever before in our history. (Applause.)

And in a new term, my husband will work to keep taxes low so that more workers can find good jobs and families can save for their retirement or for their children's college education.

Four years ago, my husband promised to end the soft bigotry of low expectations by reforming our public schools. He kept his word. (Applause.) He worked with Congress to pass good, sound education reform to bring high standards to our classrooms and to make schools more accountable to parents. And today, scores in reading and math are rising, and minority students are closing the achievement gap. (Applause.) In a new term, George will build on these reforms and extend them to our high schools, so that no child in America will be left behind. (Applause.)

Four years ago, my husband said he would work with Congress to give seniors relief from the rising cost of prescription drugs, and he kept his word. (Applause.) Today, because of the Medicare bill that was passed this last year, over four million Americans have already signed up for their Medicare prescription drug card to save more on medicines. And in 2006, when the full prescription drug benefit begins, seniors will save even more.

My husband knows that we must do more to lower the cost of health care and to make sure good doctors aren't forced out of practice because of the high cost of medical liability insurance. (Applause.) In a new term, President Bush will pass medical liability reform to reduce frivolous lawsuits. He'll make sure that patients and doctors are in charge of health care, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. (Applause.) And my husband will keep the promise of Social Security for our seniors, and strengthen the system for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

All of these issues are important to our families and to our nation, but we're living through the most historic struggle our generation has ever known. And 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!

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 and democracy in far corners of the world. The President and I want all of the men and women in uniform and their families to know how much every American appreciates their service and their sacrifice. (Applause.)

We appreciate the sacrifice of courageous Americans like Staff Sergeant Anthony Peplinski of the 127th Wing Division, who is here with us today. (Applause.) Anthony, thank you for your dedication to our country. (Applause.)

Once again, as in our parents' generation, America is making the tough choices, the hard decisions, and leading the world toward greater security and freedom. I wasn't born when my father went to World War II. Like many of our Greatest Generation, he served in the United States Army in Europe for almost three years. His company liberated Nordhausen, one of the concentration camps. You can imagine his horror at what he found there.

The methods of the terrorists we face today are different. But my father would know this struggle. Our parents' generation confronted tyranny and liberated millions. And today, 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.)

Earlier this month, millions of Afghan citizens voted in the first free presidential election in the history of their country. (Applause.) And in a great display of how far Afghanistan has come, a 19-year-old woman cast the first ballot. (Applause.)

The people of Iraq are also building a democracy, even as they face violence from those who oppose it. Voter registration will begin next month, and free and fair elections will be held this coming January. The future holds great promise for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. And though many difficulties lie ahead, the United States must remain a 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 us 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. We know that to build a lasting peace, we need a leader with an unwavering commitment to see the task through. (Applause.)

This is a critical moment in our history. We've accomplished so much and we've come so far, yet our work is not finished. Tomorrow, we 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. (Applause.)

Tomorrow we face a choice between an America that is -- families and business owners can choose a President who wants to keep taxes low, so that more people can have 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 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: The polls open in Michigan tomorrow at 7:00 o'clock in the morning. Offer to drive a friend or a neighbor to vote. When you leave here today, tell them about the President's leadership and his vision for making America safer and stronger. Reach out to Democrats and Independents who appreciate optimistic and steady leadership. (Applause.)

Thank you all so much for your friendship. Thank you for standing with President George W. Bush. (Applause.) Thank you all. (Applause.)

END 11:10


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