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

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

Vice President's Remarks in Henderson, Nevada
Green Valley High School
Henderson, Nevada

2:20 P.M. PST

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. It's great to be back in the Silver State. And it looks like Bush-Cheney country to me. (Applause.)

I want to thank John McCain. John has been a great friend for 20 years, does a superb job for the United States Senate. (Applause.) And of course, we've got John Ensign -- Senator John Ensign with us here today. (Applause.) And when people say "flush the Johns," they don't mean these two. (Laughter.) I'm sorry it's the last day of the campaign. What do you expect? (Applause.)

Let me also say it's a pleasure to work with your Congressman Jon Porter. He does a great job. (Applause.) And your Lieutenant Governor. (Applause.)

Now, I brought some special guests with me today. I brought --

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: He's still got 24 hours to change his mind. (Laughter.)

But I brought some special guests with me today -- my wife, Lynne. (Applause.) And we're traveling with our three granddaughters. (Applause.) This is Kate. This is Elizabeth. And this is Grace. (Applause.) All right, girls, go see your mom. (Applause.) If you leave them on the stage during the speech, no one pays attention to the speech.

And Lynne -- of course, I'm fond of telling people that Lynne and I got married before Dwight Eisenhower got elected President of the United States. In those days, I was a youngster living in Lincoln, Nebraska with my folks. Dad worked for the federal government, the Soil Conservation Service. Eisenhower got elected, reorganized the government, Dad got transferred to Casper, Wyoming, which is where I met Lynne. We grew up together, went to high school together, and recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Forty more years. Forty more years. Forty more years. (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Forty more years? I'll think about it. (Laughter.) No, I'll commit right here. Forty more years. (Laughter.)

But I explained to a group the other night that if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's election victory, 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 don't know how many of you noticed the other our opponent Senator Kerry went goose hunting the other day in Ohio. (Laughter.) Of course, he wore a new camouflage jacket for the occasion, which made me wonder how often he'd before goose hunting before. My personal opinion is that his camo jacket was an October disguise, an effort he's making to hide the fact that he votes against gun owners every chance he gets.


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

Now, the President and I have a great feeling about this area. And with your help, tomorrow, we're going to carry Nevada. (Applause.) And of course, in addition to Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt, Secretary of State Dean Heller is with us today. (Applause.) And your Sheriff. (Applause.) And although he couldn't be with us, I also want to put in a good word for your governor, Kenny Guinn. He does a superb job for everybody here in Nevada. (Applause.)

Let me especially thank all of you who have been active in the campaign who have been working as volunteers, helping put up yard signs, manning the phone banks, getting out the vote. (Applause.) I think we've got the greatest ground game in American political history, and I want to thank all of 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 faced a sudden attack. And like other generations of Americans, we found that history had unexpected duties for us. September 11th made clear the challenge of our time. And since that morning, we have seen the brutal acts of terrorists around the world -? from a nightclub in Bali, to trains in Madrid, to 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. (Applause.) 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.)

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 of Libya agreed to abandon his nuclear weapons program and turn the materials over to the U.S. (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 a 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. Elections were held three weeks ago -- (applause.) -- those elections held three weeks ago were the first in the 5,000-year history of that country. (Applause.) 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.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: 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 when Senator Kerry said recently he wanted to lead America back to the place where we were ?- to a time when terrorism was, in his word, a "nuisance" like illegal gambling or prostitution.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's the comparison he made. 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 two of our embassies in East Africa and killed hundreds of people?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Was terrorism just a nuisance 11 years ago, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center in New York?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Or 16 years ago, when Pan Am Flight 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 will do. (Applause.)

During this campaign, we've heard a lot of bold talk from Senator Kerry, but it can't disguise a 30-year record of coming down on the wrong side of virtually every major national security issue. He first ran for Congress advocating the idea that we should deploy American troops only under the authorization of the United Nations.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He ran for the Senate on the platform that we should dismantle many of the major weapons systems that 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. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: 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 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 our military. (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 the troops, the civilian personnel who support them, their families, and all 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 provide funds that would provide our fighting men and women with body armor, ammunition, spare parts, and fuel, 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: Booo! Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: But the real reason he turned his back on the troops was what he saw in the polls. Howard Dean was the antiwar candidate and Dean was surging ahead in the polls, and so John Kerry, in order to advance his own cause in the Democratic primaries, turned his back on the troops. 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 last couple of days. After the bin Laden tape was released, the Kerry campaign polled to see what his response should be.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm getting to that part. (Laughter.)

He put his finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. (Laughter.) George Bush doesn't 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 for our policies 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 faced a basic decision ?- 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 the 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 all low. Consumers are confident, businesses are investing, families are taking home more of what they earn. 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 new workers if they don't have to keep hiring 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 our society's fundamental rights and values. We stand -- we stand for a culture of life and we 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 that our nation is "one nation under God." (Applause.) And we believe Americans ought to be able to say so when we pledge allegiance to our 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 are hoping to wait the President out. But I've got news for them. That's not going to happen because we are going to win this election. (Applause.)

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. 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 and resolute action, and a strategy for victory. (Applause.) Senator Kerry wants to empower government; President Bush will empower the citizens of this great country. (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 lot at stake in this election. And I want to do everything I can to ask for your support just as clearly as I can. (Applause.)

If you want a President who will fight the terrorists on the offensive, and never relent in protecting our country, send George 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 of the time, 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 W. 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 W. 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 W. 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 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 today. We're proud to have you on the team. And together, tomorrow, November 2nd, we're going to see our cause forward to victory.

Thank you very much.

END 2:48 P.M. PST

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