For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 30, 2006
Remarks by the First Lady at New Hampshire Victory 2006 Rally
Manchester, New Hampshire
3:28 P.M. EDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much. Thank you, Congressman Bradley. Thank you for introducing me, and thank you to each and every one of you for the warm welcome to New Hampshire.
I couldn't let another election go by without stopping in New Hampshire, for sure. I've spent every election here since 1980 or something. (Laughter.) But anyway, it's great to be here with all of you.
And I'm so happy to be standing today with Congressman Charlie Bass. Lisa and Lucy are here, Lisa Bass and Charlie's daughter Lucy are here. (Applause.) And of course, I'm very happy to be standing here with Congressman Jeb Bradley. Thank you very much, Congressman. (Applause.) And Senator John Sununu, who's here, thank you, Senator. (Applause.) Senator Judd Gregg, and Kathy, is out in the crowd with you all, too. (Applause.) Jim Coburn, your Republican candidate for governor, thank you very much, Jim, for joining us. (Applause.) Also in the crowd is Wayne Semprini, the Chairman of the New Hampshire State Republican Party. Wayne, thank you very much for your hard work. (Applause.)
And I know there are a number of local officials and candidates here. Thank you all for your service to your communities, and thanks for joining us today. (Applause.)
I'm delighted to be here with you today to support Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley's campaigns for the United States Congress. (Applause.) These men care deeply about the people of your state, and in Washington, they've distinguished themselves as passionate advocates of New Hampshire families.
Congressman Bradley and Congressman Bass are helping New Hampshire by increasing employment opportunities in your state. During his 11 years in Congress, Charlie Bass has improved the business climate for New Hampshire entrepreneurs, so they can expand their companies and create more jobs for the 2nd district.
Through his leadership on the House Small Business Committee, Congressman Jeb Bradley -- a former small-business owner himself -- has eased the tax burden for 112,000 small New Hampshire companies. (Applause.) He's secured more than $4 million in federal funding to expand I-93. These resources will improve highway safety for New Hampshire drivers, and create good construction jobs here in the 1st district.
On the Armed Services Committee, Jeb led the effort to save the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. (Applause.) His efforts have protected our nation, and saved thousands of jobs in your state.
Here in New Hampshire, your unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent. (Applause.) And your economy is the fastest-growing in New England. Congratulations to the hard-working Granite Staters, and thank you to Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley for working so hard for you in Congress. (Applause.)
In Washington, Jeb and Charlie make sure that New Hampshire's tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. They support President Bush's tax cuts. These tax cuts have fueled our economy, and they've helped add 6.6 million new jobs since 2003. And that means 6.6 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job.
Something else Jeb, Charlie, and the President have in common -- and something I share with them -- is a commitment to natural preservation.
Congressman Bradley and Congressman Bass are enthusiastic stewards of our country's natural resources. Through his leadership on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Charlie Bass helped author the Energy Policy Act, which promotes the use of alternative fuels in American homes.
Jeb Bradley is an avid outdoorsman, and he enjoys climbing New Hampshire's majestic mountains. He's scaled all 48 of your state's 4,000-foot peaks, and his current goal is to climb all 48 of these mountains in the winter. (Applause.) Good luck with that, Jeb.
Congressman Bradley's priority is preserving the White Mountains so that all Granite Staters can enjoy their beauty. This year, he and Congressman Bass introduced legislation to safeguard New Hampshire's Wild River Valley, and to designate the White Mountain National Forest as protected wilderness. Thank you both very much for this very important work. (Applause.)
One of the benefits of natural and historical preservation is that it gives our children more opportunities to learn about our country. Visits to national parks, to museums, to aquariums, and to national monuments are great activities for young people, offering them healthy and positive ways to learn and spend time with their families.
Jeb Bradley and Charlie Bass have strong records of commitment to young people. Jeb spent years as Little League coach in Wolfeboro, providing local children with positive and healthy activities. Both Congressman Bradley and Congressman Bass support the IDEA Act, which funds education programs for young people with disabilities. Charlie Bass has introduced legislation to increase national IDEA Act funding, and Jeb has introduced legislation to make sure those resources are used more efficiently here in New Hampshire. Thank you, Congressmen, for your commitment to New Hampshire children. (Applause.)
We all know, though, that the well-being of young people ultimately depends on our government's ability to protect them -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad. (Applause.)
Congressman Bass and Congressman Bradley understand the needs of our troops at this crucial time in our country's history. Both Jeb and Charlie support pay increases for soldiers, and included a 2.7 percent raise for all members of the armed services in the most recent National Defense Authorization bill.
Through his leadership on the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Bradley has secured hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure our troops have the resources they need to keep themselves, and our country, safe. (Applause.) He's made three visits to our troops in Iraq. On the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Jeb is improving benefits for Granite Staters who've served our country in uniform. He introduced legislation to expand services at VA medical centers around the country, and led the effort to maintain emergency room operations at the VA medical center in Manchester. Thank you, Jeb, for that. (Applause.)
In Congress, Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley are champions of the men and women of the United States military. (Applause.)
And thanks to our troops, the Iraqi people are now free from the oppression of Saddam Hussein, and are working to build a democratic future for their country. (Applause.)
And in Afghanistan, women and girls can now be educated. (Applause.) It's hard for us to imagine a country that would prohibit half of its citizens from being educated. But now, little girls are in school all over Afghanistan.
All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. (Applause.) Every day, thousands of these men and women risk their lives overseas to make sure that their families, and all of our families, are kept safe here in the United States. Their love of our country, and of liberty, never wavers, and neither does their belief in our cause.
Many of these men and women have given their lives for this belief. Around the country, President Bush and I meet with their families. In military hospitals, we meet with their fellow soldiers who've been wounded in combat. And from our troops and their families, the President and I hear the same request: that we honor the sacrifice of these men and women by seeing their mission through. (Applause.) They ask the American people to stand with our troops.
Congressman Bass and Congressman Bradley stand with our troops. (Applause.) They understand that this election is critical to the future of our country. And they know that America faces challenges too important to be reduced to just politics.
President Bush has an ambitious agenda for the rest of his time in Washington, and he takes his responsibility to the American people very seriously. Ending our dependence on foreign oil, reforming our immigration system, rebuilding the Gulf Coast, and keeping our country safe from terrorism are not easy tasks, but they are absolutely vital goals. (Applause.) To accomplish them, we must have serious national conversations, conducted with civility and respect.
The right to have these conversations is part of what makes our country great, and our democracy strong. We must be mindful that people around the world are listening to these discussions. Responsible candidates understand that the men and women of our military are risking their lives for us overseas, and that we must conduct our debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way. (Applause.)
Jeb Bradley and Charlie Bass understand their responsibility to our country as your representatives in the United States Congress. It's so important that we stand with Jeb and Charlie during this crucial time in our country's history.
Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Congressman Bass and Congressman Bradley. Thanks especially to all the volunteers for your hard work knocking on doors and making those phone calls, including the time some of you spent at the phone bank here this morning. You've already done so much to help Jeb and Charlie, and our other terrific Republican candidates in New Hampshire, especially your candidate for governor, Jim Coburn. (Applause.) In the next week, they'll need more of your energy and enthusiasm.
We're looking forward to Election Day. This is a spirited contest, and we've got great candidates. We've also got the best grassroots volunteers. (Applause.) Our candidates are depending on you, so be sure to get everyone you know to the polls. Go to the phone banks, knock on the doors, and talk to your friends and neighbors about Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)
Thank you all very much. Thanks for coming out today, and thank you in advance for all the hard work you're going to do for the next week to make sure Jeb Bradley and Charlie Bass are re-elected to the United States Congress on November 7th.
Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)
END 3:42 P.M. EDT