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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 1, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Ohio Victory 2006 Rally
The Makoy Center
Hilliard, Ohio

3:30 P.M. EST

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, Deborah, thank you for the very, very kind introduction. Deborah was not that kind just a little bit earlier when she made me go by the Buckeye store. (Laughter and applause.) I think it had something to do with that game earlier this season with Texas. (Laughter.) There's one hook 'em horns over there. (Applause.)

Thank you all very much. Thanks for coming out to see me today. Thank you for your support for Deborah for United States Congress. It's so important. I'm so glad to be with you.

I want to recognize the Mayor of the city of Hilliard, Don Schonhardt. Thank you very much for joining us here. Jo Ann Davidson, of course, my good friend, and a good friend to Republicans around the country, thanks so much, Jo Ann. Doug Priesse is here, the Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.

Thanks very much to all the elected officials who are here with us today. I know a number of you have races. I want to encourage everybody to turn out to the polls, vote for all of our great Republican candidates across the board; some of you already have. Now go back and bring a few more people to the polls, as well.

I'm so happy to be here to support Deborah Pryce's campaign for the United States Congress. I'm proud and honored to stand on the stage with her. (Applause.)

Deborah cares deeply about the people of Ohio, and in Washington, she's a passionate advocate for the 15th district. Congresswoman Pryce is a leader in the House of Representatives, where she serves as Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. This position makes her the highest-ranking Republican woman ever to serve in the House of Representatives. (Applause.) She's also a role model for women and girls across Ohio and across our country.

During her 13 years in Congress, Deborah Pryce has brought to Washington the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined her public service. She makes sure Ohio tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. She supports the Presidential Line Item Veto, which will help eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. And Deborah supports President Bush's tax cuts. (Applause.) These tax cuts have fueled our economy, and they've helped add 6.6 million new jobs since 2003. That means every morning, 6.6 million more Americans wake up with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job.

Congresswoman Pryce is dedicated to bringing jobs to Ohio. Through her leadership on the House Financial Services Committee, Deborah has improved the economic climate for Ohio entrepreneurs, so they can expand their businesses and create more jobs for the 15th district. She supported and led efforts to reauthorize the historic 1996 Welfare Reform Act. This legislation has helped millions of Americans enjoy the independence that comes from providing for themselves and their families.

Deborah has secured more than $30 million in funding to expand Rickenbacker International Airport, and $90 million in funding to expand rail capacity along the Heartland Corridor. These projects will improve Central Ohio's freight-processing capability, create up to 20,000 new jobs, and add $15 billion to the economy of the 15th district. Thank you, Deborah, for this very important work. (Applause.)

Offering young people the hope of good employment is one of the most important things we can do for our children. Another way we can help them is by steering them away from risky behavior, and guiding them toward the knowledge and the self-respect they'll need to lead healthy and successful lives.

Congresswoman Pryce has a strong record of commitment to young people. Deborah is a former prosecutor, and she's dedicated to keeping Ohio's children safe in their communities. She's increased the use of DNA evidence to keep harmful predators away from Ohio's young people. She authored legislation -- which President Bush signed into law -- that protects women and children from the abuse of human trafficking. (Applause.)

And something else that's especially close to my heart, Deborah is a passionate advocate for adoption. She's led the effort in Congress to expand the adoption tax credit, and has made sure more families who long for children can welcome them into loving homes. (Applause.)

Congresswoman Pryce supports many initiatives to improve health care for Ohio families, especially for women and children and senior citizens. She's secured millions of dollars in support of the Columbus Children's Hospital. Thanks to Deborah's efforts, this hospital is now a leading institution in pediatric research, providing state-of-the-art medical care for children in the 15th district. Thank you, Congresswoman Pryce, for your commitment to Ohio's children. (Applause.)

We all know, though, that the well-being of young people in Ohio and throughout our country ultimately depends on our government's ability to protect them -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad.

Congresswoman Pryce understands the needs of our troops at this crucial time in our country's history. She's a powerful representative for Ohioans who've served in uniform. (Applause.) Just last month, Deborah secured a $20.7 million contract with the VA to provide emergency care for veterans in Central Ohio hospitals. And in Congress, Deborah Pryce is a champion 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.

And in Afghanistan, women and girls can now be educated. It's hard for us to imagine a government that would forbid half of its citizens from being educated. But now Afghanistan has a new elected government, and little girls are in school all over Afghanistan. (Applause.)

All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. 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. They ask the American people to stand with our troops. (Applause.)

Deborah Pryce stands with our troops. She understands that this election is critical to the future of our country. And she knows 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, and that we must conduct our debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way. (Applause.)

Deborah Pryce understands her responsibility to you and to our country. So we must stand with Deborah during this important time in our country's history.

Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Deborah Pryce. Thanks especially to all the volunteers making the phone calls and knocking on the doors. You've already done so much to help Deborah and our other great candidates in Ohio, like your candidate for governor, Ken Blackwell, and your terrific senator, Mike DeWine. (Applause.)

Deborah Pryce and Mike DeWine appreciate all of your hard work, and 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. 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, talk to your friends and neighbors about Deborah Pryce and Mike DeWine and all of Ohio's great Republican candidates. They need your support, and our country needs them.

Thank you all very much for coming out today. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you for -- thanks so much. Thank you for all the hard work you're going to do for the next week to make sure Deborah Pryce is reelected to the United States Congress on November 7th. Thank you all so much.

END 3:43 P.M. EST

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