For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 30, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Mississippi Victory Get Out the Vote Rally
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
2:21 P.M. CDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Senator. Thank you everybody. Thanks so much. It's great to be here.
I'm very happy to have this chance to be here. I'm so happy to be here to support Senator Roger Wicker as your next Senator. As he is your current Senator, I urge you to redouble your efforts to make sure everybody gets out to the polls on Tuesday and re-elect Roger Wicker.
I'm thrilled to be here at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. I've heard a lot about this institution's good work. In January, the museum's WINGS Performing Arts Program received a Coming Up Taller award at the White House. And then in April, Senator Wicker and Senator Thad Cochran announced that the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center was chosen to receive a Hurricane Relief Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The people of Gulfport are fortunate to have this great children's museum, a place where young people can expand their creativity and build life skills and confidence. And the people of Mississippi are also fortunate to have great elected officials -- like Roger and Thad -- who understand that strong cultural institutions are vital to the health of your state.
You're also very fortunate to have such a strong governor, Governor Haley Barbour -- Governor Barbour and Marsha. (Applause.) And I'd love to have the chance once again to thank them for everything they've done to rebuild Mississippi after the hurricane. It's just been extraordinary, their leadership, and Mississippi is so fortunate to have them at a difficult time. (Applause.)
I know there are a lot of state and local officials that are here. I know there are some mayors from towns around here. I want to also thank all the mayors very much for your very, very hard work. George and I meet with the mayors from the coast of Mississippi every time we come, and we get a progress report. I know it hasn't been easy, that it's been actually very difficult to rebuild all these coast cities, but you all have done it. And congratulations on it. (Applause.)
John McCay, the Republican candidate for Mississippi's 4th congressional district, is here, as well. Thank you very much, John, for joining us.
And I wish I could have heard the Gulfport High School Madrigals. I bet they were terrific. (Applause.)
Roger's wife, Gayle, is here, and just like he said, his daughter, Caroline Wicker Sims. You know, when your spouse is in politics, you're involved, whether you want to be or not. (Laughter.) Marsha Barbour and I can certainly tell everyone that. But we know that successful politicians are the ones whose families stand with them all the time. And I want to thank Gayle for doing that with Roger, and for Marsha for doing that with Haley Barbour, and for making such a huge difference yourselves in your state. Thank you both. (Applause.)
And thanks to everyone here, everybody who's come out to support Senator Wicker, Senator Cochran, and all of Mississippi's strong Republican candidates. I want to thank you very much for all the work you've already done and the work you're going to do now at the very last -- we're just a few days away from Election Day, and so I urge you to redouble your efforts, go to the phone banks, walk door to door, make sure you take everyone you know to the polls on Tuesday. Make sure they're all Roger Wicker voters when you take them. (Laughter.)
Roger has served Mississippi for nearly 14 years in Washington. He has a proven record as a conservative who cares deeply about your families and your values. His strong leadership has earned him the endorsements from the National Right to Life, the VFW, and the NRA -- just to name a few. (Applause.)
And in today's economic climate, it's more important than ever to have leaders who will make responsible choices for our future. In Washington, Senator Wicker has distinguished himself as a passionate advocate for the people of your state, and as someone who is making wise decisions for Mississippi families.
Senator Wicker understands that the best way to help working families is to make sure they get to keep more of their own hard-earned money. (Applause.) He supports making the President's tax cuts permanent. These measures benefited nearly a million Mississippi taxpayers last year.
Roger knows that if the President's tax cuts are allowed to expire, 116 million American taxpayers would see their taxes go up by about $1,800 on average. He's committed to legislation that keeps more of your own money in your own pocket, where it belongs. (Applause.)
Senator Wicker has helped to create jobs for Mississippi workers. He introduced a measure to extend GO Zone tax benefits, and encourage development on the Gulf Coast. President Bush signed this provision into law in July. And Roger has joined with state leaders to attract new businesses to Mississippi, including Toyota and SeverCorr.
Senator Wicker has supported programs such as the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Economic Development Administration, which are encouraging millions of dollars in private investment in predominantly rural areas. The National Association of Manufacturers has repeatedly recognized Roger's support for pro-growth initiatives by honoring him with their Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence. Congratulations, Roger, on that. (Applause.)
And this is especially close to my heart: Senator Wicker knows that improving education is the best way to create opportunities for Mississippi families. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he works closely with the United States Department of Education to ensure that Mississippi schools have the resources they need. And he's expanded job training programs so that Mississippi workers can meet the changing demands of our global economy. (Applause.)
Senator Wicker is working with colleagues from around the country to solve some of the greatest challenges facing our nation. He's helping reduce our dependence on foreign oil by supporting both offshore drilling and alternative energy sources. (Applause.) As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Roger is a champion for the men and women of the United States military. (Applause.) His efforts are keeping Americans safe, and ensuring that the United States military is the best equipped and most prepared in the world.
Senator Wicker understands the sacrifices our military members and their families make. Roger retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 24 years in the Air Force. His son McDaniel is an Air Force ROTC cadet. And Roger has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to support our troops -- many of whom call Mississippi home. Thank you for that, Roger. (Applause.)
Senator Wicker is making sure that the United States meets its responsibility to our service members. In the House, he coauthored legislation that gave the Department of Veterans Affairs the largest funding increase in history. And Roger is continuing his work today as the first Mississippian ever to serve on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Roger has been a constant advocate for his constituents' health. He was honored by the American Heart Association for educating men and women about the risks of heart disease. And in 2003, the American Cancer Society presented him with the Capitol Dome Award for supporting programs that address the devastating impact of cancer.
Senator Wicker's support for cancer treatment and research is particularly relevant this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On October 7th, the White House showed our commitment to saving lives from breast cancer in a historic way. We lit the White House pink, the color of the cause. (Applause.)
Everyone here can take part in the effort to promote breast cancer awareness by running or walking in the Race for the Cure, by supporting advocacy groups, or talking to your mothers, sisters, and daughters about the importance of mammograms and breast self exams, because early detection is the closest thing we have to a cure.
This summer, Roger championed a measure that would provide half a million dollars for a new cancer treatment center at Gulfport's Memorial Hospital. Thank you, Roger, for your commitment to helping the people of Mississippi. (Applause.)
And thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Roger Wicker's re-election campaign. This election is a decisive moment for the future of our country -- the choices you make on Tuesday will affect the course our nation for years to come.
Here in Mississippi, you have the unique opportunity to vote for two Republican senators -- Thad Cochran, a strong leader with a 30-year excellent Senate record, and Roger Wicker, a dedicated public servant and advocate for Mississippi families. Thad and Roger make a great conservative team that's getting things done for the people of your state. (Applause.) On November 4th, they're counting on you to go to the polls to make sure they're re-elected.
Thank you for all you're doing to support Mississippi's Republican candidates. Thanks especially to the volunteers for your hard work making the phone calls and going door to door to encourage people to vote. You've already done so much to help Roger and our other candidates in Mississippi. In the last few days, they'll need more of your energy and enthusiasm.
We're looking forward to Election Day. This is a spirited contest, and the Republican Party has great candidates. We have the best grassroots volunteers. Our candidates are depending on you, so be sure you get everyone you know to the polls. Go to the phone banks, knock on doors, and talk to your friends and neighbors about Roger Wicker and Mississippi's Republican candidates. They need your support, and our country needs them.
Thank you all, and God bless you. God bless America.
END 2:34 P.M. CDT