The White House
President George W. Bush
Print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
October 30, 2004

Vice President's Remarks in Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Nazareth Area High School
Nazareth, Pennsylvania

October 30, 2004



Nazareth Area High School

Nazareth, Pennsylvania

10:05 A.M. EDT

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, that was a hell of a speech. (Laughter.) Well, it's great to be here. This looks like Bush-Cheney country. (Applause.) And we're delighted to be back in Pennsylvania.

The President, of course, was campaigning here in Pennsylvania last week when John Kerry was goose hunting in Ohio. (Laughter.) You may have seen that. He wore a brand new camouflage jacket for the occasion, which makes you wonder just how often he does really go goose hunting. (Laughter.) My personal opinion was his camo jacket was an October disguise. (Applause.) It's an effort to hide the fact that he votes against gun owners every chance he gets.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: But, my fellow sportsmen, this cover-up isn't going to work because you and I know the Second Amendment is more than just another photo opportunity. (Applause.)

Lynne said that she's known me since I was 14, and that's true, but she wouldn't go out with me until I was 17. (Laughter.) I tell folks that we got married because Dwight Eisenhower got elected President of the United States. (Laughter.) In 1952 when he ran for office, I was living in Nebraska with my folks. Eisenhower got elected; Dad worked for the government, got transferred to Casper, Wyoming, and that's where I met Lynne. And we grew up together, went to high school together and recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. (Applause.) But I explained to a group the other night if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's election victory, Lynne would have married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter.) That's a good -- it's absolutely true, isn't it? (Laughter.)

Well, with three days left in the campaign, the choices in this election could not be more clear. And the stakes are very high, both here and abroad. And I believe on November 2nd, the American people are going to make George Bush President for four more years. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We were over in Lycoming County yesterday; it's a pleasure to be here in Northampton County today -- a beautiful part of Pennsylvania. The President and I have a good feeling about this area, and with your help, Pennsylvania is going to be in our column on Election Day. (Applause.)

We're delighted to be part of a strong Republican ticket here in Pennsylvania. I want to thank Charlie Dent for his kind words today. (Applause.) I know Pat Toomey has been a terrific Congressman for this district, and Charlie is going to be a fine successor. (Applause.) We're also delighted to be here today with Senator Arlen Specter. I'm delighted to work with him in our Nation's Capital. (Applause.)

And I want thank everyone who has helped out in this campaign, who has helped put up signs, made phone calls, manned those phone banks, and been such an important part of mounting this effort. Grassroots activists are an essential part of the campaign. And the President and I are deeply grateful for your support. (Applause.)

Pennsylvania voters understand the importance of steady, principled, consistent leadership in the White House. This is no ordinary time for America. We've all seen in the last day or two the tape of Osama bin Laden now. It's a reminder that we are engaged in a global war on terror. This is a conflict we did not choose, but it is one that we will win. (Applause.)

Today, people in Pennsylvania and across the land can be confident of a better future, and a stronger economy, and a nation that is more secure because of the leadership of our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)

Over the course of the last four years, I think people have seen very clearly the character and the vision of our President. He's a man of loyalty and kindness who speaks plainly and means what he says. He sets clear goals, and works with members of both parties to achieve them. He puts the country first and his deepest commitment is to making us safer, more prosperous, and more secure. (Applause.)

During the course of this campaign, we've seen something quite different in the President's opponent. He's a man who will say and do anything if he thinks it will advance his cause.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's going to be a good crowd. (Laughter.)

Just over a year ago, John Kerry did something truly unthinkable for a man who wants to be Commander-in-Chief; he turned his back on the troops that he had voted earlier to send into combat --


THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- because he thought it was in his political advantage to do so.

Senator Kerry, you will remember, voted in favor of using force against Saddam Hussein, but then during the Democratic primary when it came time to vote funds that would provide our fighting men and women with body armor, ammunition, jet fuel, and spare parts they needed, 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. (Laughter.) He said, and I quote, "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

AUDIENCE: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: But the real reason he turned his back on the troops was Howard Dean. Dean was the antiwar candidate, and Dean was surging ahead in the polls, and so John Kerry --


THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's a Howard Dean scream I assume. (Laughter.) Kind of a weak one if you ask me. (Laughter.)

But John Kerry decided in order to advance himself in the primaries, he had to adopt an antiwar position. So he turned his back on the troops.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He said his vote was "complicated," but, my friends, supporting American troops in combat should never be a complicated question. (Applause.)

John Kerry will say and do anything in order to get elected. He will attack the Patriot Act -- after he voted for it. He will attack the No Child Left Behind Act -- after he voted for it. He will try to scare young people by raising the specter of the draft ?- when he knows that the only people who have supported the idea of bringing it back are two members of his own party.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Nobody but a couple of Democrats wants to change the all-volunteer force because it is the finest military the world has ever known. (Applause.)

John Kerry will say and do anything to get elected. America's military men and women have liberated 50 million people in the last three years. (Applause.) In Afghanistan, they managed to do in two months what the Soviets could not do in 10 years. (Applause.) In Iraq, they toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in just three weeks. (Applause.) But instead of praising their achievement, John Kerry harps away at phony charges. He says we took our eye off the ball at Tora Bora, a charge General Tommy Franks, who commanded our forces, has totally refuted. He says that we didn't put sufficient emphasis on destroying weapons in Iraq, a charge he cynically made not knowing if it was true, and a charge that simply isn't borne out by the facts. Given a choice -- (applause) -- given a choice between John Kerry and General Tommy Franks, I'll take General Franks anytime. (Applause.)

In truth, the campaigns our fighting men and women conducted to overthrow regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq will be studied for years for their brilliance, and that ought to be acknowledged. Moreover, our forces deserve our wholehearted support as they aid the efforts of the Afghan and Iraqi people to establish representative governments. In Afghanistan, 10 million people registered to vote, nearly half of them women. Elections were held three weeks ago tomorrow, the first in the 5,000-year history of that country. (Applause.)

In January, the people of Iraq will vote, as well. And we'll be safer as a result. 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.)

Our forces in Iraq have been building schools, training Iraqi forces, fighting an insurgency, and at the same time, they've captured and are destroying some 400,000 tons explosives. (Applause.) These brave men and women deserve better than to have John Kerry trying to advance himself by calling their actions into question. (Applause.)

John Kerry is playing armchair general, and he's not very good job of it. (Laughter.) This shouldn't surprise us given his weak record on national security. He first ran for Congress advocating the idea that we should deploy American forces only under the authority of the United Nations.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: He ran for the Senate on the platform that he should dismantle most 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.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: What are you doing for the rest of the weekend? I hope you're not going to all my events. (Laughter.) Okay, save the water. (Laughter.)

Now in the closing days of the campaign, John Kerry is 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.) It is a rough crowd. (Laughter.) We better leave for Hawaii a little early. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEBER: We love you, Cheney.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: All right, I love you guys.

John Kerry does not have the judgment or the conviction that America needs in a President. He is not a steadfast leader. Our President is. (Applause.)

And let me tell you why that matters. A country can never know what a President will be called upon to do. Think of the last four years; think of the challenges of 9/11 and the global war on terror, and because our President is a man of strong character and steadfast determination, he has led us very well. At the Republican Convention former Mayor Giuliani told the story of how on 9/11 in New York, he turned to his police commissioner, Bernie Kerik, and said, Thank God, George Bush is our Commander-in-Chief. (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. In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein. 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 in 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 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.)

We could not have succeeded in these efforts without the help of 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 -- 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 that matter was removed when Senator Kerry recently said he wanted to lead America back to the place where we were -- to a time when terrorism was, in his word, a "nuisance."


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Like illegal gambling or prostitution. 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 of our sailors? Was it a nuisance six years ago when they simultaneously attacked two of our embassies in East Africa and killed hundreds of people?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Or 11 years ago when the World Trade Center was first bombed in New York?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Or was it a nuisance 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 Marines?


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'll do. (Applause.)

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 prevail. 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.)

President Bush knows that our dedicated servicemen and women represent the very best of the United States of America. (Applause.) I want to thank them, their families, and all of the veterans with us here today for all that they've done for all of us. (Applause.)

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 -? 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 Pennsylvania, more than 71,000 jobs have been added since February. Mortgage rates, interest rates, inflation are low. Consumers are confident; businesses are investing; families are taking home more of what they earn. (Applause.)

We know there are still challenges, especially in our manufacturing communities. The President and I will not be satisfied until every American who wants to work can find a job. But this is a strong, growing economy -- don't let the Democrats tell you otherwise. (Applause.)

Our accomplishments these past four years have made America safer, stronger, and better. In our second term, we'll keep moving forward with a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. We'll work to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. And to help families and small businesses, we'll lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code. (Applause.)

We will 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'll continue to work to help parents and teachers improve our public schools so that all our children receive the world-class education they deserve. (Applause.) We'll work to make it easier for small businesses to provide health insurance to employees and for families to meet their health care needs ?- and we'll do this in ways that keep health decisions in the hands of doctors and patients, not in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. (Applause.)

We'll work for medical liability reform because we know the cost of malpractice insurance is creating a crisis, not only in Pennsylvania, but across the nation. America's doctors should be 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 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're hoping to wait the President out. But I've got news for them. That's not going to happen because we're going to win this election. (Applause.)

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

THE VICE PRESIDENT: My friends, the differences between the President and his opponent are as sharp as they could 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, 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.)

Under President Bush's leadership, we'll use America's great power to serve great purposes, to protect our homeland by turning back and defeating the forces of terror, and to spread hope and freedom around the world. Here at home, we'll continue building a prosperity that reaches every corner of the land so that every child in America has a chance to learn, to succeed, and to rise in the world. (Applause.)

The President and I are honored by your commitment to the cause we all share. President Bush and I will wage this effort with complete confidence in the American people. The signs are good -? here in Pennsylvania, and even in Massachusetts. (Laughter and applause.) According to a news account, people leaving the Democratic National Convention in July asked a Boston policeman for directions. He replied, Leave here ?- and go vote Republican. (Applause.)

President Bush and I are honored to have the support of that police office -- (laughter) -- and of Democrats, Republicans, and independents from every calling in American life. We're grateful to our many friends across the great state of Pennsylvania. I want to thank you for the tremendous welcome this morning. We're proud to have you on the team. (Applause.) And together, on November 2nd, we're going to see our cause forward to victory.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 10:35 A.M. EDT

Return to this article at:

Print this document