The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
December 1, 2004

Vice President's Remarks at a Boustany Rally in Louisiana
Lake Charles Civic Center
Lake Charles, Louisiana

2:25 P.M. CST

THE VICE PRESIDENT: All right. (Applause.) Well, thank you very much. I haven't had this much fun since we beat John Kerry. (Applause.)

And it's great to be here in Louisiana where you helped us do it. We appreciate it. (Applause.) Good to be in Lake Charles, and this looks like Bush-Cheney country. (Applause.)

But I'm delighted to be here today with your next Congressman, Dr. Charles Boustany. (Applause.) And I'll say more about that in a minute. But of course, we've got Bobby Jindal with us, the newly elected Congressman from the first district. (Applause.) And I want to bring all of you good wishes from the newly reelected President of the United States, George W. Bush. (Applause.)

The President and I are deeply grateful for the support we received in Louisiana during that lengthy, hard-fought contest. Because all of us worked together, the effort paid off. On Election Day, President Bush received more votes than any other candidate in the history of the nation. (Applause.) He is the first presidential candidate since 1988 to receive a majority of the vote. And he received more than a million votes in Louisiana. With the additions on our ticket -- the states like Iowa and New Mexico -- we had a broad, nationwide victory. And once again, I delivered the state of Wyoming for the Bush-Cheney ticket. (Laughter and applause.) We got almost 70 percent there. What the heck? (Laughter.)

With strong turnout across the country, we also saw major Republican victories in both houses of Congress. Beginning next month, I will preside over a Senate with 55 Republican senators. (Applause.) And it will be my great honor to swear in the first Republican senator ever elected by the people of Louisiana, Senator David Vitter. (Applause.)

As Vice President, I also maintain a close relationship with my friends in the House, where I served for more than a decade. I was the congressman from Wyoming for 10 years. We only had one congressman in Wyoming. (Laughter.) It was a small delegation. But it was quality. (Laughter and applause.) When the men and women of the 109th Congress take their seats in January, that will mark the sixth consecutive term of Republican control, and our largest House majority in nearly 60 years. (Applause.)

In the election of 2004, big issues were set before the country, and discussed every day of the campaign. The President ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation's future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate. In the new term, we'll keep America's economy on an upward path. For the sake of the nation's freedom and security, we will continue to assert a confident American role in the world. To meet those duties, we need good allies in the Congress. And here in the seventh district, you can help out. The field has narrowed, the vote is this Saturday, and the choice for southwest Louisiana is very clear: It's time to elect Charles to the Congress of the United States. (Applause.)

Many of you have known Charles Boustany for many years. I campaigned with him over in Lafayette in September, and we had a chance to spend some time together. As a physician and a community leader, he has devoted his career to serving the people of Louisiana. He has shown calm in the most trying circumstances -- and compassion and generosity to people of all backgrounds. He's earned the trust of countless patients and their families. And he's proved himself to be the kind of leader who can reach across the aisle to get things done. In fact, I've heard his record of bipartisanship even includes convincing his wife, Bridget, to switch parties. (Laughter and applause.) It's good to see you here today, Bridget. I'm glad you're on our side. (Laughter.)

Charles has spent his life in Southwest Louisiana, and he's perfectly in touch with the priorities of this district. As your Congressman, he'll stand up for small businesses and farmers by keeping taxes low, and helping entrepreneurs create new jobs. He'll stand up for families by working for high quality health care and for education. And every day he spends in Washington, he'll stand up for the values you hold dear. Charles Boustany is the right man for an extraordinarily important job. And with your help, I have no doubt President Bush and I will be able to welcome him to Washington as your next United States congressman. (Applause.)

Charles shares the President's commitment to secure America, both at home and abroad. He'll stand with us to meet the greatest challenge of our time -? winning the global war on terror. That war continues, and we must persevere until the enemy is defeated and our nation is safe. 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 by removing the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Applause.) Two years 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 United States. (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 and Iran, as well as North Korea, has been shut down. And the world is 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 seek a permission slip to defend the United States of America. (Applause.)

We are also helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan build representative governments. In Afghanistan, 10 million people registered to vote, nearly half of them women. Elections were held there a few weeks ago -? the first in the 5,000-year history of that country. (Applause.) And next week the new President of Afghanistan will be inaugurated. In January, the people of Iraq will vote, as well. And we will be safer as a result. One of the lessons history teaches is that institutions of self-government turn the energies of people away from violence to the peaceful work of building better lives. In the long run, the way to defeat the ideologies of terror is to spread the blessings of human freedom. (Applause.)

Some of the hardest duties in this war have fallen to the men and women of our military -? including Guard and Reserve personnel called to active duty. Many of our troops have been deployed from Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base, right here in Louisiana. (Applause.) Our people in uniform represent the very best of this country, and I want to thank them, their families, and the veterans with us here today for all that they have done for America. (Applause.)

Our country requires strong leadership for our actions overseas, and the same is true for our policies here at home. Four years ago, when President Bush and I stood 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 the economy once again. We faced a basic decision ?- to leave more money with the families and businesses of the American people, or to take more of their 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 our economy. We've created jobs for 14 consecutive months -? a total of nearly 2.4 million new jobs. Mortgage rates, interest rates, and inflation are low. Economic growth remains strong, businesses are investing, families are taking home more of what they earn. We know there are still challenges, especially in our manufacturing communities. But our economy is growing. And with Charles' support, we will keep it moving in the right direction by making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Applause.) With Charles' support, we will help families and small businesses by reforming and simplifying the federal tax code. (Applause.)

With Charles' support, we'll work to end lawsuit abuse. We know it's a lot easier for America's businesses to hire workers if they don't have to keep hiring lawyers. (Applause.) With Charles' support, we'll work for medical liability reform so that America's doctor's are able to spend their time healing patients, not fighting off frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.)

With Charles' support, we'll continue working to adopt a comprehensive energy policy -? one that makes the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.)

With Charles' support, we'll continue to work to help parents and teachers improve our public schools so all our children receive the world-class education they deserve. (Applause.)

With Charles' support, we'll strengthen our Social Security for children and grandchildren. Today's seniors don't need to worry -? Social Security is strong for them, and we will protect their benefits. But younger workers are understandably worried about whether Social Security will be around when they need it. This is more than a problem to be solved, it's an opportunity to help millions of our fellow citizens find the security and the independence of ownership. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we should allow young people to save some of their payroll taxes in a personal account -? a nest egg to call their own, which Washington politicians can never take away. (Applause.)

With Charles' support, President Bush and I will also continue to defend our society's fundamental rights and values. We stand for a culture of life, and reject the brutal practice of partial birth abortion. (Applause.) We stand strongly for the Second Amendment, and we'll 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.)

Under President Bush's leadership and with Charles' help, we'll continue using America's great power to serve great purposes. We'll protect our homeland by turning back and defeating the forces of terror, and spreading 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.

As we prepare for a new term in office, President Bush and I are proud to support Dr. Charles Boustany. (Applause.) I am here today because of the enormous importance of this race. The outcome is in your hands. The President and I are asking you to send a fine new leader to Washington. On December 4th, I have no doubt you'll elect Charles to the U.S. House of Representatives

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 2:39 P.M. CST

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