The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
July 22, 2005

Vice President's Remarks at a Reception for Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Forrester
Westin Forrestal Village
Princeton, New Jersey

6:28 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. (Applause.) And I accept your compromise. (Laughter.) Well, I'm delighted to be here. And, Doug, I want to thank you for those kind words, and thank all of you for your warm welcome. I also want to recognize Lew Eisenberg who's here today. (Applause.) Lew, of course, introduced us. But he's been a great friend and strong supporter of the President and mine for many years. We wouldn't be where we are today without the support of a lot of folks like Lew Eisenberg, and we really appreciate it.

It's great to be here in Princeton, and I bring good wishes to each and every one of you from the President of the United States, George W. Bush. (Applause.)

I also understand -- I saw my good friend -- Congressman Mike Ferguson is here someplace, came through today. (Applause.) This is Mike's birthday today, I'm told. He's not nearly as old as I am. (Laughter.)

But we're here tonight for a very special reason, obviously, and that's to join all of us together on behalf of an outstanding candidate for governor, Doug Forrester. There are just two governor's -- (applause) -- there are just two governor's races in the country this year, and a lot of people are going to be watching to see what happens right here in New Jersey. I'm proud the voters in the Republican primary chose a nominee who is a successful entrepreneur and executive, an experienced public servant, and a man who's widely admired across the state.

Doug is going to the people of New Jersey with the clearest possible message -- that it's time to reduce property taxes, to control government spending, to bring honesty and integrity to state government. This is a message that unites people of every background -- urban and rural, young and old, Democrat and Republican. And it's a message that will bring Doug Forrester to victory on November 8th. (Applause.)

We need more people like Doug in public life. He's the kind of man who tells it like it is. He calls them as he sees them, sets the right priorities, and sticks with them. And when it's time for action, you can always count on him to do the right thing. Doug is ready to work with people of both parties for the good of the state. And I think Republicans and Democrats across this state can agree that New Jersey deserves the leadership, and the man for that job is Doug Forrester. (Applause.)

These are challenging times for New Jersey, and for this great country of ours. Those of us in public office have serious responsibilities that we hold in public trust. When President Bush and I took office four-and-a-half years ago, we were determined to solve problems, instead of passing them on to the next generation. And today, the American people can be confident of a better future because of the character and leadership of our President. (Applause.)

When we took office, the nation's economy was sliding into recession. To get it growing again, we delivered tax relief four times in four years. We doubled the child tax credit, decreased the marriage penalty, cut rates across the board. We gave small businesses strong incentives to invest, phased out the death tax so that New Jersey's families and farmers can leave to their children more of what they earn.

These were the right policies for a struggling economy -- and now we are seeing the results. Americans today have more money to spend, to invest, and to save, and they are using it to drive this economy forward. The home ownership rate is the highest ever. Interest rates are low. Manufacturing activity is on an upward swing. Productivity is high. We've seen steady job gains now for 25 straight months. Since May of '03, the economy has generated 3.7 million new jobs; more Americans are working today than ever before. (Applause.)

At the same time, federal revenues are increasing -- proving once again that lower taxes are an incentive for entrepreneurs to start businesses, to invest in equipment, and to hire new workers. By the current estimate, the deficit will be $94 billion less than previously estimated just a few months ago -- keeping us well ahead of the pace needed to meet our goal of cutting the deficit in half over the next four years.

To keep this economy on track, we're going to continue to be good stewards of taxpayer's dollar. For the sake of long-term growth and job creation, we need to make tax relief permanent, and practice spending discipline in Washington, D.C.

We'll also keep this economy strong by delivering regulatory relief, an energy strategy that makes America less dependent on foreign sources of energy, and legal reforms that spare honest entrepreneurs and businessmen from junk lawsuits. One of America's most important institutions is also in need of fundamental reform. The time has come to join together, and to save Social Security for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

As we work to keep this economy on the right track, we need good partners at the state level. We need governors who understand, as we do, that the key to more jobs is not big government but free enterprise, and low taxes, and spending discipline. That's the kind of governor Doug Forrester will be for the people of New Jersey. (Applause.)

And to build a stronger, better America for the next generation, all of us who serve the country have a duty to uphold the values that sustain our society -- limited government, personal responsibility, free enterprise, reverence for life, and equal justice under the law. And in this second term, President Bush will continue nominating federal judges who faithfully interpret the law, instead of legislating from the bench. (Applause.)

From the beginning, the President has nominated men and women who meet the highest standards of legal training, temperament, and good judgment. He's kept this commitment once again in nominating a man of experience, wisdom, and character, Judge John Roberts, for the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)

Judge Roberts is one of the most distinguished and talented lawyers in the country, and a worthy choice to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. In the weeks ahead, Americans deserve, and Judge Roberts deserves, a process that is honest and open and nonpartisan. And the Senate has a duty to give this nominee fair treatment, a fair hearing, and a up or down vote fair vote. (Applause.)

In this time of testing for our country, we understand that our greatest responsibility is the active defense of the American people. We know that even though nearly four years have passed now since 9/11, we have continuing, urgent duties. That morning in 2001 changed everything for our country, as we began fighting a new kind of war against determined enemies. The terrorists behind 9/11 have continued to declare their intention to kill great numbers of innocent Americans, and they seek ever more deadly means of doing so. This continuing threat demands a comprehensive, effective response to make this nation better able to respond to any future attacks, to reduce our vulnerability, and, above all, to hunt down the terrorists before they can strike us again. (Applause.)

The war on terror has a home front, and we have taken extraordinary measures to protect the American people and our homeland. Yet for all of the increased security, we must realize -- as the 9/11 Commission put it, chaired by a great New Jersey governor, Tom Keane -- that America is safer, but that we are not yet safe. The enemy is wounded, off-balance, and on the run, yet still very active, still seeking recruits, still trying to hit us. Since 9/11 they have continued to kill -- in Casablanca, Jakarta, Mombasa, Bali, Riyadh, Baghdad, Istanbul, and most recently London. Killers who target innocent, unsuspecting men, women, and children during a morning rush hour, or fly passenger jets into buildings, are not the kind of people you can bring to the bargaining table and sit down for a reasonable exchange of ideas. Our only option against these enemies is to find them, to fight them, and to defeat them. (Applause.)

In these 46 months, we have been unrelenting in the effort to defend our freedom and the security of the American people. We continue to make progress in many categories -- financial, legal, military, and intelligence. We are dealing with a network that has had cells in countries all over the world -- yet bit by bit, by diplomacy and by force, with our allies and partners, we are acting to shrink the area in which terrorists can operate freely. Many countries have joined us in tracking the enemy, disrupting plots -- both plots against America and our friends, destroying the training camps of terror, and closing off their access to funding.

We removed two brutal regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have persuaded another regime, Libya, to voluntarily abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs. We have uncovered a sophisticated, large-scale network selling nuclear technology on the black market, and we have shut that network down. The United States has acted decisively, and we have sent a clear message: We will not stand by and allow terrorists to find safe haven, or to gain weapons for mass murder.

There is still hard work ahead, and the world is counting on the United States for leadership. We have no illusions about the difficulty of engaging enemies that dwell in the shadows and recognize neither the laws of warfare nor standards of morality. We cannot predict the length or the course of the war on terror. Yet we know with certainty that with good allies at our side, this great nation will persevere, and we will prevail. (Applause.)

Overcoming threats is only the beginning of America's responsibilities. In the broader Middle East, we are encouraging free markets, democracy, and tolerance -- because these are the ideas and the aspirations that overcome violence, and turn societies to the pursuit of peace. Like other great duties in history, it will require decades of patient effort, and it will be resisted by those whose only hope for power is the spread of violence.

Yet the direction of events is clear. Afghanistan has held the first free elections in that nation's 5,000-year history. In Iraq, voters turned out in incredible numbers and elected leaders who are now preparing the way for a new constitution and a representative government. The Palestinian people have chosen a new President and have new hopes for democracy and peace. The citizens of Ukraine have stood strongly for their democratic rights, and chosen a new leader for their country. In Lebanon, citizens have poured into the streets to demand freedom to determine a peaceful future for their own country as a fully independent member of the world community. We are seeing the power of freedom to change our world, and all who strive for freedom can know that the United States of America is on their side.

We know from history that the technology of warfare is always changing, and in our own time that technology is better than ever. Yet our most basic military asset has not changed in the slightest. No matter how complicated war might be, it always comes down to the ones who man the aircraft, and the ships, and carry the rifles. (Applause.) The men and women of our Armed Forces reflect extraordinary credit on the United States of America. And as a former Secretary of Defense, I can assure you: The cause of freedom is in very good hands. (Applause.)

President Bush and I recognize that the American people have entrusted us with great responsibilities at an historic moment for this nation. We've set big goals. They're not always easy to achieve -- and if they were, somebody would have already done them. But it's more than worth the effort. And when future generations look back on our time, they will know that we met our moment with courage and clear thinking. And they will know that America became a better nation -- stronger, more prosperous, and more secure -- because George W. Bush was President of these United States. (Applause.)

We're going to continue making progress for the American people, and we look forward to having more good partners at the state level. In just over three months, the voters of New Jersey will make the choice for new leadership, and a better future for this great state. I'm pleased to join in that effort. I'm proud to know your next governor, and we're proud of the campaign he has run -- hopeful, optimistic, and focused on the issues people care most about. He'll be a governor that makes you proud. (Applause.)

To keep Doug on the path to victory, we need to keep working, and making sure that every voter in New Jersey knows about the leadership, and vision, and the character of this good man. I'm confident of the outcome, and I look forward to seeing Doug Forrester sworn in as Governor of the State of New Jersey.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 6:44 P.M. EDT

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