The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 28, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Jeff Lamberti for Congress and Republican Party of Iowa Reception
The Wakonda Club
Des Moines, Iowa

12:19 P.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, Jeff. Thank you for that kind introduction. I told Jeff I couldn't miss a campaign season in Iowa. (Applause.) We started coming here a long time ago. We came in 1980 for then-Vice President Bush and President Reagan, campaigning; and then back in '84 for Reagan and Bush; then, of course, back again in 1999 and 2000 for President Bush; and back again in 2004. And Iowa is really a state that we know better than almost any other, because we've spent so much time here.

And one of the really great things about having Iowa be the first caucus state is that Iowans are so respectful and kind to every candidate, whether they're for them or not. And you take your responsibility very seriously of getting to know the presidential candidates. And I want to thank you all for the kindness you've extended to President Bush and me over all those years that we've been here.

And it's really important, I think, for an early presidential state to be a state like Iowa that has such very solid American values. So thanks, everybody. (Applause.)

I'm so thrilled to have this chance to be here today for Jeff. And I also want to recognize Mary Ann Hanusa, who is a candidate for secretary of state for Iowa. She was the former director of personal correspondence for the White House. So give Mary Ann your consideration and your support. Tell everybody, all your friends, about her, because she's running now for secretary of state. And where are you, Mary Ann? There she is. (Applause.) Mary Ann, you need to learn that lesson. If you're running you'd better stand up and wave to everybody.

Also, former governor Terry Branstad is here. Terry was a good friend of ours when we were governors together, and so thank you very much, Terry, for joining us today. (Applause.)

And of course I have to recognize Jeff's wife Shannon. When your spouse is in politics, you're involved whether you want to be or not. And it makes a huge difference for the candidate and the office holder if his family supports him and if they stay with him and stand with him. And I know that all the members of Jeff's family who are here are doing that, as well as Shannon. So thank you very, very much for that. (Applause.)

I'm delighted to be here today to support Jeff Lamberti's campaign for the United States Congress. A native Iowan, Jeff cares deeply about the people of this state. And in Washington, he'll be a powerful advocate for the 3rd district. Jeff will bring to the House the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined his public service. He'll ensure that Iowa's tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

As chairman of the State Senate's Appropriation Committee, Jeff balanced the state budget every year by reducing government spending. During the time Jeff served on the Appropriations Committee, 40 states across the country had to raise taxes. But because of Senator Lamberti's leadership, Iowa was not one of them. (Applause.)

As co-president of the Senate, Jeff cut the taxes Iowans pay on utilities and insurance premiums. He helped pass the largest income-tax cut in Iowa's history. And in Washington, Jeff will support President Bush's tax cuts. These tax cuts have fueled our economy, and they've helped add 5.7 million new jobs since 2003. And that means 5.7 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job.

Here in Iowa, your unemployment rate is at a low 3.7 percent. This is a testament to the hard-working people of Iowa, and also to the effectiveness of lower taxes to stimulate the economy.

There are few people more dedicated to creating jobs in Iowa than Jeff. Senator Lamberti helped pass legislation that offers tax credits to Iowa businesses for each new full-time job they create. He also supports Iowa's major industries: corn production is vital to Iowa's economy, and it's also one of the new most promising uses for an alternative source of energy.

In the Senate, Jeff helped promote the use of E-85 corn-based ethanol by providing economic incentives for Iowa companies that use and sell E-85. And Senator Lamberti secured increased funding for renewable energy research at Iowa's universities -- research that can help make ethanol a more effective and viable source of fuel, which will boost Iowa's farm economy and create new agriculture jobs. And it will decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

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 our young people is by steering them away from dangerous behaviors and guiding them toward the knowledge and the self-respect they'll need to build successful lives.

In his 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush announced the Helping America's Youth initiative, and he asked me to lead it. Helping young people learn to make wise decisions for their lives is at the heart of Helping America's Youth.

Since the President announced the initiative, I've traveled to many parts of our country, visiting with young people and with the adults who are so important to their lives. I've been to schools and to after-school programs. I've visited fatherhood initiatives. I've met with mentors and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I've visited gang intervention programs, where I met with young people who are leaving gangs and finding jobs.

All of these visits led to the White House Conference on Helping America's Youth that was last October, and then since then we've had two regional conferences -- one in Indianapolis and one in Denver. At the conference, we introduced an online, interactive Community Guide. This guide helps concerned adults learn more about the problems facing youth in their own communities, and what local resources they have that are available to address these problems. The guide is available on the Helping America's Youth website, which is -- that's g-o-v. I encourage you to look at the website and to use these resources in your communities.

Jeff Lamberti has a strong record of commitment to young people. In the State Senate, Jeff has increased funding for mentoring programs and reading initiatives. He helped pass tough state laws against methamphetamines to ensure that these harmful drugs are kept out of Iowa's communities and away from Iowa's young people. And Jeff helped establish the Accelerated Career Education Program, which improves jobs and skills training for young people at community colleges all across the state.

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

In Congress, Jeff will be 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. President Bush has pledged that the American people will stand with them as they build their democracy.

And in Afghanistan, women and girls can now be educated. It's hard for us to imagine a country that would prohibit half of its population from being educated. But now little girls are in school all over Afghanistan.

All of us are proud of the young men and women who are deployed around the world, defending our country overseas, to make sure that our families are kept safe here in the United States. Do you all want to stand? (Applause.) Thank you all and thank you for your service.

Jeff's dedication to the people of Iowa and his achievements remind us of why he must be elected to the United States Congress. Jeff understands 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. To accomplish them, we must have serious national conversations, conducted with civility and respect. And Jeff Lamberti will be a thoughtful, positive and powerful part of that dialogue. (Applause.)

This is just one reason why Jeff is a wonderful leader for Iowa. When you look through his distinguished record of public service, you'll find many more.

Thank you all very much for coming out to support Jeff. Thank you for your generous support of his campaign. I urge you to redouble your efforts between now and November to make sure Jeff Lamberti is elected to the United States Congress.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

END 12:31 P.M. CDT

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