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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 30, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks to Nancy Johnson for Congress and Connecticut Victory Rally
Farmington, Connecticut

(October 28, 2006)

1:46 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Congresswoman. Thanks, everybody. Thank you all very much. Thanks so much everyone. Thank you Congresswoman Johnson. Thank you, Nancy, very much, for that kind introduction. And you are the one who is the role model for all of us. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)

Thanks to each and every one of you out here for coming out to welcome me on a rainy afternoon, a rainy Saturday afternoon. Thanks so much for coming out to show your support for the reelection of your Congresswoman, Nancy Johnson. (Applause.)

George Gallo, our Connecticut Republican Party Chair, thank you very much for everything you do. (Applause.) And in the audience are a number of local elected officials and candidates, a couple of mayors at least are here with us. Thank you all very much for serving your community. (Applause.)

Nancy's husband, Dr. Ted Johnson, is with us. Ted, where are -- there he is. (Applause.) You know, when your spouse is in politics, you're involved -- whether you want to be or not. (Laughter.) And we know that successful politicians have families are the ones whose families stand with them and are there with them all the time. Thank you very much, Dr. Johnson; thank you for your support of Nancy. (Applause.)

I'm so happy and honored to be here today to support Nancy Johnson's campaign for the United States Congress. It's a huge thrill for me to be able to stand with Congresswoman Nancy Johnson. Thank you very much, Nancy, for everything you've done already in your service to our country and to your state. Nancy cares deeply about the people of Connecticut, and during her 23 years in Washington, she's distinguished herself as a passionate advocate of the 5th District.

Congresswoman Johnson has helped Connecticut families by improving health care in your state. Nancy is a respected member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and she chairs the health subcommittee. On the subcommittee, Nancy co-authored the legislation that created the Medicare prescription drug benefit, ensuring that Connecticut's senior citizens can obtain the medicines they need to enjoy active and healthy lives. Nancy authored the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, helping low-income families throughout Connecticut provide quality health care for their children. Thank you for both of those, Nancy. (Applause.)

Nancy brought to Washington the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined her public service. She makes sure that Connecticut tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. Nancy supports the presidential line item veto, which will help eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. And in Congress, Nancy supports President Bush's tax cuts. (Applause.) These tax cuts have fueled our economy, and they've added 6.6 million new jobs since 2003. And that means 6.6 million more Americans wake up with a sense of purpose and the dignity that comes with a job.

Congresswoman Johnson is dedicated to creating jobs in Connecticut. Nancy sponsored the Invest in America Act, legislation that provides tax incentives to companies that conduct their research and development -- and create jobs -- here in the United States. Through her leadership on the Ways and Means Committee, Nancy has improved the business climate for Connecticut entrepreneurs, so they can expand their companies and create more jobs for the 5th district.

In just the last two years, Nancy has brought more than $24 million in federal funding to defense projects in Connecticut -- helping protect our nation, and employing hundreds of people in your state. And she's secured millions of dollars to improve local roads and highways. Thank you for that, Nancy. (Applause.)

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 them is by steering them away from risky behavior, and guiding them toward the knowledge and the self-respect they need to lead successful lives.

Nancy Johnson has a strong record of commitment to young people. She's helped pass legislation that gives law enforcement officers the resources they need to protect children on the internet. And Nancy co-sponsored the 529 College Savings Plan, which President Bush signed into law in August. This legislation allows families to save for their children's higher education tax-free. This will help millions of young people in Connecticut and across the United States realize the dream of a college education. Thank you, Nancy, for this important work. (Applause.)

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

Congresswoman Johnson understands the needs of our troops at this crucial time in our country's history. Working with her Veterans' Services Coordinator, Nancy provides care and support to 5th district military families who have lost loved ones in combat overseas. In Washington, Congresswoman Johnson is 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. (Applause.)

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

All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. With us today are members of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, and their friends and family. (Applause.) The members of Charlie Company -- which is based nearby in Plainville -- have just returned from Iraq, where they were stationed in Fallujah. We give them our thanks to each and every one of them -- both the members of Charlie Company and your family -- for service to our country. Welcome home. (Applause.)

Every day, thousands of young men and women like the Marines of Charlie Company risk their lives overseas to make sure that their families, and all of our families, are kept safe here in the United States. Their love of our country, and of liberty, never wavers -- and neither does their belief in our cause.

Many of these young men and women have given their lives for this belief. Around the country, President Bush and I meet with their families. In military hospitals, we meet with their fellow soldiers who've been wounded in combat. And from our troops and their families, the President and I hear the same request: that we honor the sacrifice of these men and women by seeing their mission through. They ask the American people to stand with our troops. (Applause.)

Nancy Johnson stands with our troops. (Applause.) She understands that this election is critical to the future of our country. And she knows 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're absolutely vital goals. To accomplish them, we must have serious national conversations, conducted with civility and respect.

The right to have these conversations is part of what makes our country great, and our democracy strong. We must be mindful that people around the world are listening to these discussions. Responsible candidates understand that the men and women of our military are risking their lives for us overseas, and that we must conduct the debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way. It's so important that we stand with Nancy and all of our Republican candidates at this challenging time in our country's history. (Applause.)

Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Congresswoman Johnson. Thanks especially to all the volunteers for your hard work making the phone calls and knocking on the doors.

You've already done so much to help Nancy and our other terrific Republican candidates in Connecticut, like Congressmen Chris Shays and Rob Simmons, and your Governor, and your Governor, Jodi Rell. (Applause.) In the next week-and-a-half, they'll need more of your energy and enthusiasm. So go to the phone banks, knock on those doors, and talk to your friends and neighbors about Nancy Johnson and all of Connecticut's great Republicans. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)

Thank you all very much for coming out today. (Applause.) And thank you in advance for all the hard work you're going to do for Nancy to make sure Congresswoman Nancy Johnson is reelected on November 7th. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

END 1:59 P.M. EDT

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