|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
October 24, 2006
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Pennsylvania Victory 2006 Rally
Sellersville Fire Company
1:05 P.M. EDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you so much, Congressman. Thank you, Mike, for that very kind introduction, and thanks to each and every one of you for coming out today to give me this warm welcome to Pennsylvania.
It is so beautiful here in Bucks County. It's great to see how beautiful the leaves are. (Applause.) We had a wonderful drive in, and it's so pretty -- it's really a wonderful opportunity for me to see our country as I've had the opportunity to travel around our country and to campaign for our great Republican candidates all over the United States. (Applause.)
I want to thank Pat Poprik, the Treasurer of the Republican State Committee -- Pat. I don't know where she is. I met her when I came in. (Applause.) Harry Fawkes, the Chairman of Bucks County Republican Party, thank you very much, Harry. (Applause.) And Jim Cawley, Jr., the Commissioner Chairman of Bucks County. (Applause.)
And of course I want to pay special recognition to Kathy Fitzpatrick. (Applause.) When your spouse is in politics, you're involved whether you want to be or not. (Laughter.) And we know that successful politicians are the ones whose families stand with them and who are there with them all of the time. So thank you, Kathy, very, very much. (Applause.)
I'm delighted to be with you today to support Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign for the United States Congress. (Applause.) Mike has gotten off to a great start in Washington during his first term, and he's already distinguished himself as a passionate advocate for the families in the 8th district. Congressman Fitzpatrick is helping Pennsylvania families by improving employment opportunities in your state. Through his leadership on the House Financial Services and Small Business Committees, Mike has improved the business climate for Pennsylvania entrepreneurs so they can expand their companies and create more jobs.
Congressman Fitzpatrick has secured almost $26 million for transportation initiatives in Bucks County -- construction projects that will boost local economies, improve the quality of life for all of you, and create good jobs through the district.
Mike Fitzpatrick brought to Congress the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined his public service. As Chairman of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners, Mike successfully managed 2,600 employees, and a county budget of $385 million. And in Washington, Mike's management and leadership skills are ensuring that Pennsylvania tax dollars are spent responsibly and wisely.
Congressman Fitzpatrick supports the Presidential Line Item Veto, which will eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. (Applause.) Like my husband, Mike supports tax cuts, and this year, with Congressman Fitzpatrick's help, President Bush signed into law the largest tax relief package in America's history. (Applause.) And these tax cuts have fueled our economy. They've helped add 6.6 million new jobs since 2003. And that means 6.6 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and sense of purpose that come with a job. (Applause.)
Something else Congressman Fitzpatrick and the President have in common -- and something I share with them -- is a commitment to natural preservation.
In 2003, President Bush announced the Preserve America Initiative, which encourages communities to safeguard both their natural and their historical treasures. Preserve America can also boost local economies, because we know that recognized landmarks attract visitors and business.
Congressman Fitzpatrick is an enthusiastic steward of our country's natural resources. (Applause.) As Bucks County Commissioner, Mike launched an initiative to preserve more than 10,000 acres of open space here in southeastern Pennsylvania. And in Washington, Mike introduced legislation that provides tax incentives to property owners who set aside land for conservation. Thank you, Congressman Fitzpatrick, for this very important preservation work. (Applause.)
And one of the benefits of natural and historical preservation is that it gives our children more opportunities to learn about our country. Visits to national parks, to museums, to aquariums, to monuments, are great activities for young people, offering them healthy and positive ways to learn and spend time with their families.
Congressman Fitzpatrick has a strong record of commitment to young people. Here in Pennsylvania, Mike -- who's a former Eagle Scout -- and Kathy -- who's a Girl Scout troop leader -- are helping boys and girls develop the leadership skills and the character they need to grow up to be successful young men and women.
In Washington, Congressman Fitzpatrick has dedicated himself to protecting young people here in the 8th district and throughout our country. He co-sponsored the Gang Elimination Act, to help end the threat of gang violence in Pennsylvania. Through his leadership in the House Suburban Caucus, Mike supported legislation requiring checks for school employees, background checks for school employees so that young people are safe in their classrooms. (Applause.)
And Mike authored and helped pass the "Deleting Online Predators Act" -- legislation that gives parents, teachers, and librarians the resources they need. (Applause.)
We all know, though, that the well-being of young people in Pennsylvania and throughout our country ultimately depends on our government's ability to keep them safe -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad. In Washington, Mike 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. (Applause.) It's hard for us to imagine a country that would actually forbid half of its population from being educated. But now, little girls are in school in Afghanistan. (Applause.)
All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. (Applause.) Every day, thousands of young men and women risk their lives overseas -- thousands of young men and women 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 their mission. 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 the mission through. (Applause.) They ask the American people to stand with our troops until we've succeeded in securing Iraq, and ensuring that the Iraqi people have a government that is stable and that's an ally to the United States.
Mike Fitzpatrick appreciates our troops' sacrifice. He knows that this election is critical to the future of our country. And he 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. (Applause.) 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 overseas, and that we must conduct the debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way. (Applause.) And it's critical that all of us stand with Mike and with all of our Republican candidates, since they're such a thoughtful and positive powerful -- positive part of this dialogue.
Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Mike. And thanks especially to all the volunteers for your hard work making the phone calls and knocking on doors. You've already done so much for Mike and your other great candidates -- your terrific Senator, Rick Santorum, and your candidate for governor, Lynn Swann. (Applause.) And in the next two weeks, they'll need more of your energy and your enthusiasm. Go to the phone banks, knock on those doors, and talk to your neighbors about Mike and all of Pennsylvania's great Republicans. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)
Thank you all so much. Thank you for coming out today. Thank you in advance for all the good work you're going to do over the next two weeks to make sure Mike Fitzpatrick, and all of our candidates, are elected on November 7th.
Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)
END 1:20 P.M. EDT