The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 2, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Illinois Victory 2006 Rally
Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center
Schaumburg, Illinois

12:28 P.M. CST

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, Roma. Thank you very much. Thanks very much to Don and Roma. Thank you for your very cute and fun introduction. And thanks to each and every one of you for joining me today and for your very, very warm welcome. I'm so happy to be here.

I'm especially happy to be here with State Senator Peter Roskam, your next congressman from the 6th district. (Applause.) Peter's family, Elizabeth and his children are here with us, as well. I'm not sure where all the family members are. Maybe over here. Thank you all for joining us. (Applause.) I'm so proud to stand with Dave McSweeney, your next congressman from the 8th district. (Applause.) Dave's wife Margaret, and their girls are over here, as well. Thank you for joining us. (Applause.)

And I'm very proud and honored to be here with Judy Baar Topinka, your governor. Thank you very much, Judy. (Applause.) Also in the crowd is State Senator Christine Rodogno, your candidate for Illinois state treasurer. (Applause.) Congressman Don Manzullo is here from the 16th district. (Applause.) Andy McKenna, the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, thank you very much, Andy. (Applause.) And my good friend, Jean Hastert, wife of Speaker Denny Hastert. Thank you, Jean, for joining us. (Applause.)

I'm delighted to have this chance to be with you today to support Dave McSweeney and Peter Roskam's campaign for the United States Congress, and Judy Baar Topinka's election for the governor of your state. (Applause.) These candidates care deeply about the people of your state, and in Washington and Springfield, they'll be passionate advocates for Illinois families.

As the 6th district's congressman, Peter Roskam will carry on the important environmental work he's begun here in Illinois. In Wheaton, Peter and Elizabeth started their hometown's curbside recycling program. In the State Senate, Peter sponsored legislation to increase recycling statewide and to improve energy efficiency.

Dave McSweeney will bring to Washington the principles of efficiency and accountability that he developed during his successful business career. He'll make sure Illinois tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. Dave supports the Presidential Line Item Veto, which will help eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. (Applause.)

During his time in Springfield, State Senator Roskam has opposed tax hikes, and he's authored 14 bills to lower your state taxes. (Applause.) In the U.S. Congress, Peter and Dave will support tax cuts. The tax cuts that have been effected over the last six years have fueled our economy, and they've helped add 6.6 million new jobs. And that means 6.6 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job. (Applause.)

Judy Baar Topinka is dedicated to bringing jobs to Illinois. As your state treasurer, Judy cut wasteful government spending, which helped lower taxes. Her efforts have improved the business climate for Illinois entrepreneurs, so they can expand their companies and create more jobs.

Farming is vital to Illinois's economy, and through her Agriculture Loan Program, Judy has dedicated nearly $900 million in funding to support more than 10,000 farmers across the state. (Applause.) She's a champion of Illinois agribusiness. And as Governor Topinka, Judy will make sure everyone in Illinois benefits from our nation's growing economy. Thank you very much, Judy. (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 build successful lives. (Applause.)

Dave McSweeney, Judy Baar Topinka, and Peter Roskam have strong records of commitment to young people. When Dave and Margaret were newlyweds living in New York, they tutored at-risk students in Harlem. Here in Illinois, the McSweeneys are active in Women In Need Growing Stronger, which is a program that assists homeless women and their children, and are giving them a second chance at successful lives. Thank you, Margaret and Dave, for this important work. (Applause.)

Judy Baar Topinka is dedicated to improving education in your state. She created the Bright Start and Bright Directions college savings program, which has helped more than 135,000 Illinois families save more than a billion dollars for their children's tuition. Through Bright Start and Bright Directions, Judy is helping thousands of Illinois young people realize the dream of a college education. (Applause.) And as governor, Judy will advance Illinois education at all levels. She has an ambitious plan to modernize classrooms, and to provide new funding for work that's close to my heart, and that's reading instruction. We know that children who can read can do every single subject. Thank you very much, Judy, for these great ideas. (Applause.)

After he graduated from the University of Illinois, Peter Roskam's first job was teaching high school history and government in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Peter will tell you that it was also one of his favorite jobs.

In the State Senate, Peter has strengthened Illinois's education system by supporting families and teachers. He's authored legislation that doubles the child tax credit, so that families can save more of their earnings for their children's education. He co-sponsored a bill that provides tax relief for teachers who must use some of their own money to purchase school supplies. He supports background checks, so that Illinois children will be safe in their schools. Thank you, Peter, for your commitment to children. (Applause.)

We all know, though, that the well-being of young people in Illinois and across our country ultimately depends on our government's ability to protect them -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad. (Applause.) In Congress, Dave McSweeney and Peter Roskam will be champions of the men and women of the United States military. (Applause.)

All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. (Applause.) Peter Roskam and Dave McSweeney stand with our troops. (Applause.) They understand that this election is critical to the future of our country, and they know that America faces challenges too important to be reduced to just politics. 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.

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 our debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way. (Applause.)

Peter Roskam and Dave McSweeney understand their responsibility to you and to our country, so it's so important that we stand with them during this crucial time in our country's history.

Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Peter Roskam, Dave McSweeney, and Judy Baar Topinka. Thanks especially to all the volunteers out there for your hard work, making the phone calls and knocking on doors.

We're looking forward to Election Day. This is a spirited contest, and we've got great candidates. We've also got the best grassroots volunteers. (Applause.)

Our candidates are depending on you, so be sure to get everyone you know to the polls. Go to the phone banks, knock on all those doors, and talk to your friends and neighbors about Dave McSweeney, Peter Roskam and Judy Baar Topinka. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)

Thank you all very, very much for coming out today, and thank you for all your hard work to make sure that Peter, Dave and Judy are elected on Tuesday, November 7th. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

END 12:41 P.M. CST

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