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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 3, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at California Victory 2006 Rally
Goal Line Productions, Inc.
Pleasanton, California

10:05 A.M. PST

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all very, very much. Thanks, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you very much, Richard. Thank you all. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thanks to each and every one of you for the very, very warm welcome to California. I'm so happy to be here today for Richard Pombo, to support his reelection to the United States Congress. (Applause.)

I think -- but I didn't meet him at the front -- I think Duf Sundheim, the Chairman of the California Republican Party, is here. Is Duf here? (Applause.) Thank you for your hard work, Duf. And of course, I also want to recognize Annette Pombo. When your spouse is in politics, you're involved, whether you want to be or not. (Laughter.) And we know that the most successful politicians are the ones whose families are there with them, who stand with them all the time. And thank you very, very much, Annette, for your support for Richard. (Applause.)

I'm delighted to have this chance to stand with Richard Pombo. Richard cares deeply about the people of California, and in Washington, he's distinguished himself as a passionate advocate for the 11th district. Congressman Pombo is helping Northern California families by increasing employment opportunities in your state. During his 13 years in Congress, Richard has improved California's business climate. This work has allowed entrepreneurs to expand their companies, especially local tech companies, and create more jobs for the people of this district. (Applause.)

Farming is vital to this region's economy, and as a rancher himself, Richard understands the needs of California's family farmers. Through his leadership as vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Pombo makes sure area farmers can compete in the global marketplace. He's helped build farming and ranching into a booming $2 billion-a-year industry for the 11th district. Thank you, Richard, for that. (Applause.)

Congressman Pombo has secured more than $100 million in funding to improve local infrastructure with ambitious plans for these resources. These funds will deepen the shipping channels, expand mass transit, and help build a new freeway from the Central Valley to the East Bay. (Applause.) These projects will help keep trucks off your highway, they'll ease traffic on I-205 and I-580, and create good construction jobs for the 11th district.

Richard Pombo brings to Congress the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined his public service. He makes sure California's tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. (Applause.) Richard supports the presidential line item veto, which will help eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. (Applause.) And he supports tax cuts. (Applause.) The tax cuts that have been enacted over the last six years have fueled our economy, and they've helped add -- and they announced this today -- 6.8 million new jobs since 2003. (Applause.) And that means 6.8 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job.

Something Congressman Pombo and the President have in common, and something I share with them, is a commitment to natural preservation. Congressman Pombo is an enthusiastic steward of our country's natural resources. (Applause.) As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Richard promotes responsible conservation initiatives -- programs that protect wildlife while also improving the lives of his constituents.

Last year, Richard led the effort to pass the Energy Policy Act. This legislation promotes the use of alternative fuels, which will help end our country's dependence on foreign oil. The bill also included tax incentives that will bring a new biodiesel facility to the Port of Stockton, and create high-paying jobs for the 11th district. (Applause.)

Nestled between the San Joaquin Delta and the Sacramento River, the 11th district always faces the threat of devastating flooding. Local communities have been protected by your levee system, but these levees are in need of repair. In Congress, Richard has led efforts to reform the Endangered Species Act. This work will help eliminate regulatory barriers that have prevented the levees from being fixed. (Applause.) Congressman Pombo is committed to safeguarding local ecosystems -- and because of his leadership, wildlife, property, and people will be protected from dangerous flooding. Thank you, Richard, for this important work. (Applause.)

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 Pombo has a strong record of commitment to young people. He's actively involved in the Tracy Boys and Girls Club. Boys and Girls Clubs provide local youth with safe places to play and learn. They help young people build character, self-confidence, and leadership skills under the guidance of caring adults. Thank you, Congressman Pombo, for your commitment to California's children. (Applause.)

We all know, though, that the well-being of California's young people and young people across the country ultimately depends upon our government's ability to protect them -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad. In Congress, Richard Pombo is a champion of the men and women of the United States military. (Applause.)

Thanks to our troops, the Iraqi people are now free from the oppression of Saddam Hussein, and they're 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 government that would prohibit half of its citizens from being educated. But now Afghanistan has an elected government, and little girls are in school all over the country.

All of us are proud of the men and women who are deployed around the world defending our country. Every day, thousands of these 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. (Applause.) Their love of our country, and of liberty, never wavers -- and neither does their belief in their cause.

Many of these 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. (Applause.) They ask the American people to stand with our troops.

Richard Pombo stands with our troops. (Applause.) He understands 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.

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. (Applause.) 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.)

Richard Pombo understands his responsibility to you and to our country. So we must stand with Richard during this important time in our country's history. (Applause.)

Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Richard Pombo. Thank you to all the volunteers for your hard work making the phone calls and knocking on doors. Thanks especially for the time some of you will spend at the Victory '06 headquarters this afternoon. 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. That's you. (Applause.)

Our candidates are depending on you, so make sure everyone you know goes to the polls. Go to the phone banks, knock on those doors, and talk to your friends and neighbors about Richard Pombo, and all of California's great Republican candidates. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)

Thank you all very much. Thanks so much for coming out today. (Applause.) Thank you very, very much. (Applause.) And thank you all -- thank you for the hard work you're going to do to make sure Richard Pombo is reelected to the United States Congress on November 7th. (Applause.) Thank you all. (Applause.)

END 10:20 A.M. PST

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