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

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at New Mexico Victory 2006 Rally
Journal Center II
Albuquerque, New Mexico

3:07 P.M. MST

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. Thank you, Heather. Thank you, Heather, for that very, very inspiring talk about voting.

I'm so proud and honored to have the chance to stand on this stage with Congresswoman Heather Wilson. (Applause.) I'm also very happy to be here with one of my favorite United States senators, Senator Pete Domenici. (Applause.) According to my speech also, Congressman Steve Pearce is here. Is he here? Well, he was here earlier. And Allen Weh, the Chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party is here. Thank you, Allen, for joining us. (Applause.)

And of course I want to recognize Jay Hone, Heather's husband. When your spouse is involved in politics, you're involved whether you want to be or not. (Applause.) And we know that successful politicians have families who stand with them and who are there with them all the time, and I want to thank Jay and Caitlin and Josh, Heather's children, for being there for her all the time. (Applause.)

I'm delighted to be with you today to support Heather Wilson's campaign for the United States Congress. Heather cares deeply about the people of New Mexico, and in Washington, she's distinguished herself as a passionate advocate for the 1st district.

Congresswoman Wilson is helping New Mexico families by increasing employment opportunities in your state. A former small business owner herself, Heather understands the needs of Albuquerque's entrepreneurs. During her eight years in Congress, Heather has improved New Mexico's business climate so local entrepreneurs can expand and then offer more jobs for the people of the 1st district.

During the latest round of Base Realignment and Closure process, Heather led the effort to keep nearby Kirtland Air Force Base off BRAC's list. (Applause.) Heather's leadership saved not only the Air Force facility, but also Sandia National Labs. Together, Kirtland and Sandia add around $11 billion to the 1st district's economy, and provide an estimated 90,000 local jobs -- jobs that were saved because of Heather. Thank you, Heather. (Applause.)

Heather Wilson brings to Congress the principles of efficiency and accountability that have defined her public service. She makes sure New Mexico tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly. Heather supports the Presidential Line Item Veto, which will eliminate unnecessary spending from the federal budget. (Applause.) And she supports tax cuts. (Applause.) The tax cuts that she's voted for over the last six years have fueled our economy, and they've added 6.8 million new jobs since 2003. 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 Congresswoman Wilson and the President have in common -- and something I share with them -- is a commitment to natural preservation.

Congresswoman Wilson is an enthusiastic steward of our country's natural resources. She supported the Ojito Wilderness Act, which President Bush signed into law last October. This bill preserves majestic landscapes, and important Native American cultural sites, on 11,000 acres northwest of Albuquerque.

As a member of the House Energy Committee, Heather helped pass the 2006 Energy Act. This legislation promotes alternative fuels by offering tax incentives for the use of biomass, wind, and solar power in New Mexico homes. Heather's efforts will help safeguard our environment, and end our country's dependence on foreign oil. Thank you, Heather, for this vital 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, and to national monuments are great activities for young people, offering them healthy and positive ways to learn and spend time with their families.

Congresswoman Wilson has a strong record of commitment to young people. Heather improved the lives of children throughout your state as Secretary of New Mexico's Children, Youth, and Family Services Department. In Congress, Heather has secured $350,000 in funds to advance a cause close to my heart: reading. (Applause.) These resources will help build a community library in nearby Placitas, so that more families and young people can enjoy and learn from good books. Thank you, Congresswoman Wilson, for your commitment to New Mexico's children. (Applause.)

We all know, though, that the well-being of children in New Mexico and across our country ultimately depends on our government's ability to protect them -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad.

Heather Wilson understands the needs of our troops at this crucial time in our country's history. Heather is a former Air Force Officer, and a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. She's the only female veteran currently serving in Congress. (Applause.) And she's a role model for women and girls across your state and across our country. (Applause.)

When my father-in-law President Bush was in office, Congresswoman Wilson served on the staff of the National Security Council. Through her current leadership on the House Intelligence Committee, Heather makes sure our troops have the information and the resources they need to protect our nation. In Congress, Heather Wilson 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 are working to build a democratic future. (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 a new, elected government, and 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. (Applause.) Every day, thousands of these men and women risk their lives overseas to make sure 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 cause.

Many of these men and women have given their lives for this belief. 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.)

Heather Wilson 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.

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.)

Heather Wilson understands her responsibility to you and to our country. So we must stand with Heather at this important time in our country's history. (Applause.)

Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting Heather Wilson. Thanks especially to all the volunteers. Thank you to each one of you that are going to take your list home and make your telephone calls, and make sure people show up at the polls to vote.

We're looking forward to Election Day. This is a spirited contest, and we've got great candidates. And we've got the best grassroots volunteers. (Applause.) Our candidates are depending on you, so be sure to get everyone you know to the polls. Tomorrow is the last day for early voting in New Mexico. So make an extra effort to go to the phone banks, knock on those doors, talk to your friends and neighbors about Heather Wilson and all of New Mexico's great Republican candidates. They need your support, and our country needs them. (Applause.)

Thank you all so much. Thank you for coming out today. And thank you for your hard work to make sure Heather Wilson is re-elected to the United States Congress on November 7th. (Applause.)

END 3:20 P.M. MST

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