George W. Bush Speech from April 2000
The following is the text of a speech read by George W. Bush at the April 26, 2000 Republican National Committee 'Gala', shortly after he received the Republican Party's nod to take the White House during the campaign of 2000. If you 'elect' to read the speech, like George did, you might want to keep in mind whether any of these promises have been kept. (I can see of a few, but sadly they are mainly the threatening ones.)
George W. Bush:
"I am honored to be here tonight. This is my first visit to our nation's capital since earning the Republican nomination. I am grateful for the enthusiastic support of my fellow Republicans. I am proud to lead our party. And I am confident we will win.
We will win because our philosophy is conservative and compassionate and full of hope for every American. We will win because our philosophy is based on the core principles of limited government, local control, strong families and individual responsibility.
We will win because Americans who love our country want to respect our government.
We will win the White House. We will hold the House. We will hold the Senate. And come January, Vice President Al Gore will have one last official duty: To swear in Senator Rudolph Giuliani of New York.
To renew hope in the American dream, to lift the spirit of our great country, to meet the challenges of this new century, we must change the tone of Washington, D.C.
Sadly, many Americans look at Washington and they don't like what they see. And who can blame them? For eight years they've seen nightly polls and daily attacks. Eight years of excessive partisanship and finger pointing. Eight years of attempts to exploit fear and foster division, all to score political points. Eight years is a long time and eight years is enough.
The Clinton Gore administration has been the most relentlessly partisan administration in our nation's history; but sometimes some in our party have responded in kind. Americans have seen a cycle of bitterness: an arms race of anger.
The legacy is cynicism, a generic disgust. A feeling by too many Americans that it doesn't matter who wins the election, because they're all the same. Both parties bear some of the blame.
But it does not have to be this way. We are not all the same. I will set a different tone. I will restore civility and respect to our national politics.
I have done so in Texas. And I've already started in Washington This afternoon I met with a friend, a Republican Senator And I met with a senator from the Democratic Party. We talked about reforming Social Security. I am committed to saving and strengthening it, and so are these two good Senators. I'm not interested in merely talking about reform during my campaign; I want to achieve reform once elected. And I know to do so will require both Democrats and Republicans working together for what is best for America.
This week four Democrat legislators from Texas traveled with me to Ohio. None of them supported me in my first campaign for Governor. They're all supporting me for President. We did not agree all the time. But for five years we worked together to reform schools and reduce welfare and cut taxes and balance budgets. And they learned I'm willing to listen and to find common ground based on principle.
There's a clear choice in this campaign: the status quo, or positive change. My opponent is an integral part of an administration that has waged the same old Washington blame game. He speaks of the "extra chromosome right wing." Anyone who disagrees with him is labeled "risky" or "radical" or "reckless." He once said, and I quote, he would "rip the lungs out of anybody else in the race."
Last week was Earth Day. Unfortunately, for Al Gore's campaign, every day is scorched-earth day...and it's time to clean up the toxic environment in Washington, D.C.
Make no mistake. When I am attacked in this campaign, I will respond aggressively. I will promote my principles. I will set the record straight.
But I will run a campaign of ideas. I will make our case for a better America. I will vigorously promote my tax relief plan so that all Americans will see a real reduction in taxes. I know the projected surplus is not the government's money, it's the people's money.
I will vigorously promote my plan to strengthen America's military, because I understand a dangerous world requires America to have a sharpened sword.
I will have a common sense strategy to protect the environment and a health care policy that trusts people, not government.
And I will spend a lot of time talking about an education vision that insists on local control of schools, high standards, and strong accountability. I know educating all our children is the cornerstone of a hopeful America.
Ours is a winning agenda, and to pass it as President, I will work with Republicans and reach out to Democrats, as I have in Texas. I will treat the other party with respect and when we make progress, I will share the credit.
I will listen to the best ideas from conservatives and moderates and new Democrats. And as a good man said, from libertarians and vegetarians.
I will unite our nation, not divide it. I will bring Americans together. And this is what it will take for our country to usher in a new era, an era that will stand in stark contrast to the last decades, which have said, "If it feels good, do it, and if you've got a problem blame someone else. As President, I will work with all Americans to usher in the responsibility era where all citizens know they are responsible for the choices they make and accountable for the actions they take. A period in which each of us understand we are responsible for loving the children we bring into this world. That we are responsible for the quality of life in the communities in which we live. And each of us must love our neighbors as we would like to be loved ourselves.
I am confident that with the right leadership, we can change our culture so America can can fulfill its promise for every citizen. And I know this begins by having a President who will uphold the honor and dignity of our nation's highest office.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore came in together, now let us see them off together. The wheel has turned. And now it is time to go.
I look forward to this campaign. I look forward to working with you to achieve a victory. Together, we can restore respect to our national politics and give America a fresh start after a season of cynicism."
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