George Bush photo

Remarks at a Fundraising Breakfast for Gubernatorial Candidate David Frohnmayer in Portland, Oregon

May 21, 1990

Thank you very, very much, Dave, for that wonderful introduction. It's great to be here this morning. It's good to see you, my old friend, Governor Vic Atiyeh, and of course Representative Denny Smith, one of our anticrime leaders in the United States Congress. To Lynn Frohnmayer, Dave's strong right hand, I know she's one of the mainstays of this campaign. I had my picture taken with her family. I think half the audience -- this half -- is all Frohnmayers. [Laughter] But nevertheless, that's okay. We Bushes understand that. [Laughter] Thank you, Lynn, for all you do in this cause.

Oregonians have a wonderful way of making you feel at home. We had a receiving line for some who have done an extraordinary amount for this successful event. I said to one most attractive young couple, I said, "Where are you all from?" He said, "Well, we're from eastern Oregon. We're in the frozen vegetable business, but we don't do broccoli." [Laughter] So, I was very grateful for that -- [laughter] -- sensitivity there.

I did want to single out the man who's doing so much to lead the crusade, the fight against narcotics: Bill Bennett. We had a marvelous event yesterday where we were both privileged to honor the police in Portland. Sometimes, we take for granted their service to communities like Portland -- their law enforcement people. So, Bill Bennett was with me, and you should know of the confidence I have in him and the gratitude I feel for him every day for leading this all-important national fight against narcotics.

And of course, it's always a pleasure to join your dynamic Republican leadership: My old friend Craig Berkman, the chairman; and Marylin Shannon; Don Wyant; Frohnmayer finance chairman, always dependable, Claris Poppert; Colonel Morelock. And of course, I want to congratulate and pay my respects to and once again say hello to Norma Paulus. Congratulations on your great victory. And I know Norma Paulus will be an outstanding superintendent of public instruction. When it comes to education, I believe you'll make a great team with the next Governor of Oregon, Dave Frohnmayer. I think it's going to be good for this State.

You know, Dave, as a Texan, if I was wearing that hat, I'd take it off to the Blazers. Couldn't go home to Texas if I did, but nevertheless, I want to salute them. And really, it is great to be back here in Oregon and a beautiful State. So much to do outdoors. I'd love to get in some fishing while I'm here. The way I fish, we don't have 3 weeks to spare, however. [Laughter] But I do remember my last trip with some wonderful adventure, going down one of your most beautiful rivers. But I'm not here today to tell fish stories. I'm here to talk for a few minutes about the future of this State, the future of our great country.

This November, there's going to be an election to decide what kind of Governor will lead Oregon into the 1990's. And I can tell you one thing: Oregon doesn't need a Governor who needs on-the-job training. Oregonians want Dave Frohnmayer, and I'm encouraged by the strong surveys and by the spirit of his campaign.

Dave's a family man. In fact, as I said, I just met three of his five kids -- Katie, Mark, and Kirsten -- and believe me, I know campaigners when I see them. One of them, Kirsten, is even one step ahead of her old man -- her father. [Laughter] She was just elected president of her high school student body. And I know how proud Dave is of her and of all of his children.

Dave is a family man and more: a native Oregonian; Rhodes Scholar; degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Berkeley -- awesome combination there; professor of law; 49 years old; 6 years in the State house of representatives; and now in his 10th year as attorney general of this State. In 1988 he was reelected with no opposition and both parties' nominations, setting the record as the largest vote-getter in Oregon State history by winning nearly a million votes. And all this before breakfast. [Laughter] I wish I could stick around and see what's next.

We all have an idea of what's next. After a decade as a law professor, another decade in public life, Dave has emerged as a leader in educational excellence. Now the time has come for us to support him, to help him become an education Governor. Like Dave, our administration has made excellence in education one of the top priorities. Back in September, the Nation's Governors joined me at an education summit in Charlottesville, Virginia, to set new education goals for America -- not to dictate to the States, but to set educational goals for America. And in my State of the Union Address, I announced those goals: to better assess students' performance, increase our graduation rate, produce a nation of literate adults, and make our schools drug-free, assure that all children start school ready to learn through programs like Head Start, and ensure that by the year 2000 our students are first in the world in math and science achievement.

The author John Ruskin once wrote: "Education is leading human souls to what is best and making what is best out of them." By teaching our young people well, we ensure a bright future for them in commerce or public service or medicine, high-tech industries. We make the best out of America, and we build a better America. This is our legacy of freedom to future generations, and it is one that is very important to me as President.

Part of protecting this legacy also means keeping America safe. Dave has served this State as attorney general, protecting our schools and streets from the violence of drugs and crime. During that time, he's won six out of seven cases that he's argued before the United States Supreme Court, the best record of any attorney general in the country.

Simply put, Dave Frohnmayer is the only candidate running with the experience and the determination to stand up and fight the drug dealers and violent criminals that are threatening our neighborhoods. We need Dave's take-charge attitude to take back the streets of America.

But we will also need a strategy that involves both the State and the Federal levels. So, I've asked Congress to pass tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and increase prosecutorial powers in the Violent Crime Control Act. The U.S. Senate will take up these proposals this afternoon. So, let us call on the Senate to take the next step and protect Americans with tougher laws.

Just last week my administration also sent to the Hill new proposals to stop drugs and drug smugglers from breaching our borders, to stop them cold. We've called for more border patrol agents, extending general arrest authority so they can enforce our drug laws. We're also proposing legislation that will permit Federal judges to more swiftly deport criminal aliens convicted of drug felonies. And we will also seek the power to order airborne planes suspected of drug smuggling to land. So, our message to those who traffic in human misery is clear: Keep out of America.

To those who ask if our measures are too harsh, I say that the threat to many Americans, especially those living in the inner city, is too great. Or as Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote: "There are two doors to the temple of tyranny. One is government so strong that it can do whatever it pleases without regard to justice, and the other is government so weak that it cannot protect the public from the worst among themselves."

But there is another side to the drug problem, a personal side, and so, that is why Dave seeks the same approach for Oregon that I seek for all of America: to expand the drug treatment programs. And since I took office, my administration has proposed a 68-percent increase in drug treatment funding; and now we're asking Congress, through our new legislation, to help make those dollars work better. And we want the States to develop drug treatment plans so that the right kind of treatment reaches the people who need it, especially pregnant women and drug-affected newborns.

But it's going to take a coordinated effort by our State leaders across the country to free our citizens of the revolving door approach to criminal law, a comprehensive approach to fighting drugs and crime in this State. And that's another reason why I need Dave Frohnmayer as Oregon's next Governor.

Oregonians also want a Governor who understands this beautiful State. From the Snake River to the Pacific coast, Dave knows and loves Oregon, knows and loves its precious environment. As an outdoorsman, he's deeply concerned, as I am, about preserving and protecting our environment. It's going to take a lot of work to protect this great planet and its wildlife without throwing hard-working citizens out of a job. I reject those who would totally ignore the economic consequences on the spotted owl decision. The jobs of many thousands of people -- it's a human equation -- the jobs of many thousands of Oregonians and whole communities are at stake. But I also think that we ought to reject those who don't recognize their obligation to protect our delicate ecosystem. Common sense tells us to find a needed balance. And together, I am convinced that we can work to find that balance.

We also need to find a balance when it comes to clean air. I am committed to a cleaner environment, and that's why I've proposed the first major revisions in the Clean Air Act in more than a decade. I want Congress to pass a bill that will sharply cut acid rain, smog, toxic pollutants, but Congress has got to respect another kind of delicate ecology: that of jobs and opportunity. So, I call on the House not to keep America waiting for cleaner air, to pass a reasonable clean air bill in line with the compromise that we hammered out with those Senate leaders -- both sides of the aisle -- not another bill that consumers and workers cannot afford.

Here in Oregon, you have a strong Republican team that we need to send back to the United States Capitol. I just can't tell you how much I enjoy working with your friend and mine, Senator Mark Hatfield -- very important that he be reelected -- and the Smith duo, Bob and Denny. Denny, who is with us here this morning, is a key member of our administration's efforts on Capitol Hill. All of these leaders, along with our own Bob Packwood, are tackling the problems of crime and drugs, the environment, and education. But this great team really needs a Governor back home to get the job done right.

You know, at my invitation, Dave came to the White House last fall to talk about these issues and other issues. Maybe he popped in to see his brother -- and I might say, I am very proud of John Frohnmayer and what he's trying to do for this country.

But anyway, Dave's a forceful and passionate spokesman for the people of this great State. He's a fighter. He believes in the people of Oregon. He believes in the principles this State has stood for since Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their noble expedition across the unknown wilderness. They spent the winter of 1805 near the mouth of the great Columbia River, where a memorial still stands in their honor. And it was 87 years ago today that another great leader and outdoorsman, President Theodore Roosevelt, laid the cornerstone of that memorial and spoke to the people of Oregon: "Let us carry on the task that our forefathers have entrusted to our hands, and let us resolve that we shall leave to our children and our children's children an even mightier heritage than we received in our turn." Those are the words of one of the great conservation Presidents.

Well, Dave Frohnmayer is a man of integrity, achievement, and honor; a man who will leave Oregon an even mightier heritage than the one left to him. I'm proud to say that he's got a good friend in Washington pulling for him on election night. So, let's keep Oregon great; let's keep it Republican; and this November, let's make Dave Frohnmayer the next Governor of this great State.

Thank you all, and God bless you. And now you can have your breakfast. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 8 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Portland Hilton Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to David Frohnmayer's wife, Lynn; William J. Bennett, Director of National Drug Control Policy; Craig Berkman, Oregon Republican Party chairman; Marylin Shannon and Don Wyant, Oregon's Republican national committeewoman and committeeman; Lt. Col. Mervin L. Morelock, divisional commander of the Salvation Army; and John Frohnmayer, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The President also referred to the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team, who had recently eliminated the San Antonio Spurs from the National Basketball Association playoffs, and the northern spotted owl, which inhabited an area of Oregon that was targeted for logging.

George Bush, Remarks at a Fundraising Breakfast for Gubernatorial Candidate David Frohnmayer in Portland, Oregon Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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