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Remarks at a Fundraising Luncheon for Senatorial Candidate Hank Brown in Denver, Colorado

December 08, 1989

Thank you, Hank Brown, and my respects and thanks to our distinguished Senator from Colorado, Senator Bill Armstrong. I want to thank the Eagle Ridge Elementary Choir over there -- they were really good, really wonderful -- and also to brag on having with me and to thank our drug czar Bill Bennett, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, who is with me here from Washington. Lee Atwater, our national chairman, Republican National Committee -- doing an outstanding job. Congressmen Joel Hefley and Dan Schaefer -- and they are doing a wonderful job for your State. I wish we had an entire delegation like them, I'll tell you. And to Bruce Benson, our chairman, and Judy Hughes, my old friend, the president of the National Federation of Republican Women. Of course, it's always a treat to see our son Neil, and Sharon and Pierce managed to get in there, sitting over there. And I also want to say hello to Charlton Heston, who came out here today from Houston last night, a real trooper, a true patriot -- having him here today is just wonderful. And of course, I really came out to salute the next Senator from Colorado, Hank Brown.

He wanted a big crowd today, so his campaign tried to get Ralphie the Buffalo from C.U.'s football team. And when he couldn't make it, they asked for C.U.'s Houston Trio, the three H-Men. And as you can see, they're not here either. And you got me instead. I'm from Houston. That's the only thing I've got in common with those football players.

But before I go any further, I'd like to just say a few words about one of the finest men that we do have in Washington, and I'm talking about Bill Armstrong. He is one of the best and brightest, as they say, a principled politician, a top player on our Republican team. And he's been a leader in the Congress since 1973, first in the House, now in the Senate. And he is going to be missed by me, by his fellow Senators and, most of all, by the people of Colorado. Bill, thank you for a job so well done.

You know, earlier this week, I was in Malta -- Hank alluded to it -- for, I think, a very productive meeting with Chairman Gorbachev. I guess you've heard that I brought only a small number of my top staff with me. The meeting went very well, but there was one adviser I forgot to consult -- Willard Scott. Where was he when we needed him? [Laughter] But the seas and the rain really could not dampen the spirit of the Malta meetings, and I really believe in my heart of hearts -- not just because it's coming up to the Christmas season -- but I really believe that Malta will make a contribution to a more peaceful world, a world with more freedom, a world with more democracy.

After the meetings with Mr. Gorbachev there at Malta, I went on to Brussels to brief our allies. And I can tell you that NATO is together and strong. And as the changes in Eastern Europe unfold at this dazzling pace, it is important that NATO remain together and strong.

And now here I am in Denver, and that's a lot of travel for 1 week. But that's fine, that is just fine with me, because working for a Republican majority in the Senate and in the Congress is vital and, with me, it is a priority. And that means why we're all here -- electing Hank Brown to the United States Senate.

He and I are on the same wavelength, working together on the issues important to all of us: strengthening peace and freedom around the world -- and we must be strong -- keeping the economy strong, and protecting our precious environment. Hank Brown is what you need and is what this administration needs -- a Senator to make Colorado strong, to make this nation proud, and a leader in the Senate that I can work with as President of the United States.

It's hard to believe, but in just a few weeks, we'll be entering the next decade. As events in the world quickly unfold, I see an America that is filled with optimism and hope and a sense of new beginnings. And across the Atlantic, we also sense new beginnings as democracy blooms behind what used to be called the Iron Curtain. For the first time in 40 years, the people of Eastern Europe believe that freedom is within their grasp. They aren't just thinking about change -- they are changing the way they think about the future and what it can bring and what it will bring. And they're taking their destiny into their own hands, and they're helping build a new Europe, whole and free.

At Malta, President Gorbachev and I took our first hopeful step into a new American-Soviet relationship. We took our first step towards the next decade and the new world that is taking shape, a new world of security and freedom. Our mission to Malta was about peace -- not the kind of uneasy peace that we've known for the last 40 years, hard and cold, but about the new kind of peace we aspire to, one that is rich with the promise of permanence, one that forms a foundation for freedom and democracy throughout the world. Yes, there were differences at Malta, but we could express them in an agreeable, forceful way without being disagreeable about them.

The 1990's can be a time for peace, but it must also be a time of continued prosperity for all Americans. And that means keeping our economy growing through innovative initiatives like the capital gains tax cut -- to which I remain committed and to which I am going to fight for when the Congress comes back because that commitment is to bring more jobs to more people. The capital gains may be over now -- the fight for this year, 1989; but the fact is, a majority in both the Senate and the House are now on record in favor of cutting the capital gains rate. And it was Hank Brown, sitting right here, as one of the key members of the House Ways and Means Committee, who played a crucial role in getting action in the House -- getting the bill to the floor of the House of Representatives. And I'll always be grateful to him for that.

When Congress reconvenes in the new year, cutting that capital gains rate is once again going to be one of the top items on my agenda, and the battle will commence again in the House Ways and Means Committee. I'm counting on him once again to be one of my top lieutenants in that fight. And because of people like him, it's a fight we are going to win. You know, we've got to keep America's economy strong. We've got to keep the job creation machine rolling.

I'm also counting on Hank Brown to help me hold the line on new taxes. As Congress returns, I'm reminded of a story that Franklin Roosevelt used to tell about his opponents, which I think fits the tax-and-spend Democrats of today. It's a little story about a poor chameleon that turned brown when placed on a brown rug and turned red when placed on a red rug, but who died a tragic death when they put him on a scotch plaid. [Laughter] We can't let the chameleons in Congress talk about deficit reduction and then raise taxes so they can load up the budget with more and more spending. We must stick to what the American people elected us to do: hold down taxes, exercise fiscal restraint, and keep the longest peacetime economic expansion going strong. And we will not be satisfied until prosperity reaches every corner of America. We have really just begun.

You know, Hank's district here is known as Colorado's Breadbasket, home of your agricultural heartland. So, as work begins on the 1990 farm bill, we're going to be looking to Hank for help because he knows the people of Colorado -- five generations of his family, Coloradans before him. And Hank understands what farmers are going through to produce a crop nowadays. This administration has introduced policies to benefit both the farmer and the consumer, and to continue our work, we need Hank Brown to move from the House to take Bill Armstrong's place in the Senate.

I'm a little tired of the Democrats claiming their key interest in the old sole proprietors of the environmental issue. We've initiated bold new environmental policies to reduce air toxics and urban smog, to help clean up our air and hazardous wastes, to expand our parklands. And through it all, Hank's been there with us. Take a look at his record: worked to clean up Colorado's drinking water, and through his efforts, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal cleanup was named to the EPA's Superfund national priorities list; and just last week, I signed into law his bill to expand the Rocky Mountain National Park. He believes, as I do, that the future of generations to come depends on the kind of commitment to the environment that we make now.

It looks to me like your State's on quite a roll this year. I've been following the sports pages, and I see that Bill McCartney has made C.U. the college team ranked first in the country -- going to the Orange Bowl, playing there on January 1st. And Dan Reeves, who was in the Oval Office with me the other day, has led the Denver Broncos through a great season -- number one in their division, maybe even heading for the Super Bowl -- who knows? Well, let me put it this way: Hank Brown has led his district through a winning decade as a Congressman, and now it is time for him to lead the State into this exciting next decade as a Senator. We need his energy, we need his commitment, we need his total honesty, his integrity. We need Hank Brown in the Senate.

And I want to thank you for inviting me to this beautiful State. Thank you for your support for this fine man. And now let's go out and work to make Hank Brown the next Senator from the State of Colorado. Merry Christmas to you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you all very much.

Note: The President spoke at noon in the Currigan Convention Hall. In his remarks, he referred to Bruce Benson, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party; Sharon and Pierce Bush, the President's daughter-in-law and grandson; actor Charlton Heston; television weatherman Willard Scott; Bill McCartney, coach of the University of Colorado football team; and Dan Reeves, coach of the Denver Broncos.S1240

George Bush, Remarks at a Fundraising Luncheon for Senatorial Candidate Hank Brown in Denver, Colorado Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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