George Bush photo

Remarks at a Fundraising Reception for Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., in Columbia, South Carolina

May 11, 1990

Thank you all. What a great evening here in South Carolina. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Please be seated there. [Laughter] Sorry about that. It's great to be back here, back with you all. And I'm so pleased to see Congressman Floyd Spence, behind me, looking so well -- doing a great job for this State up in Washington. I'm told that Congressman Ravenel was to be here from Charleston, but I don't know if he made it. But I do see the former Congressman and my friend and associate for a long time, Tommy Hartnett, over there, standing there. And of course, I want to salute the Governor and Iris and Carroll the three and Mike and Commissioner Les Tindal and Dick Greer, another longtime supporter of all the good causes in South Carolina on the political scene and certainly a friend and supporter of mine. And last, but certainly not least in this State, nor in Washington, the one and only Strom Thurmond. It's great to be with him.

It's marvelous how Carroll does it; he's always coming up with new ways to raise campaign funds. [Laughter] Next week he's going after that $10,000 first prize by sending his skiing tape to "America's Funniest Home Videos." [Laughter]

But really, it's a pleasure to be back here. And, Strom, your election is so important; and you are looking rarin' to go in the nineties, I'll tell you. [Laughter] And good luck, best of luck to you. I'm always tempted to ask Strom, What's your secret? But I'm afraid he'd say, Eat your vegetables. So, I'm not going to. [Laughter]

And let me just say how delighted I was to get that firsthand report from Lee. Barbara and I talk to him regularly, and I'm so pleased to pay his respects to this crowd of his friends. And he is staying in close touch there at the national committee, and the committee is going very well.

You know, it's a delight for Barbara and me to be back here in a State where friendships grow as easily as the yellow jasmine and back with so many South Carolina Republicans. You get the feeling things are on the move not just for the Republican Party but for the conservative cause, generally. And I am grateful for the support that I get from this Governor and this Senator and this Congressman every single day. I couldn't do without it.

When Iris -- I guess I'll give her credit -- and Carroll invited us to come back here, we accepted before they could change their minds because I did want to say to his friends and his supporters and then to all through the media across the State that South Carolina deserves a Governor who works hard, has demonstrated the ability to make the tough choices, who offers leadership every single day. And that is the Governor that clearly you'll reelect this coming November, and I'm talking about Carroll Campbell.

So, let me ask you to look for 1 minute at the record. South Carolina enjoys almost 200,000 more jobs today than when he took office. This is what happens when a Governor pursues policies that encourage growth, when he trusts the people to do what they do best: make a better life for South Carolina.

In fact, your Governor has done something for this State that I want to see done for America: He slashed the capital gains tax. And that meant more jobs for South Carolina. And so, I might take this opportunity to call on Congress to follow the example of this State -- to open the floodgates of investment, to increase jobs and opportunity for all Americans by cutting the capital gains tax -- and doing it soon. I'm going to keep on like a broken record until I get that thing done up there.

But this State is great for more than just its business climate. From the Sassafras Mountain to the home of Barbara Bush's alma mater over there, Ashley Hall, in Charleston; from the green valleys of the Piedmont -- Ashley Hall has got a modest delegation back here -- [laughter] -- from the green valleys of the Piedmont to the dune-swept shoreline of Myrtle Beach, this State is special. And I know of your commitment to keep it that way. That's why Carroll has already acted against helter-skelter coastal development. He's protected the precious beaches of this State. And that's why he put together a fair, a reasonable wetlands policy, one that strives for no net loss.

On the national level, we, too, are striving for no net loss, and we seek to safeguard our beaches and redeem our wetlands. And that is going to be a crusade as long as I'm President.

As you may know, I also proposed the first major revision of the Clean Air Act since 1977, one that will sharply cut acid rain and smog and toxic pollutants. But Congress has got to respect -- and thank God we have Strom there because he'll see to that -- they've got to respect another kind of delicate ecology; that's the one of jobs and opportunity. So, I call on the House of Representatives not to keep America waiting for cleaner air; to pass a reasonable clean air bill in line with the compromise that we reached with the Senate leaders, not another bill that consumers and workers cannot afford.

South Carolinians also want to be safe from crime, and no one has been tougher in the war against crime and drugs than your Governor. He created this strike force that captured more than 1,800 drug offenders, confiscated literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of drugs. But he's also reached out on the other side of the equation -- with compassion, with understanding -- to the most distressed neighborhoods to help them take back the streets.

While your Governor's been busy here in the State, I've been working closely with the United States Congress, with Congressmen like Floyd Spence and Arthur Ravenel and, of course, Senator Thurmond, who is the chairman of -- the ranking member -- he should be chairman; we lost control of the Senate, darn it all -- [laughter] -- but Senator Strom Thurmond, to provide money for new prison space, more Federal law enforcement officers. But the Democratic leadership in Congress has just left too much work undone on our violent crime package. And I call on Congress to recognize that the kingpins who are dealing drugs and dealing death -- judge them for what they are -- they are murderers, and we must be tough on those people.

Finally, there's one other issue above all others, and that's the state of American education. I might say parenthetically -- maybe this is wrong, but I think we all owe a vote of gratitude to Barbara for her crusading efforts in literacy and fighting to make this society more literate.

But on the government side, Carroll Campbell knows the priority for education. He's been working to make this State second to none in educational excellence. And what you are striving to do for South Carolina, I am determined to do for all of America. American students must be -- we've set these national goals now -- must be first in math and science. Every American adult must be a literate citizen and worker. And every school in America must have a disciplined environment and, most of all, must be drug-free. You see, education is critical to everything we are and can become. And that's why Governor Campbell was such a leader and worked so closely with me at our education summit -- the first education summit with all the Governors, called there in Charlottesville, Virginia. When it comes to education, we've got to measure success not by dollars spent but by the results achieved.

In closing, let me say one thing more about Carroll and this State, something that transcends politics. South Carolina had -- and he alluded to this -- had a very unwelcome visitor last year, a vandal by the name of [Hurricane] Hugo. You also had a Governor, though, who moved decisively to bring people inland, to save countless lives. During those tough days, he was up to his hips in mud. Also helping with relief efforts were Members of Congress, State legislators, and mayors, and also, God bless them, the policemen and women of South Carolina, the State troopers, the Boy and Girl Scouts, whole church congregations, and too many volunteer groups to possibly name.

Everyone lost something to Hugo, and some lost everything. But no one had time -- and I saw this, because Strom and I and Carroll went down there together just for a little bird's-eye view -- no one had time for self-pity or worry as long as one neighbor remained stranded or needed a helping hand. In those terrible days of wind and rain, and during the long months of cleanup, that ghastly cleanup that followed, South Carolina became a point of light, giving all of America a shining example of the very best within us.

And that's the way for the greatest country on Earth; that's the American way. You know, this same spirit of openness and giving found right here in South Carolina makes America a beacon of hope for the world. Isn't it an exciting time -- to see the changes for democracy and for freedom that are taking place all around the world, that have taken place just in the last 12 months. I can think of no more exciting time in history to be President of the United States than during this last year of dynamic change for democracy and freedom around the world.

I hear a lot of marvelous stories. I wish you could have seen the look on the President of Czechoslovakia's face, Vaclav Havel, the playwright. Bar and I thought it would be nice for him to see the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House, the bedroom in which Lincoln actually signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And the look on his face, as a man who was in jail and dying, or living -- whatever -- for freedom, stood out there, hoping against hope for freedom. It just was so moving to see this marvelous symbol of our identity there.

But I recently heard of a man living in Romania who braved arrest by possessing what the previous regime considered to be a dangerous and subversive weapon: a single American newspaper. This courageous man was so enthralled that he not only kept this paper, he read it every day for 3 years. He memorized it, and he savored the uncensored news and the freewheeling editorials and even the advertisements. That's how hungry the world is for the truth. That's how vital our liberty is to the oppressed. That's why America truly is a point of light for the world.

And no star in this American constellation burns brighter than the State of South Carolina. After all, historic changes are occurring around the world because of American leadership, leaders like your great Senator that stands for something, Strom Thurmond. When America needed to be protected during the Cold War years, Strom, rock-solid, standing for freedom -- we'll never forget it. This country owes him a great vote of gratitude. We need his hard-won wisdom and leadership, really, as never before.

Today it's been my special honor to appear on and try to help honor someone who embodies South Carolina's determination, courage, and just plain old common sense. And of course, I'm talking again about Carroll Campbell. He's been a great Governor, and with your support, he can bring an even greater future for South Carolina.

Thank you for this magnificent turnout, this fantastic support for a great Governor. God bless the United States of America. Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 7:12 p.m. at the Governor's Mansion. In his opening remarks, he referred to Governor Campbell's wife, Iris, and sons, Carroll and Mike; Les Tindal, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture; Dick Greer, chairman of the Re-Elect Governor Campbell Committee; and Lee Atwater, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

George Bush, Remarks at a Fundraising Reception for Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., in Columbia, South Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




South Carolina

Simple Search of Our Archives