Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Boston, Massachusetts

November 01, 1984

The President. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank all of you, and I thank Governor Volpe and Governor King. Governor Sununu, Senator Humphrey, Secretary Heckler, Mayor Collins, distinguished ladies and gentlemen:

It's wonderful to be in Massachusetts, the Bay State. And it's wonderful to be in Boston, the Hub. And do you know something? It's pretty darn good to be in the home of the world champion Boston Celtics.

You know, this last June I congratulated the Celtics in the Rose Garden. I couldn't do it in the Oval Office; the ceiling wasn't high enough. But there's someone else that I know you're very proud of, and that's your great All-American Heisman candidate from Boston College—Doug Flutie.

It's wonderful to see all of you and to stand up here with some of New England's great political leaders. I'm especially proud to stand today with your own Ed King and Ray Shamie—and that is Shamie. I said it once the other way. That's all right, because after January, we'll just call him Senator.

All of us need Ray Shamie in the Senate because he will work for growth and prosperity and jobs. And the people of Massachusetts know better than most that jobs are the key to opportunity. The immigrants who built this city certainly knew it. They worked hard to give their children a better chance to make sure they'd get ahead in America. The Italians did it; the Irish did it.

You know, up there on Beacon Hill there are cobblestone streets. And someone long ago once said, "Those aren't cobblestones, they're Irish heads." [Laughter] Well, as a hard-headed Irishman myself, I've always remembered that comment. And you know something? I don't object.

But the immigrants got ahead because they had jobs to help them get ahead. And we know, and Ray Shamie knows, that the key to more jobs is an expanding economy—or to an expanding economy, is low tax rates. And that's how we'll see to it that the young people of today and the poor people of our country get the chance they deserve.

Ray Shamie cares about the people of Massachusetts. He is the son of immigrants. He was not born to wealth and privilege. He became a high-tech pioneer. And he went into public service knowing that the odds were against him, but that the truth ultimately prevails. And he will prevail next Tuesday if you all help him. And I promise you that I will work closely with him in Washington to see that the sons and daughters of Massachusetts get the kind of future they deserve.

Now, I'm also honored today to stand with Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, a great friend of ours and a man who has become a leader in the Senate. If the people of New Hampshire can hear us today, we're asking them to keep Gordon Humphrey in Washington. We need him there with Silvio Conte, one of the ablest men in the House of Representatives. And we need the help of Ken Redding and Greg Hyatt and Lew Cramp ton. And New Hampshire needs the continued leadership of Governor Sununu.

Now, I come before you today as a candidate—

[At this point, the President was briefly interrupted by hecklers in the audience. ]

There's an echo in here, isn't there? [Applause]

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. All right. And it's fitting.-
Audience. 50 States! 50 States! 50 States!

The President. Good enough. I'm with you. All right.

But as a candidate for the Presidency, it's fitting that I take my case to the city whose moral and intellectual fire ignited the American Revolution. For I speak today in this cradle of liberty of a second American revolution—one that was guided by some wise words by a wise old President.

Abe Lincoln said we must disenthrall ourselves with the past—and then we will save our country. And 4 years ago, that's what we did. We made a great turn. We got out from under the thrall of a government which we'd hoped would make our lives better, but which wound up trying to live our lives for us.

Four years ago we began to navigate by certain, fixed principles. Our North Star was freedom; common sense our constellations. We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's earnings to the Government, and so we cut taxes across the board by 25 percent. Yes, sir, we cut those

Audience. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The President. Thank you. All right.

We cut those taxes for everybody and not for any particular group. But there's one particular group here, that if they keep on yelling, I'm going to raise their taxes.

We knew that inflation, the quiet thief, and record interest rates were stealing our future. We knew that our national military defense had been weakened, so we decided to rebuild and be strong again, to be prepared for peace. It was a second American revolution. It has only just begun. But America is back, a giant on the scene.
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. And that U.S.A. is powerful in its renewed spirit, powerful in its ability to defend itself and to keep the peace secure. And do you know something? That's not debatable.

But 4 years after our efforts began, small voices in the night are sounding the call to go back—back to the days of drift, the days of torpor, timidity, and taxes.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. You know, my opponent's understanding of economics is well demonstrated by his predictions. Just before we took office, he said our economic program is obviously, murderously inflationary. And that was just before we lowered inflation from above 12 percent to down around 4. And just before we lowered inflation— or after our tax cuts, I should say—he said the most that he could see was an anemic recovery. And that was right before the United States economy created more than 6 million new jobs in 21 months. And in the last 18 months, there have been 900,000 new business incorporations in America. My opponent said that decontrol of oil, the prices, would cost the American taxpayers $36 billion a year. Well, we decontrolled oil prices—one of the first things we did—and the price of gasoline went down 8 cents a gallon.

You know, I have it all figured out. To get the economy in absolute perfect shape, we have to persuade our opponent to predict absolute disaster.

He says he cares about the middle class. But then he boasts, he boasts—and I will quote—he says, "I have consistently supported legislation, time after time, which increases taxes on my own constituents." Doesn't that make you want to be one of his constituents?

Audience. No!

The President. He's no doubt proud of the fact that as a United States Senator he voted 16 times to increase your taxes.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. But this year he's outdone himself. He's already promised, of course, to raise your taxes. But if he is to keep all the other promises he made, he'll have to raise taxes by the equivalent of $1,890 for every household in the United States.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. That figures out to about $150 a month. It's like having a second mortgage, a Mondale mortgage. Now, his economic plan has two parts: one, to raise your taxes, and the second, to raise them again. But I've got news for him: The American people don't want his tax cuts, and he's not going to get his tax cuts. Whoa, wait a minute. I was talking tax increases. He never asked for a tax cut in his entire career. I'm the tax-cutter. Let's keep that straight.

His tax plan would bring our recovery to a roaring stop. If my opponent's campaign were a TV program, it would be "Let's Make a Deal." [Laughter] You trade your prosperity for his surprise that's hidden behind a curtain. [Laughter] And if his campaign were a Broadway show, it would be "Promises, Promises." [Laughter] And if it were a book, you'd have to read it from the back to the front to get a happy ending. [Laughter]

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much. All right. All right.

You know, he sees an America in which every day is tax day, April 15th; we see an America in which every day is Independence Day, the Fourth of July. We want to lower yours and everybody's taxes, so your families will be stronger, our economy will be stronger, and America will be stronger.

And I'm proud to say that during these last 4 years, not I inch of territory has been lost to Communist aggression.
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. Thank you. Thank you. The United States is more secure than we were 4 years ago. And yet my opponent sees a different world. After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he said, "It just baffles me why the Soviets these last few years have behaved as they have." But then, there's so much that baffles him. [Laughter]

One year ago we liberated Grenada from Communist thugs who had taken over that country. And my opponent called what we did a violation of international law that erodes our moral authority to criticize the Soviets.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Well, I have news for him. There is nothing immoral about rescuing American students whose lives are in danger.
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. Let me try to put this in perspective. The 1984 election isn't just a partisan contest. I was a Democrat once, for a large part of my life. But in those days, the Democratic leaders weren't in that "blame America first" crowd—[referring to the hecklers]—like we hear over here.

Its leaders were men like Harry Truman and, later, men like Scoop Jackson and John F. Kennedy—men who understood the challenges of the times. They didn't reserve all their indignation for America. They knew the difference between freedom and tyranny, and they stood up for the one and they damned the other.

Now, to all the good Democrats—and I hope there are many here—who respect that tradition, I say, "You're not alone." We're asking you to come walk with us down this path of hope and opportunity.

All across this country I know there are millions of good, patriotic Democrats who can no longer follow the leadership of that party. And I say to all of them, and all of you here today, come on, and let's, in a bipartisan tradition that is the glory of this country, keep this United States free and strong for all of us.
Last month-

[At this point, the President was interrupted by hecklers. ]

Last month—

Audience. Long live the President! Long live the President! Long live the President!

The President. I'm not going to interrupt that. [Laughter]

Last month an American woman walked in space. Kathryn Sullivan made history. And she returned to a space shuttle in which some of the great scientific and medical advances of the future will be made. Cures for diabetes and heart disease may be possible up there—indeed, I have seen evidence already from experiments conducted in the shuttle—advances, also, in technology and communications. But my opponent, as a Senator, personally led the fight against the shuttle program and called it a horrible waste.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Well, we support the shuttle program. And we've committed America to meet a great new challenge—to build a permanently manned space station and to do it within a decade. What America needs is high-tech, not high taxes.

Now, I've probably been going on too long up here, but—

Audience. No!

The President. [Laughing and referring to the hecklers] Oh? Well, I thought that's what they were saying over there. But the point is we made the right turn and a great turn in 1980. We were right to take command of the ship, to stop its aimless drift, and to get moving again. And we were right when we stopped sending out S.O.S. and started saying U.S.A.!
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. You know, the United States of America was never meant to be a second-best nation. And like our Olympic athletes, this nation should set its sight on the stars and go for the gold.

If America could bring down inflation from 12.4 percent to 4 percent, then we can bring it down from 4 percent to 0.0. And we're going to do that. If lowering your tax rates led to the best expansion in 30 years, then we can lower them again and keep America growing right on into the 21st century. If we could create 6 million new jobs in 21 months, then we can make it possible for every American-young and old, black and white—who wants a job to find a job.

And if local governments can establish enterprise zones to create economic growth, as many of them have, then we can elect people to the Congress who will free our national enterprise zones program. We can pass that bill and provide hope for millions in the most distressed areas of America, and this we must do.

We're leading a revolution in technology, we're pushing back the frontiers of space, and if we give our workers the tools they need—in industries old and new—give American workers the proper tools, and they can outproduce, outcompete, and outsell anybody, anywhere in the world.

Our drive to restore excellence in education reversed a 20-year decline in the scholastic aptitude test scores. We're going to keep raising those scores and restore American academic excellence second to none.

Our crackdown on crime produced the sharpest drop ever in the crime index. And we're going to keep cracking down until your families and friends can walk your streets again without being afraid.

We have reversed the decline in our military defenses and restored respect for America throughout the world. And we're going to keep this nation strong to protect freedom and peace for us, for our children, and for our children's children. And if we make sure that America remains strong and prepared for peace, then we can begin to reduce nuclear weapons and one day banish them entirely from the face of the Earth.

I've seen a couple of signs about nuclear freeze. Well, nuclear freeze, yes—after we have reduced the numbers of those weapons down to where there is a fair and verifiable limit between us, yes, then we'll freeze.

And as we strengthen our economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen the values that bind us, America will become an ever greater nation—greater in art, greater in culture, and greater in love and worship of the God who made us and who has blessed us as no other nation on Earth has ever been blessed.

But if you don't mind now, I'm going to turn to something I didn't get to finish a week or so ago on that debate. I'll say it here. To the young people of our country who are with us today—and I can see you out there, and I'm so happy to see you—you young people are what this election is all about. It's you and your future.

All across this country, on many campuses, I've seen today's young people. And that generation, your generation, really sparkles. Your idealism, your love of country are unsurpassed. And I believe that my generation and those few generations between mine and yours, we have a sacred trust. And that is, when the time comes to turn over the reins to you young people out there, that we turn over to you an America that is every bit as full of opportunity, hope, and confidence and dreams as we knew when we were your age in this country.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, I wasn't going to, but you talked me into it. All right.
Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. Thank you. And listen to me; I'm going to take the liberty of making a promise to you young people on behalf of my own and those other generations I mentioned: We're going to turn over to you an America that is free in a world that is at peace.

All of us together are part of a great revolution, and it's only just begun. America will never give up, never go back—never. We were born to be a special place between the two great oceans with a unique message to carry freedom's torch. To a tired and disillusioned world, we've always been a light of hope where all things are possible.

You know, throughout my life, I've seen America do the impossible. We survived a Great Depression that toppled many governments throughout the world. We came back from Pearl Harbor to win the greatest military victory in world history. In a single lifetime, my own, we have gone from horse and buggy to sending astronauts to the Moon.

We, as Americans, have fought harder, we've paid a higher price, done more to advance the freedom and dignity of man than any other people who ever lived on this Earth.

Ours is the land of the free because it is the home of the brave. And America's future will always be great because our nation will be strong. And our people will be free because we will be united—one people, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. All right. As I—
Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. All right. As I leave here today—
Audience. No!
The President. As I leave the hub of the universe, I understand how John Kennedy felt when he left to assume the Presidency. He stood one cold January day—

[At this point, the President was briefly interrupted by hecklers in the audience.]

I would think that even they would have the respect to listen to the words that I'm going to say in quoting John F. Kennedy. He stood one cold January day before the members of your statehouse, and he said, "I carry with me from this State to that high and lonely office to which I now succeed more than fond memories and friendships. The enduring qualities of Massachusetts, the common threads of the Pilgrim and the Puritan, the fisherman and the farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant will not be and could not be forgotten in this Nation's Executive Mansion. They are part of my life, my conviction, my view of the past and my hopes in the future."

Well, you will not be forgotten. You could not be forgotten, nor could this day, not by me.

I am deeply honored that you have allowed me to serve you for these past 4 years. Much remains to be done. We must continue to build upon the new beginning that we started 4 years ago. So, I have come here to ask for you support and your vote.

America's best days are yet to come. And you know something? Some people over here are going to hate this, but you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Thank you. God bless you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:11 p.m. at the Boston City Hall.

Following his remarks, the President traveled to Rochester, NY.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Boston, Massachusetts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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