Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Detroit, Michigan

November 01, 1984

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you.

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

The President. Okay. All right. Thank you very much. Thank you. I'm game if you are. All right.

Well, you know, I know how long you've been out here and I know what the weather has been like, and I tell you, I feel as if I should heed some advice I once got from a minister from out in Oklahoma. He told me a story about his first sermon. He had been ordained a minister, and then he was invited to preach at a little country church. And he worked for weeks on that first sermon. And he went out there, and he stood up in the pulpit and looked out at the church, and there was only one lone little fellow sitting out there in the otherwise empty pews. And he went down, and he said, "Look, my friend, I'm just a young preacher getting started. You seem to be the only member of the congregation that showed up. Should I go through with it?" And the fellow said, "Well, I'll tell you, I'm a little old cowpoke out here in Oklahoma; I don't know about that sort of thing, but I do know this. If I loaded up a truckload of hay and took it out in the prairie, and only one cow showed up, I'd feed her." So, he got back up in the pulpit, took that as a cue, and an hour and a half later went down and said, "My friend, you seem to have stuck with me. What did you think?" And he said, "Well, like I told you, I don't know much about that sort of thing, but I do know this. If I loaded up a truckload of hay, took it out in the prairie, and only one cow showed up, I sure as hell wouldn't give her the whole load." [Laughter]

So, I think I'd better stop short of giving you the whole load. But, it's a special thrill to be here in Michigan, weather or no. It's great to see autoworkers back on the job and your assembly lines rolling again.

You know, when we first proposed the steps that got our economy moving again, the professional politicians in Washington just laughed at us. And then one of them said to me, "You know, things just don't happen that fast." He said, "You're going to be surprised. You're in the 'big leagues' now." Well, I'll tell you, I decided they were due for a surprise. So, I went over their heads to you, the people. And your voices were heard in Washington for the first time in a long time. And you didn't exactly make them see the light, you made them feel the heat. [Laughter]

Well, we didn't get all that we asked for, but we got a lot of spending cuts. We cut the growth in government down from 17 percent a year to 6 percent a year. And we got that tax cut across the board. So, we're determined to keep that recovery strong so that all of us are working and going forward together again.

But I came here to tell you that those victories belong to you. You took your government back from the Washington establishment. There's a lot of politicians back there that haven't found out who they work for. They thought you worked for them. It's the other way around.

So, now I'd like to ask you to send them a message, another message, and that is: We need a man of courage and proven leadership for the United States Senate. Vote for Jack Lousma and send him back there.

I need Jack Lousma, Michigan needs Jack Lousma and, believe me, America needs Jack Lousma. He isn't afraid to vote against the special interests who want to spend more money and raise your taxes and regulate your lives. And while you're in the voting booth, a few days from now, voting for Jack Lousma, I hope you'll remember all of Michigan's Republican candidates, because they're all against higher taxes, for lower tax rates and a strong America.

And that goes especially for Tom Ritter who's coming on like a freight train in his race for the Congress. Vote for Jack and Tom and help us get a Congress that will Vote and work for the people, not against them, and we'll show 'em what "big leaguers" really are like.

For heaven's sakes, anybody that lives anyplace near Detroit knows what "big leaguers" are like.

Well, I want to get down to the meat of what I have to say here, so that we can all get in where it's warm. We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's earnings into the Government, and so we cut personal income tax rates, as I told you, by 25 percent. And contrary to what you're being told from the other side, that was 25 percent for everybody, not for any special segment of the society.

We knew that inflation was a thief that was stealing your earnings. We knew that our national military defense had been weakened, so we rebuilt that. And today we're better off than we were 4 years ago, we're more secure than we were 4 years ago, and we're respected throughout the world.
Now, some voices—

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

The President. All right. All right. Okay. All right.

You know, we can understand a little bit about the economic theories of my opponent if we look at some of his predictions. Just before we took office, he said our economic program is obviously, murderously inflationary. He said that just before we reduced inflation from more than 12 percent down to 4. And then, after the tax cuts, he said all he could see was an anemic recovery. And that was just before the United States economy created a recovery that created 6 million more jobs in 21 months for the American people. He said that decontrol of oil prices would cost you $36 billion a year more. Well, we cut them—or we eliminated those controls, and gasoline went down 8 cents a gallon. I think all we have to do to get an absolutely perfect economy is to get him to predict absolute disaster.

As a United States Senator he voted 16 times for a tax increase on all of you. And he's proud of that. He boasts, "I have consistently supported legislation, time after time, which increases taxes on my own constituents." Doesn't that make you just want to be one of his constituents?

Audience. No!

The President. Well, of course, right now, to meet all his promises, in addition to his two-phase economic program—two phases: one, raise your taxes. He's already told you that. The second phase is, raise them again. Well, I don't think you want his tax increases, and I don't think he's going to get them. We're going to do our best to see if we can lower your tax rates so that we'll be even stronger than we are today.

I've got just one more here that I want to tell you—about his predictions. After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he said, "It just baffles me why the Soviets these last few years have behaved as they have." You know, there's so much that baffles him. [Laughter]

And then he was very upset and said that it was immoral of us to invade Grenada. Well, a year ago we went into Grenada, and I don't think there's anything immoral about sending in our forces to save the lives of American students when their lives are in danger.

Now, I just want to say two other things here real quickly, because this is getting pretty nasty for you.
Audience. No!
The President. Well, all right. Okay.

You know, I think 4 years ago, we turned things around in Washington to the extent that the Government stopped singing out S.O.S. and started saying U.S.A.! We were never meant to be a second-best nation. And so, like our Olympic athletes, we're going to go for the gold.

If we could bring inflation down from 12.4 to 4, we're going to bring it down from 4 to 0.0. Our tax cuts led to the greatest expansion that we've had in 30 years. In addition to those 6 million new jobs, in the last 18 months 900,000 new businesses were incorporated. Now, we've got some legislation bottled up there by Tip O'Neill's fellows in the Congress. That's why we have to have those Congressmen of yours back and have those other candidates back, also.

We're going to keep on the path that we're on. We're going to keep sustaining this economy of ours. You know, if my opponent's economic program were a television show, it would be "Let's Make a Deal." [Laughter] You know, you trade your prosperity for his surprise behind the curtain. [Laughter] And if it were a Broadway show, it would be "Promises, Promises." [Laughter] And if it were a book, you'd have to start at the back and read toward the front to get a happy ending. [Laughter]

But there's one other thing I want to finish here with. I didn't get to finish it a couple of weeks ago in the debate; I ran out of time. So, I want to say, all over this country I have seen our young people—your sons and daughters—and I see them here tonight. And I just want to tell you, this is a special generation. And if I could say to you young people, my generation—and a few generations between mine and yours—we lived in an America where you knew you could make your dreams come true if you just went for them. And me and those other few generations I just mentioned, we've got one sacred trust that we must keep with you young people. And that is to see, when the time comes that we turn the reins over to you, we turn over an America that is free in a world that is at peace. We're going to give to you an America where you can fly as high as your own ability will take you, and there will be no government holding you down.

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

The President. All right. All right. All right.

Let me tell you something. I am more honored than I can say over the fact that you have allowed me to serve you for these last 4 years. And yes, I want to be there to finish the job that we started 4 years ago. And I came here to ask for your vote and your support.

And now, I just want to say one other thing. The polls just scare the life out of me. Don't believe those polls. President Dewey told me you should never be overconfident. [Laughter] So, I want to ask you this. On Tuesday, don't any of you think, well, they don't need my vote, everything looks good. Don't you believe it. Go to the polls and vote. And go there and vote for those candidates, for those Congressmen. Vote for Jack Lousma. Send that team back there to help us.

And God bless you. I want to say one more thing. I know that there must be out here many of you who are Democrats, but who have found, as I found—because I was once a Democrat—you found that you cannot follow the course set by this present leadership. Well, then come walk with us down the path of hope and opportunity, and we'll have a bipartisan team that will keep America great and prosperous, strong and free. So, go to the polls, get your friends out there to the polls. And I'll say one last thing—

Audience. Give me an "R."
Audience. "R"
Audience. Give me an "E."
Audience. "E"
Audience. Give me an "A."
Audience. "A"
Audience. Give me a "G."
Audience. "G"
Audience. Give me an "A."
Audience. "A"
Audience. Give me an "N."
Audience. "N"
Audience. What does that spell? Audience. Reagan!

The President. All right. My last message is intended to drive our opponents up the walls. It is: You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Okay. Thank you all. God bless you. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 5:55 p.m. at the Sears-Lincoln Park Shopping Center.

Following his remarks, the President went to the Westin Renaissance Center, where he remained overnight. The following day, the President traveled to Saginaw, MI.

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

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