Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in San Diego, California

November 05, 1984

The President. Thank you, and thank you very much for that jersey. You know I played guard—right guard, that is. [Laughter]

Well, Governor Deukmejian, Senator Wilson, and all of you, thank you very much. It's great to be in San Diego, my good luck city.

Someone pointed out as we were coming over that this is the last rally of my election campaign. And 4 years ago, this particular day, it was also right here in this same place that we had that rally.

But there's so much to do and to plan for. These past few months have really been something. We took our campaign out to the country. We journeyed to the bright grid of the cities and the suburbs of the East, and we went to the broad avenues of the Sunbelt. We talked to farmers outside Des Moines and families in the shopping malls. On a whistle-stop tour in Harry Truman's old train, I went across Ohio and saw the people of that State spill out, waving flags.

We've been to university and college campuses all across the country, yes. And we saw a dazzling new generation coming to life with an honest love for America-had a chance to talk to them about what our country is and can be, and through them, I think we touched the future.

It's been a wonderful journey. And one thing I know, the heart of America is bigger and stronger than ever. The people are together with the ties that bind. Faith and family and loyalty to a heritage—those are the ties that still bind.

We stand together, we Americans, and we're holding each other's hands, and we're walking into the future with pride in each other and a great faith. And I wanted to say so many times to so many of those crowds, to the people that would be just standing on the road as you drove by on your way, perhaps, to a rally or a meeting of this kind—and they'd be holding up signs, and they'd have flags—and I wanted many times to be able to stop and say, "Thank you for how easy you're making it for an old campaigner." But, now I have stopped, so I can say it to you, the people of my beloved California.

This is the most important election in this nation in 50 years. And if we're to win it, we must win more than the Presidency. We need a Congress that will tell Tip O'Neill that his days of obstructing the progressive legislation— [applause] . He's bottled up a great many bills that are necessary for the betterment of our country in the House of Representatives.

You know, just the other day Bob Hope was with us, and Bob said that I got my exercise by jogging three times around Tip O'Neill. [Laughter] Well, I can find something else to jog around. So, I won't miss him a bit.

We must solidify the gains that we've made in these past 4 years. And that's why I'm asking all of you to spread the word and get to the polls and reelect your fine Republican Congressmen.

We need Congressman Duncan Hunter in the House to keep— [applause] . This will make sure that our military, especially our Navy, is second to none. We need Congressman Bill Lowery. He fought hard to secure for San Diego a share of the high-tech jobs that are created in the last 4 years. And we need Congressman Ron Packard. He's a former school board member who sits on the Education and Labor Committee, and who knows education from the classroom up.

They're all fighting for excellence, for economic growth, and for an America of pride and power. And I don't want to go back there alone. Please, send them back there with us.
Audience member. We want Ronnie!

Audience member. You got it, Mr. Reagan!
The President. Thank you. Thank you.
You know, Abe Lincoln said we must disenthrall ourselves with the past—and then we will save our country. Well, 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 had hoped would make our lives better, but which wound up trying to live our lives for us.

We learned to navigate on fixed principles. Freedom was our North Star, common sense our constellations.

We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's earnings to government. And so, we cut personal income tax rates 25 percent. And those people in this campaign who have been saying that we did it for particular and special groups, they don't know what they're talking about. We did it for everybody, "even-Steven," across the board.

We knew that inflation, the quiet thief, was stealing our future. We knew that our national military defense had been weakened. So, we decided to rebuild and be strong again and be prepared for peace.

And now America is back, a giant on the scene, powerful in its renewed spirit, powerful in its growing economy, and powerful in its ability to defend itself and secure the peace. And do you know something? You know something? That's not debatable.

Yet 4 years after our efforts began, small voices in the night are sounding the call to go back—go back to the days of drift, the days of torpor, timidity, and taxes.
Audience. No!
Audience. Don't put us on the Fritz!

The President. [Laughing] A young man down in front here told me, "Don't put us on the Fritz." Not me. All right.

But, you know, my opponent's understanding of economies is well demonstrated by his predictions. Now, just before we took office, he said of our economic program, that it is obviously, murderously inflationary. And that was just before we lowered inflation from above 12 percent down to 4.

And just after our tax cuts, he said the most 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. In the last 18 months, 900,000 new businesses have been incorporated in America.

But my opponent said that decontrol of oil prices would cost you $36 billion. Well, one of the first things we did was decontrol oil prices, and the price of gasoline went down 8 cents a gallon.

Now, I finally figured it out that all we need to do to get an absolutely perfect economy is persuade him to predict absolute disaster.

He says he cares about the middle class, but he boasts, quote, "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 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. Yes. But this year he's outdone himself. We know, of course, that he's promised to raise your taxes. But if he's to keep all the promises that he's made in this campaign, he will have to raise taxes by the equivalent of $1,890 for every household in the United States.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. That prorates out to more than $150 a month. That's like a second mortgage, a Mondale mortgage.

Now, his economic plan has two basic parts. First, the one is to raise your taxes, and the second part is to raise them again.
Audience. No!

The President. Well, I've got news for him. The American people don't want his tax increases, and they're not going to get his tax increases.
You know, if—

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

The President. All right. All right. I just told some people just north of here who were saying that a little while ago, that if the Capital were in California I'd go for 40.

But if my opponent's campaign were a television show, it would be "Let's Make a Deal." You trade your prosperity for that surprise he's got hidden behind the curtain. [Laughter] And if his campaign were a Broadway show, it would be "Promises, Promises." And if it were a book, a novel, you would have to read it from the back to the front to get a happy ending.

He sees an America in which every day is tax day, April 15th. Well, we see an America in which every day is Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Now, we want to lower your taxes more. We want to bring them down for everyone in this country so that your families will be stronger, the economy will be stronger, and America will be stronger.

On another subject, I'm proud to say that in these last 4 years, not 1 square inch of territory anyplace in the world has been lost to Communist aggression.
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. All right. Well, you know, the United States is more secure than we were 4 years ago.

But 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." [Laughter] But then, there's so much that baffles him.

One year ago we liberated Grenada from Communists 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. There is nothing immoral about rescuing American students whose lives were in danger.

But let me try to put this in perspective. The 1984 election isn't just a partisan contest. I was a Democrat for a large part of my life. And its leaders in those days weren't members of the "blame America first" crowd. Its leaders were men like Harry Truman, the late Senator Scoop Jackson, 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 one, and they damned the other.

I hope, and I feel sure, from other rallies like this across the country, there must be many of you out there who are Democrats-as there are all over America-Democrats who can no longer follow the policies of the leadership of that party. And I say to all of you, you are not alone. Come walk with us down the new path of hope and opportunity, and we can have a bipartisan effort in the finest tradition of this country that will keep this country secure and prosperous and free.

Audience. 50 States! 50 States! 50 States! The President. I'm willing. All right.
Last month an American woman made history—Kathryn Sullivan walked in space. And then, having done that, she returned to a 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 in space where we can't make them here on Earth. I have seen evidence of experiments already conducted that indicate that this is more than a possibility—advances in technology and communication. But my opponent, in the United States Senate, led the fight against the entire shuttle program and called it a horrible waste.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

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

I've probably been going on too long here. It's beginning to—
Audience. No!

The President. It's twilight. All right. But the point is, we were right when we made our 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. in every direction and started calling U.S.A.!
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. All right. You know, the United States was never meant to be a second-best nation. And like our Olympic athletes, we set our sights on the stars, and we're going for the gold.

If America could bring down inflation from 12.4 percent to 4, then we can bring it down further, from 4 to 0.0. And we're going to do that.

If lowering your tax rates led to the best expansion in 30 years—and it did—then we can lower them again and keep America growing right into the 21st century.

If we can create 6 million new jobs in 21 months, then we can make it possible for every American—young and old, black or white—who wants a job, to find a job in this country.

Local governments, if they can establish enterprise zones to create economic growth—these are zones in which you use tax incentives and go into distressed areas, whether rural or inner city, and you bring in and stimulate business and investment and get jobs to the people there who haven't had them for a long time. Well, we've done that to a certain extent at many local levels. But we have a national bill to do that, a program nationwide. And for more than 2 years, it has been buried in a committee in the House of Representatives under the direction of Tip O'Neill, and we need that out on the floor to help our people.

We're leading a revolution in technology, pushing back the frontiers of space. I've always believed—and I believe now more than ever—if we give American workers the tools they need, they can outcompete, outsell, outproduce any other workers anyplace in the world, anytime.

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

Our crackdown on crime produced the sharpest drop in the history of the crime index last year. We're going to keep cracking down until you and your families and your friends can walk our city streets without being afraid.

We've reversed the decline in our military defenses and restored respect for America. 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 in this city, where you so often see those in uniform and our military, I just have to tell you, of all the things I've been proud of in this job, nothing has made me more proud than the magnificent young men and women who are in the uniform of our military service.

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 from the Earth entirely.

My opponent has been talking about a nuclear freeze. And now and then, in a kind of an unfriendly way, some people shove signs in my face—"Nuclear Freeze." Well, when we can reduce Soviet and American weapons down to an equal and verifiable limit that there is no disadvantage to us, yes, then we'll have a nuclear freeze.

And as we strengthen our economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen the values that bind us, America will become a nation even greater in its standard of living, in its art, in its learning, and greater in the love and worship of the God who made us and who has blessed us as no other people have ever been blessed.

Now, a couple of weeks ago I ran out of time on the debate. I didn't get to finish what I had set out to say. I'm going to say it here. And to many of you, if you'll forgive me, this is directed to our young people who are here with us today. [Applause]

All right. You are what this election is all about—you and your future. I've seen you all over this country, on campuses, as I said earlier, and universities and in high schools and out in rallies such as this. Your generation really sparkles. Your idealism and love of country are unsurpassed.

Now my generation—and there are several more between mine and yours— [laughter] —all of us, or most of us, grew up in an America where we took it for granted that we could dream and make our dreams come true, fly as high and far as our ability and effort would take us.

Then we came to a time not too long ago when people began telling us that those days were over, that we were in an era of limits, that there was a ceiling, and we never again could have things quite as good as they had been. Well, don't you believe it.

My generation, and those other generations I mentioned, we have a sacred trust-and we're going to fill that trust. And that is to see that when the time comes to turn the reins over to you, we're going to turn over to you a country that is free in a world that is at peace. And it will be a country in which you can dare to dream and know that you can make your dreams come true.

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

The President. And throughout my life-thank you—I have seen—
Audience member. [Inaudible]

The President. I've seen in my lifetime America do the impossible—I do, too.

We survived, when I was a young man, a Great Depression, a worldwide depression that toppled governments in many parts of the world, but not ours. We came back from Pearl Harbor to win the greatest military victory in the history of the world. And in a single lifetime, my lifetime, we have gone from the horse and buggy to landing astronauts on the Moon.

As a people, we have fought harder, paid a higher price, done more to advance the freedom and dignity of man than any other people on Earth. Ours is the land of the free because it's the home of the brave. And our future will always be great because our nation will be strong. And our nation will be strong because our people are free. And our people will be free because we're united—one people, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Here we're about to end the 1984 campaign. And I want to tell you, having stood here, as I said, 4 years ago, at this particular point—same point in that campaign—I'm deeply honored that you made the decision 4 years ago and allowed me to serve you for these past 4 years. Nancy and I will be forever grateful to all of you. But much remains to be done. We must continue to build on the new beginning that we started 4 years ago.

So, I've come here asking for your vote, asking for your support. But— [applause] . All right. But, also, I don't want to be sent back there alone. These other people I mentioned up here, the incumbent office. holders, Members of the House, the candidates. Send them back there with us, so that as a team we can carry on.

And now, just one last request—one last request. Don't read the polls. Don't get complacent. The last time I looked at Mount Rushmore, President Dewey's face wasn't up there. [Laughter] We need every vote, so make up your mind your vote is needed, Get out there and vote. Get your neighbors to vote. Go to the polls tomorrow.
Our best days are yet to come.

And now, for the last time in the campaign that I can say it—because I know it drives a certain candidate up the wall—I'm going to say it, and that is, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Note: The President spoke at 4:30 p.m. at the Fashion Valley Shopping Center.

Following his remarks, the President went to Los Angeles, CA, and the Century Plaza Hotel, where he remained overnight.

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

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