Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in St. Louis, Missouri

November 04, 1984

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

The President. Thank you very much. Four more years—that's what I came to talk to you about. [Laughter]
Well, I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Audience member. You're doing one hell of a job!

The President. Thank you. And I think you know how deeply grateful I am, not only to all of you for being out here but for a long-time and good friend, Bob Hope, to come here and interrupt his trip home to be here with us.

I'm proud to be here with you in St. Louis, a city of hope and expectations, the Gateway to the West. And I'd like to thank you for sending to Washington an individual who's been in the forefront of the battle to strengthen our economy and rebuild America's defenses, your fine Senator Jack Danforth.

You've also sent to the Congress three Representatives who are working hard to keep our economy growing and our country safe and secure. They're strong voices for responsible government, and come election day, please make sure you send back Gene Taylor, Tom Coleman, and Bill Emerson.

And I know you have other strong candidates. Carrie Francke is running in the Ninth Congressional District. Carrie is the kind of individual we can work with. It's a close race. We need your help, because we need Carrie in the Congress. And the same is true for Jack Buechner in the Second District. He's a former member of your general assembly. And Jack would be a major asset to our efforts to keep our taxes down and our economy growing. And here in this district, we have Eric Rathbone. We need Carrie, Jack, and Eric in Washington, and let's do our best to get them there.

Now—and if there's some people listening on the other side of the river, well, I hope they'll help us and do their best to keep Senator Chuck Percy in Washington.

You know, one of the accomplishments about which I'm most proud is that in these last 4 years we've reestablished the balance between Federal and State government. We tended for awhile to forget that this nation is unique in all the world. We are a federation of sovereign States, and we'd better keep it that way. And for that to work, we need to continue the strong leadership at the State level that's been provided to you by Kit Bond. And now we need John Ashcroft elected as Governor to continue that course. He's already done a fantastic job as attorney general, he can do even more as Governor. And to do that, he'll need the help and support of his fellow Republican statewide candidates—Mel Hancock, Roy Blunt, Wendel Bailey, and Bill Webster.

So, please help spread the word. Get out the vote, and if you can, well, win these races for the Gipper. And you know what the Gipper said. He said, "I'll know about it wherever I am, and I'll be happy." [Laughter]

We want a strong, a prosperous, and secure America. Abe Lincoln said that 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.

Four years ago we began to navigate by certain fixed principles. Our North Star was freedom, and common sense our constellations.

We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's income to government, and that's why we cut personal tax rates by 25 percent across the board. I know there's been somebody out around saying that well, that tax wasn't fair. It benefited this group or that group. That tax was "even-Steven," across the board and benefited everyone equally.

Now, 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, and it's only just begun.

But 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? That's not debatable.

And after—well, 4 years after our efforts began, there are small voices in the night, sounding the call to go back—to go back to the days of drift, the days of torpor, timidity, and taxes.
Audience. No!

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

And then, just after our tax cuts, he said the most he could see was an anemic recovery. And that was just before the United States economy created more than 6 million new jobs in 21 months.

My opponent said that decontrol of the oil prices—that government control of the oil prices, if we decontrolled it, it 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, maybe all we have to do—I got it figured out here—to get the economy in absolutely perfect shape is persuade him to predict absolute disaster.

He says he cares about the middle class, but 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? [Laughter] He's no doubt proud of the fact that as a United States Senator he voted 16 times to raise 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 promises that he has made in this campaign, it would cost an amount equivalent to $1,890 for every household in the United States.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. That's more than $150 a month. You know, that's like having a second mortgage, a Mondale mortgage. [Laughter]

Now, his economic plan has two basic parts: one, raise your taxes; the second, do it again. But I've got news for him: The American people don't want his .tax increases, and he isn't going to get his tax increases.

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

The President. All right. I wasn't going to, but you've talked me into it. [Laughter]

You know, if my opponent's campaign were a television show, it would be "Let's Make a Deal." [Laughter] You trade your prosperity for the surprise he's got hidden behind the curtain. [Laughter] And if his program 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 in order to get a happy ending. [Laughter]

He sees an America in which every day is tax day, April 15th. We see an America in which every day is Independence Day, July 4th. Now, we want to lower your taxes and everybody's taxes in this country, so your families will be stronger, the economy will be stronger, and America will be stronger.

And I'm proud to say that during these last 4 years—on another subject—not 1 square inch of territory in the world has fallen to Communist aggression. And the United States is more secure than it was 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 the Communists. 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, there is nothing immoral about rescuing American students whose lives are being threatened.

You know, this 1984 election isn't just a partisan contest. I was a Democrat once; in fact, for the greater part of my life. And I have to believe—in this place, in a crowd like this—there must be many of you out there who are members of the Democratic Party. And I—back in—I know why you're here—because you know as well as I do, that back there aways, the leaders of the Democratic Party weren't members of the "blame America first" crowd. Its leaders were men like Harry Truman, Senator Scoop Jackson, John F. Kennedy—men who understood the challenges of our 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 damned the other.

Well, to all of you here who might be Democrats, who respect that tradition, I say: You're not alone. We're asking you to come and walk with us down that path of hope and opportunity. We need.-

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!
The President. All right.

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

The President. All right. But to those Democrats that I've been addressing, let me just say—we need you. We need your help in what we're trying to do. And you and I together—all of us together in the best bipartisan tradition of this country, can keep an America that is secure, prosperous, and at peace.

Last month an American woman, Kathryn Sullivan, walked in space, and she made history. But then after she did that, she returned to the space shuttle in which some of the great scientific and medical advances of the future will be made. Cures for diabetes and heart disease—I have seen evidence already of the beginning experiments of medicines that can be produced up there that we can't produce here on Earth, advances in technology and communications. But, again, my opponent, as a United States Senator, personally led the fight against having a shuttle program. He called it a horrible waste.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Well, we support the shuttle program, and we've committed America to a great challenge. We're going to build a permanently manned space station and do it within the next decade. What America needs—America needs high tech, not high taxes.

Now, I've probably been going too long here.

Audience. No!

The President. That isn't what you meant by 4 more years, is it? [Laughter] Well, but the point is that we were right when we made our great turn in 1980. We were right to take command of the ship, stop it's aimless drift, and get moving again. And we were right when we stopped sending out S.O.S. and started saying U.S.A.! You know

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. So, like our Olympic athletes, this nation should set its sight on the stars and go for the gold.

If we could bring inflation down 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, then we can lower them again and keep America growing right into the 21st century.

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

If local governments and States can establish enterprise zones to create economic growth, then we can elect people like those I've mentioned earlier to Congress to help free our enterprise zones bill, a national bill, which has been buried in committee now in the House of Representatives by Tip O'Neill for more than 2 years.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. We need that bill to provide hope for millions in the most distressed areas of America, and this we will do.
We're leading a revolution in technology in pushing back the frontiers of space. And if we give our workers the tools they need—I have always believed and I believe more than ever now—give American work. ers the proper tools, and they can outproduce, outcompete, and outsell anybody in the world, anytime, anywhere.

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

The 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 on the streets at night without being afraid.

We have reversed the decline in our military defenses and restored respect throughout the world for America. And we're going to keep this nation strong to protect freedom and peace for us, for our children, and 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 know that my opponent has discussed nuclear freeze. And every once in awhile, I see a sign for it. Well, let me say this about nuclear freeze. When we have reduced nuclear weapons on both sides down to a verifiable, equal balance, then we will have a nuclear freeze.

And as we strengthen our economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen the values that bind us, America will become an even greater nation with a higher standard of living, with culture and art and learning, and greater in the love and worship of the God who made us and who has blessed us more than any people have ever been blessed on Earth.

And now, 2 weeks ago today, I didn't get to finish something I was saying in a debate. I'm going to finish now.

To the young people of our country who are with us today—you are what this election is all about, you and your future. Your generation really sparkles. Your idealism, your love of country are unsurpassed. I've seen you all across the United States, on campuses, in schools, and here in rallies, as you are here.

And I just want to tell you something. My generation and, well, a few generations between mine and yours, we have a sacred trust. We grew up in an America in which we just took it for granted that you could dream and make your dreams come true, if you are willing to go for them—that this was a land of opportunity, and it was denied to no one. Well, our sacred trust is, my generation and those of others I mentioned, to see that when it comes time to turn over to you young people the reins of this country, we're going to turn over to you an America that is free in a world at peace and in which you can dream and make your dreams come true.

All of us together are part of a great revolution, and it's only just begun. America will never give up, never go back. We will never be a second-best nation. This country was put here, this nation, between the two great oceans, so that people from every corner of the Earth, people who had a special love of freedom could find their way here. To a tired, disillusioned world, we've always been a light of hope where all things are possible.

And throughout my life, I've seen America do the impossible. When I was a young man, we survived a Great Depression worldwide that topped governments in many places in the world, but not here. We came back from Pearl Harbor and won the greatest military victory in world history. In a single lifetime, my own, we have gone from the horse and buggy to putting astronauts on the Moon.

And we, as a people, have fought harder, paid a higher price, and done more to advance the freedom and dignity of man than any people who ever lived on this Earth. Ours is the land of the free because it's the home of the brave. [Applause]

All right. America's future will always be great because our nation will always be strong. Our nation will be strong because our people will be free. And our people will be free because we will be united—our people, one people, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
I'm deeply honored.
Audience. 50 States! 50 States! 50 States! The President. All right. All right. I'm deeply honored that you have allowed me to serve you for these past 4 years, but much remains to be done. We must continue to build on that new beginning that we started 4 years ago. So, I have come here to ask for your support and for your vote.

But I just want to say—and with what you've just recently said about 50 States, I've been trying not to look at the polls because I looked up at Mount Rushmore, and I don't see President Dewey's face there. [Laughter] Don't be complacent. Day after tomorrow, don't think your vote isn't needed. Please, go to the polls. Vote. And if you're going to vote for me, don't send me back there alone. You send these other people that I've been talking about.

America's best days are yet to come. And I have something that I know my opponent doesn't like to hear—and I think there's a few people over here that aren't going to like to hear—but I'm going to say it anyway. I'm going to say it anyway. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
Thank you. God bless you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:12 p.m. at the Gateway Arch.

Following his remarks, the President traveled to Chicago, IL.

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

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives