George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Reception for Senatorial Candidate John Thune in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

April 24, 2002

Thank you all very much. Thank you. It is great to be back in South Dakota. I want to thank you all for such a warm and gracious welcome. I am here because I want John Thune to become the next United States Senator. I want to thank you for helping him. He is—my attitude is, anytime you find a person of high character and strong values, you've got to help him, and I want to thank you for doing that.

I'm going to spare you from a lot of my speech that I'm going to give a little later on, but I do want to tell you it's a huge honor to represent the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We've got a lot on our plate, and I hope to have this good man beside me in the United States Senate, just like he has been beside me as a fine Member of the United States House of Representatives.

We've got a war to win, and we're going to win the war. We've got an economy to worry about, and we're going to make the right decisions to encourage economic vitality and growth in all sectors, including the agricultural sector.

Today I had the honor of going to an ethanol plant. I made it very clear to the people there—and I'm going to continue to make it clear—that I meant what I said when I ran for President, that value-added processing—ethanol—is good for South Dakota; it's good for farmers; it's also good for America.

One of the things I also said—I remember clearly, when I came to South Dakota campaigning—I said if you give me a chance to be President, I'll work hard to cut the taxes on the people of our country. And thankfully, we did. And we did so right at the right time.

There's—some people up there in Washington read a different textbook than John and I read. [Laughter] You see, we believe that if you let people have their own money—and it's not the Government's money, of course; it's your money—that you'll spend it. And when you spend it, somebody produces a good and service. And when they produce a good and service to meet the demand, that means somebody is going to work. The best way to encourage the creation of jobs is not through excessive Federal Government; it is through trusting the people of our country with their own money. We cut the taxes, and we cut them at the right time.

I'm going to talk about some other issues a little later on, but one thing I want to remind our country is that we're great. And we're great not because of our Government; we're great because of our people. The thing that I am most proud about, about America, right after this terrible incident of September the 11th, is the American spirit: how strong we have stood in the face of terror; how determined we are as a nation to defend that which we hold most dear, which is our freedoms; and how compassionate our nation can be.

I'm going to say this a little later on, but I want to say it again here—that we can fight evil and will, with a strong military. But at home, we need to fight evil through acts of compassion and decency and kindness. As Americans love a neighbor just like they'd like to be loved themselves, we show the world the true face of this great country and in so doing stand squarely—squarely—in the face of evil.

I want to thank you all for the many prayers—I had some pictures taken back there, and a lot of people came through and said, "Mr. President, we pray for you and your family." It means a lot to me. It means a lot to me to be a President of a country that prays for their President, and it means a lot to me to be the President of a country that is full of so many decent and honorable and hard-working and bold Americans.

Again, I want to thank you for helping John. This is a very important election. He is—I stand here knowing the character of the man. I know his values. I know his strengths. He will be great for South Dakota in the United States Senate, and he will be great for America as its next Senator.

Thank you all for coming, and God bless. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:05 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Reception for Senatorial Candidate John Thune in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




South Dakota

Simple Search of Our Archives