Remarks by the Vice President at a Colorado Victory Rally in Colorado Springs
The Broadmoor Hotel
Colorado Springs, Colorado
8:05 P.M. MST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. This is a great crowd. I appreciate the warm welcome. It's almost enough to make me want to run for office again. (Applause.) Almost. I said almost.
But I'm delighted to be here. It's great to be back in Colorado Springs -- a military town, of course -- (applause) -- critically important to the security of the United States, and one of the finest communities in the United States of America. (Applause.)
I'm not a newcomer to Colorado Springs. My wife went to school here. Both my daughters went to school here. I spent money here. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: And we appreciate it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'll bet you do. (Laughter.)
But we're delighted to be back. Of course, you may notice when we came on the stage, Lynne and I had three of our granddaughters with us. (Applause.) They campaigned extensively with us in 2004, and they got out. They wanted to come out. They said we couldn't campaign without them this time around. So we got them out of school today, and we brought them out for the last few days of the campaign so they could come out and participate in the great American political process.
And I often explain to people that Lynne and I have a Republican marriage. You may remember that great Eisenhower victory in 1952. Well, at that time, I was living in Lincoln, Nebraska with my folks, just a youngster. Dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service, Eisenhower got elected, reorganized the Agriculture Department, dad got sent to Casper, Wyoming. And that's where I met Lynne. And we grew up together, went to high school together, and recently celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. (Applause.) I explained that to a group of people the other day that if it hadn't been for that Republican victory in 1952, that I would never have moved to Wyoming, and Lynne would have had to married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.) And there's no doubt in my mind.
Two years ago, of course, we had very important national election. And I was honored to be part of the ticket that carried Colorado. And I'm honored today to bring good wishes to each and every one of you tonight from our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)
And I'm delighted to be here this evening with a great governor, Bill Owens. (Applause.) State Senator Doug Lamborn. (Applause.) Our Republican Chairman Bob Martinez. (Applause.) And all of our Republican candidates for state and local office. (Applause.) So I don't get in trouble with the family, our granddaughters' names are Kate, Elizabeth and Grace. (Applause.) We do not want to bring them along and not introduce them. But we ask them to leave during the speech because I find when they stay on the stage, nobody pays any attention to what I say. (Laughter.) But they'll be back.
But I'm here on behalf of the President, and behalf of our fine Republican candidates to thank you for all you've done to help this year, as well as to make sure that we do everything we need to do by Tuesday to turn out that vote for a great Republican victory here in Colorado and across the country. (Applause.)
Only four days to go, it's very, very important that we do everything we can, and talk to your friends and neighbors and family, get them to the polls, get them out to participate. We need the support of Republicans, and independents, and discerning Democrats. Spread the word that if you want a stronger economy, a safer America, and a better future for your children and grandchildren, then cast your ballot for the Republican team come next Tuesday. (Applause.)
Leading the ticket this year, of course, is an outstanding public servant here in Colorado, somebody I know very well -- Congressman Bob Beauprez. (Applause.) Bob and I have campaigned together here in Colorado, worked together in Washington on national issues. The people of Colorado have grown accustomed to having strong leadership in the state capital. That's because you've had nearly eight years under Governor Bill Owens. (Applause.) You deserve another strong governor to lead that will help lead the state forward, and the man for the job is Bob Beauprez. (Applause.)
Of course, here in the Fifth District, you've been represented for many years by my colleague and friend Joel Hefley. (Applause.) And we thank him for his devoted service to the people of Colorado. And in four days you're going to elect a new Congressman -- and his name is Doug Lamborn. (Applause.)
Doug, of course, is an experienced public servant -- a longtime resident of Colorado Springs, a friend of the taxpayer, a believer in limited government, and a strong advocate for the military. He has earned your confidence, and the President and I look forward to working with him in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
We live in a period of incredible consequence for our country -- with difficult issues, big debates, and decisions that require not just toughness but wisdom. I'm humbled by the honor of serving in times like these. And I'm proud to serve with a President who makes decisions based on what's right for America, not based on polls, or the conventional wisdom and the pundits on television. (Applause.)
When you cast your vote on Tuesday, you're going to be doing more than choosing a candidate for your representative. You're going to cast a vote for which party will have a majority in the Congress for the next two years. And that's going to make a huge difference, especially when it comes to taxes. You know the record of Republican leadership. We've given America the largest tax relief since Ronald Reagan lived in the White House. (Applause.) We cut taxes for every American who pays income taxes. We doubled the child tax credit, reduced the marriage penalty, cut taxes on small business and began phasing out the death tax. We cut taxes on capital gains and dividends to promote investment and business expansion and new jobs. And the results are in: more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth, real wages on the rise, more than 6.8 million new jobs since August of '03. (Applause.) Of course, just this morning the government announced the unemployment rate had dropped once again to 4.4 percent. (Applause.) President Bush's tax relief plan was right for America -- and it is working. (Applause.)
Our party has a clear record on taxes, and so do our opponents. (Laughter.) When we first cut taxes in 2001, most Senate Democrats and nearly 85 percent of House Democrats voted against it. When we cut taxes in 2003, most Senate Democrats and nearly 95 percent of House Democrats voted against it. And when we extended key tax cuts earlier this year, most Senate Democrats and more than 90 percent of House Democrats voted against it.
I notice that now, on the verge of an election, the leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Nancy claims Democrats love tax cuts. (Laughter.) But look at their record; that only invites another look at her party's record on taxes. And it's plain to see that it stretches back a long way. The last time they had control of Congress, back in 1993, they passed a massive tax increase. I might also point out I haven't see much of Nancy out on the campaign trail. (Laughter.) I wonder why that is. (Laughter.) I'll get to him in a minute. (Laughter.)
The fact is they have figured out a way for taxes to go up even if there's no legislation passed. They do not have to pass a bill to raise taxes because the fact of the matter is, under current law, many of the Bush tax cuts have to be renewed by Congress or they will expire, and the old rates will kick back in. Recently the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel, said that he cannot think of one of our first term tax cuts that he would extend. Not one.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: If the Democrats take control of the House, Charlie Rangel will be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He would be in a position to block any legislation coming out of the committee. And if there's no tax legislation renewing the cuts, every tax rate will go back up to its old level, the marriage penalty will return, and the death tax will come back to life. The child credit, also, will drop back down from $1,000 per child to $500 per child. In other words, take the number of dependent children you receive the tax credit for; multiply it by $500 -- and that's the additional amount you'll be sending to Washington if we get a Congress that lets the Bush tax cuts expire.
That should raise the stakes of this election in the mind of every single voter. If the Democrats take control, American families would face an immense tax increase, and the economy would sustain a major hit. As the President has said, this nation needs more than a temporary expansion, so we need more than temporary tax relief. For the sake of America's entrepreneurs, families, and communities, we need to make the Bush tax cuts permanent -- and we can do that with a new Republican Congress. (Applause.)
We're going to continue working on an agenda for growth and jobs, a safe environment, and better access to health care. We believe our job is to solve big problems, not simply pass them on to the next generation. That's how we'll continue to do business. And when vacancies arise on the federal courts, the President will keep appointing outstanding judges like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. (Applause.)
Above all, ladies and gentlemen, we're going to stay focused on our number one obligation: to protect and defend the people of the United States in this time of war. (Applause.)
After the attacks of 9/11, President Bush told the Congress and the country that we were in for a long struggle against enemies who regard the entire world as a battlefield. He said the fight would be a serious test of our patience and our resolve as a nation. He was exactly right. And the people who have done the finest work in this war are the brave men and women from Colorado and across America who serve in our armed forces -- we are proud of each and every one of them. (Applause.)
More than five years after 9/11, the terrorists are still trying desperately to commit acts of violence against Americans. As long as that remains the case, we are a nation at war. And wars are not won on the defensive. We'll protect this country by going on the offensive, and by taking the fight to the enemy. (Applause.)
In this election season, national security is at the top of the agenda, where it belongs. Every voter in the United States needs to know where we stand, as well as how the leaders of the Democratic Party view the global war on terror. The differences could hardly be more clear, and they have significant implications for the future security of America.
To win this war, America needs the Patriot Act. Thanks to this law we've been able to break up terror cells and prosecute terrorist operatives and supporters inside our country. The Patriot Act was passed overwhelmingly in October of 2001, because in those early days the danger to America was still in plain view for everyone. But when it came up for renewal a year ago, Senate Democrats tried to block it by filibuster. Their floor leader, Harry Reid, boasted publicly that he had "killed the Patriot Act" -- those were his words. Fortunately he was wrong. Fortunately for the country he lost that battle -- but he might have won it if we did not have a Republican majority in the United States Senate.
To win this war, America needs the Terrorist Surveillance Program -- which allows the National Security Agency to monitor international communications, one end of which we have reason to believe is related to al Qaeda, or terrorist networks. The purpose is obvious: If people inside the United States are communicating with al Qaeda, they are talking to the enemy, and we need to know about it. Bob Beauprez and Joel Hefley voted for the recent terrorist surveillance legislation; Doug Lamborn supports it -- and we need that kind of common sense in the United States Congress. (Applause.)
Yet many leading Democrats have denounced the President for this program, and recently, when a bill to authorize the program came to the floor of the House, 177 Democrats -- 88 percent of all the Democratic members in the House of Representatives -- voted no.
To win this war, America needs to arrest, detain and question terrorists -- terrorist operatives. The best source of information and intelligence in the war on terror is the terrorists themselves -- and we've obtained from captured terrorists, including men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11 -- we've obtained information that has helped us stop a number of attacks planned to take place inside this country. Not long ago, Congress voted on the future of this program. In the House, 162 Democrats -- about 80 percent of them, voted no. In the Senate, 32 out of the 44 Democrats voted no. It appears their preference was for us not to have the ability to interrogate these prisoners and to not have military commissions that we can use to bring them to justice.
Ladies and gentlemen, the key question before the voters on November 7th is whether or not this nation is serious about fighting the war on terror. And there can be no doubt that with George W. Bush as our leader, we are serious about fighting it, and winning it. (Applause.)
Time and time again, we're seeing examples of Democratic Party leaders apparently having lost their perspective concerning the nature of the enemy we face, and the need to wage this fight aggressively. No sharper example can be found than the Democratic Party chairman himself, Howard Dean --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: He said the capture of Saddam Hussein did not make America any safer. And maybe it should be no surprise that such a party would turn its back on a man like Senator Joe Lieberman, who has been an unapologetic supporter of the fight against terror. (Applause.)
Instead they highlight people like John Kerry.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You guys have got to let me get through this speech. (Laughter.) Good stuff coming yet. Of course, he was their presidential nominee in 2004. Aren't we lucky he lost that election? (Applause.)
You remember John Kerry -- the senator who voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it, the guy that was always lecturing us about nuance. He's the one, you'll recall, who last year said that American soldiers were terrorizing children in Iraq. Here's what he had to say earlier this week -- (Laughter.) "You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Of course, Senator Kerry said he was just making a joke, and he botched it up. I guess we didn't get the nuance. He was for the joke before he was against it. (Laughter and applause.)
The Senator has finally apologized, and rightfully so. All Americans realize that the men and women serving in Iraq aren't there because they didn't study hard or do their homework. The all-volunteer force represents the very best of this country. (Applause.) They're smart, patriotic, exceptionally well trained, and dedicated to their mission. And the area that's home to Fort Carson knows of what I speak. I was there this afternoon to welcome home a number of our troops who are just now returning. They are superb individuals. (Applause.) They are heroes, and they are the pride of the United States of America. (Applause.)
Among the most prominent Democrats, you'll find a range of views on Iraq. Some of them want to pull out all the troops right away. Some want to withdraw on a time line set by politicians in Washington, D.C. And some Democrats in the House have introduced legislation to cut off all funds for the troops in Iraq. All these proposals have a common theme: They would have America leave Iraq before the job is done. That's the kind of withdrawal Osama bin Laden has been predicting.
He and his followers believe that America doesn't have the stomach for this fight, and they are absolutely convinced they can break the will of this country. If we left before the job was done, we would simply validate the al Qaeda strategy and reinforce the notion that if they kill enough Americans they can change American policy. So the choice before the American people is becoming clearer day: For the sake of our security, this nation must reject any strategy of resignation and defeat in the war on terror. (Applause.)
As you get ready to vote on Tuesday, it's important to remember that this election will have enormous consequences for the nation. In all the decisions that will come over the next two years, it's going to matter a great deal which party has the majority on the floor and the gavel in committee. Colorado has good and talented people on both sides of the aisle. And I know there are lots of Colorado Democrats and independents who don't find much in common with national Democrats like Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi.
So the stakes in this campaign are very high -- not just for the political parties but for the country. The outcome will determine whether Americans pay higher taxes or lower taxes. It will determine whether this government remains firm and resolute in the war on terror, or falls into confusion, doubt, and indecision. The stakes are high for America's prosperity. The stakes are high for America's security. The stakes are high for America's families. So now is the time to talk to your friends, put up the yard signs, make those phone calls, and to give it one more big push before Election Day. Here in Rocky Mountain country, citizens deserve people in the Nation's Capital, and in the state capital, who speak up for your values and your interests. And that's why, with your help, we're going to see a clean Republican sweep in the state of Colorado come next Tuesday. (Applause.)
END 8:29 P.M. MST
Richard B. Cheney, Remarks by the Vice President at a Colorado Victory Rally in Colorado Springs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/285928