at Bill Simon for Governor Reception
St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point, California
August 23, 2002
7:04 P.M. PDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thanks for inviting me.
We don't have views like this in Crawford. (Laughter.) What a beautiful spot
this is, in a fantastic state. (Applause.) And thanks for coming tonight. It
is my honor to come and help support the fine slate of candidates that our party
is fielding this year. And it's my honor to come and support the next governor
of the state of California, Bill Simon. (Applause.)
Bill mentioned that Laura was out here working for -- on his behalf. And that
day he drew the long straw, and today -- (laughter) -- you drew the short one.
(Laughter.) But she's doing great. I had a talk with her when we got settled
into this beautiful spot. And yesterday in Leander, Texas, they named an elementary
school for her. (Applause.) So she thought it would be good and deservedly so,
I might say. (Applause.)
You know, when I married Laura, she was a public school librarian. That's how
she made her living. She was a public school librarian, and the truth of the
matter is, she didn't care for politics or politicians. (Laughter.) And now
she got stuck with one. (Laughter.) For the good of the country, she's a fabulous
First Lady. I'm proud of her. (Applause.) Just like Cindy Simon is going to
be a great First Lady for California. (Applause.)
I liked the way the Simons value family. That's important for your leader of
the state of California to hold values dear to his heart. And there's nothing
more important than people who value faith and family and service to something
greater than yourself. (Applause.)
This event has not only drawn a lot of hardworking grassroot activists and I
want to thank you for your hard work
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Working hard.
THE PRESIDENT: I know you are. (Laughter.) Not only for what you have done,
but for what you're fixing to do, which is to turn out the vote. (Applause.)
A lot of times, you never get thanked enough. A lot of times, those of us running
for office kind of take you for granted. Well, you need to know your President
doesn't take you for granted. (Applause.)
I want to thank you for your hard work, I want to thank you for what you do.
I'm urging you to get out and support this good man and the slate that we have
put together here in the great state of California. (Applause.)
But we've got some strong we've got some strong members of the congressional
delegation who are here, and I want to introduce some of them. I'm going to
probably need their vote when (laughter).
The good news is, I haven't had to ask the ones I'm about to introduce too often,
because they've been loyal friends and they're strong, like Ken Calvert. I appreciate
you coming, Kenny. (Applause.) Or Ed Royce right up the coast here. Ed, thank
you for coming. (Applause.)
How about Randy Duke Cunningham. Duke. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Duke! Duke! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: I asked him how long it took to get up here from his district.
He said when he put in an afterburner, about three minutes. (Laughter.) I appreciate
so very much Darrell Issa being here as well. Darryl, thank you for coming.
(Applause.) And, finally, the congressman from this district, a true leader
in the House of Representatives, Chris Cox. (Applause.)
We've got candidates who are running state wide in this fantastic state. The
next lieutenant governor of your state of California is Bruce McPherson. I appreciate
you coming, Bruce. (Applause.) I've known Bruce for quite a while. He's a good
hand, as they say in Crawford. He's a good, hardworking man, who is going to
work with the next governor to do what's right for the people of this state.
I want to thank very much Dick Ackerman who is the candidate for state attorney
general, for being here. (Applause.) The next Secretary of State, Keith Olberg,
is with us today. Greg Conlon, who is going to be the next treasurer of your
state, is with us today. (Applause.) Gary Mendoza is running a great race for
insurance commissioner, is with us today. (Applause.) I appreciate so very much
Katherine Smith, running for state superintendent of public construction. Thank
you, Katherine. (Applause.) These are fine candidates, and I want to thank you
all for supporting them.
I also want to pay tribute to Jack and Joanne Kemp who are here today. Jack
has been a great stalwart for the (applause). It's good to know they still remember
He's a good friend and a great man, who has been stalwart in the -- for our
cause and our way of thinking. I appreciate so very much his willingness to
work hard to take the edge off a message to make it clear that what we believe
in applies to everybody; that we don't believe in excluding people, we believe
in including people in our message of (applause).
And I want to thank my friend, Jerry Parsky (ph), who has done a great job on
my behalf in this state. He had some really heavy lifting to do in 2000. He
was my campaign chairman in this state. But he's a good man. (Applause.) He's
a good man, and I appreciate his friendship.
But I want to talk to you about the next governor. The thing I like about Bill
Simon is he's willing to work to change the tone of politics. And that's important.
If you want to lead, if you're there for the right reason, if you want to serve
the people, the first thing you've got to do is change the tone and attitude
of people, in this case in Sacramento, California.
You see, if you believe in pitting one group of people against another, you
can't get anything done. If you believe that politics is zero sum, we've got
one winner and one loser, you're not going to get positive things done on behalf
of the people. Bill Simon is committed to changing the tone in Sacramento, to
get things done not just for Republicans, but for Democrats and independents
and people who don't give a darn about politics. (Applause.)
And notice, I said, get things done. I mean, get results. Results such as making
sure that every child gets a good education in this important state. (Applause.)
It is really important. It's really important in this big state, in this powerful
state, in this state that has got people from all walks of life, that we make
sure that every single child gets educated -- every child. Not a few, not some
in the fancy districts, not some in the suburbs, but every child, everywhere
in the state of California. (Applause.)
And that means setting high standards. That means having a governor who believes
every child can learn. You see, the sad fact is around probably California,
I know in Texas and around the country, there are some people who believe children
can't -- some children can't learn. See, that means they've got low standards,
what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations. If you set the low -- bar
low, you're going to get bad results. And so first and foremost, you've got
to have a governor who believes every child can learn.
Secondly, you've got to have a governor who trusts the people to make the decisions
as to how to get the path to excellence set up in each school district. You
see, you cannot have a one size fits all education system, not only out of Washington,
but out of a big powerful state, diverse state, like California. You've got
to trust the local folks, you've got to trust the teachers and the parents.
You've got to be willing to say, we're not going to try to micromanage from
a centralized authority.
Thirdly, you've got to have a governor -- and this governor -- future governor
agrees with me about this -- that you've got to be willing to measure. You see,
if you believe every child can learn, like I do, then you insist that every
child be measured to determine whether they are learning. It's the folks who
say every child can't learn are the ones who say, let's don't measure. If you
believe the child can't learn, there's no need to tell whether or not they are.
Guess what happens with the system that doesn't measure. You shuffle children
through, called social promotion. And guess who gets hurt. Everybody gets hurt
in a system that refuses to educate each and every child.
I believe we ought to measure and I believe we ought to -- (applause) -- and
I believe we ought to measure so we know who to praise. And I believe we ought
to measure to make sure we correct problems early, before they're too late.
No child in America, and no child in California should be left behind. (Applause.)
And you've got a governor -- future governor, who understands that. See, it's
a frame of mind you've got to have in Washington. Public education isn't a political
issue, it is a issue that is important for every single family in this state.
You can't play politics with the education system.
You need a breath of fresh air in Sacramento, is what you need. You also need
somebody who can balance the budget. (Applause.) Somebody who can help set priorities.
Somebody who doesn't try to be all things to all people -- that's what you need.
And that's the way Bill Simon is going to be.
And, finally, an issue that is dear to my heart is the understanding that we
need to help people help themselves in California and America. We need for example,
when we reauthorize the welfare bill, we've got to make sure that the key component
of any new reauthorization is work. We've got to understand that work equals
But you've also got to understand we've got to help people. We've got to help
people be prepared to work. Listen, there are pockets of despair and hopelessness
in this state, and all around this country. And one way to make sure that we
help people is to unleash one of the great strengths of America, and that is
the faith-based programs all across our country. (Applause.)
I'm trying to get a bill passed out of Washington that recognizes the power
of programs coming out of church and synagogue and mosque. (Applause.) Programs
-- programs all designed to help people in need. Bill Simon understands that.
We ought to ask the question, does it work, does it work? Does changing a person's
heart help ease addiction, help cure the hopelessness? You bet it does. And
therefore, we ought to have a governor in this state who's willing to grab the
great talent of the state, the compassion of the state, to make sure that every
Californian has got an opportunity to realize the great dream of this state.
That's the kind of man Bill Simon is. (Applause.)
He doesn't need a poll to tell him what to believe. (Applause.) He's got a compass
and a direction. So I hope you work hard to put him in and work hard to get
the rest of the candidates in. It will be a big day for your state, to get a
new attitude, a new way of thinking in the state's capital. (Applause.) It's
good for all people of this state. (Applause.)
We've got some problems in Sacramento and we've got some problems we've got
to deal with as the nation. We do, but we're going to deal with them. My most
important job my most important job is to protect innocent life here in the
country. (Applause.) And it's still a task, because there's still an enemy that
hates us. You know, I'm sure your sons and daughters or grandkids are saying,
why would anybody hate America? What have we done? Well, we love freedom, that's
what we've done. We value each life. That's what we do here in this country.
Each person has got worth, each person has got dignity. Everybody matters.
We love the fact that people can worship freely in America, and we're not going
to change. We love the fact that people can speak their mind --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love it --
THE PRESIDENT: -- and they're not going to change. Keep speaking it. (Laughter
We love the fact we love the fact -- we love the fact we've got a free press.
We love that. And anybody who tries to take away our freedoms is going to find
out we're plenty tough. (Applause.) We're staring down nothing but a bunch of
cold-blooded killers. That's all they are, that's all they are. And therefore,
we're going to deal with them as such.
But in order to protect the homeland, I need some help out of Congress. I want
to thank the House members for voting on a good bill that recognizes that when
you have over 100 agencies in Washington, D.C. kind of scattered all over the
Nation's Capital, it's hard to get priorities set; it's hard to get a culture
in place that demands the fact that we're all working to keep the people safe.
That's what we need to do. We need to bring them under one Cabinet officer.
The problem I face is that the Senate doesn't quite understand what the House
has done. See, I need to be able to move people -- I need to be able to move
people to the right place at the right time in order to make the border more
secure, for example. (Applause.) We've got different agencies on the border
all competing. We've got the INS and the Customs, we've got Border Patrol --
three fine agencies with great people, but they're not -- they compete. They
need to work together. We've got a new day in America. The Senate is more worried
about their political turf, and less worried about the security of the American
But you need to know there are a lot of fine people, I mean fine folks, working
on your behalf -- people running down every hint that somebody might be thinking
about doing something, people sharing intelligence, people working overtime
to do everything they can. And I don't mean people just at the federal level,
I'm talking about at the state level and at the local level. I'm grateful for
the law enforcement folks here in the state of California, who care deeply about
the citizens of this state. (Applause.) I'm grateful for our FBI agents who
are working hard. I'm grateful for all the people who are involved with the
We're doing everything we can, you just need to know it, everything we can to
make sure that we protect the people. But the best way to protect the people
is to hunt the killers down, one at a time, and bring them to justice. (Applause.)
And that's what we've got to do. That's what we have to do, and that's what
we're going to do. That's why I submitted the largest increase in defense spending
since Ronald Reagan was the President. (Applause.)
I did so because I want to send a clear message that any time we put one of
our troops into harm's way, they deserve the best pay, the best training, and
the best possible equipment. (Applause.) If you've got a loved one in the military,
you tell them the Commander-in-Chief and the country is really proud of their
service. (Applause.) And I'm proud of your support for your loved ones. I'm
proud of them. It's really important they serve. They're serving a great nation.
We also have a big increase in our defense spending because I want the enemy
and friend alike to know that we're in this for the long pull. There's not a
calendar on my desk -- one of those kind of flipping calendars, you flip it,
and it says, now time to quit. (Laughter.) That's not how I think. And that's
not how you think.
You see, history has called us into action. History has given us a chance to
defend freedom, to bring freedom not only here at home, to make sure we preserve
it here at home, but to have freedom in other parts of the world. That's what
history has done. We're making good progress, by the way. (Applause.) We're
making good progress thanks to coalition and thanks to our friends. We've captured
over a couple thousand of them. (Laughter.) Seriously.
THE PRESIDENT: About the like number haven't been so lucky. (Laughter.) But
we've got more work to do, we just do. And no matter where they light, we're
going to get after them. We're going to uphold the doctrine that says, if you
harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorists. (Applause.)
I spend a lot of time talking about this, because not only is it on my mind,
and it's our priority, but it's very important for the American people to understand
we face a different kind of war. Sometimes you'll see it on TV, and sometimes
you won't. Sometimes you'll see our actions, a lot of times you won't. But you've
just got to know that we're chasing them one by one. (Applause.)
And not only that, it's very important for our future to deal with those leaders,
those leaders -- the world's worst leaders, who want to harbor and develop the
world's worst weapons. We owe it to our children, we owe it to our future. I'm
a patient man. We've got tools at our disposal, but we have got to defend freedom.
We owe it to the future generations to do so. (Applause.)
You know, when the enemy hit us, I can't imagine what was going through their
mind. See, they must have thought that this great nation was so self-absorbed,
so materialistic, and so shallow that after September the 11th, we might just
file a lawsuit or two. (Laughter.)
But they found out we think differently here in America. They found out what
this country is made out of. (Applause.) We're a strong nation, but we're a
decent nation as well. See, we don't seek revenge, we seek justice. We don't
go to countries to conquer, we go into countries to liberate, just like we did
in Afghanistan. We believe in the worth of human beings all around the world.
Our dream is for freedom not just for our own children, but for children all
around the globe. That's the way our nation thinks.
I'm going to tell you what I believe. I believe out of the evil done to America
is going to come some incredible good. (Applause.) I believe it. I believe that
if this nation remains strong and tough and pursues terrorism, upholds doctrine,
is true to our word, is willing to delineate between good and evil, that we
can achieve peace -- that we can have peace not only for our own people, but
we can have peace in places where they've quit thinking about peace, like the
Middle East, or South Asia. I believe that.
I want you to tell your children, when they hear the talk of war, or they talk
about our United States taking action, that it's all a design, it's all aim
to make this world a peaceful place.
And here at home, I believe that out of evil done to America there is going
to come some incredible good, as well. I mentioned the fact that there are pockets
of despair and hopelessness in California and America -- there just are. I believe
when one of us hurts, we all hurt. But I understand the role of government is
limited. See, government can hand out money, but what it cannot do is put hope
in people's hearts, or a sense of purpose in people's lives.
No, societies change one heart, one soul, one conscience at a time. Societies
change when people say, I want to love my neighbor just like I was loved myself.
And that's what's happening here in America. People have said, what can I do
to help? I've said, do some good. It's the collective acts of our kind and decent
and compassioned citizens which defined the true character and true face of
No, the enemy hit us, the enemy hit us. But out of the evil done on that terrible
day is going to come a more compassionate and decent and hopeful Americans.
You see, people have taken a step back here in this country, and they now understand
that serving something greater than yourself is part of being a patriotic American.
It's more than just putting your hand on your heart and saying, by the way,
one nation under God. It's more than that. (Applause.)
A patriot is somebody who mentors a child. A patriot is someone who brings hope
into a life that is hopeless. A patriot is somebody who works to feed the hungry.
That's a patriot. A patriot is somebody who's a responsible citizen, responsible
for loving their children with all their heart and all their soul, but responsible
for working in the community in which they live. And that's what happening,
here in America.
And perhaps the most vivid example of what I'm talking about, a vivid example
of an attitude change, a clear beacon of what's happening in America took place
on Flight 93, when citizens were flying across the country. History shows that
they were on the cell phones and they told their loved ones they loved them
and good-bye. They said a prayer. One guy said, "Let's roll." They
took the airplane that was to be used as a weapon, perhaps against the White
House or the Capitol, they drove it into the ground to serve something greater
than themselves in life. (Applause.)
No, I believe -- I believe from the bottom of my heart that out of the evil
done to America is going to come some great good. The world is going to be more
peaceful and this country is going to be more compassionate and decent and hopeful.
Because this is the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We're the greatest
country because we've got the greatest people on the face of the Earth.
Thank you all for coming. God bless, and God bless America. (Applause.)