at Colorado Welcome
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
October 28, 2002
12:40 P.M MST
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Thanks for such a warm welcome. It's nice
to be in a part of the world where the cowboy hats outnumber the ties. (Applause.)
I'm honored so many of you all came please be seated, unless you don't have
a seat. (Laughter.) I'm honored so many came out today.
I've got some things on my mind that I'd like to share with you. One thing that's
on my mind is that we have a duty to our country to participate in the political
process. (Applause.) See, if you believe in freedom, you have a duty to exercise
your right to vote to begin with. One of the reasons I'm coming to this big
state is to encourage people to do their duty, to go to the polls. I want all
people, no matter what their political party is or whether they even like a
political party, to exercise their obligation to vote.
Now, I've got some suggestions when you go -- (laughter and applause) -- I've
got some suggestions. For the sake of Colorado and for the sake of the country,
Wayne Allard needs to be sent back to the United States Senate. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Six more years, six more years, six more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Whether he wins or not is going to depend upon many of you here.
See, grassroots politics makes a big difference. Turning out that vote, getting
on the telephones and putting up the signs, going to your coffee shops or your
houses of worship or your community centers to put out the word that when you've
got a good one like Wayne, you've got to do everything you can to help him get
back to Washington.
You know, in Colorado, I'm sure you understand this. Around Crawford, we kind
of know the difference between a show horse and a work horse. (Laughter and
applause.) With Wayne, you've got somebody who's willing to work on your behalf.
When he says something, he means it. And he does not need a focus group or a
poll to tell him what to think. (Applause.)
I'm proud to have traveled in with Joan today, too. Like me, he married well.
(Applause.) He drew the short straw. If he'd have been smart, he'd have invited
Laura to come and speak instead of me. (Laughter.) And she's doing great, by
the way. She's on her way from Crawford back to Washington.
I don't know if you remember the story. I see my friend Ricky Griess here; he
and I both went to San Jacinto Junior High with Laura. When I married her, when
I asked her to marry me or, asked her to marry me, she was a public school librarian.
And she didn't like politics. (Laughter.) And she didn't care for politicians,
Thank goodness she said yes when I proposed. She is a fabulous First Lady for
America. (Applause.) And she's for Wayne Allard. And, like me, she's also awfully
fond of your governor and first lady, Bill Owens. (Applause.) Governor Bill
Owens is one of the finest governors in the United States. (Applause.) And you
better make sure you put him back in, too. He's got a great record. He cares
deeply about the citizens of this state and he's proven that he's a governor
of everybody. The thing I like about Governor Owens, he campaigns proudly as
a Republican, but he serves all the people of this state. And he's going to
get a big vote from Republicans and Democrats and independents, because of the
job he has done. (Applause.)
I'm not saying that just because he was born in Texas. (Laughter.) I'm saying
that because his record speaks loud and clear. And we love Frances, too, she's
done a great job as the first lady of Colorado. (Applause.)
I'm proud to be up here with another fine United States Senator. Ben Nighthorse
Campbell is a class act and a good man. (Applause.) I'm honored to be here with
two members of the United States Congress: Bob Schaffer and Tom Tancredo. I
appreciate them coming. (Applause.)
And I'm here to make sure, to encourage you to work hard, to make sure that
Denny Hastert remains the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Applause.)
And if you're interested in joining me in doing that, you'll make sure Bob Beauprez
gets elected to the United States Congress. (Applause.)
I appreciate Bob. He represents the Colorado story. The Colorado story from
a pioneering family. He's an entrepreneur. He's a hard worker. He's a God-fearing
man. He's a decent soul. For the sake of the country, it's important that Bob
Beauprez become the United States Congressman from the 7th district. (Applause.)
You need to work hard to get out the vote in this close race. You need to turn
out everybody you can find. And once you get through getting him elected, make
sure you don't forget Marilyn Mustgrave, who's going to be the Congresswoman
from Colorado. (Applause.) Marilyn knows what she's doing. She doesn't need
a bunch of on-the-job training in Washington. She'll be -- she'll be a good,
steady hand from the get-go.
I also want to -- you to work hard for Senator -- State Senator Ken Chlouber.
Ken's running -- Ken's running for the Congress. (Applause.) He, too, is a good,
honest man; good, decent fellow who will make a fine United States congressman.
No, it's important for the sake of our future that Denny Hastert remain the
Speaker of the House. I can work with him. And we need to work together, because
we've got some big projects ahead for America, we've got some big challenges
for our country. But you've got to know you're looking at an optimist. There's
nothing this country can't achieve when we put our mind to it. (Applause.)
Some of the biggest -- some of the biggest challenges we face will require us
being able to work together in the -- with the administrative branch and the
legislative branch, in concert. We're doing what's right for America. Listen,
I worry about the fact that some people can't find a job here in America. Any
time one's looking for work and can't find a job means we've got to do -- we've
got to have a pro-growth agenda. Any time somebody wants to work and can't put
food on the table means we've got a problem in America.
Let me tell you what we think, people on this stage believe: that the tax cuts
we passed, the tax cuts that Congress enacted was one of the best remedies for
making sure people can find work. And the reason why is because when somebody
has more of his own or her own money in their pocket, they're more than likely
to demand an additional good or a service. And in the marketplace, when you
demand a good or a service, somebody is likely to produce the good or a service.
And when somebody produces the good or a service, somebody in Colorado or elsewhere
in the country is more likely to find work. The tax relief we passed came at
exactly the right time in American economic history. (Applause.)
And I want to thank Senator Allard for his support. I don't have to worry about
his position on tax relief. Nor do I have to worry about Bob Beauprez's position
on tax relief. And that's the kind of representation you need to have in Washington.
It's still an issue, because the Senate rules are such that after ten years,
the tax relief we passed goes away. See, that creates a sense of uncertainty
in the marketplace. It's hard to plan if the tax rules are going to change on
The tax relief plan we passed made eminent sense for our small businesses. Seventy
percent of the new jobs in America are created by small businesses. (Applause.)
And when you reduce the rates, the individual tax rates, it affects small business
growth because most small businesses are sole proprietorships, or limited partnerships.
For the sake of job creation, for the sake of enhancing the entrepreneurial
spirit, for the sake of strengthening the small business sector in America,
you need to send people to the Senate and the Congress who will make the tax
relief permanent. (Applause.)
I know there is concern about what they call "urban sprawl" here in
Colorado. One of the reasons why urban sprawl can get out of hand is because
farmers and ranchers are forced to sell their property before they want to because
of the death tax. The tax relief plan we passed puts the death tax on its way
to extinction. (Applause.) However, because of the Senate rules, it doesn't
go away after 10 years, it kind of heads toward extinction, but doesn't die.
It's like the Senate giveth and then they taketh away. You better have you a
United States senator and members of the United States Congress who will support
the administration and make the repeal of the death tax permanent. (Applause.)
We need members of the United States Congress who will work with the administration
to get an energy bill. We can't get an energy bill out of the Congress. That
doesn't make any sense. Listen, we are dependent upon foreign sources of crude
oil and some of those sources of crude oil aren't really friendly to the United
States of America. I wouldn't call them friends.
For the sake of job security, for the sake of national security, we need people
in Congress who will work with us to get an energy bill which encourages conservation,
encourages renewable sources of energy but, at the same time, encourages exploration,
environmentally friendly exploration, so we become less dependent on foreign
sources of energy. (Applause.)
I look forward to having people in the United States Congress with whom I can
work, like Wayne and Bob, to make sure we've got reasonable forest policy. You
all suffered a lot of burning here in the west. Because we've had lousy forest
policy, forest policy that didn't make any sense; forest policy that just said,
let's just ignore the forest, let's just let this kindling build up, let's create
a dangerous situation. And then all of a sudden, lightening struck, or man may
strike, and these forests that have been not tended to, forests that have been
ignored, caught on fire and our heritage was destroyed.
For the sake of good environmental policy, common sense environmental policy,
send these two people up there so they can join with us, so we can have a forest
policy that protects our forest by thinning out the dead wood, by making sure
kindling doesn't pile up, to prevent forest fires from happening in the first
place through sound forest management practices. (Applause.)
I look forward to working with these two men to make sure our Medicare system
works. Medicine has changed, and Medicare hasn't. Medicine is modern, got all
kinds of new technologies and drugs that will help save lives, and Medicare
is stuck in the past. For the sake of honoring our commitments to our seniors,
we need people in Congress with whom we can work to make sure Medicare is modern
and our seniors have got a prescription drug benefit. (Applause.)
No, there's a lot of things we can work on, a lot of things we can work on together
to make America a stronger place and a better place. One way I can I believe
I can influence America in a positive way is to make sure I get some good judges
nominated for the federal bench. (Applause.) The kind of judges who apply the
law as it's written, not who go on the bench to write new laws of their own.
(Applause.) And the Senate has got a lousy record on my judges. We need to change
the Senate for a lot of reasons, and one reason is to make sure we've got a
sound judiciary. There's no question where Wayne Allard stands when it comes
to good, conservative judges. He's a vote on which I can count. (Applause.)
There's a lot we can do together to make sure the economy is strong and the
health care systems work, make sure environmental policy makes sense. These
two men up here on stage with me are running for office, are exactly the right
answers for Colorado.
We've also got to make sure that we are able to continue to do the most important
job we have, and that's to protect the homeland. (Applause.) See America is
still under threat. Oh, we can play like we are aren't; we can play like there's
not a threat out there, but that's just not the way I am. I think we need to
have people in Congress around the country who are realistic, see clearly the
threats we face. We've got to do that. The most important job we have as government
is to protect innocent life. And the reason why the issue is still alive is
because there's an enemy lurking around out there that is pretty tough. And
they're resolute. And they're driven by hatred. They hate what we love.
We love life, everybody matters as far as we're concerned, everybody is precious.
They have no regard for innocent life whatsoever. (Applause.) They hate the
fact that we love freedom. We love our freedom of religion, we love our freedom
of speech, we love every aspect of freedom. (Applause.) And we're not changing.
(Applause.) We're not intimidated. As a matter of fact, the more they hate our
freedoms, the more we love our freedoms. (Applause.)
And so we've got to do everything we can to protect the homeland. We've got
to be realistic about the threats we face. See, after September the 11th, 2001,
it should be evident to all Americans that these oceans no longer protect us.
A while ago it would be easy to say there's a conflict somewhere and we can
pick or choose if we want to be involved, or there may be a threat emerging,
but we really don't have to worry about it that much because we've got oceans
to protect us.
Now we realize that the battlefield is here at home. The battlefields used to
be elsewhere; they're here at home now. Which means the stakes are much higher.
And when we see a threat, we've got to be realistic about the threat, and we've
got to be firm in our resolve to deal with threats. And there's a true threat
which exists in Iraq. Oh, we can hope the man changes, but I want you to remember
that this is a person who has gassed his own people. It's a person who claims
he has no weapons of mass destruction, in order to escape the dictums of the
U.N. Security Council and the United Nations -- but he's got them.
See, he'll lie. He'll deceive us. And he'll use them. He can't stand America,
he can't stand our friends and allies. For 11 years he's defied 16 resolutions
out of the United Nations. You see, 11 years ago, he said he wouldn't have weapons
of mass destruction. He told the world, fine, I got whipped and I'm not going
to have weapons of mass destruction. And then he defied the U.N., resolution
after resolution after resolution.
He's a threat to America and he's a threat to our friends. He's even more of
a threat now that we've learned that he's anxious to have, once again to develop
a nuclear weapon. He's got connections with al Qaeda.
And so I went to the United Nations to raise the issue. I went there for a couple
of reasons. One, I want the United Nations to be effective. It seems like to
me that if the new war we fight requires intelligence sharing and cutting off
the money, they we ought to have a group of nations working toward that end.
I don't want the United Nations to be the League of Nations. (Applause.) But
it's their choice to make. They have the choice to make, to free -- the leaders
of the free world have got a choice to make as to whether or not Saddam is going
to be allowed to defy their resolutions and weaken -- weaken their capacity
to keep the peace. Their choice.
And Saddam Hussein has got a choice to make, too. He can do what he said he
would do, he can disarm. The Congress debated the issue, members from both parties
stated their opinion. It was a good, healthy, open debate. And the Congress
has now joined with the administration to speak with one voice, and here's our
message. Our message from America is this: if the United Nations does not have
the will or the courage to disarm Saddam Hussein, and if Saddam Hussein will
not disarm, for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom, the United States
will lead a coalition and disarm Saddam Hussein. (Applause.)
No, we've got to be realistic. We must be realistic here in America. We can't
hope for the best. Times have changed. The battlefield is here, as we learned
so clearly on that fateful day. And they're still out there. The poor souls
of -- in Indonesia who lost their lives, an example of what I'm talking about.
These people are cold-blooded killers. But you've got to know there's a lot
of good people working hard here at home to protect you, people at the federal
level and at the state level, the local level; people working overtime to run
down any hint or to chase down any lead so we can deny, disrupt any plans.
We get a hint, I'm telling you, we're moving on it. We're doing everything we
can. See, we are on alert. We're now aware of the realities we face. But we
can do a better job, and that's why I asked Congress to join me in the creation
of a Department of Homeland Security, so we can better coordinate amongst the
agencies involved with the with securing the homeland, so we can set the homeland
security as the priority, if need be change cultures, so we've got people all
headed in the same direction, which is your protection.
And the House of Representatives passed a good bill. But it's stuck in the Senate;
they couldn't get it out of the Senate. They're trying to extract too high a
price from me.
For 40 years, Presidents have had the ability to suspend collective bargaining
rules in any department when the national security is at stake. For 40 years,
since John Kennedy, Presidents have had that power. And now the Senate, in a
time of war, wants to take that power away from me. I'll have that power in
the Agriculture Department, but not in the Department of Homeland Security.
And I'm not going to accept a lousy bill from the Senate. (Applause.)
And I want to thank Wayne Allard for his support. I know where he stands. (Applause.)
The best way, however, to secure our homeland, the best way to make sure we
defend our freedoms and fulfill our obligations to our children is to hunt these
killers down one at a time and bring them to justice, which is exactly what
we're going to do. (Applause.)
It's going to take a while. It's not an easy lift. It's going to take a while.
This isn't one of these instant gratification deals. This is going to take a
while to get it done.
The Congress responded to my budget request for the largest increase in defense
spending since Ronald Reagan was the President. I want to thank them for that.
I signed that the other day in the Rose Garden. (Applause.) And we signed that
I asked for that amount of money for two reasons. One, any time this country
commits our troops into harm's way, they deserve the best pay, the best training,
and the best possible equipment. (Applause.)
We owe that to our troops and we owe that to the loved ones of our troops. (Applause.)
And for all the loved ones of our troops out there, I want to thank you for
your sacrifices and you tell your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, however
he or she is related to you, that the Commander in Chief is confident in their
capacity and proud of their service to the United States of America. (Applause.)
And the other message we're sending loud and clear, that defense bill sends
this message loud and clear to friend and foe alike, that we're in this deal
for the long haul. There is not a calendar on my desk in the Oval Office that
says by such-and-such a date, you quit. That's just that's not the way I think,
that's not the way most Americans think. Because they understand freedom is
precious and they understand the stakes. They can see clearly that the battleground
has shifted and we have an obligation and a duty for future generations of America
to stay the course. And that's exactly what we're going to do.
The doctrine that says either you're with us or you're with the enemy, it still
stands too. And we're making progress at dismantling the terrorist organization.
We've hauled in a couple of thousand. One by one, we're finding them and bringing
them to justice. Like number were not as lucky.
In either case, the sum total is they're not a problem to the United States
or our friends and allies anymore. The other day, one of them popped his head
up. See, these are the kinds of people that hide in caves. They don't fly airplanes
like the one I used to fly, the 102, or they don't sit in tanks. They hide in
caves and they send their youngsters to their suicidal deaths.
And so you've got to treat this like a manhunt. One time, a guy the other day
named Bin al-Shibh, who was going to be the twentieth hijacker, he popped his
head up and he's not a problem anymore. (Applause.)
We've got a lot of good people chasing them down, a lot of good people. Sometimes
you'll see about it, read about it or see it on TV, and sometimes you're just
not going to see it. But you've got to know the manhunt is on and it doesn't
matter how long it takes, doesn't matter how long it takes. I like our chances
better than theirs. We've got a fabulous military. And we've got a great resolve.
I can't imagine what was going through their mind. They must have thought our
religion was materialism. They must have thought we were so self-centered and
so absorbed with our own kind of shallow materialism that all we would do after
September the 11th was file a lawsuit. (Laughter.) They just didn't understand,
and they're going to pay a dear price for doing what they did to America. (Applause.)
You see, this great country -- this country understands what's at stake. This
country is strong. This country is resolved.
And by being strong and by being resolved, there's going to be some incredible
good come out of the evil done to America, starting with peace. Amidst all the
talk you're hearing, you've got to understand my vision is for a peaceful world.
Oh, I understand the stakes, I see the risks. But the dream and it's an achievable
dream is for the world to be peaceful. Not only for Americans, but for people
in parts of the world that have quit on peace, parts of the world like the Middle
East, where they just think peace doesn't have a chance. I believe we can achieve
peace. I believe this nation can lead the world to a peaceful world.
We're going to have to be strong, we're going to have to be tough at times.
And we've always got to remember the value we hold most dear, freedom, is not
an American-created value -- it's a God-given value that applies to everybody
around the world. (Applause.) No, we can achieve a peaceful world, and also
at home we can achieve a more compassionate world as well.
The evil done to America caused a lot of good folks to take a step back, to
kind of take an inventory of that which is important in their lives. A lot of
good folks took a step back and said, how can I best serve my country, what
can I do, what can I do to help fight evil? And the answer is, if you really
want to help, love your neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself.
See, government can hand out money and we can do things. We'll work hard on
education matters, we'll work hard to make sure the Medicare system works. And
government can pass money out. Sometimes we do a pretty good job of it. (Laughter.)
But what it cannot do is put hope in people's hearts or sense of purpose in
The best way to convert the evil done to America to some good is to recognize
there's pockets of despair and hopelessness in America. There's loneliness,
there's addiction. There are people who hurt in our midst. And so long as some
of us hurt, we all hurt. And the best way to cure that loneliness and hurt is
for a fellow American to put their arm around somebody in need and say, I love
you, what can I do to help you? (Applause.)
You see the enemy had no idea the enemy had no idea who they were hitting. They
didn't understand America like I do and you do. This is a country full of people
that are decent and honorable, people who learned the lesson of Flight 93. That
was the lesson of people who were flying across the country. They heard the
plane was going to be used as a weapon. They told their loved ones, goodbye.
They said a prayer. One guy said, let's roll. They took the plane into the ground
to serve something greater than themselves.
No, the American spirit of sacrifice and service and compassion and love is
alive and strong and therefore, I boldly predict that out of the evil done to
America will not only come a more peaceful world, but out of the evil done to
America will be a more compassionate America, where the great hope of this country,
the great vibrancy of the American Dream, will be alive and well in every corner,
in every neighborhood here in America.
I'm an optimistic fellow because I understand that America is the greatest country,
full of the finest people on the face of this earth. Thank you for coming. May
God bless you and may God bless America. (Applause.)