for Homeland Security Bill
Matt Salmon for Governor and Rick Renzi for Congress Dinner
Phoenix Civic Plaza
September 28, 2002
4:38 P.M. MDT
Thanks for that kind introduction, Governor. (Applause.) First I want to thank
the host of the dinner for organizing an early dinner. (Laughter.) It's good
for Canangelo's ballpark. (Laughter.) I guess tonight's the night for the D-backs.
(Applause.) I know this for certain, that this will be the only candidate I
ever campaigned for who rides a Harley, speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, and
fronts an Elvis cover band. (Laughter.) He's the candidate I'm campaigning for
who's going to win. (Applause.)
Matt's a breath of fresh air. See, he told the voters of his congressional district
he'd only serve three terms. And when the third term finished, he didn't run
again. He's the kind of person who does in office what he says he is going to
do, which is vital for the statehouse and Arizona. (Applause.)
The state faces real challenges, but with him you're going to get a straightforward
fellow, somebody who will tell you the truth, somebody who will give it his
all to make Arizona the best state for everybody who lives here. It's my honor
to be here. I'm proud to support him, and I thank you all for coming, as well.
I had the privilege of meeting Nancy. Both of us married above ourselves. (Laughter.)
Nancy and Matt are the proud parents of four kids. And they place their family
above all else. And it gives me great comfort to know I'm working for somebody
who has got his priorities straight. (Applause.)
And I appreciate you mentioning Laura, Matt. She sends her best. She sends her
best to our friends who are here, she sends her best to you and Nancy. She's
over there in Crawford, waiting for me. One of the good things about coming
out West is, I get to spend the night in Crawford, and remember there are values
other than Washington values that count in the nation. (Applause.) It's good
to come out West where the spirit of individualism still remains strong; to
come out West, where you can see a long way; to come out West where people understand
helping neighbor is an important part of building a good state.
So thanks for having me. I'm sorry Laura's not here. She's doing great. And
by the way, I'm really, really proud of the job she's doing as our First Lady.
We went up to Flagstaff where we were working on the drought relief program.
It was raining. (Laughter.) But I was up there to help a fellow named Rick Renzi
who is going to be the next congressman from Northern Arizona. (Applause.) I
want to thank Rick for putting his hat in the ring, and I want to thank you
all for helping him.
I'm also honored to be with two great United States senators -- a great patriot,
a man who is speaking clearly about the need to defend America and defend our
freedoms, and that's John McCain. (Applause.) And by the way, he married above
himself, too. (Laughter.) And today I was traveling with John Kyl. One of the
jobs of the President is to pick good judges, who can put people of sound judgment
and great talent on our federal benches. And the United States Senate has been,
in some cases, not treating my nominees fairly.
I named a great lady named Pricilla Owen to the bench. She'd run statewide in
our state, had overwhelming votes, one of the top graduates of her law school.
The lawyer group rated her one of the best, the highest ratings they could give.
And yet the Senate distorted her record because she wouldn't be willing to legislate
from the bench. John Kyl has remained strong on the Judiciary Committee to make
sure my nominees get a fair hearing. We need to change the United States Senate
so we can change the United States course. (Applause.)
I want to thank Congressman Hayworth -- who's not here, but I'm going to thank
him anyway -- and Shadegg and Flake and Kolbe for their support. Arizona has
got a fine congressional delegation, and I'm proud to be able to work with these
members. I want to thank your Governor for coming today, my friend, Jane Dee
Hull. I want to thank the Mayor of Phoenix for being here, Mayor Rimsza. And
I also want to appreciate those of you who helped organize this dinner. I want
to thank Chairman Fannon.
But most of all, I want to thank the grassroot activists who are here, the people
who put the signs in the yards, the people who do the phone-calling, the people
who do the mailers. Those tireless souls who never get thanked. I want to thank
you for what you have done, and as importantly, I thank you for what you're
going to do, which is to turn out a big vote come November the 5th. (Applause.)
I appreciate your next governor's agenda. It starts with making sure that the
state doesn't raise the taxes on the working people. I appreciate that promise.
He's a man who keeps his word. It's one of these issues that will distinguish
him from his opponent. If he says he's not going to raise your taxes, he means
he's not going to raise your taxes. And that will be good for the economy of
He's focused on jobs. He briefed me on his WorkFair 2010 program. See, he and
I understand the role of government is not to create wealth, but to create an
environment in which the entrepreneur can flourish, in which small businesses
can grow to be big businesses. I appreciate his vision for job creation.
I also appreciate his brand of compassionate conservatism, which says, we're
going to help people help themselves; that when it comes to welfare, that job
training is essential to help people find work. We understand that in work you
find dignity; in work you find the chance to put food on the table; in work,
you have a chance to realize your own self-worth. And so when it comes to helping
people, your next governor will make sure that work is an essential part of
your welfare system here in the state of Arizona.
I also appreciate his common sense views on our forests. You've got a lot of
vital land here. We're mismanaging our forests. We're doing a lousy job of protecting
an important treasure for the country. We ought to be thinning our forests.
We ought to be taking the burnt timber and making use of it. We ought to be
clearing the timber out from underneath our trees. We ought to be saving our
forests with common sense forest policy. And I want to work with a governor
who understands that. (Applause.)
No, I appreciate Matt. I appreciate him working hard to make this state a safer
and stronger and better place. And that's what we've got to do for our country,
as well. A strong America is a country that works to make sure people can find
work. I'm worried about the fact that some of our fellow Americans who want
to work can't find a job. And we've got to do everything we can to increase
our job base, to do everything we can to make sure our economy continues to
That's why it's absolutely essential, in my judgment, that we make the tax cuts
we passed permanent, that we don't let them be temporary; that we get rid of
that Senate rule that says, we're going to give -- on the one hand we giveth,
on the other hand we taketh away. See, we give you tax cuts, but because of
a -- kind of a weird rule in the Senate, those go away after 10 years. For the
sake of planning, for the sake of job creation, for the sake of growth, for
the sake of small businesses, the tax cuts need to be permanent. (Applause.)
And that includes getting rid of the death tax forever. (Applause.)
We need an energy bill out of Washington, D.C. For the sake of job security
and for the sake of national security, we need an energy bill. They've been
talking too long up there. We need a bill which encourages conservation, promotes
new technologies, promotes renewables, but a bill which will encourage increase
of supply here in America. Listen, we're too dependent on foreign sources of
crude oil. And, unfortunately, some of those people don't like us. For the sake
of job security and national security, I need an energy bill and I need it soon.
There are some big projects that have been put on hold because construction
folks can't get terrorism insurance. They estimate over 300,000 of our fellow
citizens aren't working, 300,000 hard-hats aren't working because people can't
get insured because of the terrorist attacks. Congress needs to act. They need
to get a terrorism insurance bill to my desk. For the sake of job creation,
for the sake of helping people find work, for the sake of the 300,000 hard-hats
who would be working, I need a terrorism insurance bill; a bill that does not
reward the trial lawyers, but a bill that encourages construction workers to
get back to work. (Applause.)
There's a lot of things Congress can do to help, and I look forward to working
with them to create the jobs. And I know the two senators here and the members
of Congress are anxious to help to expand our economy. But one thing Congress
must not do is overspend. See, one thing Congress has got to do is hold the
line on spending if we want our economy to grow. Interest rates are low, inflation
is low, productivity is some of the best in the world. The foundation for growth
But to make sure people can find work, it's important for Congress not to overspend.
And there's a danger. See, every program in Washington sounds good. Everybody's
idea is a brilliant idea. The problem is, is those brilliant ideas cost in the
billions. Plus, the Senate doesn't have a budget. Senator McCain wants it to
have a budget. Senator Kyl wants it to have a budget. It doesn't have a budget.
The other side hasn't been able to get a budget. And when you don't have a budget,
guess what the danger is -- that there's no fiscal responsibility with your
money. There's no fiscal restraint. For the sake of job creation, the Congress
must fund our priorities and hold the line on additional spending. (Applause.)
We'll work together, and we'll work hard together to make sure this country
is a stronger country, to make sure people can find work. We've also got to
make sure it's a safer country. I think our biggest job is to protect the homeland,
and the reason we need to do so, there is still an enemy out there which hates
America. They hate us because of what we love. We love freedom. We love the
fact that people can worship an almighty God any way they see fit here in America.
We love the fact that people can have honest discourse and political debate.
We love a free press. We love everything about freedom, and we refuse to relinquish
that love. And so long as we love freedom, there are people that want to hurt
us. See, that's the problem we face.
And the other difference is, we value life in America. Every life matters, everybody
counts. Everybody is precious. Not to the enemy. They have hijacked a great
religion, and murdered -- murdered innocent people, and could care less. And
that's who we're fighting, and they're out there. So we've got to do everything
we can to protect the homeland.
You've got to know, there's a lot of good people working hard to protect you.
Conversations taking place that never took place before in Washington. A lot
of information-sharing, a lot of folks running down every hint, every lead,
every idea that somebody might be thinking about doing something to America.
We're moving on it, within the confines of the United States Constitution, I
might add. We're pursuing leads. We're disrupting. We're making sure, as best
as we possibly can, that the enemy doesn't hit us again.
And that's why I went to the United States Congress and asked the Congress to
join me in the creation of a homeland security department. I did so because
there's over 100 agencies in Washington, D.C. that have something to do with
securing the homeland. They're everywhere, and it seems like to me that if the
number one priority of the government is to defend the homeland, they ought
to be under one agency, so we can change the culture of these agencies, so we
can insist on priority.
And the House moved and the Senate is stuck. And the Senate is stuck because
they want to micromanage the process. Not all senators, but some senators. They
want to have a thick book of rules that will tell the executive branch and this
administration and future administrations how to deal with the -- securing our
homeland. I appreciate these two senators here, standing strong for doing what's
right, for leaving a legacy behind so future Presidents can more likely deal
with an enemy who could care less about rules and regulations, an enemy which
is willing to move fast.
Now, let me just tell you what I'm talking about, so you'll understand. After
September the 11th, the Customs Service wanted to require its inspectors at
our nation's 301 ports of entry to wear radiation detection devices so they
could -- these guys would have them on their belts, and if there was -- somebody
was trying to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into our country, we'd know
about it. Somebody was trying to bring something in illegally, across the border,
we would know about it, through the radiation detection device. The union that
represents the Customs workers objected to this common sense action. They didn't
like it. They sought to invoke collective bargaining, which would have taken
a year to resolve.
See, it's those kind of rules which bind the capacity of the executive branch
to do the job you want us to do. In order to locate employees in cases of emergency,
the Customs Service sought to have employees provide their home addresses and
their telephone numbers to the Customs Service. That makes sense. If you've
got somebody you think may be getting ready to hit us and you need to move one
of your Custom employees into a spot of action, you need his phone number. The
union objected to listing the phone numbers, and said such a request would violate
the privacy rights of workers. The union actually filed a grievance and sought
to negotiate something as sensible as this request.
We do not need rules and bureaucracy to entangle us in the job you want us to
do. Protection of the homeland is more important than special interests in Washington,
In this state, you don't need to write your senators. In this state they've
been strong in leaving a legacy behind, an important legacy. Because this enemy
isn't going away. And the best way, however, to secure the homeland, short-term
and long-term, is to hunt the killers down, one person at a time, one at a time,
and bring them to justice, which is what the United States of America is going
to do. (Applause.)
And we're making progress. We're making progress against the killers. That's
all they are, by the way. Nothing but a bunch of cold-blooded killers. And that's
the way we're treating them. Sometimes it's hard to tell the progress; this
is a different kind of war, as you all know. I mean, in the old days you count
the number of tanks you destroy, or the number of airplanes you destroy, and
say we're making progress. These folks don't have tanks. They don't have airplanes.
They hide in caves. They send youngsters to their suicidal death. That's the
kind of people fighting. They're resourceful and they're determined, but they're
not as resourceful and determined as the United States of America.
I put out a doctrine that said either you're with us or you're with the enemy.
That doctrine still stands today. And a lot of nations have joined us in rounding
up these killers. We captured over a couple thousand of them. We got one the
other day in Karachi. He popped his head up, and he's no longer a threat to
the United States or our friends. (Applause.)
That's the kind of war we fight. It's not a glamorous war according to the TV
shows and stuff. It's just one person at a time. And we're relentless. And we're
absolutely determined because we love freedom, and we owe it to our children
to be relentless and determined. And that's why I asked the Congress to pass
a defense bill that's the largest increase in defense spending since Ronald
Reagan was the President. It sends two signals as far as I'm concerned. One,
any time our youngsters are sent into harm's way, they deserve the best pay,
the best training, and the best possible equipment. (Applause.) We owe that
to them, and we owe it to their loved ones. For those of you in the audience
who have got a loved one in the military, I'm proud of them, I've got great
confidence in them, and I want to thank you for your sacrifice, as well.
Secondly, the reason I requested the defense bill that I did is because I wanted
to send a message to friend and foe alike that we're not quitting. There is
no calendar on my desk that says by such and such a date we're leaving, that
we're going to quit when -- by an artificial time. That's not the way we think
in America. No matter how long it takes, we will defend our freedom. That's
the message we sent.
Now, the House passed the bill, and the Senate passed the bill, and it hasn't
gotten to my desk yet. We're at war, and the defense bill hasn't made it. I'm
calling upon the leaders of the Senate and the leaders of the House to reconcile
any differences they have quickly, and get the defense bill to my desk before
you go home. Quit playing politics with the defense bill. (Applause.)
In order to defend our freedoms, there's going to be some steep hills to climb,
and we're going to have to climb them, and climb them together. We've still
got work to do against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. I want you to tell your children,
if they ask you about all this war rhetoric, that your great country went into
Afghanistan not to conquer anybody, but to free people. We went in and freed
people from the clutches -- (applause.) It's really important for you to tell
them that we value each life, no matter where that life lives.
And we cried when we heard the stories about the Taliban not letting young girls
go to school. It broke our heart, but it also made us joyous when we realized
upholding the doctrine that said, if you harbor a terrorists, you're just as
guilty as the terrorists, not only allowed the United States to keep its word,
but we freed people. We freed people from the clutches of the barbaric Taliban
We've got work to do in Afghanistan, and we will continue to do the work in
Afghanistan. No, they're kind of sliding around the border regions, and we've
got people looking for them. Sometimes they try to get into Pakistan, and we're
teamed up with the Pakistan government to find them. Sometimes we get them on
the run, and then they think they can light in other countries. And so we're
pressuring them in other countries. It doesn't matter where they think they
can light, we're after them.
We've also got a big chore to make sure the world's worst leaders never threaten,
blackmail or harm America with the world's worst weapons. I went to the United
Nations the other day. I did so because I wanted to make the case against a
mad man, a case against a man who has lied to the world, the case in front of
this august body that for 11 long years he has stood in defiance of resolution
after resolution, and at the same time built up his cache of chemical and biological
This is a man who continues to murder his own people; a man who has gassed --
used gas on his own citizens; a man who has used chemical weapons on his neighbors;
a man who has invaded two countries; a man which hates -- who hates America;
a man who loves to link up with al Qaeda; a man who is a true threat to America,
to Israel, to anybody in the neighborhood.
And so I went to the United Nations, and I said to the United Nations, you need
to deal with him. You, the collective body of freedom-loving countries, need
to deal with him. For 11 years he's made fun of you. You can either be the United
Nations and be effective, or you can be the League of Nations -- your choice.
I hope they're the United Nations. I hope they're a robust United Nations. I
hope they're capable of helping to keep the peace. That's their choice.
Saddam Hussein has got a choice, and that is, he can disarm. There's no negotiations,
by the way. There's nothing to negotiate with him. He told the world he would
disarm 11 years ago, and he's lied to the world. (Applause.) It's their choice
to make. He must disarm, just like he said he would do. And the United Nations,
in order to be effective, must disarm him. But for the sake of our freedom,
for the sake of our future, if nothing happens, the United States will lead
a coalition to hold him to account and to disarm Saddam Hussein. We owe it to
the world to do so. (Applause.)
I want to thank members of both political parties in the Congress for working
on a strong statement of resolve that the world will see. Members of both political
parties have worked together with the -- with members of my staff, to develop
a statement that shows our determination and our desire to keep the peace, to
make the world a more peaceful place. I think you're going to see that our government
will be, shortly, speaking with one voice, and the world will take notice.
History has called us into action, my fellow Americans; it just has. We have
a chance to blink, or we have a chance to lead. I intend to lead. (Applause.)
As we make sure that we're a safer and stronger place, we've also got to work
to make America a better place for all of us. I mean all of us. It starts with
making sure the education systems work. I appreciate the idea of having a governor
who is willing to work to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations; somebody
who is willing to raise the standards; somebody who believes, like I believe,
every child can learn; and somebody who is willing to measure to determine if
every child is learning.
You see, it's really important to measure. If you believe children can learn,
then you want to know. And if you find children trapped in schools which won't
teach and won't change, you'd better have you a governor who won't stand for
the status quo. There's no second-rate children in Arizona. There's no second-rate
children in America. (Applause.)
But a better America also understands that the true strength of our country
is not our government, but the true strength of the country is the people, the
hearts and souls of the American people. See, that's what I think the strength
of the country is. And we can change this country. You've got to understand
that amongst the plenty, there are pockets of despair and hopelessness in this
country. There just are. There are people who are addicted. There are people
who are lonely. There are people who are lost. When you say American Dream to
some of our fellow Americans, they go blank. And that's not right. And we need
to deal with that. We need to address that part of our -- because when one of
us hurts, all of us should hurt.
And we can change that part of the American scene. And we've got to understand,
as we do, the limitations of government. Listen, government can hand out money,
and we do a pretty good job of it sometimes. But what government can never do
is put love in somebody's life; can't put hope in a person's heart. That's going
to happen because our fellow Americans decide to fight evil by doing some good.
That will happen when our fellow Americans understand being a patriot is more
than just putting your hand over your heart. Being a patriot is serving something
greater than yourself. Being a patriot is somebody who mentors a child. Being
a patriot is somebody who feeds the hungry. Being a patriot is somebody who
starts a Boy or -- Boys or Girls Club. Being a patriot -- who does everything
he or she can do to make the quality of life in your neighborhood as good it
I don't know what's going through the mind of the enemy when they hit us. Oh,
they probably thought after September he 11th, we might file a lawsuit or two.
(Laughter.) But they learned differently. They learned that this great country
is plenty tough, and we'll defend our freedoms. They also learned that we're
plenty compassionate, and that we'll respond to their evil with decency. One
person can't do everything in America, but one person can do something. And
as you do that something, I want you to remember that you can change this country,
one heart, one soul, one conscience at a time.
I believe that we're in the midst of a cultural change in America; I believe
it. I believe we're shifting our culture from one which had said, if it feels
good, just go ahead and do it, and, if you've got a problem, blame somebody
else. I believe that since the terrible attack on America took place, that we're
ushering in a period of personal responsibility, where each of us must understand
if you're lucky enough to be a mom or a dad, your most important job is to love
your child with all your heart and all your soul.
The culture of responsibility says, if you live in Phoenix, Arizona, you must
do everything you can to support the quality of life in that community, don't
hope for some distant government to do it. The culture of responsibility says,
if you run a corporation in America, you're responsible to be honest with the
books and treat your employees and shareholders with respect. (Applause.)
I believe it's happening. And perhaps the most vivid example about what I'm
talking about, about serving something greater than yourself took place on Flight
93. America must remember that tragic story, because it speaks volumes about
the great spirit of the country. People flying across the plane, 40 passengers
and I think four crew members, I believe it was. They learned from their loved
ones that something was taking place on the ground that no one could possibly
imagine in America. They realized the plane they were on was going to be used
as a weapon. They talked to their loved ones. They said the word "love"
a lot. They said a prayer, they prayed for strength. One guy said, "Let's
roll." They took the plane into the ground. They served something greater
than themselves. That's a powerful story, because to me it speaks to the soul
of our country, our worth.
There is no question in my mind that if we remain strong and focused and tough,
we can achieve peace. We can achieve peace for our country. We can achieve peace
in the Middle East, peace in South Asia. There's no doubt we can do that, if
we're tough and strong and determined to speak clearly and always defend freedom.
And at home, we can eliminate those pockets of despair. We can help people with
And the reason I'm optimistic, is because I know America. America is full of
the finest people on the face of the Earth. America is the greatest nation on
the face of the Earth. Thank you for coming. May God bless, and God bless America.