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tv   The Presidency Bob Dole 1996 Republican National Convention  CSPAN  October 29, 2020 11:33am-12:42pm EDT

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and it is the freedom to print and publish things. it is not a freedom for what we now refer to institutionally as "the press." >> lectures in history on c-span three every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. also available as a pod cast. find it where you listen to pod casts. >> in 1996 senator bob dole accepted his pa party's nomination in san diego, california. ♪
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thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. what a night.
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folks in hollywood will be happy to know i finally found a movie i like. the one i just saw. hello, california. >> thank you, san diego. the republican convention of
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them all. the greatest of them all. thank you president ford and president bush. and god bless you nancy reagan for your moving transport to president reagan. by the way i spoke to president reagan this afternoon and i made him a promise that we would win one more for the gipper. are you ready?
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he appreciated it very much. ladies and gentlemen, del gaits -- delegates to the convention, i cannot say it more clearly than in plain speaking, i accept your nomination to lead our party again for the presidency of the united states.
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thank you. thank you. thank you. i will. thank you. i am profoundly moved by your confidence and your trust. and i look forward to leading america into the next century. at this moment -- this is not my moment. it is yours. it is yours, elizabeth. it is yours, robin. it is yours jack and joann kemp, and do not think i have forgotten whose moment this is above all. it is for the people of america that i stand here tonight and by their generous leave. and as my voice echos across darkness and desert, as it is heard over car radios on coastal roads, and as it travels above
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farmland and suburb, deep into the heart of cities, like strings ofe iing i die ining dii can tell you whose moment this is, it is yours, it is yours entirely. and who am i to stand before you tonight. i was born in russell, kansas. a small town in the middle of the prairie. out west, looking out upon the west. and like most of the time on the plains it is a place that no one
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grows up without an intimate knowledge of distance. and the first thing you learn on the prairie is the relative szee of a man compared to the lay of the land. under the sky where i was raised, a man is very small, and if he thinks otherwise, he is wrong. i come from good people, very good people, and i'm proud of it. my -- i love my father and my mother. there is no moment where my love does not over shadow what i do. even this, even here. there is no height to which i have risen that is high enough to allow me to forget them, to allow me to forget where i came from and where i stand and how i stand with my feet on the ground at the mercy of god.
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we have been strengthen and solidified by a wisdom that i owe not to any achievement of my own but to the compensation of age. i may not be expected to run from the truth of this. but i was born in 1923. facts are better than dreams and good presidents and good candidates don't run from the truth. i do not need. i don't need a presidency to make or refresh my soul.
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that i will leave to others. for greatness lies not in what office you hold, but in how honest you are and how you face adversity and your willingness to standfast in hard places. age has it's advantages, let me be the bridge to an america that only the unknowing call a myth. for those that say it is not sew, for those that don't know better, those are wrong. i there was, i have seen it, and i remember. our nation, the wounded and the
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scathed out lasted. the economic catastrophe. we have fought and nearly every continent and sea. we have lost but we have lasted and we have always come through. and what enabled us to establish this as little to do with the values of the president. after decades of of what made america great, what have we reaped? what have we create snd what d? what do we have? for millions of americans they would say crimes and drugs. the abdication of duty, the abandonment of children. and after the virtual devastation of the american
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family, we're told it takes a village that is collective and through a state to raise a child. the state is now more involved than it ever has been in the raising of children. children are more abused and negated than they have been in our time. it does not take avil village t raise a child, it takes a family to raise a child.
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if i could, by magic, help every child that lacks a father or a mother, that father or that m , mother i would. back on them ani shall, as president, promote measures that keep families whole. and i'm here to tell ithat destructive behavior must be opposed. that honor and liberty must be restored and that individual accountability must replace collective excuse. and i'm here to say -- [ applause ] i am here to say to america, do not abandon the great traditions that stretch to the dawn of our history. do not topple the pillars of
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those beliefs. god, family, honor, duty, country that have brought us through time and time and time and time again. [ cheers and applause ] and to those who believe that i am too combative, i say, if i am combative, it is for love of country. it is to uphold the standard that i was born and bred to defend. and to those who believe that i live and breathe compromise, i say that in politics honorable compromise is in sin. it is what protects us from absolutism and intolerance.
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but one must never compromise in regard to god and family and honor and duty and country. and i am here to set a marker that all may know that it is possible to rise in politics abo with these things firmly in mind not compromised and never abandoned. never abandoned. for the old values endure, and though they may sleep and though they may falter, they endure. i know this is true. and to anyone who believes that restraint, honor, and trust in the people cannot be returned to government, i say follow me. follow me! [ cheers and applause ]
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only right conduct, only right conduct distinguishes a great nation from one that cannot rise above itself. it has never been otherwise. right conduct every day at every level in all facets of life. the decision of a child not to use drugs. of a student not to cheat. of a young woman or young man to serve when called. of a screenwriter to refuse to add mountains of trash. of a businessman not to bribe. of a politician to cast a vote or take action that will put his office or chances of victory at risk, but which is right. and why have so many of us, and
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i do not exclude myself, for i am not the model of perfection, why have so many of us been failing these tests for so long? the answer is not a mystery. it is to the contrary quite simple. and it can be given quite simply. it is because for too long we have had a leadership that has been unwilling to risk the truth. to speak without calculation, to sacrifice itself, an administration in its very existence communicates this day by day until it flows down like rain and the rain becomes a river and the river becomes a flood. [ cheers and applause ] which is more important? wealth or honor? it is not as said by the victors four years ago, the economy,
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stupid. it's a kind of nation we are. it's whether we still possess the wit and determination to deal with many questions, including economic questions, but certainly not limited to them. all things do not flow from wealth or poverty. i know this firsthand and so do you. all things flow from doing what is right. [ cheers and applause ] the triumph for this nation lies not in this material wealth, but this courage and sacrifice and honor. we tend to forget when leaders
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forget. and we tend to remember it when they remember it. the high office of the presidency requires not a continuous four-year campaign for re-election, but, rather, broad oversight and attention to three essential areas. the material, the moral, and the nation's survival in that ascending order of importance. and in the last presidential election you, the people, were gravely insulted. you were told that the material was not only the most important of these three, but, in fact, really the only one that mattered. i don't hold to that for a moment. no one can deny the importance of material well being, and in this regard it is time to recognize we have surrendered too much of our economic liberty. i do not appreciate the value of
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economic liberty nearly as much for what it has done in keeping us fed as to what it's done in keeping us free. [ cheers and applause ] the freedom of the marketplace is not merely the best guarantor of our prosperity. it is the chief guarantor of our rights and a government that seizes control of the economy for the good of the people ends up seizing control of the people for the good of the economy. [ cheers and applause ] and our opponent the right to enjoy the fruits of one's own time and labor as a kind of selfishness against which they must fight for the good of the nation, but they are deeply mistaken for when they gather the authority to take the
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earnings and direct the activities of the people, they are fighting not for our sake, but for the power to tell us what to do. and you know how it works. from the first of january just to pay your taxes so that the party of government can satisfy its priorities for the sweat of your brow because they think that what you would do with your own money would be morally and practically less admirable than what they would do with it. and that simply has got to stop. it's got to stop in america. [ cheers and applause ] it is demeaning for the nation that within the clinton administration a core of the
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elite who never grew up, never did anything real, never sacrificed, never suffered and never learned should have the power to fund with your earnings their dubious and self-serving schemes. [ cheers and applause ] somewhere a grandmother couldn't afford to call her granddaughter or a child went without a book or a family couldn't afford that first home because there was just not enough money to make the call or to buy the book or to pay the mortgage. or, for that matter, to do many other things that one has the right and often the obligation to do. why?
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because some genius in the clinton administration took the money to fund yet another theory, another program, yet another bureaucracy. are they taking care of you, or are they taking care of themselves? and i have asked myself that question. and i say, let the people be free. free to keep -- [ cheers and applause ] let the people be free to keep as much of what they earn as the government can strain with all its might not to take, not the other way around. [ cheers and applause ] i trust the american people to work in the best interest of people and i believe that every family, wage earner and small business in america can do better if only we have the right
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policies in washington, d.c. and make no mistake about it. my economic program is the right policy for america, for the future, and for the next century. [ cheers and applause ] and here's what it will mean to you. here's what it will mean to you. it means you will have a president who will urge congress to pass and center the stage for ratification a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. [ cheers and applause ] it means you will have a president and a congress who will have the will to balance the budget by the year 2002. it means you will have a president who will reduce taxes
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15% across the board for every taxpayer in america. and it will include a $500 per child tax credit for lower and middle income families in america. taxes for a family of four making 35,000 a year will be reduced by more than half. 56%, to be exact. and that's a big, big reduction. it means you will have a president who will help small businesses. the businesses that create most new jobs by redugsing the capital gains tax by 50%. cut it in half. [ cheers and applause ] it means you will have a president who will end the irs
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as we know it. [ cheers and applause ] it means you will have a president who will expand individual retirement accounts, repeal president clinton's social security tax increase, provide a state tax relief, reduce government regulations, reform our civil justice system, provide educational opportunities, ask scholarships, and a host of other proposals that will create more opportunity and security for all americans and all across america. [ cheers and applause ] and i will not stop there. working with jack kemp in republican congress i will not be satisfied until we have reformed our entire tax code and made it fairer and flatter and simpler for the american people.
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[ cheers and applause ] the principle involved here is time honored and true, and that is it's your money. you shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to keep what you earn. to the contrary, the government should apologize for taking too much of it. [ cheers and applause ] the clinton administration, the clinton administration just doesn't get it, and that's why they have got to go. [ cheers and applause ]
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the president's content with the way things are. i am not. we must commit ourselves to a far more ambitious path that puts growth, expanding opportunities, rising incomes and soaring prosperity at the heart of national policy. it must also commit ourselves to a trade policy that does not suppress pay and threaten jobs and by any measure the pay policy of the clinton administration has been a disaster. trade deficits are skyrocketsing and middle income families are
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paying the price. my administration will fully enforce our trade laws and not let our national sovereignty be infringed by the world trade organization. or any other international body. jack kemp and i will restore the promise of america and get the economy moving again and we'll do so without leaving anybody behind. and i have learned in my own life from my own experience that not every man, woman, or child can make it on their own. and that in time of need the bridge between failure and success can be the government itself, and gifrp all that i have experienced i shall always remember those in need. that is why i helped to save social security in 1983.
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and that is why i will be the president who preserves and strengthens and protects medicare for america's senior citizens. [ cheers and applause ] i will never forget the man who rode on a train from kansas to michigan to see his son who was thought to be dying in an army hospital. when he arrived his feet were swope swollen and he could hardly walk because he had to make the trip from kansas to michigan, standing up most of the way. who was that man? he was my father. my father was poor and i loved my father. can you imagine for one minute that as i signed the bills that will set the economy free, i will not be faithful to americans in need?
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you can be certain that i will for to do otherwise would be to bree tray those whom i love and honor most, and i will betray nothing. [ cheers and applause ] let me speak about immigration. yes. let me speak about immigration. the right and obligation of a sovereign nation to control its borders is beyond tampa bdebate. we should not have a single illegal immigrant, but the question of immigration is
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broader than that, and let me be specific. a family from mexico arrived this morning legally, has as much right to the american dream as at the direct descendants of the founding fathers. [ cheers and applause ] the republican party is broad and inclusive. it represents the republican party is broad and inclusive. it represents many streams of opinion and many points of view. but if there is anyone who has mistakenly attached themself to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, let me remind you tonight this hall
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belongs to the party aof lincol and the exits which are clearly marked are for you to walk out of as i stand this ground without kfrm mize. [ cheers and applause ] and though i can only look up at a very steep angle to washington and lincoln, let me remind you of their concern for the sometimes delicate unity of the people. the notion that we are and should be one people rather than peoples of the united states seems so self-evident and obvious, but it's hard for me to imagine that i must defend it.
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when i was growing up in russell, kansas, it was clear to me my pride and my home were in america. not in any faction and not in any division. in this i was heeding even as i do under this day washington's eloquent rejection of factionalism. i was honoring even as i do this day lincolnen's words, life, his sacrifice. the principle of unity has been with us in all our successes. the tenth mountain division which i served in italy and the black troops of the 92nd division who fought nearby were the proof for me once again of the truth i'm here trying to convey. the war is fought just a generation after america's greatest and most intense period of immigration. and yet when the blood of the sons of immigrants and the grandsons of slaves fell on foreign fields, it was american blood in that you could not read
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the ethnic particulars of the soldier who died next to you. he was an american. [ cheers and applause ] and when i think how we learned this lesson i wonder how we could have unlearned it. is the principle of unity so hard fought and at the cost of so many lives having been contested again and again in our history, and at such a terrible price to be casually abandoned to the urge to divide? the answer is no. must we give in to the senseless drive to break apart that which is beautiful and whole and good? and so tonight i call on every american to rise above all that may divide us and to defend the unity of the nation for the
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honor of generations past and the sake of those to come. the constitution of the united states mandates equal protection under the law. this is not code language for racism. it is plain speaking against it. and the guiding light in my administration will be that in this country we have no rank order by birth, no claim to favorism by race, no expectation of judgment other than it be even handed and we cannot guarantee the outcome, but we shall guarantee the opportunity in america. [ cheers and applause ] i will speak plainly on another
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subject of importance. we're not educating all of our children. too many are being forced to absorb the fads of the moment. not for nothing are we the biggest education spenders and among the lowest education achievers among the leading industrial nations. the teachers unions nominated bill clinton in 1992. they are funding his election now and they know he will maintain the status quo. and i say this, i say this not to the teachers, but to their unions. i say this. if education were a war, you would be losing it. if it were a business, you would be driving it into bankruptcy. if it were a patient, it would be dying.
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and to the teachers union i say when i'm president i will disregard your political power for the sake of the parents, the children, the schools, and the nation! [ cheers and applause ] i plan to enrich your vocabulary with those words you fear. school choice and competition and opportunity scholarships.
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all this for low and middle income families so you join the rest of us in accountability while others compete with you for the privilege of giving our children a real education. there is no reason why those who live on any street in america should not have the same right as a person who lives at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, the right to send your child to the school of your choice. [ cheers and applause ] and if we want to reduce crime, if we want to reduce crime and drug use and teenager pregnancies, let's start by giving all our children a first-class education.
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and i also want the children to inherit a country that is far safer than it is at present. i seek for our children and grandchildren a world more open and with more opportunities than ever before.i want first and fo for them to be safe. i want to remove the shadow that darkens opportunities for every man, woman, and child in america. we are a nation paralyzed by crime and it's time to end that in america. [ cheers and applause ] and to do so, to do so i mean to attack the root cause of crime. criminals, criminals, violent criminals.
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and as many criminals go to bed tonight at, say, six in the morning, they better pray i lose this election. because if i win the lives of violent criminals are going to be held. [ cheers and applause ] during the reagan administration, during the regan administration we abolished parole at the federal level. in the dole administration we will work with the nation's governors to abolish parole for violent criminals all across america.
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and with my national instant check initiative we will keep all guns out of the hands of criminals. and if i have a litmus test for judges, i do. my litmus test for judges is that they be intolerant of outrage that their passion is not to amend but to interpret the constitution -- [ cheers and applause ] that they are restrained in regard to those who live within the law and strict with those who break it. and for those who say that i should not make president clinton's liberal judicial appointments an issue in this campaign, i have a simple response. i have heard your argument. the motion is denied! [ cheers and applause ]
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i save my respect for the constitution, not for those who will ignore it, violate it, or replace it with conceptions of their own fancy. my administration will zealously protect civil and constitutional rights while never forgetting that our primary duty is protecting law-abiding citizens. everybody in this hall. [ cheers and applause ] i have no intention of ignoring violence. i said violent criminals. understanding them or buying them off. a nation that cannot defend itself from outrage does not deserve to survive. and a president who cannot lead against those who prey upon it does not deserve to be president of the united states of america.
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[ cheers and applause ] i am prepared to risk more political capital in defense of domestic tranquillity than any president you have ever known. the time for such risk is long overdue. and in defending our nation from external threats, the requirements of survival cannot merely be finessed. there is no room for margin of error. on this subject, perhaps more than any other, a president must level with the people and be prepared to take political risk. and i would rather do what is called for in this regard and be unappreciated than fail to do so and win universal acclaim. [ cheers and applause ]
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and it must be said, because of misguided priorities, there have been massive cuts in funding for our national security. i believe president clinton has failed to adequately provide for our defense and for whatever reason his neglect, it is irresponsible. [ cheers and applause ] i ask that you consider these crystal-clear differences. he believed that it is acceptable to ask our military forces to do more with less. i do not. he defends giving a green light to a terrorist state iran to expand its influence in europe and he relies on the united nations to punish libyan terrorists to murdered american citizens. i will not. [ cheers and applause ] he believed that defending our people and territory from
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missile attack is unnecessary. i do not. and on my first day in office i will put america on a course to defend our vulnerability to missile attack and rebuild our armed forces. it is a course president clinton has refused to take. and on my first day in office i will put terrorists on notice. if you harm one american, you harm all americans. [ cheers and applause ] and america will pursue you to the ends of the earth. [ cheers and applause ] in short, don't mess with us if
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you are not prepared to suffer the consequences. [ cheers and applause ] [ crowd chanting usa ] >> thank you. and furthermore, and furthermore, the lesson has always been clear. if we are prepared to defend, if we are prepared to fight many wars and greater wars and any wars that come, we will have to fight fewer wars and lesser wars and perhaps no wars at all. [ cheers and applause ] it has always been so, and will ever be so.
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and i am not the first to say that the long gray line has never failed us, and it never has. for those who might be sharply taken aback and thinking of vietnam, think again. for in vietnam the long gray line did not fail us. we failed it in vietnam. [ cheers and applause ] the american soldier was not made for the casual and arrogant treatment that he suffered there. where he was committed without clear purpose, resolve, bound by rules that prevented victory, and kept waiting in the valley of the shadow of death for ten years while the nation evaded the undebatable question of his honor. no, the american soldier was not made to be thrown in the battle without a clear purpose or resolve. not made to be abandoned in the
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field of battle. not made to give his life for indifference or lack of respect. and i will never commit the american soldier to an ordeal without the prospect of victory. [ cheers and applause ] and when i'm president every man and every woman in aur orlando forces will know the president is commander in chief not butte ris galley or any other u.n. secretary villain. [ cheers and applause ]
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this i owe not only to the living, but to the dead. to every patriot, to every patriot grave. to the ghosts of valleyi forge, caisson, and the gulf. this i owe to men who died on the streets in mowing dish you're not three years ago, to the shadows of the bluff of normandy, the foot soldier who never came home the airman to fell to earth and the sailors who rest perpetually at sea. this is not an issue of politics, but far graver than that. like the bond of trust between a parent and child, it is the lifeblood of the nation, it commands not only sacrifice but a grace in leadership embodying both caution and daring at the
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same time. and this we owe not only to ourselves, our allies demand consistency and resolve, which they deserve from us as we tee serve it from them. even if they falter, we cannot, for history has made us the leader and we are obliged by history to keep the highest standard possibly. [ cheers and applause ] in this regard may i remind you of the nation's debt to presidents nixon, ford, reagan, and bush. president nixon engaged china and the soviet union with diplomatic genius. president ford stood fast in a time of great difficulty and with the greatest of dignity. we a were it not for president reagan the soviet union would still be standing today. [ cheers and applause ]
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he brought the cold war to an end, not as some demanded, through compromise and surrender, but by winning it. that's how he brought the cold war to an end. and president bush guided the gulf war coalition and its military forces to victory. a war that might have lasted years and taken the lives of tens of thousands of american's ased so swiftly and passed so smoothly that history is yet to catch its breath and give him the credit he is due. [ cheers and applause ] history is like that. history is like that. whenever we forget its singular
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presence, it gives us a lesson in grace and awe. and when i look back on my life, i see less and less of myself and more and more of history of this civilization that we have made that is called america. and i am content and always will be content to see my own stories subsumed in great events, the greatest of which is a simple onward procession of the american people. what a high privilege it is to be at the center in these times. and this i owe to you, the american people. i owe everything to you. and to make things right and to close the circle, i will return to you as much as i possibly can. it is incumbent upon me to do so. it is my duty and my deepest desire. and so tonight -- [ cheers and applause ]
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and so tonight i respectfully, i respectfully ask for your blessing and your support. [ cheers and applause ] the election will not be decided by the polls. or by the opinion makers or by the pundits. it will be decided by you. it will be decided by you. [ cheers and applause ] and i ask for your vote so that i may bring you an administration that is able,
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honest, and trusts in you, for the fundamental issue is not a policy, but a trust. not merely whether the people trust the president, but bl the president and his party trust the people, trust in their goodness and their genius for recovery. that's what the election is all about. [ cheers and applause ] for the government, the government cannot direct the people. the people must direct the government. [ cheers and applause ] this is not the outlook of my opponent, and he is my opponent, not my enemy. and though he has tried of late to be a good republican and i expect him here tonight, there
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are certain distinctions that even he cannot blur. there are distinctions between the two great parties that will be debated and must be debated the next 82 days. he and his party brought us the biggest tax increase in the history of america, and we are the party of lower taxes. we are the party of lower taxes and greater opportunity. [ cheers and applause ] we are the party whose resolve did not flag as the cold war dragged on. we did not tremble before a soviet giant that was just about to fall. and we did not have to be begged to take up arms against saddam hussein. we are not the party has drug uses soared and doubled among the young. hears no evil, sees no evil and cannot say just say no. [ cheers and applause ]
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we are the party that trusts in the people. i trust in the people. that is the heart of all i have tried to say tonight. my friends, a presidential campaign is more than a contest of candidates. more than a clash of opposing philosophies. it is a mirror held up to america. it is a measurement of who we are and where we come from and where we're going. for as much inspiration as we may draw from a glorious past, we recognize america preeminently is a country of tomorrow, for we were placed here for a purpose by a higher power. there is no doubt about it. [ cheers and applause ] every soldier in uniform, every school child who recites the pledge of allegiance, every citizen who places her hand on
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her heart when the flag goes by recognizes and responds to our american destiny. optimism is in our blood. i know this as few others can. there was once a time when i doubted the future, but i have learned, as many of you have learned, that obstacles can be overcome, and i have unlimited confidence in the wisdom of our people and the future of our country. tonight i stand before you tested by adversity, made sensety by hard hip, a fighter by principle and the most optimistic man in america. [ cheers and applause ] my life is proof, my life is proof that america's a land without limits. with my feet on the ground and
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my heart filled with hope i put my faith in you and in the god who loves us all for i am convinced that america's best days are yet to come. may god bless you and may god bless america! thank you very much! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪
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weeknights this month on american history tv looking at past presidential debates. the debate between al gore and george bush, tax policy, education reform and abortion are the topics. also the candidates' acceptance speeches. that starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. enjoy american history tv this week and every weekend on c-span3. the presidents, available in paperback. hard cover and e-book from public affairs presents biographies of every president inspired by conversations with noted historians about the leadership skills that make for a successful presidency. as americans go to the polls next month to decide who should lead our country, this collection offers perspective not lives and events that forged each president's leadership style. to learn more about all our
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and publish things. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span3 every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. lectures in history is also available at a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. coming up next on american history tv, the second presidential debate of 1988 between vice president george bush and massachusetts governor michael dukakis. the candidates took questions on taxes, the budget deficit, defense spending nuclear weapons and each candidate's choice of running mate. >> good evening. on behalf of the commission on presidential debates i am pleased to welcome you to the second presidential debate. i am bernard shaw of margaret warner of


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