‘92 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION : QUAYLE TEXT: I Am ‘Ready to Keep Fighting for Our Beliefs’
Here is the text of the acceptance speech prepared for delivery Thursday to the Republican National Convention by Vice President Dan Quayle:
Mr. Chairman, delegates to this convention, and friends across America.
With gratitude and a sense of mission, once again: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States. Tonight I am stronger, more confident and more determined than ever to reelect our great President, George Bush.
I know my critics wish I were not standing here tonight. They don’t like our values. They look down on our beliefs. They’re afraid of our ideas. And they know the American people stand on our side. That is why, when someone confronts them and challenges them, they will stop at nothing to destroy him. To them I say: You have failed. I stand before you, and before the American people--unbowed, unbroken and ready to keep fighting for our beliefs.
I come from Huntington, a small farming community in Indiana. I had an upbringing like many in my generation--a life built around family, public school, Little League, basketball and church on Sunday. My brother and I shared a room in our two-bedroom house. We walked to school together. This was life in small-town America. Our people were strong, and we believed in the traditional values of middle America.
Marilyn and I have tried to teach our children these values, like faith in God, love of family, and appreciation for freedom. We have also taught them about family issues like adoption--my parents adopted twins when I was 10 years old. We have taught our children to respect single parents and their challenges--challenges that faced my grandmother many years ago, and my own sister today.
And we have taught our children about the tragedy of diseases like breast cancer--which took the life of Marilyn’s mother. Marilyn and I have hosted an annual event called the Race for the Cure of Breast Cancer. Two months ago, 20,000 runners, men and women, young and old, joined us in our nation’s capital to race for the cure. By leading the battle against breast cancer, in memory of her mother, Marilyn has taken a family tragedy and turned it into hope for others.
Like so many Americans, for me, family comes first. When family values are undermined, our country suffers. All too often, parents struggle to instill character in their sons and daughters--only to see their values belittled and their beliefs mocked by those who look down on America. Americans try to raise their children to understand right and wrong--only to be told that every so-called “lifestyle alternative” is morally equivalent. That is wrong.
A Cultural Divide
The gap between us and our opponents is a cultural divide. It is not just a difference between conservative and liberal; it is a difference between fighting for what is right and refusing to see what is wrong.
Families can also be strengthened by empowering our people--with low taxes, homeownership, parental choice in education, job training, safe streets, a clean environment and affordable health care. In all of these areas, we have a reform agenda, and it is time for Congress to get out of the way and pass the President’s plan.
Speaking of reform: Our legal system is spinning out of control. The explosion of frivolous lawsuits burdens our economy and weakens our system of justice. America has 5% of the world’s population and 70% of the world’s lawyers. I have nothing against lawyers--at least most of them. I’m a lawyer; I’m married to one.
When we worked our way through night law school, Marilyn and I looked forward with pride to becoming part of the finest legal system in the world. But today our country has a problem: Our legal system is costing consumers $300 billion a year. The litigation explosion has damaged our competitiveness; it has wiped out jobs; it has forced doctors to quit practicing in places where they are needed most. Every American knows the legal system is broken--and now is the time to fix it.
The President’s Council on Competitiveness, which I chair, will continue to lead the charge against unnecessary federal regulation. We’ve worked to save jobs, and to save lives. We have reformed the drug approval process to speed up the availability of new medicines for people with life-threatening diseases like cystic fibrosis, cancer and AIDS.
And what is the response of the Democrats in Congress? They have tried to kill the Council on Competitiveness, which stands up for the American people against the bureaucrats and the special interests. They think the competitiveness council should go. They don’t get it. It is time for them to go. If the Democrats in Congress can’t run their own restaurant, can’t run their own post office and can’t run their own bank, they sure can’t be trusted to run our country.
I hope everybody who watched the Democratic Convention noticed how they hid their congressional leaders. You couldn’t find them anywhere. Maybe it was a slick idea to keep those Democratic congressmen and senators under wraps. But on Election Day they’re going to learn a hard lesson: You can run from a TV camera; you can even run from your own delegates; but you can’t hide from the voters of America. So, again, there is only one thing to say about the spend-everything, block-everything, know-nothing Democratic Congress: It is time for them to go.
And it is time to change Congress for good. Almost 16 years ago, in my first speech as a member of the House of Representatives, I proposed limiting the terms of Congress. The Democratic Congress tells us that it is good for the country to limit Ronald Reagan and George Bush to two terms as President. I say to them, if it is good for the country to limit Ronald Reagan and George Bush to two terms, then it would be great for the country to limit the terms of senators like George Mitchell and Ted Kennedy, and the rest of that liberal Democratic Congress.
None of the reforms I’ve just mentioned has any support from Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton talks about change, but he can’t really change America because the special interests won’t let him. He can’t say a word--not one single word--about legal reform, because the trial lawyers won’t let him. He can’t support school choice for parents, because the education lobby in Washington won’t let him. He will not join the majority of Americans in supporting term limits, because the Democratic Congress won’t let him.
And he can’t fight for the traditional family, because his supporters in Hollywood and the media elite won’t let him. My friends: Bill Clinton and the special interests will never run America--because we won’t let them.
World Champion Speller
For more than a month the media have been telling us that Bill Clinton and Al Gore are “moderates.” Well, if they’re moderates, I’m a world champion speller.
We are the true voice for change--and we do not take our marching orders from the special interests. On behalf of legal reform and education reform, we’ve taken on the strongest forces of the status quo--and we will not back down. On behalf of deregulation and term limits, we’ve taken on the Democratic Congress--and we will not back down. And, on behalf of family values, we’ve taken on Hollywood and the media elite--and we will not back down.
It has been said, and it is true, that “a leader gives his people character.” And once again America is going to choose a leader who has judgment, experience and moral strength. Four years ago, none of us knew that the Berlin Wall would fall, the Iron Curtain would be lifted, the Baltic nations would be free, communism would be dead and buried, the Soviet Union would cease to exist and the threatening SS-18 ballistic missiles would be history. Nor did we know that we would be called upon to confront the aggression of a Middle East tyrant.
But four years ago we did know this: Whatever lay ahead, there was a clear choice to lead us. There was one man we could trust to guide our journey to a new century. And because we elected George Bush as our President, America is stronger, and the world is safer.
The Democratic nominee calls America “the mockery of the world,” but he and his running mate are the only ones who believe that. To Gov. Clinton, I say this: America is the greatest nation in the world, and that’s one thing you’re not going to change.
The Embodiment of Character
These last four years, I have worked with a man who represents so much of what is good in our country--a man whose public and personal life are the embodiment of character. Every day in that Oval Office, I see the dedication of a husband, father and grandfather; the self-reliance of an entrepreneur; the courage of a Navy pilot; the dependability of a loyal friend; the compassion of a man of faith; and the wisdom of the man who married Barbara Bush.
George Bush has given us great victories abroad and performed great deeds at home. But, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “the greatest victories are yet to be won . . . the greatest deeds are yet to be done.”
We will go on fighting for the values, the hopes and the dreams of our people. We will take this campaign to every American, and to every state. We will win because of our principles; we will win because of our beliefs; and we will build an America more secure in the values of faith, family and freedom.
In these difficult times, America needs the very best: the best in character, the best in leadership, and the best in judgment. And the very best is our nominee . . . our President . . . George Bush.