Remarks at a Senate Campaign Fundraiser for Representative James T. Broyhill in Greensboro, North Carolina

Remarks at a Senate Campaign Fundraiser for Representative James T. Broyhill in Greensboro, North Carolina

June 4, 1986 The President. It's wonderful to be here in North Carolina. We've come here fairly often the past few years, and you should know this is partly due to the cheerleading that is done behind your back by two members of my Cabinet -- our Secretary of Transportation, Elizabeth Dole, who hails from Salisbury, as you know. And our Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, has adopted North Carolina, after teaching at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State. I just thought you should know. They're great boosters of North Carolina, and you should be aware of that.

Now, I know I could say that I've come here to enjoy the lovely weather and the beauty of the nearby Appalachians and the charm of the people. And I did come here for those things, and I am enjoying them. Or I could say I'm here because I was nearby, over at Parris Island, looking square in the face at the best generation of fighting men this country has ever produced. And I did come here for that, and I enjoyed every minute of it. But there's another reason for my visit. And I was going to say it has to do with politics, but it really has to do with something bigger: history. I came here in part to say thank you for sending to the United States Senate two great men who are here with us this afternoon.

One is an American classic and an American original, a man who went to Washington not to make himself into something big but to fight for big things and big principles. I'm speaking of Jesse Helms. I need Jesse Helms in the Senate. The other man I'm here to say thanks for is John East. In my 5 years in the White House, I've learned to depend on John for help and support and, often enough, guidance. He's a great man, and I needed him in the Senate. But now he's leaving, and we're none too happy about it.

But here is one comfort, and his name is Jim Broyhill. And that's another reason I came here today: to tell you why I need Jim Broyhill in the Senate. And you're just the sort of people to whom I wanted to speak about Jim. You're detached and impartial and -- [laughter] -- you wouldn't start to cheer just because I said something like let's send Jim Broyhill to the Senate. [Applause] I didn't think so. Well, let me tell you why I need him. He's been a leader. In his 24 years in the Congress Jim has shown himself to be a man who is motivated by principle, but who also has a gift for the maneuvers whereby principle is translated into effective legislation -- which is one way of saying Jim really knows how to work the Hill. He knows how to get things done, and he gets things done for North Carolina.

Now, Jim Broyhill supports true tax reform -- reform that makes the tax code simple and fair for all Americans, while preserving incentives for businesses to create new jobs. Now, there's an amazing fact that can be boiled down to one sentence: When we came in, in 1981, the top income tax bracket was way up here, 70 percent; and now we're actually going to get the top rate down to here, 27 percent. This is nothing less than historic. And at the other end on the tax range, we're going to get a lot of people removed from paying any tax at all. And it's the type of thing that doesn't happen without the help of people like Jim Broyhill.

Jim Broyhill has supported our efforts to sort of dust off and speak highly of the values that made America not only a great country but a good country. And I think he and the other Members of Congress here deserve some credit for urging a return to the old standbys of studying and discipline in the schools. Jim has been a big supporter of educational excellence and achieving it through a return to the four R's -- reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic, and respect. He knows the importance of involving parents. Do you remember back in the sixties when the think-tank liberals used to make you feel like you had no right having an opinion about the education of your own children? That sort of thing is pretty much history by now, and partly because of the leadership of people like Jim Broyhill. And if I could just say one more thing in this area. Jim never went the way of those who said, ``If you have a problem in the schools, you can buy your way out of it.'' He never had so little respect for the problems of teachers and students that he'd just sit back and pass a program and declare a problem solved. He knew that the answers to society's problems reside in the hearts of the people in the society. And this is an important insight, one that has helped shape the progress we've made over the past few years.

He supported us on the tax cuts of 1981. And he supported our efforts to control and then cut inflation. So that when we came in, inflation was up here, 12.4 percent, and now it's down here at 1.6 percent. He supported our efforts to create new jobs. And now we have a record number of people holding jobs in the United States and a record number of people holding jobs in North Carolina. In fact, your State has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire country. But I know things aren't perfect. I know there've been pains and strains here -- pockets of industry that've not only not recovered but that have gotten worse in some respects. There have been plant closings, and there have been farmers who've had it rough. We're not unaware of this back in Washington -- we're totally aware of it. And part of the reason, again, is Jim Broyhill. Don't think he isn't pressing constantly for the interests of North Carolina. And we respect his caring and concern. And we listen to him, and we mean to continue listening to him.

We may not always see everything eye to eye, but we have the same desire: to make life better for the people of our country and the people of this region. And that's what we're working for, together. Jim and I know American workers can outwork, outproduce, and outcompete anybody in the world. And that's why we'll continue to press for that level playing field through fair trade actions in every arena. Jim, Jesse, and I will continue to work together for America and North Carolina. We've solved a lot of problems in the last 5 years, and we're determined to solve these, too.

By the way, I also want to mention that Jim has just come through a primary where he faced a most worthy opponent, Dave Funderburk. I know Dave isn't here today, but Dave is a young star with a bright and beckoning future, and I wish him well. And of Governor Jim Martin. It's his kind of leadership that has helped North Carolina get through the occasional economic storms, his kind of leadership that has created an environment that is hospitable to employment and new jobs. He was a great Congressman, and now he's a great Governor. So, what do you say: Do you think you can add a new name to the classic team of Martin, East, and Helms?

Audience. Yes!

The President. Do you think you can send Jim Broyhill to the Senate?

Audience. Yes!

The President. Will you work hard for him so that he can come to Washington and work hard as a member of the Republican majority and support me? If you do that, you're going to be helping to make sure that Jesse stays on as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Will you send back to Washington my friends Bill Cobey and Howard Coble?

Audience. Yes!

The President. And Alex McMillan and Bill Hendon? And that's good, because I need them, too, and we all do. You know, talking about the Governor here, I have to tell you something. I have a warm feeling, as you can imagine, for Governors, having spent some time as one myself. I don't know that I ever had a chance to tell him; I got into some dark days in California when I first became Governor. And one day I was on my way to the office, and I was listening to a disc jockey show on the car radio. And all of a sudden this disc jockey said something that won my heart. Out of a clear blue sky he said, ``Every man should take unto himself a wife, because sooner or later something is bound to happen that you can't blame on the Governor.'' [Laughter] Well, I couldn't resist telling that. I thank you.

I have a lot of faith in you, and I'm hoping that on election night someone will suddenly on the media be reporting excitedly a Broyhill sweep. And then he'll follow it with, ``And as North Carolina goes, so goes the Nation.'' That sounds nice, doesn't it? And, you know, with you having Jesse and Senator East both there in Washington, and now continue on this path -- every once in a while I run into people that think that, in our system of checks and balances, it maybe makes sense to have a Senator of each party in the Senate. That isn't part of the checks and balances. [Laughter] Why should you send a Senator to Washington to undo everything the other Senator is trying to do for you? Send two of them there, and we'll get a lot of things done.

Well, I thank you very much for your warm welcome and even for your warm weather. And thank you all. God bless you. And send these people I've just been talking about back to Washington. They'll come back and visit you. All right. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:37 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum Exhibition Hall. Following his remarks, he attended a reception for major donors to the Broyhill for Senate campaign and then returned to Washington, DC.