Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Seattle, Washington

October 23, 1984

The President. Thank you very much.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I just told some people in Portland, you've talked me into that 4, and if the Capital were on the west coast, I'd go for 40.

But thank you, John, very much for that introduction. I'm thrilled to be here in Seattle, home of the Huskies. I'm glad to be here with Congressman Rod Chandler and your fine Republican candidates. Bill Ruckelshaus is here, as you've just -- he's been introduced to you, but he didn't really need any introduction out here, and Governor John Spellman, who's brought this State through difficult times and will keep it going strong.

I have to tell you, John was most helpful with regard to that timber bill. He's worked with us on the creation of jobs, and he knows very well, and we all know, what Washington State's role is in creating a strong national defense. I know that one western Governor knows a good Governor when he sees one, and John is another one, and I think he should be there for 4 more years.

I know that the Space Needle is a symbol of your city, and it stands for a city of pride and progress, a city and a country that is upward bound. And that Space Needle also symbolizes the great contest that's now going on in this crucial election, because it stands for the future. And my opponent seems to have a grudge against the future.

Abraham Lincoln said we must disenthrall ourselves with the past -- and then we will save our country. And 4 years ago, that's what we did. We made a great turn. We got out from under the thrall of a government which we had hoped would make our lives better, but which wound up living our lives for us. The power of the Federal Government had, over the decades, created great chaos -- economic chaos, social chaos, international chaos.

[At this point, the President was interrupted by hecklers in the audience.]

Our leaders were adrift, rudderless, and without a compass. Have you ever noticed in these big buildings there's an echo? [Applause]

Our leaders in the past have been adrift, rudderless, and without a compass. Four years ago we began to navigate by certain fixed principles. Our North Star was freedom; our constellation was common sense.

We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's earnings to the Government, and so we cut personal income taxes by 25 percent. We knew that inflation, the quiet thief, was stealing our savings. And we had the highest interest rates since the Civil War, and they were making it impossible for people to own a home or start an endeavor, an enterprise of any kind. We knew that our national military defense had been weakened, and we decided to rebuild and be strong again.

Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much. And we knew this strength would enhance our prospects for peace in the world. It was a second American revolution, and it's only just begun.

But our efforts have brought about a great renewal. America is back, a giant re-emergence on the scene. Our country is powerful in its renewed spirit, powerful in its economy, powerful in the world economy, and powerful in its ability to defend itself and secure the peace.

But now, 4 years after our efforts began, small voices in the night are sounding the call to go back, to go backward to the days of confusion and drift, the days of torpor, timidity, and taxes.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. My opponent this year is known to you, but perhaps we can gain greater insight into his leadership abilities and his philosophy if we take a look at his record.

To begin with, his grasp of economics is well demonstrated by his economic predictions. Just before we took office, my opponent said our economic program is obviously, murderously inflationary. And that was just before we lowered inflation from about 12 percent to around 4. And just after our tax cuts, he said the most he could see was an anemic recovery. And that was right before our economy created more than 6 million new jobs in 21 months and just before nearly -- a record nearly 900,000 businesses were incorporated in less than a year and a half.

My opponent said that our policies would deliver a misery index the likes of which we hadn't seen in a long time. Well, now, there he was partially right. You get the misery index when you add up the rate of unemployment and the rate of inflation. Now, they invented that back in the 1976 campaign, and they said that Jerry Ford had no right to seek reelection because his misery index was 12.6. Now, you know, they didn't mention the misery index in the 1980 election -- it had gone up to more than 20. And they aren't talking about it much in this campaign, because it's down around 11.

Now, my opponent said that decontrol of oil prices would cost American consumers more than $36 billion a year. Well, one of the first things we did was decontrol oil prices, and the price of gasoline went down 8 cents a gallon, and the prices are still headed down.

Now, you know, it's occurred to me that maybe all we have to do to get the economy in absolutely perfect shape is to get my opponent to predict absolute disaster. [Laughter]

He says he cares about the middle class, but he boasts, and I quote, he says, ``I have consistently supported legislation, time after time, which increases taxes on my own constituents.'' Doesn't that make you want to be one of his constituents?

Audience. No!

The President. Now, he's no doubt proud of the fact that as a United States Senator he voted 16 times to increase taxes. But this year he's outdone himself. He's already promised, of course, to raise your taxes. But if he's to keep all the promises he's made to this group and that, he will have to raise taxes by the equivalent of $1,890 for every household in the United States.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Now, that's more than $150 a month. It's like having a second mortgage. And after the Mondale mortgage, there'd be a lot of foreclosures.

His economic plan has two basic parts: raise your taxes and raise them again. But I've got news for him: The American people don't want his tax increases, and the American people aren't going to get his tax increases.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right. Okay, I'll go.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right. I'll tell you, I have to give my opponent this, though. He's given me an idea for Halloween. [Laughter] If I can just figure out how to get a costume like his economic program, I'll wear it and scare the devil out of the neighbors. [Laughter]

He sees an America in which every day is tax day, April 15th. We see an America in which every day is Independence Day, the Fourth of July. What we want is to lower everybody's income tax rates so your families will be stronger, our economy will be stronger, and America will be stronger.

But I'm not finished here. I'm proud to say that during these last 4 years -- on another subject -- not 1 square inch of territory has been lost to Communist aggression, and the United States is more secure than we were 4 years ago.

Yet there's so much more to say about my opponent. His grasp of foreign affairs is demonstrated by the following: Some time back he said the old days of a Soviet strategy of suppression by force are over -- and that was just before the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. And after they invaded Afghanistan he said, ``It just baffles me why the Soviets these last few years have behaved as they have.'' But then, there's so much that baffles him.

One year ago we liberated Grenada from Communist thugs who had taken that country over in a coup. Do you know that my opponent called what we did a violation of international law that erodes our moral authority to criticize the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. But I will say this, though. The administration that he was a part of did mete out strong punishment -- not to the Soviet Union, to the American farmers. The American farmers, they paid. Unfortunately, he supported the grain embargo, and he spoke out on it often. He even questioned the patriotism of a Senator from his own party when that Senator called that embargo just what it was -- unworkable and unfair. But now he seems to have changed his tune. He says he privately opposed the embargo -- very privately. As a matter of fact, in the last several months he's claimed that he opposed a number of the administration policies when he was Vice President. But as Jody Powell, who also was in that administration, said, and I quote, ``I guess I was out of the room every time it happened.'' [Laughter]

And after the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, he praised it, saying, ``Winds of democratic progress are stirring where they have long been stifled.'' But we know that the Sandinistas immediately began to persecute the genuine believers in democracy and to export terror. They went on to slaughter the Miskito Indians, abuse and deport church leaders, slander the Pope, practice anti-Semitism, and moved to kill free speech. So, why isn't my opponent speaking out about that fresh wind now?

More recently, he failed to repudiate the Reverend Jesse Jackson when he went to Havana, stood with Fidel Castro, and cried: Long live Cuba! Long live Castro! Long live Che Guevara!

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. You know, I could say of his economic program that he will either have to break his promises or break the bank. But I won't say it, because Senator John Glenn, a Democrat, has already said it. I could call his economic program a collection of old and tired ideas held together by paralyzing commitments to special interest groups. But I won't, because Senator Gary Hart, a Democrat, has already said that. I could predict that he will create deficits more than double what they are now. But I won't, because Senator Fritz Hollings, a Democrat, has already said that.

And now, if on political issues my opponent dares to be wrong, on domestic policy issues he has the courage to be cautious. A line-item veto to help control wild government spending -- I had that when I was Governor of California. I don't know whether you're one of the 42 other States? -- you have it. Your Governor has it. Forty-two other States have it here in the Union. But my opponent says that's not part of the liberal agenda.

He has long opposed, also, enterprise zones, to help the most economically troubled neighborhoods in the country to use tax incentives to go in to stimulate industry and business there to provide jobs for people. But then, a few weeks ago, he was a -- deathbed confession -- he said he's for them. Well, if he's for them, then why doesn't he ask Tip O'Neill to let our enterprise zone bill get out of the committee where it's buried in the House of Representatives?

This month an American woman walked in space -- Kathryn Sullivan made history. And then she returned to that space shuttle in which some of the great scientific and medical advances of the future will be made, and are being made now. Cures for diabetes and heart disease may be possible up there; advances in technology and communications. That's why I support the space shuttle, as I know all of you do. But my opponent, as a Senator, led, personally, the fight in the Senate to try and kill the entire shuttle program. He called it a horrible waste.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. The truth is, if my opponent's campaign were a television show, it would be ``Let's Make a Deal.'' [Laughter] You get to trade our prosperity for the surprise hidden behind the curtain. [Laughter] If his campaign were a Broadway show, it would be ``Promises, Promises.'' [Laughter] And if his administration had been a novel, if you read it, you'd have to read it from back to front for a happy ending. [Laughter]

I've probably been going on too long here, but -- --

Audience. No! 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. You didn't mean with the ``4 more years'' that you wanted me to stay up here talking for 4 years?

The point is, the turn we made in 1980 was right. And we were right to take command of the ship, to stop its aimless drift, and to get moving again. And we were right when we stopped sending out S.O.S. and started saying U.S.A.!

Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. Thank you.

Let me say here that the 1984 election isn't just a partisan contest. I was a Democrat once -- in fact, for a greater part of my life. And I always respected that party. But in these days, its leaders -- or in those days -- weren't the ``blame America first'' crowd. Its leaders were men like Harry Truman, men who understood the challenges of the times. They didn't reserve all of their indignation for America. They knew the difference between freedom and tyranny, and they stood up for one and damned the other.

To all the good Democrats who respect that tradition -- and I hope there are many present here -- I say, ``You're not alone; you're not without a home. We're putting out our hands and we're asking you to come join us and walk down this new path of hope and opportunity with us.''

But here in this State, we can't discuss those who have led the Democratic Party without talking about Washington's great son, the late Senator Henry ``Scoop'' Jackson. When we talk about Scoop Jackson we're reminded that, above all, politics is about principles, and Senator Jackson had among the strongest principles of anyone I've known. The first of those principles was that politics stopped at the water's edge. Time and again he provided the key leadership essential to preserving our nation's interests.

Not all of Scoop's colleagues took the same course. Indeed, my opponent almost always voted just the opposite when it came to maintaining the strength of the United States. In 1970, as measured by the national security index of the American Security Council, Senator Jackson had a rating of 80 on key issues, while Mr. Mondale had a zero. In 1972 Scoop again scored 80; Mr. Mondale again, zero. In 1974 and again in 1976, Henry Jackson scored 90, while Mr. Mondale scored zero and then managed to get an 11. [Laughter] Now, whether it's the old math or the new math, the bottom line is the same. On nearly every occasion the Senator, Henry Jackson, cast a vote for America's defense. You would not only find Walter Mondale voting against him, but in 37 or 38 times, you found him voting with George McGovern.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. So, if you like George McGovern's defense policies, you'll love my opponent's. [Laughter] And today, we're not surprised to find that he would cancel the B - 1 and the MX programs without requiring one single corresponding action by the Soviets.

By the way, wiping out the B - 1 would also wipe out about 5,000 jobs in Washington State in 1986 and '87.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. You know, in all the years that I negotiated union contracts -- and I did; I was president of my union several times -- I never heard of giving up your strongest negotiating leverage without getting something in return. Moreover, Mr. Mondale has never, to my knowledge, created -- or criticized, I should say -- his runningmate's support for a congressional proposal to slash our defense budget by more than $200 billion over the next 3 years, completely eliminating several new and essential systems and substantially reducing U.S. conventional presence abroad.

The very centerpiece of Mr. Mondale's policies has been his warm embrace of the so-called nuclear freeze. But he doesn't tell the American people that Brzezinski, Mr. Carter's and Mr. Mondale's own national security adviser, has called this a nuclear hoax that is not achievable and not verifiable.

Is it any wonder that my opponent's Democratic colleague, Senator Fritz Hollings, has said, ``Walter Mondale thinks the Soviet Union would never violate an arms agreement. I think he's naive.'' And it can't come as any surprise that Senator John Glenn, who had been an astronaut and in the military himself, believes his opponent's would -- or my opponent's policies ``would leave this country emasculated.''

My friends, Scoop Jackson left a legacy to America that rests on a timeless principle, the principle that's nurtured our beloved nation for two centuries: Peace and freedom flow from the same well, and that is the well of strength and preparedness.

America is the most generous and peaceful nation in the world. But our reserve must never be confused with our resolve. It's our resolve that will preserve the peace and keep our freedoms forever, and you have a sign in your State that exemplifies this. It's a sign which stands over the entrance to the Fairchild Air Force Base here in Washington, and it reads, Peace is our profession. And that says it all.

And now -- I'm always so happy when I see an auditorium like this for a rally with so many young people. I started out to say something the other night in the debate and ran out of time. I'm going to finish it here.

To the young people of America, of our country, let me say, nothing, nothing has touched our hearts more than your wonderful support. You are what this election is all about. It is your future that we care so much about. Your generation is something special. You are truly something new on the scene. Your idealism and your love of country are unsurpassed. I consider it our highest duty to make certain that you have an America that is every bit as full of opportunity and hope and confidence and dreams as we had when we were your age.

My generation, and a few generations between mine and yours -- [laughter] -- we grew up in an America where we took it for granted that, yes, you could dream, and there was nothing to keep you from making your dreams come true except you and your own ability -- --

Audience member. [Inaudible] -- war!

The President. -- -- and your hard work. And that's what our obligation is to you -- those of us of those other generations -- to make sure we hand you that kind of an America, an America that is free and in a world that is at peace.

All of us together are part of a great revolution, and it's only begun, and we'll never stop -- never. This country must never give up its very special mission in the world. There are new worlds on the horizon, and we're not going to stop until we all get there together.

America's best days are yet to come. And I know it drives my opponents up the wall, but you ain't seen nothin' yet. Thank you very much. Thank you, and God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 12:12 p.m. at the Seattle Center.

Following his remarks, the President traveled to Columbus, OH, and the Hyatt on Capitol Square Hotel, where he remained overnight.