Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Media, Pennsylvania

October 29, 1984

The President. Well, I thank you. It's so wonderful to be in Pennsylvania. It's especially nice to be in Delaware County and here in Media.

I know that you're aware that one of my most important aides in the White House, Faith Whittlesey, was a county council member here, and worked in this courthouse. Well, we're keeping her working in the White House. And it's good to have your fine Governor and my good friend, Dick Thornburgh, here with us. He's a great Governor. And, another good friend of mine is here -- Pennsylvania's Drew Lewis.

But I want all of you to know how much we appreciate your great representatives in Washington, led by Senators John Heinz and Arlen Specter. The Republican members of Pennsylvania's delegation to the House and the Senate are, in my view, among the very best in the country.

Today I come bearing a special request. The voters of Delaware County have a fine, young Republican candidate. And if you agree with me that we've made progress, but our future can be even better, then please vote for Kurt Weldin on election day. [Applause] All right. Thank you. All right.

Now, we'll keep America, if you do what I just asked, on the new path of hope and opportunity. And to those in the neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia, vote for Flora Becker for Congress.

And, you know, just in case there might be some people across the State line -- or that are listening across the State line -- in a neighboring State, same name as the county -- Delaware -- there's a candidate we need in the United States Senate. He's John Burroughs. And there's another candidate we need in the House from Delaware, and that's Elise duPont.

You know, I hope to win a second term, but I just want to tell you something. I'll tell you quite frankly that if a gypsy looked into a crystal ball and said, ``You can win this election with a lot of votes, or win by just a few votes, but get a sympathetic Congress'' -- I would choose the latter, the sympathetic Congress, because if we're to solidify the gains this country has made and continue to move onward with new opportunities for our future, we'll need a Congress that will help us do the job. So, please, help spread the word and get out the vote. And if you can, well, win those races for the Gipper.

But now I want to talk a little bit about the great renewal that's been taking place throughout our country these past few years. It's a renewal that was grounded in the wise advice of a wise old President.

Abe Lincoln said we must disenthrall ourselves with the past -- and then we will save our country. Now, 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 the Federal Government had over the decades created great chaos -- economic, social, and international. Our leaders were adrift, rudderless, without a compass. Four years ago we began to navigate by certain fixed principles. Our North Star was freedom, common sense our constellations.

We knew that economic freedom meant paying less of the American family's income and earnings to the government. And so, we cut our personal income tax rates by 25 percent. And contrary to what my opponent says, that was across the board, from top to bottom, and not just for one section of the public.

We knew that inflation, the quiet thief, was stealing our savings, and the highest interest rates since the Civil War were making it impossible for people to own a home or start an enterprise.

We knew that our national military defense had been weakened. So, we decided to rebuild and be strong again. And this, we knew, would enhance the prospects for peace in the world. It was a second American revolution, and it's only just been begun.

But America is back, a giant, powerful in its renewed spirit, its growing economy, powerful in its ability to defend itself and secure the peace, and powerful in its ability to build a better future. And do you know something? You know something? What I just said is not debatable.

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

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Now, my opponent this year is known to you. But perhaps we can gain greater insight into the world he would take us back to, if we take a look at his record.

His understanding of economics is well demonstrated by his predictions. Just before we took office, he said that our economic program is obviously, murderously inflationary. That was just before we lowered inflation from more than 12 percent down to around 4.

And just after our tax cuts, he said the most he could see was an anemic recovery. Now, that was right before the United States economy created more than 6 million new jobs in 21 months, and incorporated 900,000 new businesses in the last 18 months.

My opponent said that our policies would deliver a misery index the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. And there was some truth in that. You get the misery index, you know, by adding the rate of unemployment to the rate of inflation. And they invented that for the 1976 campaign. And they said that Jerry Ford had no right to seek reelection with a misery index of 12.6. Now, they didn't mention the misery index in the 1980 election, possibly because it was over 20. And they aren't talking too much about it in this campaign, because it's down around 11.

My opponent said 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.

You know, I've got it figured out. All we have to do to get the economy in absolutely perfect shape is to get my opponent to predict absolute disaster.

He says he cares about the middle class, but he boasts, ``I have consistently supported legislation, time after time, which increases taxes on my own constituents.'' Doesn't that make you just want to be one of his constituents? He's no doubt proud of the fact, as a United States Senator, he voted 16 times to increase the taxes on the American people.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. But this year, he's undone -- outdone himself. Well, he's maybe undone himself, too. [Laughter] He's already promised, of course, to raise your taxes. But if he is to keep all the promises that he 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. That's more than $150 a month. You know, it's like having a second mortgage, a Mondale mortgage.

But his economic plan has two basic parts: one, raise your taxes and two, raise them again. [Laughter] I've got news for him: The American people don't want his tax increases, and he isn't going to get his tax increases.

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

The President. All right, all right. Okay, I'm game if you are.

You know, I'm now beginning to see more clearly why last week my opponent said to the voters, ``Let's forget about the past.'' But it's not the past that worries us, it's the future.

And I'm even more concerned because now, last week, my opponent used another familiar phrase from the past. ``Trust me,'' he said. [Laughter] Well, the last time we trusted his administration, they took five -- count 'em -- five economic plans and nearly tripled inflation. Well, by contrast, we trusted the people -- you. And with just one economic program, we've cut inflation by two-thirds.

You know, if my opponent's campaign were a television show, it would be ``Let's Make a Deal.'' [Laughter] You get to trade your prosperity for the surprise he has behind the curtain. Now, if his campaign was a Broadway show, it would be called ``Promises, Promises.'' And if his administration were a novel, a book, you'd have to read it from the back end to the front in order to get a happy ending. [Laughter]

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

I'm proud to say that during these last 4 years, on another subject, not 1 square inch of territory in the world has been lost to Communist aggression.

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

The President. The United States is more secure than we were 4 years ago. And yet my opponent sees a different world.

Sometime back, he said the old days of a Soviet strategy of suppression by force are over. 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 over that country. My opponent called what we did a violation of international law that erodes our moral authority to criticize the Soviets. Well, there is nothing immoral about rescuing American students whose lives are in danger. But by the time my opponent decided that action was justified, those students were long since safe at home.

After the Sandinista revolution down there in Nicaragua, he praised it by 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 by the thousands, abuse and deport church leaders, slander the Pope, and move to kill free speech, and practiced anti-Semitism. Don't you think it's time for my opponent to stand up, speak out, and condemn the Sandinista crimes? [Applause]

More recently, he failed to repudiate the Reverend Jesse Jackson when he went to Cuba, stood with Fidel Castro, and then said, ``Long live President Fidel Castro and Che Guevara!''

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. And let me try to put this in perspective. The 1984 election isn't just a partisan contest. I was a Democrat once, and for a very long time, for a great share of my life. But in those days, Democratic leaders weren't the ``blame America first'' crowd. Its leaders were men like Harry Truman, men who understood the challenges of their times. They didn't reserve all their indignation for America. They knew the difference between tyranny and freedom, and they stood up for one and damned the other.

To all the good Democrats -- and I hope there are many present -- who respect that tradition, I say, you are not alone. We're asking you -- those of you who have found out as I found out for myself, that I could no longer follow the leadership that had taken over that party -- we're asking you, come walk with us down the new path of hope and opportunity. And in a truly bipartisan way, we will preserve the salvation of this country.

Now, Kathryn Sullivan made history. An American woman walked in space. She returned to a space shuttle in which some of the great scientific and medical advances of the future will be made. Cures for diabetes and heart disease may be possible up there, advances in technology and communication. But, again, my opponent in the Senate personally led the fight against the entire shuttle program and called it a horrible waste. Well, we support the space shuttle, and we've committed America to meet a great challenge, to build a permanently manned space station and to do it within a decade.

Now, I've probably been going on too long here. And I -- --

Audience. No!

The President. Well, this isn't what you meant about 4 more years. [Laughter]

No, the point is, we were right when we made our great turn in 1980. We were right to take command of the ship, stop its aimless drift, and get moving again. And we were right when we stopped sending out S.O.S. and starting saying U.S.A.!

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

The President. All right.

The United States of America was never meant to be a second-best nation. Like our Olympic athletes, this nation should set its sights on the stars and go for the gold.

Now, if America could bring down inflation from 12.4 to 4 percent, then we can bring inflation down from 4 to 0.0 percent.

If lowering your tax rates led to the best expansion in 30 years -- and I think it was the key in that expansion -- then we can lower them again and keep America growing into the 21st century.

If we could create 6 million new jobs in 21 months, then we can make it possible for every American -- young and old, black or white -- who wants a job to find one.

If our States and municipalities can establish enterprise zones to create economic growth, then we can elect people to Congress who will free our enterprise zones bill from where it is buried in committee by Tip O'Neill, and has been for 2 years, so that we can provide hope and opportunity for the most distressed areas of America.

If we can lead a revolution in technology and push back the frontiers of space, then we can provide our workers in industries old and new all that they need, because I believe with all my heart that if we give American workers the proper tools, they can outproduce, outcompete, and outsell anybody, anywhere in this world.

If our grassroots drive to restore excellence in education could reverse a 20-year decline in scholastic aptitude test scores -- which it did -- then we can keep raising those scores and restore American academic excellence second to none.

If our crackdown on crime could produce the sharpest drop ever in the crime index, as it did last year, then we can keep cracking down until our families and friends can walk our streets again without being afraid.

And if we could reverse the decline in our military defenses and restore respect for America -- and we have -- then we can make sure this nation remains strong enough to protect freedom and peace for us, for our children, and for our children's children.

And if we make sure that America remains strong and prepared for peace, then we can begin to reduce nuclear weapons and, one day, banish them from the Earth entirely.

Every once in a while in a crowd like this, I see some signs I assume are unfriendly that refer to nuclear weapons and so forth. Well, let me tell you something: I have said to a number of legislatures, to parliaments in countries around the world, in Asia and in Europe, I've spoken to them and every time I addressed them, I have said a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

And if we can strengthen our economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen the values that bind us, then America will become a nation even greater in arts and learning and greater in the love and worship of the God who made us and who has blessed us as no other people on this Earth have ever been blessed.

But right now, I want to tell you something I've seen all across the country, and I see it here again today. To the young people of our country, let me say that you are what this election is all about. It's about you -- you and your future.

You know, I got cut off, ran out of time, in the debate a week ago Sunday. So, I'm going to say here what I was going to say there. And that is, to the young people here today, your generation is something special. Your idealism, your love of country are unsurpassed. It is our highest duty to make certain that you have an America every bit as full of opportunity and hope and confidence and dreams as we had when we were your age.

Let me just speak to some others here. My generation -- and then there are a few other generations between mine and yours, you young people -- well, we in those generations, we grew up in an America where we took it for granted that this was the place where you could dream, and if you had the will and the desire and the energy, you could make your dreams come true. You could rise as high and far as your own strength would take you. And this is the responsibility of all those several generations I mentioned, other than yours, the younger generation. We have a sacred responsibility that when the time comes for us to turn the reins over to you, we hand you an America that is free in a world that is at peace.

All of us together are a part of a great revolution, and it's only just begun. America must never give up its special mission in the world, never. 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.

I mentioned all those other candidates, those Members of Congress that are seeking reelection in this election year, and urged you to see that they return to Washington, and send them some more company and make Tip O'Neill unhappy. But, also, I've been trying very hard not to read the polls. And don't you read them. President Dewey told me we must never become overconfident. [Laughter] So, get out the vote. Make sure your neighbors get there to vote. Don't anyone say, ``Well, I'm not needed. I'm not necessary, stay home.'' I know of elections that were lost by less than one-half a vote per precinct in this country. So, turn out and vote.

But then I want to just ask you something else. You have honored me beyond anything I ever dreamed in my life, honored me by allowing me to serve you for these last 4 years. I ask you support. I ask for your votes and your help for 4 more years. [Applause] All right.

And one last thing, in addition to my thanks for your wonderfully warm welcome and your support, let me just say -- and I know this will drive them up the wall: You ain't seen nothin' yet.

All right. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:04 p.m. at the Delaware County Courthouse.