Remarks to Armed Services Personnel and Their Families at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station, Louisiana


August 16, 1988


The Vice President. Well, Mr. President and Nancy, hail and farewell. You know, a great scientist, Isaac Newton, once said: ``If I've seen further, it's because I've stood on the shoulder of giants.'' And by the time you leave office -- you've graced -- you will have done for America the greatest thing that a President could do: You will have left this country better than you found it.


And today America can see further because of your vision. And now it's time to extend that vision into the next century, and it's time to accept the challenge that you've left for us and made possible: to build a better America. And we accept that challenge, and we look forward to writing the next chapter in America's freedom story because America's mission is greatness. And I do not intend to fail.


Thank you, Nancy. Thank you, Mr. President. God bless you. Godspeed.


The President. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the reason the Vice President and I are meeting this way is a recent decision by the fire marshal in New Orleans: He said that New Orleans is now so crowded he's not letting in a new Republican unless one leaves. [Laughter] But I just tried to make a deal with George that I'd tell him where to find the best blackened redfish if he'd tell me who is going to be Vice President. [Laughter]


But seriously -- and no more of that -- George, a great deal rides on this campaign. And on you are America's hopes for continued peace and prosperity. And Nancy and I want you and Barbara to know that you have all our support all the way and all our love. And good luck, and God bless you both.


The Vice President. Thank you, sir. Have a good, safe trip. See you in a few weeks.


Republican Vice Presidential Nominee


Q. Did he tell you who is going to be Vice President?


Q. Any suggestions?


Q. Did he tell you who the Vice Presidential nominee will be?


The President. I don't know.


Q. Why not?


The President. Because he hasn't told me.


Q. Any suggestions?


The President. And I'm not sure that he knows.


The Vice President. No, I know.


Q. Have you made a decision, Mr. Bush? Have you made a decision?


The Vice President. Yes. Yes, I have.


Q. When will you make the announcement, sir?


The Vice President. Haven't made that decision.


Q. When will you make the announcement?


The President. He says he hasn't made that decision.


Q. Senator Dole is very --  --


Q. Mr. President, do you have any suggestions who it should be?


The President. Nope.


Note: The Vice President spoke at 10:56 a.m. on the tarmac at the naval air station. Following his remarks, the President traveled to his ranch in Santa Barbara County, CA.