you all very much. Tony, I appreciate your very kind
words. And my thanks to all of you for the warm welcome. It’s
good to see so many friends and leaders of the conservative movement
from across America.
year ago, there were quite a few people who were ready to write off
this movement. They were enthralled by Barack Obama’s promise of
near-Biblical transformations. Their legs were tingling.
spoke majestically, framed by Greek columns. Well, he can still spin a
speech, but he can’t spin his record. I’ll bet you never dreamed you’d
look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days.
had the pleasure of attending the Values Voters summit every year since
2004. I know that what brings us together is our allegiance to
important and enduring values: the security of our country … the
defense of freedom in the world … the success of our free enterprise
system … and the fundamental rights of every person, including the
right to life itself – these causes unite us…and they inspire us for
the work ahead.
know that America has always endured a chorus of critics, —people who
claim that every ill, every failure in the world is America's fault.
But it has never before had a President who was conducting that chorus.
told an Arab TV station that America has dictated to other nations. No,
Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators. He told
the Europeans that America has been arrogant, dismissive and
derisive. No, Mr. President, in defending liberty, America has
been diligent, dedicated and decisive.
when an American president journeys abroad, it’s always nice to see him
applauded and praised. But when the price for that adoration is
one apology after another for alleged offenses by the United States of
America, it’s not worth it. Frankly, I’d rather see a president
greeted abroad by complete silence, as long as he is defending our
country’s character and not playing to our country’s critics!
are times that call for a strong America.
is on track to become the largest economy in the world. Russia
under Putin is edging back to its old totalitarian ways, killing
journalists, harassing political enemies, and invading a sovereign
neighbor. Jihadists murder and threaten innocent people in nations
around the world, and plot to attack us here at home.
The regime in North Korea sacrifices its own people to serve its
nuclear ambitions. The regime in Iran, too, is moving fast to
develop a nuclear weapon. And all the while, our economy is
reeling and our debts are mounting.
me say it again: these are times that call for a strong America.
know the source of America’s strength.
It is the citizens of this country, and all that a free people can
Free, hard working, family oriented, risk taking, opportunity-seeking,
patriotic American people have always been the source of our strength,
and they always will be.
here in Washington, the best policies are those that expand their
freedoms, broaden their opportunities, allow them to keep more of
what they earn, afford them better education, let them choose their own
healthcare, and turn loose the free enterprise system to create more
President Obama has done these last eight months, and what he is
proposing for the next three years, would not strengthen America, it
would weaken America. His so-called stimulus is a case in point. The
President sold it as an immediate boost that would hold unemployment
below eight percent, restore the economy and create jobs. Rather than
bring back the economy, it brought back 30 years of failed liberal
programs. And he rushed it through before anyone could even notice. But
we did notice, and we’re not impressed!
economy is still shrinking even as the government keeps growing.
Unemployment blew past eight percent to nearly 10 percent –
that’s millions and millions more Americans out of work.
Not one new job has been created. The numbers of Americans opposing the
Obama agenda are growing. The voters will make that clear in the 2010
elections. Now that’s a “public option” I agree with.
President’s spending and borrowing has also weakened the nation.
In the month of July alone, he added 330 billion dollars to the
deficit. His plan is to add another trillion dollars in debt every year
he is in office. He initially admitted that the cumulative deficit
would swell by seven trillion dollars over the next ten years, but now
he acknowledges that nine trillion is more like it.
He would double our national debt in just five years. These deficits,
combined with our liabilities for entitlements, threaten to cause a
global collapse of confidence in America and in the dollar, and to
precipitate an even deeper financial crisis.
such a spirit-crushing, back-breaking debt burden on our children is
unworthy of our national character. That is why I believe that this
spending and borrowing is not just economically irresponsible, it is
strengthen the economy and to create jobs, the President must stop
trying to borrow this country out of a debt problem. I know there
are people who are now talking about another stimulus bill for the
economy. That’s the wrong answer. The right answer is to fix the
stimulus we have—throw out the liberal, big-government programs and
substitute incentives that will stimulate the private sector and
actually create jobs. Don’t repeat the stimulus, repair the stimulus!
more money away from working Americans would make us a weaker
nation. Candidate Obama promised not to raise taxes—“by one
dime”—on people making less than 250 thousand dollars a year. The
President’s cap and trade program demolished that promise. The
Obama team had secretly calculated that his plan would cost the average
American family $1,761 a year, the equivalent to a 15% income tax hike.
It kills jobs. And because it will simply move greenhouse gas
emitters from America to other nations like China, it won’t do a thing
to affect climate change. Democrats keep talking about climate
I think they’re confusing global warming with all the heat they’ve been
taking at town halls.
think we can all agree that it is a good idea to reform
healthcare. Healthier Americans will make a stronger
nation. Insurance companies shouldn’t drop people when they get
We need to help people with pre-existing conditions. I think insurance
should be portable and affordable. Republicans have proposed
several healthcare reform bills. And this Republican worked to
reform healthcare in my own state. Not every feature of our plan
is perfect, but the lesson it teaches is this:
We can get everyone insured, without breaking the bank and without a
government option—there is no government insurance in my Massachusetts
reform. The right answer for health care is not more government,
it’s less government.
Obama says he wants “public option government insurance,” to give
people “greater choice.” But what he doesn’t tell you is that
there are more than a thousand insurance companies.
says he wants an option that doesn’t have the burden of corporate
profits. But what he doesn’t tell you is that there are plenty of major
insurance companies that are not-for-profit.
says he’d be satisfied with co-ops. But what he doesn’t tell you is
that there are already co-ops and no legislation is needed to form more
he won’t say is what he really wants: a public option that over time
becomes the only option. And if he gets what he wants, we know exactly
where it would inevitably lead: to an entitlement with massive
liability, to more borrowing, to denial of care or rationing just as
they experience in Europe, and to the creation of dozens of government
bureaucracies reaching into every hospital, every doctor’s office and
every home. He’s not going to get his way, thanks to millions of
Americas who have stepped up in town halls and tea parties across the
The Democrats call them a mob, crazies, trash—I call them patriots.
for one was not unhappy that the President chose to address our
schoolchildren. The Heritage Foundation, in a January letter to the
President, reminded him that he is in a unique position to help our
children keep from making a critical and life-altering mistake. And
that is having children before they are married. Forty percent of
all children are now born out-of-wedlock. Of course, there are
wonderful single parents who do a heroic job raising children in
But for the nation as a whole, we raise a stronger generation when they
are raised by a Mom and a Dad.
strong America depends on a strong defense. Rivals are pursuing designs
and purposes very different from our own. We must never cut
corners in funding and equipping the military and the intelligence
services that defend our country. More than 150,000 of our people
in uniform are still deployed in theaters of war. Nothing on the
agenda of the President or Congress must come before the needs of our
troops and the absolute necessity of their victory.
the face of Iran’s rush to become a nuclear power, the President’s
decision this week to walk away from our commitment to missile defense
in Europe is alarming and dangerous. They say that Iran isn’t as close
to becoming a nuclear threat as they once thought.
How can they possibly know that? They say this is a token of goodwill
for Russia to get them to support sanctions on Iran. But the first rule
of negotiation is this: only give something away when you get something.
Israel, to Honduras, to the Czech Republic and Poland, it’s time the
President treated our friends better than he does our foes.
need to urge pro-defense members of Congress – Democrats and
Republicans alike – to hold firm, and to make the case for a military
that is second to none. Those pro-defense congressmen and senators
might feel outnumbered right now. But they shouldn’t lose hope,
because we’re going to send them some reinforcements in next year’s
now gone eight years and eight days without being hit again at
home. And over on the Left, they want very hard for us to believe
that this fact has nothing whatever to do with the intensive
interrogation of terrorists. You could listen all day long to the
outpourings of the far left and never hear that obvious
administration plays right along. And now they’re actually talking
about prosecuting the very intelligence officers who protected us by
asking questions and getting answers. These intelligence officers don’t
deserve to be hounded and lectured by the Left wing – they deserve the
respect and thanks of every American, starting with the commander in
at a critical time in our nation’s history. America must not lose
faith in the values and virtues that made the American way of life
We must not allow big government activists to exploit the financial
crisis that they themselves unknowingly enabled – to substitute their
ideology for the wisdom and good sense of the American people.
something else that should concern us when the federal government
expands at such a rate. When government is trying to take over
health care, buying car companies, bailing out banks, and giving half
the White House staff the title of czar – we have every good reason to
be alarmed and to speak our mind!
current economic crisis was the result of many failures. Important
guardrails were allowed to collapse, leaving many Americans unprotected
from the descent of the financial and job markets. The last thing we
need now is a collapse of even more guardrails, leaving us unprotected
from the overreach of government.
me make a prediction, for our cause, and for all those who speak for it
with no apology, we're about to see a comeback.
Voters in New Jersey have just about had it with the high-taxers in
charge of their state. And just across the Potomac River, the
signs are good that we’re about to see a low-tax, pro-growth, pro-life
governor of Virginia.
is certain in politics, but we can be certain about this: our belief in
the greatness of America and our dedication to keeping this nation
strong are needed today as much as they have ever been needed in our
don’t deny that America’s challenges are great, or that overcoming them
will require the best that we have to give.
But I know as well that times of difficulty always bring out the
essential character of our fellow citizens. When I was a boy, my dad
used to say that the pursuit of the difficult makes you
strong. Well, the pursuit of the difficult will make America
strong. We welcome the challenge. It will call on us, once
again, to draw on the incredible resilience, ingenuity, and faith of
the free men and women of the United States.
don’t get to choose the tests and trials ahead. But we’re entirely
free, you and I, to choose how we will meet those tests. We will
meet them as conservatives have done before. We will find strength
in each other, and answer our opponents with good will and honest
we will go forward – committed to our ideals, confident of
victories to come, and certain that God does indeed bless