Virgil Goode, Jr.
Acceptance Speech
Sheraton Music City Hotel
Nashville, TN
Sat. April 21, 2012

First, I want to say thanks so much to all of you who worked hard and supported me in this nomination battle for the presidency of the United States under the Constitution Party label.  When you win by one vote, you know every vote counts.  I want to say to those that also ran for your nomination that it was an honor to be associated with Darrell Castle and I want to thank again Joan and Darrell for all that they have done over the years for the Constitution Party. [applause]

And Robbie Wells.  Is Robbie here?  Robbie.  Thank you. [applause]  The energy and enthusiasm exhibited by Robbie Wells on this campaign have been tremendous and if he will continue to work with us, if we don't get to the top of the hill this time, we will get to the top of the hill in 2016. [applause]

I also want to recognize Susan Ducey and thank her for her campaign and for sharing with us her life story which every person should hear and listen to because it is a true pulling yourself up by the bootstraps story under the free enterprise system.  Susan, thank you so much. [applause]

I'm not sure whether Laurie Roth is still here, but I want to express appreciation to Laurie for focusing on issues and, and for having the presence that a radio talk show host has, and I hope I can call her up and get some pointers for jazzing up a crowd and going with a few well-placed reasonable zingers that would surely get you on radio and television.

And Don Grundmann from California, got to really thank Don.  He allowed the California delegations to vote for me.  We wouldn't have won by one vote if it hadn't been for you, Don.  Thank you very much, and thank you for standing for traditional marriage and for your speech yesterday. [applause]

Our party officers have worked very hard in bringing about this convention, getting persons here from all over the country, and our staff persons, Gary Odom and Allison Potter are in the background getting little recognition, but I think we all should give them a round of applause for their service. [applause]

Our party chair Jim Clymer is not running again for chair.  I want to thank Jim.  I know I do this on behalf of all of you, for his time, energy and personal contributions to this party.  He and several others have been mainstays in providing funding over the years to the Constitution Party, and you've got to have some funding just to keep the doors open.  Jim, thank you so very much. [applause]

I won't list all the party officers but, and I know they have all worked hard, but I do want to mention specifically our treasurer Joe Sanger. [applause]  Joe has done yeoman's work in the detail that is needed to have treasurer's reports that are informative but also comply with all of the Federal Election Commission regulations.  Joe thank you for steering us straight and keeping us out of trouble. [applause]

Are you ready to take on Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and the establishment in Washington, DC? [cheers, applause]  If you are say yes.

Jim mentioned that I served in the U.S. House for 12 years.  I did.  And Peter Vidrine from Louisiana asked me, he said, I know you cast a lot of votes, and a lot of them I agreed with, but tell me one or two that you may have cast wrong.  You remember that didn't you Peter.  And I did.  I made some mistakes in the House on votes, and when you cast a lot that's not too difficult to do, and one in particular—several, but one in particular.  I voted for the PATRIOT Act, and I know that most in this room are very much opposed to that measure.  I want to say that my association with the Constitution Party over the last three-plus years has given me a better perspective in analyzing legislation from a constitutional viewpoint, and I want to say that I made a mistake in voting for that measure as it applies to U.S. citizens in this country and to legal permanent residents.  I do not favor, although this may not comport with all federal court decisions, extending constitutional rights to persons from foreign countries or those illegally in the United States.  But with [applause]  As president I would work with the Congress to repeal the applications of the PATRIOT Act as they apply to U.S. citizens. [applause]

I like many others also voted for support for the troops in Afghanistan.  I never favored rebuilding the countries with U.S. taxpayer money.  But like many who voted yes on those actions early on, I suspect in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate now you would have very close votes about extending and extending the war in Afghanistan.  It's time to come home in an orderly and reasonable manner. [applause]

We can talk about some other issues where in most instances I was right in line with the thought of this party and with a significant number of American citizens.  I have a pro-life voting record [applause] and that certainly distinguishes me from President Obama, who has one of the most pro-abortion records and positions ever for a president and certainly during his service in the United States Senate.  I also would like to submit that over time my pro-life voting record is better than that of Mitt Romley, who has converted more recently to our position in thinking on that issue. [applause]

With regard to marriage, I've always supported the proposition that marriage should be between one man and one woman, whether it was in the Virginia Senate or whether I was in the U.S. House of Representatives.  If you look closely at President Obama's position you can see that he is moving ever so directly in a direction of pro-civil unions and really pro-homosexual rights.  If I'm president, I will veto legislation advancing that cause. [applause]

Second Amendment issues.  I have always consistently been for and supported the right of the individual to keep and bear arms.  One of the first amendments that I proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives was to give that right to citizens of Washington, DC.  I know when we, Lucy and I were in the apartment up there it was against the law for us to have a firearm in our apartment for self protection.  Thankfully, that has been changed in DC, but we need someone in the executive, chief executive office of this country who has a history of supporting the Second Amendment and who you know you can count on when it comes to the right of yourselves to defend yourself and have a firearm for protection of your person and property. [applause]

In the U.S. House I was one of the Democrats that didn't go along with the Democratic leadership when they'd say it's—come by and time to vote for our budget resolution.  The Republican leadership would come by and say you know sometimes you just got to vote with us on these unbalanced budget resolutions loaded with deficit.  Well I wouldn't go along with them.  That was not liked by the senior leadership in either party.  Now we're in a situation where our debt is 16.— 15.7 trillion and our deficit under the Obama budget is 1.3 trillion and under the Ryan Republican budget it is $600 billion.  With the Constitution Party's philosophy and viewpoint, with which I agree, we need to cut now, balance now, not five to ten years down the road. [applause]  We must have the courage to cut, and I've got from the Department of Education's No Child Left Behind to the Department of Education in general to foreign aid, and we could go on and on. 

And I would say look at Obama's record and Mitt Romney's record just on those two issues.  Education, No Child Left Behind and foreign aid.  I'm for slashing and cutting.  They may be for taking a paring knife and maybe slicing off just a thin layer of cheese at the top, but Obama isn't even for that.  He wants to throw them out another whole ream of cheese saying go to it gang. 

I was honored to be in Ron Paul's Liberty Caucus.  I support an audit of the Federal Reserve and I don't think you'll get Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to even mention the issue. [applause]

Another area of big distinction between us and the Republicans and Democrats is illegal immigration and legal immigration.  I cannot thank the national—I'm a member of it—but I cannot thank the national committee of the Constitution Party enough for having the courage in the face of political correctness to say we stand with Arizona in support of their legislation.  If I'm president you would not have Eric Holder as Attorney General going down as a friend of the court to the opponents of that legislation.  Our attorney general would go and be a friend of the court to saying let's uphold what Arizona, Alabama and other states are doing to control illegal immigration. [applause]

I said during our campaign, and I want to thank Robbie Wells for also having this position, calling for a moratorium with a few exceptions on the continuing issuing of green cards when we have unemployment between 8- and 9-percent.  Last year 1.2 million green cards were issued.  A significant number were to working age individuals.  When we have American citizens that need work, you should not be bringing in so many from foreign nations to take jobs that our citizens have longed for and need so they can get off the unemployment line before we extend the benefits of this country to those from other countries.  It's time to put the American worker first. [applause]

In the House I was always a supporter of ending diversity visas.  This is 50,000 persons per year that can come in on a lottery system.  You can be from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, wherever and even though you are nowhere near the front of the legal immigration line if you apply for the diversity visa pool and you get in that lottery system and they pull your number, in you come.  Again why bring in so many persons, many of whom are working age, when our unemployment is so high.  It is the wrong course for the nation and if I'm president I will sign and work for the legislation to end those diversity visas. [applause]

Another big distinction between myself and President Obama and likely candidate Mitt Romney.  I do not support automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegals in this country. [applause] 

Eliminating automatic birthright citizenship would also significantly help the budgetary situation of the United States and of several of the states.  You should not be able to come in, have a child in this country, get food stamps, get public assistance, get Medicaid and some other type of public housing.  All of that is being paid for by long-term citizens who are paying taxes and we need to end that practice whether its by statute or whether its by constitutional amendment.  I don't know of another country in the world that is that liberal with regard to illegal aliens being, having children in their native country.  We have one of the most liberal immigration—maybe the most—in the world.  We need to turn that upside down.  If we do our budget situation will be enhanced, and most importantly, as my campaign literature says, we need to save America by focusing on the fact that citizenship should matter and should count for something. [applause]

The last thing I want to mention as a key distinction between myself and candidates Romney and candidates Obama is campaign fundraising.  They are hawks and they are adept at getting $10,000 out of couples for the primary and for the general election and really sharp at getting big money from big PACs.  I'm not taking, besides a few leftover campaign funds from congressional races and donations from immediate family, no donation over $200 and no PAC contributions.  It's time that the average citizen had the same voice in government as the Oracle of Omaha, the head of Google, the head of Facebook and all those entities.  Let's stand up for the average citizen and not the special few.  Let's elect me and the Constitution Party's ticket in 2012 and we will give America the change that it is needed and it won't be the Barack Obama change of 2008. [applause]


Copyright © 2012 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.