RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie
St. Anslem College
Manchester, New Hampshire
Wednesday, December 3, 2003

   Remarks Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Laena.

This is my second visit to your beautiful state, and I’m thrilled to be here with you tonight to talk about our Party, our policies, our President and our priorities.

Let’s start with our Party, which continues to grow and bring in new voters and new victories.  With the addition of Republican governors this year like Ernie Fletcher in Kentucky—the first Republican governor to be elected there in 36 years, and Mississippi, where my predecessor Haley Barbour became only the second Republican governor there in 130 years—and in California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger said Hasta la Vista to the dismal leadership of Gray Davis, nearly six-in-ten Americans live in a state with a Republican governor—including the four most populous states in the country.

And since President Bush took office, over 125 elected Democrat officials have switched parties and become Republicans!

On the other hand, the Democratic party is shrinking, down to 32% of voters who identify themselves as Democrats, according to their own pollsters.  That is the lowest percentage since the modern-day Democratic party came into being when Franklin Roosevelt forged the New Deal Coalition, and the lowest in the history of public opinion polling.

As the Democrat Party gets smaller, it becomes increasingly more liberal, elitist and angry, and as it becomes increasingly more liberal, elitist and angry, it gets smaller.

And as its presidential contenders continue to pander to the liberal special interest groups that dominate their party, they’re moving further and further outside the political mainstream.

On the critical issues of job creation, homeland security and national security, and who shares our values, they have adopted positions that may help them win their party’s nomination, but will be rejected by the broader electorate next November.

Consider this:  Every single Democrat running for President today is for raising taxes on working Americans.  They’re split on a lot of things, but when it comes to raising taxes, they’re unanimous!

Mr. Clark said here last night he wants to raise taxes on the top 2% of earners, and he wants to create jobs.  But 70% of those earners he wants to raise taxes on are small businesses owners.  80% of the tax relief for upper income filers goes to small businesses that are responsible for creating 75% of new jobs in America.  You can’t raise taxes on small businesses and create jobs at the same time.

In fact, tax increases will only stymie the job creation that’s now resulting from the President’s pro-growth policies.

Congressman Dick Gephardt has called the Bush tax cuts a ‘miserable failure’ saying ‘we have got to get rid of them because they have not worked.’

Mr. Gephardt is wrong.  Over the past three months, we have seen the addition of nearly 300,000 new jobs to payroll.

The economic growth rate for the last quarter was a white-hot 8.2%, the highest in about 20 years.

Real fixed business investment jumped 14% in the 3rd Quarter, while software and equipments spending rose 18%.

Total construction in October hit an all-time high.

The index of manufacturing employment posted its first expansion in 37 months in November, and productivity hit a 20
year high.

President Bush inherited a slowing economy, one that had dropped from over 5% growth rates in the second quarter of 2000 to less than one percent in the third and fourth quarters, on its way to a recession by the first quarter of 2001, as he was taking office. This slowdown was compounded by the terrorist attacks of September 11, the corporate scandals that began under the previous Administration, and the prospect of war with Iraq.

Thanks to the President’s jobs and growth plan, including the dividend tax relief that has helped restore billions of dollars to college and retirement savings funds over the past six months, the economy is gaining momentum that would only be reversed by the tax hikes supported by every Democratic presidential aspirant.

The choice on the economy is clear. President Bush is right, the Democrats are wrong, and we’re going to prove it next November.

The President recently signed a bill banning the heinous procedure known as partial birth abortion. Senator John Kerry claims ‘there is no such thing as a partial birth, it is a late term abortion.’  But, in the United States Senate, where you couldn’t get 60 votes in agreement on the time of day, 64 senators voted to end what the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan rightly compared to “infanticide.”

Joe Lieberman joined John Kerry and voted with the extreme elements of their party to protect this reprehensible procedure, and John Edwards couldn’t make time for the vote.

The choice on who shares our values is clear.  President Bush is right, the Democrats are wrong, and we’re going to prove it next November.

When it comes to winning the War Against Terror, the President’s critics are adopting a policy that will make us more vulnerable in the world after September 11. Specifically, they now reject the policy of preemptive self defense, and would have us return to one of reacting to terrorism in its aftermath.

This was U.S. policy for years.  When the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center the first time in 1993, it was treated as a criminal act, not terrorism.  When the terrorists bombed the Khobar Towers, when they bombed our embassies in East Africa, when they killed 17 servicemen aboard the USS Cole, we responded.

After September 11, President Bush made clear that we will no longer simply react to terrorist threats.  We will confront gathering threats before they become certain tragedies. If we are unwilling to deal with terrorism, we will deal with its aftermath.  If we don’t fight the war on terror in places like Baghdad and Kabul, we’re more likely to fight it in Boston and in Kansas.

The choice on homeland security is clear.  President Bush is right, the Democrats are wrong, and we’re going to prove it next November.

And while we welcome the support of other nations in this effort, and appreciate the more than 30 countries involved in the reconstruction of Iraq and the sacrifice of those in the Coalition of the Willing in its liberation, we can not put the fate of our national security interests in the hands of others, as those who oppose our policies would have us do.

One high-ranking Al Qaeda official said after the attacks of September 11 that it was “the beginning of the end of America.”

He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of Russia.  He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of France.  He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of the United Nations.  He said it was the beginning of the end of America.

He couldn’t have been more wrong, but it’s our prerogative to make sure he’s wrong--with or without the unanimous international consent demanded by the President’s critics.

This week one of those critics said the President ‘doesn’t understand what it takes to defend this country’ and accused him of having announced that he was going to “cut the combat pay for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

This is the same critic who earlier in the year told Americans that we should prepare for the day when the United States “won’t always have the strongest military”—former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

He is wrong about our military and his charge that the President was going to cut the combat pay for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is completely at odds with all facts, and that the Defense Bill the President just signed into law contains a 50% increase in combat pay for our troops!

When it comes to fighting the war against terror and protecting our homeland, the President is right, his critics are wrong and Americans are safer and the world is freer because of his policies!

Speaking of Governor Dean, I was in Vermont yesterday and the Vermonters I talked to said I should not have been surprised that something their former governor said was at odds with the facts.

They told me that Deans claim to be a fiscal conservative who fought higher taxes is also at odds with the facts.

Turns out, while he was in office, taxes increased more than twice as fast as income.  By his last term, only Hawaii and New Mexico had higher state tax revenue as a percentage of personal income.

And under Dr. Dean's administration, Vermont state spending grew 52% between 1997 and 2002, outpacing population growth and inflation by 34 percent.

As a result of his big spending, Vermonters work longer to pay for their state government than any other Americans.

No wonder Vermont Business Magazine reported in his last year in office, ‘The majority of Vermont companies have a negative perception of the business environment in Vermont and almost half of Vermont companies found the state ‘unfriendly to business.’

Presidential elections are not only about issues, they’re about leadership.  President Bush is a strong and principled leader who has returned honor and integrity to the White House.

But while President Bush works to rid our homeland of terrorist threats, to rid our schools of hopelessness, rid our economy of unemployment, rid our air and water of pollutants, rid our government of obstacles to faith based approaches to helping those in need, rid the African continent of AIDS, and rid the world of terrorism, Democrats work only to rid the White House of President Bush.

Happily, voters are rejecting their politics of protest and pessimism in favor of the Presidents positive agenda.  We are seeing it across the country and we are seeing here in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is not only important because of its first-in-the-nation primary status, it's important because it is a battleground state.

In 2000, President Bush won New Hampshire by a margin of 24 votes per precinct.  That means that if only 16 voters per precinct had voted for Al Gore, President Bush would not have won here.  And if President Bush had not won New Hampshire, he would not have been elected.

Now, we're going to increase our margin here next year, but just to make sure we have a goal to register over 22,000 new voters by next November.  The right to vote is one of the most precious rights we have, and we're going to do all we can to make sure every Republican or Republican-leaning voter exercises that sacred right!  And our 72-hour-program is already in
high gear.

We would welcome your participation.  Just go to GOPTEAMLEADER.COM to learn how to sign up as a volunteer.

Every door you knock, every yard sign you post, every phone you call, every e-mail you forward, every bumper sticker you stick makes a difference.  You can make a difference.  I hope you will.

Thank you.