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Special Event

Bush Speaks in Michigan on Whistlestop Campaign Trip Through Midwest Battleground States

Aired August 5, 2000 - 12:06 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: Fresh from his Republican convention, presidential candidate George W. Bush is on a whistlestop campaign trip through the battleground states of the Midwest. At this moment, he is in Durand, Michigan, and we go there live.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much. Thank you all for coming.

What a fantastic crowd on a beautiful day. We are honored to be here. (OFF-MIKE) Durand, Michigan, guess what this crowd tells us? That come November with your hard work, we are going to carry the great state of Michigan.

(APPLAUSE)

We are so honored that our fellow Americans came out to say hello. We have been anxious to be here, on such a beautiful day here in the great state of Michigan. Thanks for coming. I first want to say thanks to Gary and Carole.

First of all -- to all the teachers out there like Carole: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for teaching. Thank so very much for being a teacher and working with our children.

And, as for you, Gary, this is a campaign that welcomes Democrats into this campaign. This is a Demo -- because our message isn't just a Republican message.

Our message speaks to working people from all walks of life. Ours is a message that speaks to hope from everybody in America. We welcome you in in campaign, Gary. We are honored to have your support, and for all of the union members out there, come onto this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

And I want to thank you all for supporting the candidates up and down our ticket. First, let me remind you that we are on the stage with a really good United States Senator, an honorable man, a man who brings dignity to the office: Mr. Spence Abraham.

(APPLAUSE) There you go, Senator. He is a good man. Send him back up there, now. And I know you got a great candidate here named Mike Rogers. Mike, you are in a great race. We are proud to be up here with the Governor, John Engler. John is our friend -- Candice Miller.

And I am proud to call Dick Cheney my friend. Let me tell you something, when I was making my selection for vice president, they kept saying, well, who are you going pick, and I said, well, I am not sure yet, but I will promise you this: The person I pick will be able to assume the office of presidency, if need be. I found that man in Dick Cheney.

(APPLAUSE)

They kept asking me, they kept asking me who are you going to pick, and I said, well, should I be fortunate to become president, I am going pick with whom can I work, somebody of sound judgment and good wisdom, somebody who will be a partner. I found that man in Dick Cheney.

And like me, he married well. Speaking about marrying well, I can't tell you how proud I was last Monday night to watch my wife give that speech.

(APPLAUSE)

She made us all so proud with that gracious smile, that inner strength. The true story was -- see, we were raised out in Midland, Texas. We don't have many trees like this out in Midland, by the way; it is kind of in the desert. And, any rate, I said, would you marry me? She said, fine, so long I don't have to give any speeches. Thankfully, she didn't hold me to that promise.

What a fantastic first lady Laura Bush is going to be. Hopefully by the end of this convention, you began to get a sense of where our hearts are, what our purpose is, where our vision is for America. Our priorities are our faith. Our priorities are our families. Our priorities is a great land we love called America.

It's a moment of incredible prosperity. But the current administration has not seized the moment. They have squandered the moment. They were handed a military of high morale, thanks to people like Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense, a military -- a military that was well-motivated, properly prepared.

Under this administration, the morale in our United States military is low. And we understand in order to keep the peace -- and I want the moms and dads to hear -- we want to keep the peace in the world, but in order to keep the peace, we must restore the morale in our military. We must rebuild the military power of the United States of America. Now they have squandered the moment.

They had a chance to lead. They have not, and we will.

(APPLAUSE) There is a great school system around you. I hope your school system satisfies you all. I hope it's a good school system. You see, we believe in local control of schools. We trust the people of Durand, Michigan, to make the right decisions for the children of who live here in Durand, Michigan.

But this administration squandered the opportunity. There's too many of our children trapped in schools that will not teach and will not change. And instead of accepting the status quo, ours is an administration that will challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations, that will raise the bar, that will expect the best. And when we find failure, it's unacceptable to us because there are no second-rate children in America, there are no second-rate dreams.

And today, we were disappointed to learn of another squandered opportunity -- another squandered opportunity.

Today, the Clinton-Gore administration chose to veto the change in the marriage penalty in the tax code...

CROWD: No.

BUSH: ... after the Congress worked hard to send this signal to America: Marriage is important.

Let us make -- let us make the code more fair to married people. The Clinton-Gore administration vetoed the bill. We don't think it is right that a man and woman who are married pay more taxes than if they were single people; that's not right. It sends the wrong signal in America, and yet my opponent showed us where he stands. Instead of standing on the side of families, he stands on the side of big government. Had I had been president of the United States, I would have signed that bill.

(APPLAUSE)

RANDALL: Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush on a whistlestop tour of battleground states in the Midwest, with a speech at this hour in Durand, Michigan.

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