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Bush Delivers Campaign Speech in St. Charles, Missouri

Aired November 2, 2000 - 12:30 p.m. ET


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: And now we are going to switch back to the campaign trail. George W. Bush making an appearance in Missouri. Let's listen in to what he's telling to supporters there.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is going to be a close election. It's going to be a hard fought election. And I can't win without you. I hope you join us, with less than a week to go, to turn out the vote, to get your friends and neighbors to the polls, to convince people of how important this election is.

And by the way, don't be afraid to talk to open-minded Democrats and discerning independents, because like us they know there's a better day ahead for America. It doesn't have to be that way in Washington, D.C.


No, there's a better day for this country. Washington doesn't have to be a place of bitterness and acrimony and finger-pointing and no results. There's a better way to have a president who's willing to reach across the partisan divide and to unite this nation, to go to Washington to do the people's business. And that's exactly what I intend to do, should I earn the confidence of the great people of this land.


And don't be afraid to talk to those undecided voters about the issues, because we stand side by side with the people of the great state of Missouri.


Ours is a philosophy that says we trust the people, and I'm running against a man who trusts the federal government. Ours is a philosophy that says we trust people to make decisions in their own lives, and I'm running against a fellow who's of Washington, by Washington, and for Washington.

You can understand why. He was raised in a hotel in Washington.

(LAUGHTER) Let's talk about some issues right quick.

It's time to do something about Social Security. It's time to make sure this system works once and for all.

You know, when I first got running, people said, "Well, Governor, you better not talk about Social Security. It's the third raid of American politics." It's that issue if you touch it, it shocks you.

But they don't understand I guess what I'm about. See, I'm running for a reason. I want to solve some problems. I want to bring people together. It's time to quit playing politics with Social Security.


We're going to set aside all the payroll taxes and dedicate it to only one thing, and that's Social Security, so that we can say to the seniors of America: A promise this great land has made will be a promise our country keeps.


Now, I know Halloween just ended, but there's some scare tactics still going on in American politics.

AUDIENCE: Give Al Gore a new home!


BUSH: There you go.

And you know what we're going to do in this election? We're going to reject that old-style politics of trying to frighten seniors. We're going to say loud and clear: We're looking for a better day in American politics. We're going to say to Al Gore, not this time and not this year are you going to scare the seniors into the voting booth.


But you know what else has changed on this issue? There are thousands of younger workers who understand if our government does not think differently, they're either going to have pay huge payroll tax increases or have major reductions in benefits. It doesn't have to be that way, so long as we trust individual workers. And so our plan says, we're going to keep the promise to our seniors, but we'll allow younger workers at their choice to invest some of their own money in the private markets to get a better rate of return, so that the Social Security System promise will be kept.


This frightens some in Washington because they want the federal government controlling the Social Security, like it's some kind of federal program. We understand differently though. You see, it's your money, not the government's money. You ought to be allowed to invest it the way you see fit.


I want to thank the parents who are here, and I want to thank the grandmoms.

Thanks for coming. I want to -- the reason I say thanks is because I want to be able to tell you first-hand that my good running mate -- and by the way, I picked a fabulous man to be my running mate...


My good running mate and I will do everything we can to keep the peace. I can't think of a better legacy than to make the world more peaceful.

But we want a strong hand when it comes to keeping the peace. The role of a leader is to anticipate and look down the road.

I'm worried about the warning signs for the United States military. I'm worried about the fact that a lot of our captains are leaving the service. I'm worried about the fact that enlisted personnel don't seem eager to re-enlist. I'm worried about the fact that some of our services are short on parts. I'm worried about the fact I'm running against a man who uses the military and nation- building in the same breath.

I want our military to be focused and strong. I want our military to be well-prepared. I want our military to be of high morale.

We will rebuild the military power of the United States of America.


And by the way, in order to make sure our soldiers who wear the uniform today understand our government stands side-by-side with them, we must keep our commitment to the many veterans who have worn the uniform in the past. I want to thank the veterans who are here. I thank you for your service.

MESERVE: You've been listening to George W. Bush speaking out in Missouri. Many of the themes he is hitting familiar now, talking about Social Security, education, strengthening the military. Only five days to go until the election, and you heard Bush emphasize that he wants to get the vote out. he said talk to Democrats, talk to independence, talk to the undecideds to get them to the polls, and said Bush, get them to vote for me.



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