Friday, July 23, 2004

President Bush Speaks to National Urban League

The full transcript of his speech is found here.

President Bush spoke in his usual, conversational manner. His speech wasn't spit shined to a high state of police - it was President Bush speaking to people, not at them. What I found most appealing was the manner in which the President spoke of African American issues being mostly the same issues concerning all Americans. He didn't pander, he laid out his campaign and asked Americans whether they were being served by voting for the other guy.

The President stressed the reasons for the economic downturn and the reasons for the recovery. He spoke about his administration holding CEOs to task for the crimes they commit.

President Bush spoke a great deal about entrepreneurship. A large Democrat contention about tax cuts is that they only benefit the wealthy and big businesses - President Bush explained why that is a myth. He also announced a joint initiative between his administration and the National Urban League to help entrepreneurs.

The President laid out what he has done for education and what he plans to do in the future to improve upon it - namely ensuring local control of the schools and how education money is spent. He stressed the need for more reading intervention programs and setting more money aside for community colleges.

The President said that part of the American dream is to own a home - he talked about downpayment assistance programs, and tax-assisted building programs.

President Bush talked about specific issues he has addressed to deter and punish criminals and the downturn of crime because of those efforts.

President Bush underscored why faith-based initiatives are important.

President Bush demonstrated the difference between a talking about including people from all walks of life in the governing of the nation and doing it. His examples were the people of different races, creeds and colors that were members of his administration.

The President talked about terrorism, fighting AIDS, trade, and compassionate conservatism.

President Bush was funny at times, but his jokes all had a point.

Do you remember a guy named Charlie Gaines? Somebody gave me a quote he said, which I think kind of describes the environment we're in today. I think he's a friend of Jesse's. He said, "Blacks are gagging on the donkey but not yet ready to swallow the elephant." (Laughter and applause.)

Further on, President Bush asked some important questions:

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.)
 Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.)
How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.)
Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community? That's what I hope people ask when they go to the community centers and places, as we all should do our duty and vote. People need to be asking these very serious questions.

Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country? (Applause.)

Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family? (Applause.)

He closed with this:

You see, I believe in my heart that the Republican party, the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, is not complete without the perspective and support and contribution of African Americans. (Applause.)

And I believe in my heart that the policies and actions of this administration, policies that empower individuals and help communities, that lift up free enterprise and respect and honor the family, those policies are good for the nation as a whole. That's what I believe. And I'm here to thank you for giving me a chance to come and express those beliefs.

I'm proud to be with an organization that does so good, so much good for the American people. I'm honored that your Chairman would extend an invitation to me. Thanks for coming, and may God bless you and may God continue to bless the country. (Applause.)


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