At home, the economy is strong and the budget is balanced. A growing surplus provides the means to both cut taxes and finance important reforms. On education, Social Security and health care, our Republican team is right and our opposition is wrong.
On the social issues that have divided our nation for so long, we are committed to forge a bi-partisan approach to solving America’s problems. We are committed to a future that leaves no one behind. We believe individual liberty is rooted in personal responsibility.
The moral dimension of leadership respects the moral and religious foundations of our Republic. We trust the American people to manage their own lives.
A: They raised two children to whom they gave a precious gift, a set of core beliefs. A value system founded on a clear understanding of the difference between right and wrong and a belief in the Almighty. They taught us Integrity, kindness and Godliness were right. Lying, violence, intolerance, crime and drugs were wrong and, even worse than wrong, they were shameful. In my family we were taught that hard work and education were the keys to success. My sister and I were taught to believe in ourselves. We might be considered poor, but we were rich in spirit. But, stick with it, because in America, justice will eventually triumph and the powerful, searing promise of the founding fathers will come true. We were taught by my parents to always, always, always believe in America.
I became a Republican because I want to help fill the big tent that our party has raised to attract all Americans. You all know that I believe in a woman’s right to choose and I strongly support affirmative action. And, I was invited here by my party to share my views with you because we are a big enough party to disagree on individual issues and still work together for our common goal: restoring the American Dream. I am a Republican because I believe in that dream, and I believe we are the ones to keep it alive.
A: I’m honored and humbled. It’s a question I receive regularly, and I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life after my book is finished. I’m not a professional politician. I was truly a soldier.
Even after working two years in the West Wing, there isn’t a single one of my White House friends from those days who could tell you today whether they think I’m a Republican or a Democrat. That was part of the code I lived with. Now I’m trying to develop a political philosophy, just to be a good citizen, not necessarily to run for office. I want to keep the option of elective office open because I think I should do that. Why close off possibilities? I want to be of some service to the nation in the future. I just don’t know if it will be an appointed office, charitable work, or educational work.
I don’t find a passion for politics. I don’t find that I have that calling for politics. But I want to keep the option open.
In 1964, stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, Powell pulled into a drive-in hamburger stand on Victory Drive. The waitress said she was not allowed to serve him, but if he would go behind the restaurant, she would pass him a hamburger out the back window. [Powell left in anger. Later that year,] Pres. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing discrimination in places of public accomodation.
In 1964, LBJ ran against Barry Goldwater, who had cast the lone vote in the Senate against the civil rights bill. Powell said, “I mailed my absentee ballot to my New York voting address. LBJ, all the way. And I treated myself to another burger on Victory Drive.”
I distrust rigid ideology from any direction, and I am discovering that many Americans feel just as I do. The time may be at hand for a third major party to emerge to represent this sensible center of the American political spectrum.
Nevertheless, I do not unequivocally rule out a political future. If I ever do decide to enter politics, it will not be because of high popularity ratings in the polls. I am fully aware that in taking stands on issues, I would quickly alienate one interest group or another and burn off much popularity. And I would certainly not run because I saw myself as the “Great Black Hope,” providing a role model for African-Americans or a symbol to whites of racism overcome. I would enter only because I had a vision for this country. I would enter because I believed I could do a better job than the other candidates of solving the nation’s problems. I would not expect or desire to have anything handed to me; I would fight for the right to lead. And I would enter not to make a statement but to win.
In my departure speech, I said, “I am the son of Jamaicans who emigrated to the US. But today, I am something more. I am an African too. I feel my roots, here in this continent.”
After the visit to Nigeria, my wife and I headed home with a new awareness of our heritage. What we had witnessed was tragic, but also uplifting. It demonstrated, no matter how far down people are driven, how high they can rise when they are allowed to slip their chains and know freedom.
Today, I pointed out, African-Americans were scaling the barriers, gaining overdue recognition: ”I am deeply mindful of the debt I owe to those who went before me. I climbed on their backs. I challenge every young person here today: don’t forget their service and their sacrifice; and don’t forget our service and sacrifice, and climb on our backs.“
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George W. Bush
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
John McCain (R,AZ)
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)
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