You know, I could run for governor and all this but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never really done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil industry. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office. .
My appointees to the [Texas] board of pardons and paroles reflect my no-nonsense approach to crime and punishment. They believe people who commit crimes against innocent Texans should pay the consequences; they believe sentences imposed by juries should be carried out. .
The protection of America itself will assume a high priority in a new century. Once a strategic afterthought, homeland defense has become an urgent duty. For most of our history, America felt safe behind two great oceans. But with the spread of technology, distance no longer means security. .
We will defend the American homeland by strengthening our intelligence community – focusing on human intelligence and the early detection of terrorist operations both here and abroad. And when direct threats to America are discovered, I know that the best defense can be a strong and swift offense – including the use of Special Operations Forces and long-range strike capabilities. .
I will put a high priority on detecting and responding to terrorism on our soil. The federal government must take this threat seriously – working closely with researchers and industry to increase surveillance and develop treatments for chemical and biological agents. .
Defending our nation is just the beginning of our challenge. My third goal is to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity – given few nations in history – to extend the current peace into the far realm of the future. A chance to project America’s peaceful influence, not just across the world, but across the years. .
Yet today our military is still organized more for Cold War threats than for the challenges of a new century -- for industrial age operations, rather than forbattles. There is almost no relationship between our budget priorities and a strategic vision. The last seven years have been wasted in inertia and idle talk. Now we must shape the future with new concepts, new strategies, new resolve. .
In the late 1930s, as Britain refused to adapt to the new realities of war,observed, "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." .
In the defense of our nation, a president must be a clear-eyed realist. There are limits to the smiles and scowls of diplomacy. Armies and missiles are not stopped by stiff notes of condemnation. They are held in check by strength and purpose and the promise of swift punishment. .
Some have tried to pose a choice between American ideals and American interests — between who we are and how we act. But the choice is false. America, by decision and destiny, promotes political freedom — and gains the most when democracy advances. America believes in free markets and free trade — and benefits most when markets are opened. America is a peaceful power — and gains the greatest dividend from democratic stability. Precisely because we have no territorial objectives, our gains are not measured in the losses of others. They are counted in the conflicts we avert, the prosperity we share and the peace we extend. .
We are no longer fighting a great enemy, we are asserting a great principle: that the talents and dreams of average people — their warm human hopes and loves — should be rewarded by freedom and protected by peace. We are defending the nobility of normal lives, lived in obedience to God and conscience, not to government. .
We can do better in Washington D.C. We can have new leadership in Washington D.C., leadership that will lift this country's spirits and raise our sights.knows what thousands of other youngsters know, that just because the White House has let us down in the past, that doesn't mean it's going to happen in the future. George P. joins us in a campaign that's going to restore honor and dignity to the White House. .
I told all four [congressional leaders] that I felt like this election happened for a reason; that it pointed out — the delay in the outcome should make it clear to all of us — that we can come together to heal whatever wounds may exist, whatever residuals there may be. And I really look forward to the opportunity. I hope they've got my sense of optimism about the possible, and enthusiasm about the job. I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's okay. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier... [Bush laughs out loud, audience laughs out loud] ...just so long as I'm the dictator [more laughter]. .
I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. And I appreciated so very much the frank dialogue. .
Dealing with Congress is a matter of give and take. The president doesn't get everything he wants, the Congress doesn't get everything they want. But we're finding good common ground. A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it. .
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