Presidential Campaign and Candidates

 

Lloyd Bentsen for President 1976 Campaign Brochure

Lloyd Bentsen for President 1976 Campaign Brochure

‘This is Lloyd Bentsen’

 

The Issues. What Bentsen says:

 

People:

…the roots of this great nation are in its working people. They pay most of the taxes to support our public institutions. They fight our wars when the need arises". They provide the muscle for all of the progress we have enjoyed throughout our rich history.

Nationwide Television Address July 31, 4974

 

The Economy:

"I do not believe in the trickle-down theories which seem to have governed so many of our Governments recent economic policies. It has been my experience that when average working men and women in this country are doing well, business does well, and the country as a whole does well."

Congressional Record July 11, 1974

 

Pension Reform:

... This new law will insure that upon retirement, sufficient funds are available to provide workers with their earned pension benefits. It will guarantee peace of mind for countless American workers...

Congressional Record August 22, 1974

 

Inflation:

... It should be clear by now that serious problems cannot be solved by public relations, they can only be solved by public responsibility…The real solution to this kind of inflation does not lie in further crippling the ability of families like yours to buy the things they need…the real solution of inflation lies in increasing the supplies of the goods we need.

Nationwide Television Address July 31, 1974

 

Taxes:

... One of the most pressing economic opportunities (is) tax fairness -- fairness in laws for families who pay their taxes, and fairness in enforcing those laws.

Nationwide Television Address July 31, 1974

 

Energy:

"We start with the proposition that this nation can, with hard work and determination, become energy self sufficient."

Southern Governors' Conference September 9, 1974

 

Transportation:

I believe we must allocate the resources necessary to put urban transportation back on its feet to encourage the growth of attractive efficient alternatives to the automobile.

Congressional Record June 7, 1974

 

Equal Educational Opportunities:

...For too long we have penalized the child who happens to have been born in a poor school district by giving him an unequal chance for a quality education…it is a federal government responsibility to assist states who make an effort to adopt workable plans to improve educational opportunities for children in poorer school districts through a more equitable method of school finance.

Congressional Record July 23, 1974

 

The Veteran:

"I see no justification for expecting veterans from Vietnam to be content with programs which are inferior to those during and after World War II and the Korean conflict. The veterans involved in all of these conflicts have the same basic needs and aspirations...”

Introducing the "Veterans' Education and Training Amendments of 1972" February 8, 1972

 

National Security:

"…our goal must be better defense not just bigger budgets. It is our duty as stewards of both the people's money and their trust to make sure that the security of this country is never compromised. But we must also remember our obligation to hold strictly accountable those who spend the public's money no matter what the cause."

Congressional Record January 31, 1974

 

Foreign Policy:

... And easing of relations with China and Russia is well and good, but the world is a sphere and not a triangle…there has been neglect of our European friends...of our hemispheric neighbors in Latin America...of our relationship with Japan as a friend, ally, and major trading partner...the emerging Third World nations...and there has been neglect of out historic role of moral leadership and spokesman for humanitarian values in the comers of the world where we have closed our eyes to official oppression ...

New York Foreign Policy Association September 19, 1974

 

The Presidency:

…My view of a strong President is one who acts decisively and competently within his constitutionally assigned limits, taking full personal responsibility for the conduct of the Executive Branch. Its successes and its failures. It is not enough that the President understand the issues. He must be willing and able to present them to the people, to win support for government policies, and to give citizens the background for making free choices.

Center For Study of the Presidency March 31, 1974

 

Liberal? Conservative? Right? Left? Labels don't easily fit Lloyd Bentsen. For Bentsen knows that problems are seldom neat and simple. And, solutions that work are seldom neat or simple either.

So Bentsen calls them as he sees them. And, if that puts him in the center or makes him a moderate, well so be it. For his concern is matching solutions to problems. Getting things done. Accomplishments. That's his strength.

Bentsen. He doesn't fit labels. But, then, neither do the problems.

 

Talk might make good news copy. But talk alone doesn't always help people. And, that is Bentsen's concern. Helping people.

 

Here is part of the result:

 

Sponsor of the War Powers Act

First in Senate to oppose Russian Grain Deal

Successfully increased funding for Agriculture Research

Established a Defense Manpower Commission

Fought against acceleration of the Trident Submarine

Opposed Continued Public Financing of SET

Sponsored Commission on reducing Federal Paperwork

Sponsor of major Mass Transportation legislation

Enacted Anti-Age Discrimination legislation for elderly

Introduced and enacted landmark Pension Reform Legislation

Leading advocate for Post Card Voter Registration

Sponsor of legislation to Aid Handicapped Children

Enacted legislation to eliminate means test for college loans

Sponsor of major Congressional Budget Reform legislation.

Secured Senate approval of Equal Educational Opportunity, legislation

Sponsored legislation to depoliticize the Justice Department

Sponsored Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit discrimination on basis of sex or martial status

 

Bentsen. He dreams dreams. But, he doesn't chase rainbows.

 

Who he is:

Born February 11, 1921, Mission, Texas. Family originally Danish immigrants settled in White, South Dakota. Married Beryl Ann (B.A ) Longino of Lufkin, Texas. Three children. Lawyer. Veteran. Pilot with 50 missions over Europe. Elected county Judge at age 25. Congressman at 27. Retired from Congress after three terms.

Successful business career. Elected U S. Senator, 1970. Member of the Senate Finance, Public Works, and Joint Economic Committees Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Chairman of Transportation, Financial Markets, and Economic Growth Subcommittees, and NATO Subcommittee on Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction.

That's what the Biography says.

It doesn't say much about voluntarily releasing a financial statement, placing his assets in a blind trust. Or his sponsoring the War Powers legislation. Or his landmark pension legislation. Or, his commitment for more jobs. Better education. Decent wages. Housing. Safe and livable neighborhoods. Economic Opportunity.

Or his fights for the farmer, and elderly Americans. Or his compassion for those who have less.

 

That's not in the biography. That's part of the man.

 

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