Presidential Campaign and Candidates

 

Dick Gephardt for President 1988 Campaign Brochure

Dick Gephardt for President 1988 Campaign Brochure

‘Meet Dick Gephardt Democrat for President’

 

Dear Democrat,

 

I'm running for President because I believe Democrats can win the White House in '88 by nominating a candidate who stands firm on Democratic principles and offers sensible solutions built upon the best ideas from every part of our party.

I believe that kind of candidate is our best hope to recapture the voters we will need to win in 1988.

I have been that kind of Democrat all my life. That may well be why my colleagues in the House of Representatives chose me to chair their Democratic Caucus because I believe that Democrats of all stripes have something positive to offer.

I believe we must use government actively to advance the causes of freedom, opportunity, human rights, and the environment.

I believe we need a strong defense and must be fiscally responsible.

I believe that progress comes one day at a time. one step at a time that it's, wrong to forsake a chance to move forward; that democracy works by building consensus.

My commitment to the Democratic Party's ideals is firmly rooted in personal experience. I grew up in a working class neighborhood.

My father's family lost its farm during the Great Depression, when dad was a young man. He moved to St. Louis.

Dad was a milk truck driver, mom a legal secretary.

We didn't have much money, but we did have lots of love, discipline when we needed it, and we had hope.

My family knew that if we worked hard, if we were willing to sacrifice, we could make a better life for ourselves and our children. That's the kind of America I grew up in, and I thank the Democrats, and the fights they've made, for the fact that I had that opportunity.

I want to make sure that every American family today has that same chance. To guarantee it, we must become the best educated, most motivated, most competitive, and healthiest people in the world.

That is my goal. I believe America can win the world's challenge; I believe there is no limit to how good we can make this country if we just set our minds to it.

 

Will you help me?

 

Thank you,

Dick

 

A practical approach that gets things done.

 

It's no coincidence that you see Dick Gephardt's name so often on legislation that defines the Democratic position on major issues:

 

Harkin-Gephardt is the national rallying point to save the family farm;

 

Bradley-Gephardt paved the way for tax reform;

 

Kennedy-Gephardt was the major proposal to overhaul Medicare financing;

 

The Gephardt Amendment demanded get-tough trade policies. It passed the House in 1986.

 

Schroeder-Gephardt nuclear test ban is the national focus of arms control efforts.

 

It's no coincidence you see Gephardt's name so often, because when Dick Gephardt takes on a fight for Democratic principles, Democrats win.

 

When Gramm-Rudman looked like a freight train nobody could stop despite its anti-people priorities, Dick Gephardt stopped it, And got those priorities rewritten.

 

Dick Gephardt first promised tax reform in 1976 and stayed with it until it got done. Same thing when his constituents were victimized by the Times Beach dioxin crisis. He stayed in the fight until he won,

 

Dick Gephardt led the fight to reintroduce the ERA. He was an original sponsor of the Pay Equity Act to provide equal pay for equal work and to protect pension rights.

 

Dick Gephardt gets things done because he knows how to build consensus. He is a gifted listener.

 

A Grassroots Background

 

Dick Gephardt started his political career as a precinct committeeman and worked his way up.

 

Concerned about a stagnant local economy, Gephardt ran for and won a seat on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in 1971, where he earned a reputation as a "Young Turk'' by organizing neighborhood groups to make City Hall more responsive to community needs.

 

Since then, working with grassroots organizations has become a Gephardt trademark, whether the issue is farm crisis, nuclear freeze, tax reform, energy, or environment.

 

In 1976, Dick Gephardt knocked on 50,000 doors and won a seat in Congress. He is a member of the Ways & Means Committee.

 

Gephardt was elected Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus in 1984, where his job has been to lead the formulation of Democratic policy on major issues.

He met Jane Byrnes of Columbus, Nebraska in college. They were married in 1965 and have three children, Matthew, Christine, and Katherine.

The common thread is common sense

 

Defense

"We need a strong defense and we need to stop the arms race before we blow up the planet. We need both or we're dead.

"I support arms control. I support verifiable nuclear test bans. I believe we can and must deal with the Soviets, and I believe we can do it without losing national security. We have to be smart, practical, and tough.

"At the same time we have to be ready in case things don't work out. We need an effective nuclear deterrent and we need vastly improved conventional forces. We're spending too much money on the wrong things."

 

Star Wars/SDI

"I support research, but I am absolutely opposed to deployment. Look but don't leap."

 

Balanced Budget & The Economy

"The only thing I liked about the way Gramm-Rudman originally came down was the fact that it set goals. I thought the goals were reasonable but the priorities were lousy.

"It flew through the Senate with all the cuts on the domestic side and military spending virtually left alone. So I fought it, made an impassioned plea for party unity, and I'm glad to say we won. We saved nine major people programs, rewrote the bill to reflect Democratic priorities, and forced the Senate to accept it.

"A lot of people think there are only two ways to balance the budget -- cut spending or raise taxes -- but actually there is a third way. Raise national income. In other words, expand the economy and the tax base through more jobs and economic growth.

"Reagan had the idea right in principle but not in practice. There's just no way we can balance the budget with a stagnant economy. We need vigorous economic growth.

"We can't sustain economic growth if we don't invest in our own people to make America the most productive, competitive nation in the world. That's why I disagree with the President's budget priorities and his trade policies. If we can turn those things around, we can get the budget back under control."

 

Foreign Policy

"We need to be far more assertive. America has a special place in the world. Along with that come heavy responsibilities we cannot avoid.

"We must be true to our own values in foreign policy: freedom, real democracy, simple honesty and decency. We must oppose racism and tyranny of the right and left alike. We should not throw our weight around like a stupid brute, nor should we let anyone play us for suckers. We must be mature, firm, and assertive"

 

Nicaragua/Contras

"I'm against aid to the Contras We need to completely revamp the Reagan policy on Nicaragua and Central America, We must learn to use diplomatic and economic policies instead of automatically resorting to military power every time."

 

Trade Policy

"We need to get tough. We need to enforce the golden rule with our trade partners: treat us fairly and you'll get the same in return. Treat us unfairly and well stop you at the border.

"We've tolerated limp trade policies for too long. It's given us record trade deficits that are hitting us right in the lunch bucket. It's destroying our farm economy and costing us millions of jobs."

 

Education

"It's a new world out there. We've lost our competitive edge. The battle to regain America's position in the world is going to be won or lost in the classrooms.

"We need a national goal nothing less than making America the best educated, most competitive, most innovative country in the world.

"We can no longer afford to look at education as meaning only the kids now in school. We have to provide lifelong learning as a national goal if we're going to compete. It has to include everybody  -- the people now working, the managers, the 25 year old who's never had a job, the people who've lost jobs, all of us. We need to muster every ounce of talent from coast to coast and make the most of it."

 

Farm Income

"I support profitable farm price levels made possible by production controls established through a farmer's referendum. The Harkin-Gephardt bill.

"My dad's family lost it's farm, so I know the tragedy first-hand. It's devastating. The Stockman-Block farm policy is a national disaster.

"We need a get-tough trade policy to win back our international markets, and we need to target farm programs more carefully so the help gets where it's needed."

 

Health Care

"Health care is a matter of right. No American should be denied it.

"What we think of as health care has changed dramatically because people are living longer and they're healthier. Older Americans are becoming a larger share of the population

"The question is how we can sustain people through longer lives. We need to be providing long-term care as well as acute care, to provide adequate health care throughout life.

"The issues are access, flexibility, and cost. We can make the goal a reality by increasing competition, by making the health care system flexible and innovative, and by using strong local leadership to control costs."

 

Fair & Open Society

"I believe every human being has a contribution to make, and I'm against any barrier that keeps them from realizing their full potential.

"We have to reverse the Reagan retrenchment on human rights, civil rights, women's rights, but that's only part of the job. If the laws are Right but the cupboard is still empty economically, the job is not done.

"So yes, of course I've fought for the Civil Rights Restoration Act, for reintroducing ERA, for pay equity, for all those things, but I don't think that's enough. We need to make it a reality on payday, not just on paper.

"We need a national commitment to economic growth, to education, to retraining, to the full achievement of individual potential and self sufficiency and that's how we'll make it a reality.

 

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