John Ashbrook Campaign Announcement Speech
I am hereby formally declaring my candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination.
I am in this race to win, because I believe that only the tested principles of Republicanism can lead our party to victory this fall, and guide our country safely through the perils of the next four years.
In making this race, I need no finer example to inspire me than the man* whom the Republican voters of New Hampshire favored, on the basis of his record and his platform, in the primary of 1968, and whom the American people as a whole elected to the Presidency that November.
That man believed and declared that Communism was the deadly enemy of freedom, and that America must never betray the allies who stood with her in opposition to its advance.
That man warned that America's defenses were the absolutely indispensable basis, not only of her own freedom, but of all mankind's - and that those defenses were in jeopardy.
That man cried out against the huge federal deficits that underlay our galloping inflation, and called for a freer, less regimented economy and a substantial reduction in federal spending.
That man won the New Hampshire Republican primary and the national election - and deserved to.
I stand today where that man stood then; but where does he stand today?
He has led the drive to admit Red China into the United Nations, and watched the cynical expulsion of the Republic of China from that body - though the government on Taiwan is one of America's oldest and closest allies, and despite the fact that he had pledged less than a year ago that we would never desert it.
He has permitted our defenses to sink from a status of clear superiority to one of bare "sufficiency", and then still further to a level at which stark, irretrievable inferiority is less than two years away.
He has allowed a deficit of 30 billion dollars in the current fiscal year, with all that implies for the overheating of the economy and the inevitable accompanying inflation - and has then sought to mask the inflationary effect by imposing an absurd tangle of wage and price controls that are already being widely ignored, in large part because nobody can possibly understand them.
He has allowed still bigger deficits in the years ahead, and still more vicious cycles of inflation and regimentation, by calling for the early enactment of a Family Assistance Plan that will easily double the already swollen cost of welfare to the taxpaying citizens of this country.
Perhaps this is what the American people want. Perhaps, even, he is reflecting the wishes and expressing the judgment of the Republican voters throughout the nation. But I for one do not believe it, and I propose to put the matter to the test in the good old-fashioned democratic way.
In all humility, but conscious too of the importance of the issues at stake, and proud to carry in this contest the banner of responsible conservatism, I respectfully ask for the support and the votes of the registered Republicans of New Hampshire.
Source: Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University