Presidential Campaign and Candidates


George Bush 1980 Announcement Speech

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE:     9:30 EST, May 1, 1979





Ladies and gentlemen, I am a candidate for President of the United States.


With the help of friends and supporters throughout the country, I intend to seek and win our party's nomination and the general election in 1980.


I seek this nomination as a lifelong Republican who has worked throughout his career, in business and in public office, on behalf of the principles of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.


At the outset of this campaign, let me say that I am not running for President as a regional or factional candidate, but as a national candidate. I ask all Republicans to join me in a common effort to bring America the principled, stable leadership we must have in the decade of the eighties.


As a national- candidate, I will welcome the support of all Americans -- Republicans Democrats and Independents -- in my campaign, to give America the new leadership needed to keep our country free prosperous and second-to-none in the years ahead.


For that kind of leadership, as we have seen in recent years, good intentions are not enough.


Let there be no mistake regarding the source of our country's current problems, at home and overseas. The failure of the present administration is more than the failure of an individual leader.


It is a failure tied to the philosophy of tax-and-spend that has long dominated the leadership of his party.


New foundations cannot be built on these old pilings. The problems that face America today are traceable to the reckless national leadership of past years.


Over a decade ago when I was elected to the U.S. Congress, I spoke out against that reckless leadership -- warning against the consequences that would flow from an administration that promised the American people solutions to all problems, but instead gave us higher taxes, skyrocketing inflation, and loss of confidence in our country's leadership.


Our problems today, both at home and overseas, are rooted in that era of "guns-and-butter, tax-and-spend."


I submit that those who contributed to the short-sighted policies of that era cannot be depended on to provide workable solutions to our current national dilemma.


But in any event, those solutions will not be quick or easy.


In that regard, it is time for those who aspire to leadership -n our country to stop trying to fool the American people that there are panaceas for our problems.


More important, it is time for we, the American people, to stop fooling ourselves.


We have learned that good intentions are not enough in a President. We should know too, that rhetoric is not enough to provide the kind of leadership our country needs and deserves.


As a candidate for President, I am not promising


--A new deal


--A new frontier


--A great society, or


--A new foundation.


But I do pledge a new candor.


To be effective, leadership in the eighties must be based on a politics of substance, not symbols; of reason, not bombast; of frankness, not false promise.


In short, those who seek the highest office in the land must level with the American people.


That will be the underlying theme of my campaign and the spirit of a George Bush Presidency.


As a candidate, and as President, I will speak not in terms of simple solutions but of hard choices.


The American people must be told the hard, unvarnished truth about the nature of our problems at home:


--That we cannot buy our way out of problems with expanded government programs.


On the contrary, where government expands, our problems multiply.


Our new leadership of candor must also tell the American people:


-- That the Protection of our freedoms cannot be purchased on the cheap.


--That there is no substitute for credible military strength in dealing with potential adversaries in a nuclear age.


Nor, in dealing with these problems, is there any substitute for the virtues of personal commitment and self-discipline.


At the government level, I speak of virtues such as restrained, consistent economic policies which would result in a balanced budget and a stronger dollar.


On a personal level, I speak of a stronger commitment to our work, our community, our neighborhoods and our family life.


There are other, vital human resources we must call upon to give America a new leadership in the decade of the eighties.


Women must be given a greater opportunity to participate at the highest levels. Young people -- many of whom were disillusioned by the politics of the seventies -- must be inspired to commit their ideals and energies to the building not simply of a greater, but a better society.


All these must be encouraged by our new American leadership -- and something else as well.


Out of the tragic failures of recent years, we as a people have lost confidence in ourselves and in our country's institutions.


That confidence -- that faith -- that pride in the American ideal -- must be restored.


I believe that my record in both private and public life -- as a businessman and as a member of the legislative and executive branches dealing with both foreign and domestic policy qualifies me to provide that leadership.


I can do the job -- I will do the job -- not with promises, not with rhetoric, but with the strength that comes to any American President who levels with the American people and earns their trust.


More than a quarter century ago, in his first State of the Union message to the Congress, one of the wisest and strongest of this century's Presidents said:


"There is in world affairs a steady course to be followed between an assertion of strength that is truculent and a confession of helplessness that is cowardly.


"There is in our affairs at home, a middle way between the untrammeled freedom of the individual and the demands for the welfare of the whole nation. This way must avoid government by bureaucracy as carefully as it avoids neglect of the helpless."


President Dwight Eisenhower then went on:


"In this spirit we must live and labor: confident of our strength, compassionate in our heart, clear in our mind. In this spirit, let us turn to the great tasks before us."


In this spirit, too, I from this day will go forward to seek the Presidential nomination of my Party and the support of Americans everywhere who believe that in the decade of the eighties, America must have a new leadership -- a leadership confident of our strength, compassionate of heart, and clear in mind, as we turn to the great tasks before us.


# # # # #


Source: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum


2000-2020 by the 4President Corporation