And we acknowledge together this remarkable truth: the future
belongs to liberty - fueled by markets and trade, protected by the
rule of law and propelled by the fundamental rights of the
individual. Information and knowledge can no longer be bottled up by
the state. Prosperity flows to those who can tap the genius of their
We have a presidential nominee who knows what America must do to
fulfill the promise of this new century. We have a nominee who knows
the power of truth and honor. We have a nominee who will be the next
great President of the United States -Texas Governor George W. Bush.
It is fitting that I stand before you to talk about Governor Bush's
commitment to America's principled leadership in the world, because
that is the legacy and tradition of our Party - because our Party's
principles made me a Republican.
The first Republican I knew was my father and he is still the
Republican I most admire. He joined our party because the Democrats
in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The
Republicans did. My father has never forgotten that day, and neither
I joined for different reasons. I found a party that sees me as an
individual, not as part of a group. I found a party that puts family
first. I found a party that has love of liberty at its core. And I
found a party that believes that peace begins with strength.
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney live and breathe these Republican
principles. They understand what is required for our time, and what
is timeless. It all begins with integrity in the Oval Office. George
W. Bush is a man of his word. Friend and foe will know that he tells
He believes that America has a special responsibility to keep the
peace - that the fair cause of freedom depends on our strength and
purpose. He recognizes that the magnificent men and women of
America's armed forces are not a global police force. They are not
the world's 911.
They are the strongest shield and surest sword in the maintenance of
peace. If the time ever comes to use military force, President
George W. Bush will do so to win - because for him, victory is not a
George W. Bush will never allow America and our allies to be
blackmailed. And make no mistake; blackmail is what the outlaw
states seeking long-range ballistic missiles have in mind. It is
time to move beyond the Cold War. It is time to have a President
devoted to a new nuclear strategy and to the deployment of effective
missile defenses at the earliest possible date. George W. Bush knows
that America has allies and friends who share our values. As he has
said, the President should call our allies when they are not needed,
so that he can call upon them when they are needed.
He understands the power of trade to create jobs at home and extend
The George W. Bush I know is a man of uncommonly good judgment. He
is focused and consistent. He believes that we Americans are at our
best when we exercise power without fanfare or arrogance. He speaks
plainly and with a positive spirit. In the past year, I have had a
glimpse of what kind of President he will be.
I traveled with him to Mexico and saw the respect he has gained from
its leaders and the affection he has won from its people. When he
enters office, he will know more about our neighbor Mexico than any
President in our history. He speaks to the Mexican people not just
in the language of diplomacy but in their native tongue.
I have watched him explain America's interests to the Russian
foreign minister, while assuring him that a peaceful Russia has
nothing to fear from America.
He told the South African president of his hope for peace and
prosperity in Africa.
I know that he understands the complexities of our relationship with
China. He believes that conflict between our nations is not
inevitable. Yet he recognizes the challenge that the Chinese
government poses to our interests and values and the irresistible
demand for liberty that can be unleashed by freer trade with its
And he has joined the bipartisan tradition of support for Israel's
quest for enduring peace with its neighbors.
George W. Bush will work with Congress so that America speaks with
one voice. He has demonstrated in this campaign that he will never
use foreign policy for narrow partisan purposes.
The United States cannot lead unless the President inspires the
American people to accept their international responsibilities.
George W. Bush will inspire us, because he understands who we are.
He knows that we are an innovative people who find kinship with
those in other nations who are entrepreneurial in spirit.
He realizes that we are a nation that has been forged not from
common blood but from common purpose - that the faces of America are
the faces of the world. It has not been easy for our country to make
"We, the people" mean all the people. Democracy in America is a work
in progress - not a finished masterpiece.
But even with its flaws, this unique American experience provides a
shining beacon to peoples who still suffer in places where ethnic
difference is a license to kill.
And George W. Bush understands that America is special among
nations. That throughout our history, people everywhere have been
inspired to flee tyranny and the constraints of class to gain
liberty and pursue happiness in this great land.
In America, with education and hard work, it really does not matter
where you came from - it matters where you are going. But that truth
cannot be sustained if it is not renewed in each generation - as it
was with my grandfather.
George W. Bush would have liked Granddaddy Rice. He was a poor
farmer's son in rural Alabama - but he recognized the importance of
education. Around 1918, he decided it was time to get book learning,
so he asked, in the language of the day, where a colored man could
go to college. He was told about little Stillman College, a school
about 50 miles away. So Granddaddy saved his cotton for tuition and
went off to Tuscaloosa.
After the first year, he ran out of cotton and needed a way to pay
for college. Praise be - God gave him one. Grandfather asked how the
other boys were staying in school. "They have what's called a
scholarship," he was told, "and if you wanted to be a Presbyterian
minister, then you could have one, too." Granddaddy Rice said,
"That's just what I had in mind." And my family has been
Presbyterian and college-educated ever since. This is not just my
grandfather's story - it is an American story.
My friends, George W. Bush challenges us to call upon our better
selves - to be compassionate toward those who are less fortunate; to
cherish and educate every child, descendants of slaves and
immigrants alike, and to thereby affirm the American dream for us
On that foundation, confident of who we are, we will extend peace,
prosperity and liberty beyond our shores.
Elect George W. Bush and Dick Cheney!
God bless you and God bless America.
Condoleezza Rice Speech
Republican National Convention