Newt Gingrich

Address to the Conservative Political Action Committee

delivered 27 February 2009, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: English portion of text version below transcribed directly from audio]

First of all, David thank you.  Thank all of you for that remarkable welcome.  Iím very glad to be here and Callista and I are delighted to have a chance to share with you the great work that David has done recently working with us, which at one oíclock was going to be right here and will be in the Ambassador Ballroom.  And so weíre delighted to share with you Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny, which I think is a particularly important film, in light of todayís New York Timesí headline.

Now I donít always start my talks by quoting the New York Times.  Fact this may be a first.  The New York Times this morning said, ďObamaís budget plan sweeps away Reagan ideas.Ē  Well, let me say first of all that is of course what the New York Times devoutly hopes for.  It would rival only the resurrection of the Soviet empire and other things that they have missed.  It was a hard quarter century for the New York Times.  The Soviet Union disappeared.  Freedom worked.  Entrepreneurs created wealth.  Technologies were invented.  They lost readership.  It was a great 25 years.

But, when Clis and I first talked with Dave about doing this film, we thought it would generally be helpful, just as when we work with Margie Ross on developing first Winning the Future and then Real Change.  We thought it was moving in the right direction.  I donít think we realized the degree to which the combination of the left-wing machine which now runs the House, the Senate, and the White House would create the perfect moment to revisit the Ď70s and Ď80s.  And I think that, I thought maybe we would get here in May or June.  I did not believe that they were arrogant enough and foolish enough to force this confrontation in the first 30 days of a new presidency.

But let me say, I came here today first of all to thank everybody who organized the CPAC because this is the largest, the most enthusiastic CPAC in history with over 8500 people.

And I wanted to take a few minutes to answer the President and answer his Attorney General.  And comment on the machine which currently runs the Congress.  Let me say first of all, that we now have more than enough evidence of what this administration thinks of the American people.  If you look at Attorney General Holderís recent speech in which he described us as, ďa nation of cowards.Ē  Let me say to Attorney General Holder, I welcome an opportunity to have a dialogue with you about cowardice, anywhere, anytime.  Why donít we have the dialogue in Detroit and see if the Attorney General Holder has the courage to talk about the failure of the Detroit school system, the failure of the Detroit Teachers Union, the betrayal of the future of thousands of young people.  Why donít we have the dialogue in Detroit.  I didnít say debate, now dialogue.   Letís have a dialogue.  Letís talk together.  Letís be above partisanship.  Letís discuss the total failure of the Detroit political system, which has taken a city of a million eight hundred thousand, which had the highest per capita income in the United States and has driven it into the ground, so there are today fewer than 900,000 people living there, with a per capita income that is 62nd in the United States.

And it is the function of bad government, bad politicians, bad bureaucracy, bad ideas and letís talk about that.  I would be prepared to go to the poorest neighborhood in Detroit with the most abandoned houses, with the highest crime rate, with the greatest betrayal of the American people.  And Iíd be glad to talk about the idea that the Declaration of Independence applies to every person in Detroit.  That we have all been endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And that we should be committed to eliminating bad government and bad bureaucracy and bad policies to liberate the people of Detroit from the terrible circumstances.  So I hope that Attorney General Holder will indicate that he doesnít want to belong to a nation of cowards and that he is willing to have this honest dialogue about the failures of the institutions he supports.  The failure of the union he supports.  The failures of the policies he supports and letís talk about it in one of the cities that those policies have betrayed the most sadly and most tragically.

Now Iíve listened carefully to the Presidentís speech that night.  I think it is the boldest effort to create a European socialist model we have seen.  I think itís quite clear what his values and his attitude is.  But what I was truly struck by was if his Attorney General thinks weíre a nation of cowards, his administration thinks weíre just plain dumb.  To suggest to us that he is opposed to earmarks, when the very next day the Democrats are going to bring up a bill with 8,000 earmarks in it.  And then to suggest that the one doesnít count, because they started all the pork before he got here.  I was looking for change we can believe in.  I was looking for the courage to take on the old politics.  I was prepared to support a veto of the bill.  And to say the President is showing enormous courage by taking on Speaker Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman Obey.  I think the country would rally to the President if he had the courage to take on the Democratic machine.  And so I was startled that he was saying to us he was opposed to earmarks and then they were saying but of course these earmarks donít count, because heís opposed to later earmarks which arenít here now, but theyíll be here later and when theyíre here later heíll really oppose them, because heís really a very courageous, but the courage doesnít come because after all he heard Holderís speech.  And I thought to myself, I wonder how dumb they think we are that we wouldnít notice 8,000 earmarks.

And then they had a second part of the speech, which I think should become a YouTube video, in which he attacked CEOs who use private planes.  And Speaker Pelosi as was her habit that night, she was in this pattern, where she would hyperactively jump up before he finished it.  I donít know if you go back and watch, he doesnít even get to finish the sentence before sheís applauding.  Itís like oh my God, here I am, Iím Speaker I get to applaud and itís very exciting.  And so she jumped up and she applauded his attack on private planes.  And I thought to myself, how dumb do they think we are.  Do they think we donít realize that sheís getting every single person in this room to pay taxes so the U.S. government will fly her around in a private plane?  The fact that you paint U.S. Air Force on it doesnít mean itís not private.  It is the plane she uses.  And why would the Speaker of the House have a private plane?  She should have the same opportunity to encounter TSA as the rest of us.  She should have the sameÖ and I wondered how dumb they thought we were.

But then the final educational lesson of the evening, came when the President having promised he would not raise taxes on anybody below $250,000, mentioned in passing using code words so none of us would recognize it, that he is for an energy tax.  And I began to think about this.  In the budget, it became clear to me yesterday, I wasnít quite sure from his speech because after all his speech was one of those truly artful as we are told by the elite media every day.  He is so stunningly articulate, such a great master of language, so thoroughly capable of communicating that I didnít quite understand what he was saying.

But then I looked at the budget yesterday, which has a $640 billion revenue item from energy tax.  And I thought to myself, let me get this straight, weíre not going to raise taxes on anybody under $250,000 a year unless you use electricity.  And weíre not going to use, raise taxes on anybody under $250,000 a year, ah, unless you buy gasoline.  And weíre not going to raise taxes on anybody under $250,000 a year unless you buy heating oil.  And weíre not going to raise taxes on anybody who earns less than $250,000 a year unless you use natural gas.  And I tried to think to myself, even in the left-wing of the Democratic party where there are some people who are fairly unusual, how many of them donít use heating oil, natural gas, gasoline, or electricity?  And I believe that thereís a small contingent in northern Idaho in a commune who are currently doing that.  And I actually believe beyond the group that will be least taxed under the new plan are the Amish in central Pennsylvania.  And I thought to myself, how dumb do they think we are that they can pretend that an energy tax isnít an energy tax.  And they can pretend that every retired American who uses electricity isnít going to pay it, and every person in New Hampshire who uses heating oil isnít going to pay it, and every person who drives a car isnít going to pay it.  And you know, I just want to report to Attorney General Holder and President Obama.  This is a nation of people courageous enough to tell the truth and this is a nation of people courageous enough to insist that we not be governed by people who wonít tell us the truth.

Now, a month ago I would not have said what Iím about to say, but I have watched carefully the first month of the left-wing machine and I believe that we should leave here with two goals.  The first is to make the election of 2010 and this fallís elections in Virginia and in New Jersey among the most consequential in American history.  They have shared openly and honestly with us their vision of higher taxes, bigger government, more bureaucracy, greater corruption, more political power by people unworthy of doing it, and a policy which will kill jobs, cripple the economy, trap children in schools that are disastrous, and weaken Americaís future.  They have every right to have that vision and we have every right to go to the polls and defeat it now that it is clear who they are.

In addition, we should set out to find representative government by electing people who actually are willing to read the bills before they vote on them.  We do not elect robots for a left-wing machine in this country.  We ask members to swear to uphold the constitution and if you have no idea what is in the bill you voted on how can you possibly be doing your constitutional duty?  And every person who voted yes on a bill that they had not seen, did not understand, had no time to read, which was going to spend $780 billion in ways they did not understand; every person who voted that way deserves to be defeated and theyíll deserve to be defeated.  Let me be clear, this is not a partisan comment.  In districts that are overwhelmingly Democrat, the conservative movement should recruit candidates in the Democratic primary across the country and we should have as a goal 435 campaigns in this country of people dedicated to representative government, to lower taxes, to less power in Washington, and to taking back from the bureaucracy the power it canít possibly use over the American economy.

We will not achieve this by being an opposition movement.  People are sick and tired of the negative.  Theyíre sick and tired of people, of politicians who only fight without solutions.  And people are genuinely frightened for the country.  They are frightened in national security.  Theyíre frightened for the very nature of our culture.  Theyíre frightened about our economy and they want to see a movement that has positive solutions that would work better than the failed policies of the left.  And those failed policies, let me be quite clear, are bipartisan failures.  The great irony of where we are today is that we have a Bush/Obama big-spending program that was bipartisan in its nature.  Last year, the Bush/Obama plan had a $180 billion stimulus package in the spring which failed.  It came back with a $345 billion housing package in the summer which failed.  It then had a $700 billion Wall St. spending package in October which failed.  It had a $4 trillion Federal Reserve guarantee which failed.  The Bush/Obama plan was continued.  We didnít get real change.  We got Geithner in between evading taxes who had been part of the Bush group and now heís part of the Obama group.  We got big spending under Bush.  Now we have big spending under Obama.  And so we have two new failures.

The lesson I draw from this is that thereís a party of the American people and that party in many ways grew out of CPAC and was led by Ronald Reagan and on the legislative side reached its peak with the Contract with America and the election of a majority actually dedicated to reforming welfare, cutting taxes, and balancing the budget.  And thereís a party of big government and political elites.  And tragically in the last few years, the Republican party became the right-wing of the big party of big government and political elites and thatís why thereís a Bush/Obama continuity in economic policy which is frankly a disaster for this country and cannot work.

And so it is time to recreate the party of the American people and to recognize that that is a much bigger party than the Republican party.  In every major speech, Ronald Reagan reached out to Democrats and Independents as well as Republicans.  He was a former Democrat and he understood that to govern America you had to bring people together into a tri-partisan majority and we should take that attitude from this convention.  We are bigger than the Republican party.  We stand for principles that transcend the Republican party and weíre going to fight for the principles that lead to economic growth and jobs.

You can find the first phase of those principles, if you go to American Solutions and you look at 12 American Solutions for jobs and prosperity.  It is fundamentally different from the Bush/Obama plan of higher taxes, bigger bureaucracy, more power for politicians, and bigger government.  The American Solutions 12 steps towards jobs and prosperity starts with a simple premise, you want to stimulate the American economy, first step is easy, donít give any money to politicians and bureaucrats, have a 50 percent offset on the FICA tax, the Social Security and Medicare tax for every American and every small business, and every self-employed person and overnightÖ  You want to put lots of money back in this economy?  Put it back with the American people and let them decide which companies ought to, ought to survive and let them decide which companies ought to grow.  Thatís called being a customer not being a bureaucrat.

You want economic growth and jobs?  The President had it exactly wrong the other night.  Not even close.  He said we ought to punish companies that want to take jobs out of America.  Exactly the wrong attitude.  We ought to reward companies that want to bring jobs to America.  The President doesnít understand when you tell businesses and you tell capital, weíre going to punish you for A, everybody whoís smart and most of the people who create jobs are pretty smart, a lot smarter than the current politicians who are trying to lecture.  Almost none of whom have ever created a job.  Now, letís not pick on Chris Dodd or Barney Frank or any of theseÖ Iím not picking on individuals, Iím talking about a general group of people who probably would not survive very long if they had to run a business.  When politicians tell you theyíre going to punish you for something you have to worry about whether they have the power to punish you for something else.  And that doesnít encourage anybody to open a new factory.  It doesnít encourage anybody to invest in a new job.  It doesnít encourage anybody to put money back in the stock market.  But it you tell people weíre going to reward you, because we think, because we like jobs enough, weíre actually willing to help job creators.  We think itís good to have businesses because businesses actually create jobs.  Permanent jobs.  Not extended unemployment, permanent jobs.  Then all of a sudden people say gosh maybe thatís a country Iíd like to be in.  Now what would it be like to have a strategy to create jobs in the world market?  Well, Iíll give you a couple examples that are in the American Solutions 12 steps for economic growth and jobs.

One:  Why donít we match the Chinese and have zero capital gains taxes?  Now, when you go back home to try to explain this, you donít have to explain anything complicated.  Just find people who have a 401(k) or a pension plan or have a savings account for their students, their children to go to college and say to them, how would you like to have that be 20 to 40 percent more valuable in a few weeks?  Thatís what eliminating the capital gains tax would do.  Because suddenly people would put capital back in the market.  The market would rise in value.  All of our savings would be worth more and virtually every American who had savings would suddenly be better off.  Now I know itís a bold idea to say instead of giving the money to the bureaucracy and instead of allowing Mr. Geithner who couldnít figure out how to pay his taxes, to look over all the rest of us, weíre actually going to let you be in charge of your own savings and give you a bigger value.  But youíd have an overnight increase in savings, overnight.  And capital would flow in from around the world.

Second:  You want to create jobs in America?  Letís match the Irish corporate tax rate of twelve and a half percent.  You know, in one of the first great CPAC moments, Ronald Reagan came here and he said that we had to have bold colors not pale pastels.  And let me give you this example of fighting over corporate taxes as an example of bold colors.  Iím totally uninterested in an Obama-lite, oh I could be for a $400 billion package of stupid spending because thatís not as bad as a $700 billion package of stupid spending.  I, I just want to take a position of being against stupid spending.  I know, itís bold, itís out on the edge, itís daring.  And I want to have a, the national debate for the next two years.  If you believe the best way to create jobs is to give more money to bureaucracies in Washington and more power to politicians and the Congress, you have a team.  And if you think the best way to create jobs is to lower taxes on business, encourage small business, make life easier for people who want to work hard and create jobs, you have a team.  Now let the American people choose.  Which of these two approaches do you think is going to give you a better job, a more stable job, and a better economic future and letís have it out.

And if the American people want to choose higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and more powerful politicians thatís their right but Iíll tell you a secret, weíve been down this road three times.  Lyndon Johnson went down this road, it lasted two years.  They got crushed and we did not elect a liberal, an openly liberal president for 40 years.  They came back after Watergate with Jimmy Carter who was utterly, totally confused, did not run as a liberal.  And let me tell you, Iím not being unkind.  If you get a chance to see Rendezvous with Destiny, you will realize this guy was just not there.  Ah, there was a great moment when he explains that we all feel bad and have malaise because you know, itís a really bad time and we feel malaise.  And ah his idea of presidential leadership is to share with you.  Itís the first person that actually shared pain.  He said, I, I feel the pain that you feel about how much painful it is to have me as president and ahÖ

Some of you will remember, by the way, this is a perfect test for liberals and conservatives.  Some of you will remember that under Carter we had gasoline rationing and you could only buy gasoline every other day based on the last number of your license tag.  Remember this?  I had a guy come up to me recently when I was talking about this.  He said to me, he was 13 at the time.  And his father would give him a screwdriver and send him out back every morning to change the license plate for, so thatÖ are you the one that told me this?  Okay.  I didnít want to get him arrested retroactively by the new Attorney General.  Ah, look all Iím telling you is that if Holder sends the FBI, now that you have admitted you were violating the gasoline rationing lawÖ [continued dialogue with member of audience] ÖWell, that youíre, yeah but there not going to go after your Dad, David because youíre more irritating.  Theyíre going to go after you.

So hereís my testing to go back home and test, to check out with your friends, cause as I thought about this for a couple of weeks.  And it occurred to me, conservatism is when if you have a law so dumb that weíre teaching 13-year-olds to break them, you probably ought to change the law.  Liberalism is when you believe that Dave Bossie swapping license plates is proof that we need license plate police at every gas station to check and make sure.  So, letís have a debate between their bold colors of European socialism transplanted to Washington and our bold colors of American free enterprise, the American work ethic, and the American vision.  That every American of every background, in every community ought to have the right to pursue happiness, ought to have a genuine education from a school that actually functions, and ought to have the most limited government possible to have the most efficient country, in order to be able to compete in the world market and win decisively for our children and grandchildren.

And let me encourage you, to join us at American Solutions on April 15th and in your own community, in your own neighborhood with your own friends have a Solutions party and I chose this deliberately.  In 1994 I actually helped write a book on the Boston Tea Party and we did have a lot of fun that year with the Clinton tax increase.  But 15 years later, I think one of the things that went wrong was that all too many of my colleagues forgot that being opposed isnít enough.  And I think we need more than a protest.  I think we need to outline the beginnings of a positive, clear alternative series of solutions and we need to say to every Representative of both parties and every Senator of both parties, you get a year to pass it and then we get a year to beat you.  And so youíre either with us or weíre going to try to do everything we can to replace you and weíre going to do it on a tri-partisan level.  We want every Democrat who believes in lower taxes and more jobs, every Independent who believes in lower taxes and more jobs, and every Republican who believes in lower taxes and more jobs to join a nationwide movement to fundamentally reform government, to fundamentally get us into a future where we can compete economically.  And April 15th and you can go to American Solutions and sign up and weíll get you information so that everybody we can find everywhere in America who is worried about this economy, who wants to create a better future, and who knows that more big government and more power to politicians isnít the answer can come join us.

And one of the topics weíre going to talk about that day is going to be freedom versus fear.  Which is a project that Iím really delighted to announce that Saul Anuzis, many of you know as the Michigan State Republican Chairman who has agreed to head up for us at American Solutions.  One of the efforts of the left which theyíre going to try to pass in a stealth manner because they canít possibly pass it once the country understands it, is an effort to deprive American workers of the right to a private ballot and the right to negotiate economic prospects.  And I just want all of you to know that this fight, they call it Card Check, but thatís not what it really is, thatís an innocuous term, itís not what it is.  It is an effort to deprive you of the right to vote in secret to ensure that they can coerce socially.  And hereís what they would do, we we have a little project running, I know a number of you, several thousand of you have filled out this Win-a-Wii card and weíre going to give away one Wii today and weíre going to give another Wii tomorrow so you can still fill this out.  But in order to educate you on this whole idea of the challenge we face to our freedoms, down here in print you canít quite read, it says you just agreed to join the union and pay the dues.  And this is our effort to unionize CPAC.  And what we want all of you to understand, this is why this is so dangerous, what we want all of you to understand is, if this law passes, they can go into any hospital, any company, any small business, any college and they can start getting these and when you sign this you have voted.  You donít get a secret vote later.  This is the vote.  And they only need to get 50 percent plus one to sign it and itís over.

Now this is the greatest threat to freedom in the work place, I think in American history and there, and I think itís very important for all of you to help us.  We want to make sure that in every single state, we get every Representative and both Senators to understand, this is a mortal threat to American freedom and we will never forgive somebody who votes for cloture or who votes for final passage because they will have said they are owned by the unions and they are againstÖan overwhelming majority 82 percent of the country has said bluntly in the most recent survey, they do not want to belong to a union.  That 82 percent should not be exposed to coercive behavior on the behalf of people who want their money as dues that could then be spent by bosses without any accountability.  So we need your help.  And Saul asked me to announce that Eric Hobbes won the first of the Wiis.  Weíll give another one away tomorrow.  But Eric is youíll see Saul, you are now the owner of a Wii.

Let me say one, one last thing about foreign policy because I think itís very, very important.  There is a new novel out by Alex Berenson who is a reporter at the New York Times, I recommend it to you highly.  Itís a novel about an effort by Islamic fanatics to acquire two Russian nuclear weapons and take them apart because they canít figure out how to break the codes and then use the material in the weapons to create a Hiroshima-size bomb to be used in Washington during the State of the Union.  One of the projects Iím going to ask to be done is to draw the size of the perimeter you would need to protect the capitol from a Hiroshima-size bomb and youíre going to be staggered by how far out that perimeter would be.  And the point that Alex Berenson makes in this novel is that we are faced with a genuine crisis of people who really want to kill us.  And by the way, it wouldnít have to be a Russian nuclear weapon, it could be Pakistani, North Korean, Iranian.  The second novel and Iím going to write an Op-Ed and encourage the President to read these two novels.  Alex Berensonís novel about an attack on America by nuclear weapon and the second novel which will come out next month by my co-author Bill Forstchen is called One Second After and itís about what happens in a North Carolina town immediately after an electromagnetic pulse attack eliminates all the electricity producing capability of the country.  And itís horrifying.

And the reason I hope that President Obama will read these two is to understand something that has never really been as true before as it is now.  And that is that we are not developing national security and homeland security at the margins.  This is not about stopping two snipers or three car bombers or five airplanes.  We live in a world where if we gamble wrong and the current proposed defense budget is much too small, if we gamble wrong, whether it is a major power like China or Russia, a medium size power like North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran.  And North Korea is a medium size power by possession of nuclear weapons.  Or it is a fanatic group willing to die in the process of killing us.  We live in a world where there are weapons that are capable of ending civilization as we know it.  And we need to be prepared in a very militant and aggressive way to defend America from having a catastrophic disaster of the first order.

Let me also say that in many ways this administration has been better than I would have guessed, at the team they have assembled for national security and more responsible then I would have guessed in their policies.  But thereís one thing theyíve announced that I think we should very aggressively question and challenge and that is a proposal to spend hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding the Gaza strip through agencies infiltrated by terrorists.  And let me be very clear.  There are still missiles being fired every day from Gaza.  We did not start rebuilding Germany in the middle of 1943 on the grounds that if we could only find good Germans that we could work with, they would take care of the bad Nazis.  And we did not start rebuilding Japan in 1943 on the grounds that if only we could find good Japanese they could convince the militarists to be pleasant.  We understood that when you have opponents who want to destroy you, you have to first win the war and then rebuild.

The war does not have to involve American troops and the war does not actually have to involve much violence.  Ronald Reagan as youíll see in our movie, defeated the Soviet empire in 10 years with a grand strategy and collaboration with Pope John Paul II and Prime Minister Thatcher.  North Korea, Iran, and Hamas are mortal threats to the survival of western civilization.  And it is absolutely irresponsible to believe that those regimes can stay in power and we can find a negotiated agreement.  In all three cases, we need nonmilitary but very sophisticated efforts at regime replacement and we need to say to the planet, somebody who threatens to destroy one of our cities is somebody weíre not going to tolerate and weíre not going to say well, weíll get even after you take out our city.  The idea of trading Tehran for Washington was abhorrent to Ronald Reagan and it should be abhorrent to every American.  Mutual assured destruction is I think an immoral strategy and is not one that we can tolerate particularly against suicide bombers who would be thrilled to swap their capitol for our capitol.  And so I think we have to understand and this administration had better learn pretty quickly, we may not be interested in war, but our enemies are.  And our enemies are dangerous and some of these threats can be mortal.  And so I think this is a very important component.

Let me say by the way, that you have your first great opportunity to set the stage for next year and, and itís happening right now in New York 20.  Because the Governor of New York picked a Democrat from a very Republican district, thereís now a special election at the end of March.  Jim Tedisco is a very competent, very capable candidate.  He has a particular program a Tedisco for Congress which is 20 for 20, asking people to give $20 to help win the 20th congressional seat.  It will be an enormous step.  You know, we won the first house special election after the election of President Obama and it was a break through that almost no normal Republican consultant thought possible.  We were in an African-American seat in the middle of New Orleans and our candidate was a South Vietnamese American.  And he won decisively.  And Congressman Cao is the first example of the fact that if we reach out to everyone and we recruit everyone, you can compete everywhere when the alternative is a big tax, big bureaucracy, big politics, big corruption alternative.  And so we have to continue down that road.  And we have a great candidate in New York 20 in Jim Tedisco.  I hope all of you will decide to join his 20 for 20 Club and if we can spread that word across the country, we will be amazed how many resources heíll have, weíll be delighted how decisive the victory will be, and that will be step 2 back towards making sure that Speaker Pelosi no longer has her plane under any circumstance cause sheíll no longer be Speaker.

Let me just close with one last comment.  We write novels as educational efforts.  And Bill Forstchen and Steve Hanser and I,  who are the three historians who work together on these have a novel that will be out at the end of October that I want to share with you for a second because I want you to go back home and every time somebody starts to complain to you, I want you to tell them this story.  Our novel is about George Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas day.  David Hackett Fischer has written a brilliant nonfiction history book called Washingtonís Crossing which I recommend to all of you.  And when you read it, youíll begin to understand why weíre doing this novel.  Bill Forstchen my colleague actually grew up 20 miles from the crossing site and as a young man was a reenactor and would, every Christmas day thereís a small group that reenact the crossing.  And one year he decided he didnít really understand it and so he did the reenactment with no boots, wearing burlap bags.  He said you cannot imagine how painful it was and how hard it was.

And this is what I want to imprint in closing and I want each of you to go back homeÖ I have a very dear friend who spent seven years in a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam.  We have young men and women across this planet today risking their lives for us.  If you hear somebody who tells you well, itís too hard or I canít do it or weíll never win or Iím so disappointed, I want you to look them in the eye and say, once upon a time there were men who believed so passionately and freely, believed so deeply in America that although they were outnumbered, one-third of them had no boots, they were going to cross an icy river at night to take on a professional German military unit.  And their commander said to them, the password tonight is victory or death.

We live in the freest country in the world.  This organization 35 years ago heard Ronald Wilson Reagan begin to explain freedom at a time when Republicans were collapsing because of Watergate.  And then it heard Ronald Wilson Reagan explain freedom all through a period when we were told that the left was going to be dominant, that the Soviet Union was going to be dominant, that freedom was going to diminish, and that we should just accept malaise because that was our future.  Because of CPAC and the message that Ronald Reagan carried across this country, the Soviet Union disappeared, the American economy rebounded, and ďIím Proud to be an AmericanĒ was a very popular song because it made sense once again.

From now until election day of 2010, from now to election day of 2012 we should reach out to everyone of the 310 million Americans who are being served badly by big bureaucracy, big government, and arrogant politicians and we should say to them, there is a peopleís party and a peopleís movement.  That peopleís party includes Democrats, it includes Independents, it includes Republicans, and all we want to know is in the spirit of George Washington are you prepared because in our case itís not victory or death, in our case we have the right as a free people to speak out, to stand up, to organize our neighbors, to win the argument, and to bring freedom and prosperity and safety for our children and our grandchildren.

Thank you, good luck, and God bless you!

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

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