Senator Bill Frist, MD
Lincoln-Reagan Day Stump Speech
Executive Court Conference Center
Manchester, New Hampshire
March 4, 2005
[FINAL DRAFT – 3/4/05]

Thank you … thank you for that great introduction!

And it’s great to be back with you tonight!

It is great to be back in New Hampshire … alongside my good friends and colleagues …

Congressman Bradley …

Let me tell you … NO state has a harder working delegation in Washington than New Hampshire.

Senator Gregg …

Senator Sununu … Congressman Bass … And I am PROUD to be here with them tonight.

And I’m also proud to introduce Karyn


What a rich… political tradition this state has!

As you all know, it was here in 1980 that – as they say – a debate, a microphone and a famous remark helped propel Ronald Reagan into the White House.

In contemplating that evening, in fact, President Reagan later said … "I may have won the debate, the primary – and the nomination – right there."

And man-o-man, aren’t we all glad that he did.

Speaking of the New Hampshire primary, Warren (Henderson) before dinner told me that the Democrats are reconsidering New Hampshire’s role in the nominating process. But let me assure you, that as far as I’m concerned, New Hampshire citizens take their job seriously, and Republicans – I am sure – will UPHOLD your first-in-the-nation status!


As you know, I was last here – with many of you – just prior to the election.

In Hanover … in Concord … in Nashua.

I’ll tell you … I traveled ALL around the country campaigning for our great President last year … and NOWHERE was there a more dedicated grassroots effort than right here on the ground in New Hampshire …

With your hard work … we almost pulled off a pretty impressive upset right here in John Kerry’s backyard.

And I KNOW we will put a Republican back into New Hampshire’s Statehouse … WHERE IT BELONGS.


What a time to be a Republican! With your help …

Our Republican party …

And, reelected a Republican President!

Thank you, President George W. Bush!


And right when I thought life simply couldn’t get any better for Republicans… the Democrats went ahead a few weeks ago and elected your liberal neighbor… Howard Dean to lead their party. What an opportunity for the Republican party.

Watching him yell and holler the past few weeks … you’d think he was on the GOP payroll!


It’s been an exciting time in Washington …

And just to let you know, we do keep our priorities straight, we had some special guests in town this week…

The World Series Champion Boston Red Sox!

While visiting the White House … I am told the President pulled Curt Schilling aside and offered him a position in his Cabinet.

But we all know he has farmore important work to do at Fenway Park … and in the Bronx.

And, of course … Inauguration Day. It was great to see so many of you at President Bush’s Inauguration a few weeks back. What a magnificent Inaugural Address!

My wife Karyn and our three boys will never forget sitting on that majestic platform on the west front of the Capitol … watching as our great President was sworn in for a second term in office.

What a day …

As we sat there … looking out on a sea of humanity, I couldn’t help but think of the millions of people – oceans away – who are also now FREE.

Like us …

They have been given the opportunity to celebrate FREEDOM...

To celebrate LIBERTY …

To celebrate DEMOCRACY.

I know New Hampshire is making major contributions to freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of National Guards men and women from the Granite Sate have served and are serving– with the support of their families and people of this state.

And for that, let us all … right now… with a LOUD round of applause, THANK AND PAY TRIBUTE … THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR MILITARY.


In his Inaugural Address, the President said:

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will NOT ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors.


Like the President, I’ve long believed that Americans were NOT meant to just sit back and be free.

Because … if we are complacent in our freedom at home, we are complicit in tyranny abroad.

Freedom is not a blessing for some … it is a RIGHT for all.

Nowhere is that better understood than right here in New Hampshire … ‘Live Free or Die’.


Just last month, I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq and then on to Afghanistan to spend some personal time with our troops on the ground.

Let me tell you … our soldiers are as GOOD AS IT GETS.

They make us proud. They always have.

In fact … do we have any veterans in the audience tonight? Let’s see a show of hands ...

That’s fantastic.

Let’s have all of our veterans stand up, and let’s give them a warm round of applause.

We thank you for your service.

We thank you for your sacrifice.


As we reflect upon the meaning of freedom tonight, let me share with you an experience I had last week in Ohio …

I wish all the critics out there could see the look in that mother’s face … and the look I have seen in the faces of SO MANY grateful people across the world ... people who have been given the GIFT OF FREEDOM.


Here at HOME … I don’t have to tell you that we face many challenges.

And, as the Senate Majority leader, I am determined to see that we meet these challenges head on.


You know, so many people ask me, "Exactly what does a majority leader do?"

One former leader said it’s like herding cats…

But the best description – I think comes from a political pundit who puts it like this:

"Being Senate majority leader is like being the groundskeeper at a cemetery …

 …you have a lot of people under you … but nobody’s paying attention."


All joking aside …

The American people want results. They want us to ACT. In short, they want us to "govern with meaningful solutions.

It’s what I was elected to do. It’s what the people of Tennessee and the people of New Hampshire expect us to do.

But we can’t do it alone. Indeed, Republicans can’t do it alone.

Because make no mistake … the challenges that lie ahead are not Republican challenges. And they’re not Democratic challenges.

They are American challenges … They are American problems.

And one thing is certain … they won’t be solved by a Congress that is so deeply divided.

They won’t be solved by FILIBUSTERS … or OBSTRUCTION … or PARTISANSHIP.

Filibusters don’t create jobs … filibusters don’t fix broken government programs.

Democrats have become the "Party of No." <pause>

We saw it in the last Congress and we are seeing it still today. And I’ll tell you … that’s not going to move America forward.

Howard Dean announcing that he "hates Republicans and everything they stand for" is NOT going to move America forward.

Look, the Democrats don’t have to agree with us … and they certainly don’t have to vote with us. But they do have an obligation to at least come to the table.

From reforming Social Security … to addressing the problems with our legal system … to allowing our judicial nominees the up-or-down vote that they DESERVE …

They have a responsibility to be more than the Party of NO.


Now … I can’t tell you what to expect from my colleagues across the aisle as we enter this new 109th Congressional session.

But I CAN tell you what to expect from a Republican Majority over the next two years ...

When it comes to TAXES, we will seek to END THE IRS AS WE KNOW IT.

And isn’t it about time.

Did you know that it costs more than $115 billion each year… just to comply with the tax code?

…A tax code that has 60,000 pages!

It’s no wonder that 60% of Americans pay someone else to do their taxes for them!

The fact is … Americans are taxed TOO MUCH.

And nobody understood that better than Ronald Reagan …

He defined a taxpayer… as "someone who works for the government but doesn’t have to take a Civil Service exam!"

Whether it’s a gas tax, a utility tax, a payroll tax, a water tax, a cable tax, or a property tax …

Each of you here tonight are taxed from the minute you wake up in the morning with that first cup of coffee… to the minute you turn off the lights to go to sleep at night.

AND it needs to stop!

We will cut your taxes as we have EVERY year for the past 4 years;

We will fight for a tax code that is SIMPLE, FAIR, UNIFORM and CONSISTENT;

And we will fight to kill the death tax – forever!

You know its true what they say:

Republicans think every day is the Fourth of July … and Democrats think every day is April 15th!


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

When it comes to SOCIAL SECURITY, we will never forget that it is YOUR money, YOUR future and YOUR life.

Did you know that, by a 3 to 2 margin, more young people believe that UFOs existthan that social security will be there when they retire?

Social security is a GREAT program … but one that is on the verge of DISASTER if we don’t ACT with meaningful and balanced reform.

The baby boom begins to hit in three years. You know the alarming facts …

Democrats are hiding from them. They’re in denial. We aren’t … and we WILL act.

Our generation has a MORAL responsibility to save and secure Social Security for our children and grandchildren.


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

When it comes to lawsuits, we will put an end to the out-of-control abuse that is crippling our healthcare system.

Two weeks ago … we passed landmark Class Action Reform.

It was a bold first step down the path of restoring COMMON SENSE and ACCOUNTABILITY to our legal system.

Look, as a matter of principle, people who have been injured deserve their day in court. They deserve compensation … FAIR compensation.

But millions of dollars to someone who spilled coffee on her lap that was… hot?

And who do you think pays the price for lawsuit abuse?

Who pays? That’s right … YOU DO … We ALL do!

Your health insurance premiums are soaring …

My doctor colleagues are leaving their medical practices …

Women can’t find obstetricians. Right now I am told there are only TWO OBGYNs in New Hampshire’s North Country. No expecting mom should have to face that kind of worry have to worry about TWO!

Trauma centers are closing. Today, there are half the number of neurosurgeons serving hospitals in central New Hampshire as there were 2 years ago... half the number.

We will work to outlaw these frivolous lawsuits that are driving our doctors away ...

We will guarantee that damage awards go to the VICTIMS, not the greedy personal injury lawyers!


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

We will confirm JUDGES who will faithfully interpret the law from the bench… not fabricate law from the bench.

We will NOT allow them to pick and choose with the Bill of Rights … and we WILL defend your RIGHT to responsibly bear arms.

Have you heard what the Democrats are doing with the President’s judicial nominees?

For the first time in the history of our great country, they are using the filibuster to block up-or-down votes for judges that have MAJORITY support.

Judd and John don’t get a chance to vote.

Your Senators are being denied their Constitutional duty to give their "advice and consent" on the President’s nominations.

Harry Reid and a Democrat minority say they should decide!

It is truly unprecedented. It is unacceptable.

In the last Congress, the Democrats filibustered ... not just 1 or 2 or 3 … but a total of 10 of the MOST IMPORTANT judicial nominees President Bush had sent us.

And now they say they will filibuster more …

We will stand firm with our Constitutional responsibility to give "Advice and Consent’ to the President’s judicial nominees …

We will not let unprecedented Democratic filibusters deny judicial nominees the up-or-down vote they deserve.


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

When it comes to our NATIONAL SECURITY, our focus will be on the principle of prevention.

Our goal is not to simply manage the next terrorist attack … our goal is to prevent the next terrorist attack.

There has not been ONE successful terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. NOT ONE.

We WILL remain vigilant.

We will continue to take the fight to terrorists before the terrorists bring the fight to us.


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

We will not deny the role of FAITH in the founding and sustenance of our great nation. From the first, we have been a nation "under God."

As I open the US Senate each day as Majority Leader, I do so with a public prayer to the Almighty ... as so many have before me. The chamber has emblazoned in marble: "In God We Trust."

I love that ole story about the young visitor who came to the Capitol in the early 1900s and asked the Senate Chaplain Edward Everett Hale …

"Dr. Hale … do you pray for the Senate?"

"No," he replied. "I take one look at the Senators… and pray for the people!"

In all seriousness, faith – whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim – is SO vital in our daily lives.

It gives us courage … it gives us wisdom … it gives us guidance.

Yes, we all know the founders intended a form of separation of church … and … state.

But they never intended a separation of God … and … state.


A Republican majority in Congress means that …

We will respect the sanctity of human life.

I am proud to tell you that we in the Senate will soon vote on a parental notification bill.

As you know … we have already outlawed the gruesome and barbaric procedure of partial birth abortion …

We recognized IN LAW that there were TWO victims in the murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Connor …

My fellow Republicans, I pledge to you today that we will CONTINUE to rebuild this culture of life in America.


Freedom. Faith. Opportunity.

Aren’t these values that Republicans and Democrats can agree on?


My friends … we are facing great challenges as a country.

And, AS AMERICANS, we will meet them ... we will work toward the goal of a securing a stronger, safer, freer, healthier, and more prosperous future for our children.

You know … in the elections last year, the Democrats often rallied around a campaign theme of ‘Two Americas’.

But they got it all wrong.

There is ONE America.


To that America, I promise … we will make you safer TODAY than you were YESTERDAY … and we will make you safer TOMORROW than you are TODAY.

To that America, I promise … a SMARTER, more RESPONSIVE, more EFFECTIVE government … NOT A BIGGER ONE.

To that America, I promise … what we SAY today, we will STAND FOR tomorrow.


My fellow Republicans …great things lie ahead for this country.

And our best days are yet to come. The future is bright.

Because FREEDOM… is on the rise.

And so … I want to close with the words of Ronald Reagan … one of the great men we honor here tonight. May he be looking proudly down on us as we share these parting words …

"Always remember that you are Americans … and it is your birthright to dream great dreams in this sweet and blessed land – truly the GREATEST, FREEST, STRONGEST nation on earth."

May God bless you all …

And may God continue to bless our great, free country.

Live Free or Die.