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Memorable Moments

The first night of speeches at the Republican National Convention in San Diego brought many a laugh, smile and cheer from the 1,900 delegates present. Below is a sampling of words delivered by keynote speakers.

Mayor Susan Golding
San Diego

On crime:

"And you remember that you just heard that violent crime was down 3%, violent crime and violent juvenile crime is down 3% nationally. Well, in San Diego, it's down 20%. We're proud of it. We're winning the fight in San Diego because we have passed tough laws, put more police on the streets, and because we have pulled together as a community."

Delegate Rosario Marin

On disabilities:

"My first child was born with Down's Syndrome. Eric is probably the most beautiful child with Down's Syndrome that has ever been born. And so I became a very strong advocate for people developmental disabilities. In so doing, we helped change laws here in California and at the federal level. Historically it is the Republican party that has helped people with disabilities. That is why I'm so supportive of the agenda and the platform."

Sen. John McCain

On Bob Dole:

"When parents ask me, where are today's heroes by whose example I can instruct my children? I tell them, to look at Bob Dole. In a small Kansas town where his family scratched out a living in the depression, Bob learned that good fortune was not the measure of anyone's worth, hard work, honest dealing and concern for others are the mark of a good American. Bob went to war for his country's sake and returned to rebuild himself from his near-fatal wounds."

Captain Scott O'Grady

On being an American:

"What an awesome gift, America, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. An awesome gift. And a tremendous responsibility. As Americans, we each have a responsibility to stand up, to be heard, to vote. I thank God that I'm an American."

Haley Barbour
RNC Chairman

On Bill Clinton:

"Bill Clinton's trying to pretend to be the poster boy for small government. And that's like me trying to pretend to be the poster boy for Slimfast."

On Republican party differences

"We're a big party and getting bigger. Of course, when you get big and diverse, you get a spirited debate. That's what we have ... But the important thing is, we all want to get to pretty much the same place, a country with smaller, smarter government, lower taxes, stronger families, more individual freedom and a return to personal responsibility. Those are the ideas that unite us as republicans."

Governor George W. Bush

On America's culture failing:

"It is the heart and will of America that gives me confidence when I say that we can solve the biggest problem facing our country, and that is a failed country, and a failed culture. A culture which once delineated right from wrong and good from bad has shifted to a culture that flouts virtue and revels in irresponsibility. It's a culture that says if it feels good, do it, and be willing to blame somebody else for society's ills."

Laura Bush

On literacy:

"George and I will not be satisfied until every child in Texas, each and every child, learns to read. We know nothing less is acceptable, because nothing less than a fair shot at the best possible future for all of our children is acceptable. A child who can read is a child whose own ability to make a difference is unlimited. And that's the heart of our reading initiative. And our Texas and American dreams."

Former President Gerald Ford

On Bill Clinton:

"A few years ago when I suddenly found myself president, I said I was a Ford, not a Lincoln. Today what we have in the White House is neither a Ford or a Lincoln. What we have is a convertible Dodge.Isn't it time we have a trade-in?"

On big government:

"We believe, along with millions of democrats and independents, that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

Former President George Bush

On the presidency and the Clinton White House:

"You know, as president, I worked hard to uphold the dignity and the honor of the presidency. And I tried, as did my superb staff, to treat both the White House and the presidency itself with respect. It breaks my heart, it breaks my heart when the White House is demeaned, the presidency itself diminished. Bob Dole as president will treat the White House with respect. His staff will be beyond even the appearance of impropriety, and in the process, he will increase respect for the United States of America all across the world."

On foreign policy, Bill Clinton's record and Bob Dole:

Consistent, strong, U.S. leadership is vitally important to world peace. Leadership around the world means keeping one's word. It means policy by conviction. It means never blaming others or ducking or dodging or putting our troops under the United Nations command ... Bob Dole himself bloodied in combat, tested by fire on the battlefield and in the world of politics, has proved his service to country. He knows we need a strong defense and a strong economy. He will be a commander-in-chief whom our military respects, whom our allies and any future -- whom our allies will look up to, and whom any future adversary will fear."

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan

For Ronald Reagan:

"So let me close with Ronnie's words, not mine.

In that last speech four years ago, he said, 'Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. And may all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never, never lose your natural, God-given optimism.'

Ronnie's optimism, like America's, still shines very brightly. May God bless him. And from both of us, God bless America. "

General Colin Powell

On family values:

"We Republicans believe that the family fueled by values must be restored to the central place in American life if we are to keep the dream alive. If families cannot thrive and pass on these beliefs, if parents cannot bring home a decent living wage from a hard day's work, we republicans believe that the good jobs needed to sustain families come from a faster growing economy where the free enterprise system is unleashed to create wealth, wealth which produces more good jobs."

Speaker Biographies

Delegate Rosario Marin

Rosario Marin, a delegate from California, spoke about her work as an activist for people with mental disabilities. Marin came to America from Mexico when she was 14 years old, and she put herself through night school by working full time. Marin then gave birth to a child with Downs Syndrome, and soon became an advocate for the mentally disabled. She credited the Republican Party with efforts to help people with diabilities, through funding and ensuring other rights.

Sen. John McCain

Arizona Sen. John McCain spoke of President Bill Clinton's promises four years ago to cut taxes for the middle class, balance the budget, pursue American foreign policy interests and abandon big government programs. He said those promises have proved to be false, and that Americans want leaders who will keep their word.

As a prisoner of war in Vietam for five and a half years, McCain said he was surrounded by heroes -- and again in the Senate he said he served with a hero, Sen. Robert Dole from Kansas. He praised the lessons Dole learned while he was growing up -- that hard work, honest dealings and concern for others were the marks of a good person.

Captain Scott O'Grady

Captain Scott O'Grady said he learned last year what it meant to be backed by the United States when an American armada was dispatched to find him after his plane was shot down in Bosnia. Even though he was alone and fearing death, O'Grady said he knew his country would not forget him.

O'Grady said he was drawn to military service after an upbringing emphasizing honesty, fairness and respect for the law and other people. His experience in Bosnia has intesified his respect for the men and women, especially the POWs and MIAs, who have sacrificed their blood, tears and lives to defend the United States, he said.

Haley Barbour

Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour spoke briefly to "clear up the confusion." "The Democrats are the liberal party," he said. "The Republicans are the conservative party." He said President Bill Clinton says whatever the polls indicate most American believe, even whey they are the limited government values represented by the Republican Party.

"Clinton is trying to pretend he is the poster boy of small government. That's like me pretending to be the poster boy of Slim Fast," said the somewhat hefty Barbour.

Texas Gov. George Bush, Jr.

Texas Gov. George Bush, Jr., emphasized the power of individuals to make a difference and the faith of the Republican Party in personal responsibility. Bush said America has evolved into an "if it feels good do it" society, shrugging responsibility to the federal government.

Bush said government efforts to return more money to bread-winners must be coupled with the teaching of good values in families and communities across America. He said he wants to pass on a better world to his twin daughters.

Laura Bush

Texas First Lady Laura Bush spoke about literacy standards in the Lone Star State that ensure all students can read by the time they're in third grade. The former public school teacher and librarian said even her mother-in-law has become involved in Texas' literacy program -- "And you know what happens when Barbara Bush gets involved with something," she said.

Retired citizens have donated their time to help children learn to read, she said. "A child who can read is someone whose ability to make a difference is unlimited," she said.

Texts Of Monday's GOP Speeches

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