When Elizabeth Dole addressed the Republican National Committee in 1996, she did it as the nominee’s wife. Tonight, she came as a vanquished challenger to the nomination herself. Read the full transcript of her remarks here.
Thank you very much.
You have heard Condoleeza Rice speak eloquently of America’s place in the world.
I, too, wish to address our nation’s security tonight.
I speak not of military weapons, but of moral ones, of the defense of values as well as territory.
Long before there was an American dream, there was a dream of America as liberty’s home and refuge.
It was for this, that a million heroes fought and bled and died.
Not alone to protect land on a map, much as they might cherish their home and hearth; nor to encroach on other lands or menace other peoples, or impose our way of life on anyone — but merely, heroically, to ensure freedom’s survival in a hostile world.
Let us be clear: the success of freedom can never be measured in material terms alone.
For one day, each of us will be held to account not for the money we made, but for the difference we made.
Not for the worldly status we may have enjoyed, but for the stewardship we provided.
Freedom empowers the heart.
It levels walls and shatters ceilings — including glass ceilings.
Ladies and gentlemen, in my eight years as President of the American Red Cross, I saw things that will haunt me the rest of my life — the evil that humans can inflict on one another — saw it in the dim eyes of starving children in Somalia and in the paralyzing grief of parents in Oklahoma City.
But I have also been uplifted by the extraordinary power of the American heart — by those armies of compassion, who are willing to cross town or cross the globe to minister to those they’ve never met and will never see again.
People who go where government cannot, and others will not, who carry our values of peace and democracy around the world, putting service before self. Such kindness and generosity are not legislated by any Congress.
They arise from faith, neighborliness, and yes, occasional saintliness.
Indeed, I learned long ago that you don’t have to be a missionary to be filled with a sense of mission.
The 20th century was America’s century—not because of our power, but because of our purpose.
Today, millions of Americans — of both parties and of no party — are seeking a politics of purpose.
The next President of the United States must defend both America’s interests and America’s ideals.
No one, no one understands this better than Governor George W. Bush!
In an era of rampant cynicism and indifference toward government, he is determined to bring civility to the public square and restore our pride in our leaders.
Throughout his career, he has appealed to the best in people, bridging our differences rather than exploiting them.
As president, he will put an end to the smash-mouth politics of recent years and to the name-calling that tarnishes our trust and alienates so many real people whose real problems can never be solved in a focus group or soothed by a spin-doctor.
George W. Bush will be a different kind of leader!
He will use words to inspire, not inflame.
He will move beyond the stale labels and sterile confrontations that all too often divide the American family.
And, make no mistake, there are divisions in liberty’s home.
Tonight too many of our neighbors are hurting.
At a time of economic prosperity, there are too many American homes without hope — too many street corners where despair reigns — too many classrooms where children are being left behind.
Like any good conservative, Governor Bush deplores waste — above all else, wasted lives.
He will repair the frayed strands of community.
And he knows that sometimes the best way to do this is through non-profits, businesses, civic and religious groups, schools and charities.
George W. Bush understands there is power — and there is a higher power.
He knows there is no strength without integrity; no security apart from strong character.
For these timeless values form our first line of defense.
Let this be our mission and our mandate — to defend frontiers of the heart, armed with faith and steeled by conviction.
Today, America resembles nothing so much as Joseph’s many-colored coat, and in our diversity lies our strength.
With that strength comes a matching responsibility — to make wrong into right … hope into reality … in the old, biblical words, to “let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Here, my friends, is the standard we raise.
This is the faith of our fathers and mothers, the American cause we hold sacred, our politics of purpose.
In the words of that great hymn:
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
May God bless us in this great endeavor.
And may God bless America.