Condoleezza Rice RNC Speech: Peace From Strength

Former secretary of state on military strength, rising China and civil rights.
3:00 | 08/30/12

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Transcript for Condoleezza Rice RNC Speech: Peace From Strength
Okay okay. I. Thank you some -- good evening good evening. Good evening good evening distinguished delegates. Good evening -- fellow Republicans. Good evening of my fellow Americans. We gather here at a time of significance and challenge. This young century has been a difficult one. I can remember as if it were yesterday. When my young assistants came into my office at the White House to say. That a plane had hit the World Trade Center. And then a second plane. And then a third plane the Pentagon. And later we -- learned that a plane had crashed into a field. In Pennsylvania. Driven into the ground up by brave souls who died so that others might live. -- stay on combat pay on. Our sense of vulnerability and our concepts of security were never the same again. -- in 2008. The global financial and economic crisis would stun us. And it still reverberates as we deal with unemployment and economic uncertainty and bad policies. That casts a Pall over an American economy. And recovery that is desperately needed at home and abroad. And -- we have seen we have seen. That's the desire for liberty and freedom is indeed universal as men and women in the Middle East rise up to -- it. Yet the promise of the Arab Spring is in -- in uncertain deep internal strife and hostile neighbors. Are challenging the young fragile democracy of Iraq. Dictators in Iran and Syria -- their people and threaten regional security. Russia and China prevent a response and every one asked. Where does America stand. Indeed indeed that is the question of the hour where does America -- You see when friends. Oracle's. A life. Don't know the answer that question unambiguously and clearly. The world is likely to be a more dangerous and chaotic place. Since World War II the United States. Has had an answer that question. We spend. We're free peoples and free markets. We will defend and support them. We will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom. -- to be -- The burdens of leadership have been heavy. I knowing she -- the sacrifice of Americans especially the sacrifice of many of our bravest. In the ultimate sacrifice. But our armed forces are this you heard shield and foundation of liberty and we are so fortunate. That we have men and women in uniform who volunteer. They volunteered to defend us at the front lines of freedom and we all of them are eternal gratitude. -- that it is not always been easy though it has been rewarding to speak. For those who would otherwise not have a voice the religious dissident in China. The democracy advocate in Venezuela the political prisoner in Iran. It has been hard to Muster the resources to support -- fledgling democracies. And to intervene on behalf. -- the most desperate. The aids orphan in you've gone down -- the refugee fleeing the Zimbabwe. The young woman who has been trafficked into the sex trade in south East Asia. It has been hard. Yet this -- systems together with the compassionate work of private charities. People of conscience and people of faith. Has -- the soul of our country. And I know true. I know two. That there isn't weariness I know. That it feels as if we have carried these -- long enough. We can only know. That there is no choice because one of two things will happen if we don't lead either. No one will lead and there will be chaos. Or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values my fellow Americans. We do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind. Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality. Our well being at home and our leadership abroad are inextricably linked they know what to do. They know that our friends and allies must again be able to trust us from Israel to Colombia from Poland to the Philippines. Our our -- and friends have to know that we will be reliable and consistent and determined. And our homes are close. Can have no reason to doubt our resolve because -- really does come through strength. Our military take. And our technological advantage will be safe in Mitt Romney's hands. We must work Lauren -- -- economy and pursue free and fair trade. To grow our exports and our influence abroad if you are worried about the rise of China just consider this. The United States has negotiated. This young as six has ratified only three trade agreements in the last few years and those were negotiated in the Bush Administration. China. China. Has signed a fifteen minute free trade agreements. And -- in the progress of negotiating as many as eighteen more sadly. We are abandoning the field free and fair trade. And it will come back to haunt us. We must not allow the chance to -- energy independence to slip from our -- We are blessed with a gift of oil and gas resources here in North America. We must develop that we can develop -- sensitive believe we can develop them securing our environment but we must develop them. -- to develop alternative. Sources of energy to. But most importantly. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Will rebuild. The foundation of our strength the American economy stimulating private sector growth. And stimulating. Small business entrepreneurship. -- it's just today. They see in American government. That cannot live within its means. They see an American government that continues to borrow money. That -- mortgage the future of generations to come. The world knows. That when a nation loses control of its finances. It eventually loses control of its destiny. That is not the America. That has inspired. People to follow our lead. After all. -- the world looks to America. They look to us because we are the most successful. Economic and political experiment in human history. That is the true basis of American exceptional listen. You seat the states of America what really unites us is not nationality. Or ethnicity. Or religion. It is an idea. And what an idea it is. That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things that it does not matter where you came from it matters where you are going. I love America. -- has never been a narratives. Bob grievance and entitlement. We have never believed -- that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have never been jealous of one another and never envious of each other's successes. -- Long and hard up and down to try to extend the benefits of the American dream to all. But that American ideal is indeed in danger today. There is no country. No not even a rising China that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we do not do the hard working. Forests here at -- And that any other time in history. Greatness is built on mobilizing human -- potential. And ambition. We have always done that better than any country in the world. People can't come here from all over because they have believed our creed. Up opportunity and limitless horizons they have come here. From the world's most impoverished nations just to make a decent wage. And they have come here. From advanced societies as engineers and scientists have fueled the knowledge based revolution in the silicon valley of California. In the Research Triangle of North Carolina along. -- -- -- -- -- -- in my. While some of the world's most ambitious people to be a part of us. In that way we stay young and optimistic and determined. We need immigration laws that protect our borders meet our economic needs and yet so. That we are a compassionate nation of immigrants. We have been successful too because Americans have known that one status of -- it's not a permanent. Condition. Americans have believed that you might not be able to control your circumstances that you can control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally. In controlling your response to your circumstances has been a quality education. But today. Today when I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you're gonna get a good education cannot honestly say it doesn't matter where you came from it matters for -- going. The crisis in K12 education. -- -- -- -- To the very fabric of who we are. My mom with the -- I respect the profession. We need great teachers not -- once and not mediocre ones. We have to have high standards for our kids because self esteem comes from achievement. Not from lax standards and false race. Did parents greater choice particularly. Particularly poor parents. Whose kids very often minorities. Are trapped in failing neighborhood. Schools this is a civil rights issue. And -- We condemn -- generations to joblessness and hopelessness. And life. On the government dole. If we do anything -- we will endanger our global. Imperatives for competitiveness. And if we do anything less. We will tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement the turn toward entitlement and grievance. Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home. And they will -- abroad. They -- provide an answer to the question where does America stand. The challenges real. And the times -- hard. But America has met and overcome hard challenges before. Whenever you find yourself doubting us. Just think about all those times that America made the impossible seem -- applicable in retrospect. Our revolutionary founding against the greatest military power of the time. A civil war. Brother against brother hundreds of thousands dead on both sides that we emerged a more perfect union a second pounding -- an impatient patriots. We're determined to overcome the birth defects of slavery and the sports of segregation. A long struggle against communism with the Soviet Union eventually collapse and Europe whole free and at peace and in the aftermath of 9/11 the willingness to take really hard. Hard decisions that secured us and prevented the follow on attack that everybody thought preordained. And on a personal. And on a personal note. A little girl grows up in Jim -- Birmingham. The segregated city of the south where her parents can't take her to movie theater or to a restaurant. But they -- -- absolutely convinced that even if she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter she could be president of the United States if she wanted to be. Military. -- America and -- ways of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect but we know it was never inevitable it took leadership. And it took courage and it -- belief in our values Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have the the integrity and the experience and the vision. To lead us they know who we are they know who we want to be they know who we are in the world and what we offer. That is why. That is why this is a moment and an election a consequence. Because it just -- the -- That's the freest and most compassionate country on the face of the earth will continue to be the most powerful. And the beaten for prosperity. And liberty across the world. God bless you and god.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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