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Speech
BAMPAC /BLACK AMERICA'S PAC Reception in New York City
Alan Keyes
August 30, 2004

Thank you. Thank you very much.

ALVIN WILLIAMS, BAMPAC PRESIDENT: Alan Keyes has been active in the American political scene for almost two decades now. He has an incredible resume', he started in the Reagan administration at the Department of State, also at the United Nations. He was president of Citizens Against Government Waste. He also ran for the Republican presidential nomination twice.

[cheering]

He's also a stellar family man. I've got to see him on many levels. I think that's where he's making his most important contributions.

But of late, he has another campaign that he's a part of. He is now the Senate candidate for the great State of Illinois.

[cheering overwhelms audio]

. . . will elect him the next Senator from Illinois, Alan Lee Keyes!

[cheering]

ALAN KEYES, ILLINOIS U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you very much.

I speak today in the somewhat unaccustomed dual role of welcoming you to the BAMPAC reception, on behalf of an organization that has, over the course of the last decade and now more, been doing the best we can to amass and use resources to support the participation in American politics of people who represent the black American and minority communities, and who hold dear the values that are pro-life, that are pro-self-government, that are pro-private-enterprise, and that represent the assertion of America's principles and the great American practices that have made us the envy of the world.

We have offered, through the wonderful candidates we have supported over the years, an alternative to those who believe that the black community wants to abandon its faith and adopt in the moral realm those things which are abominable to God. We represent those who understand that the black community will embrace opportunities that come on a basis that challenges us to reach for the best that is in us, not just for the next government handout.

BAMPAC supports candidates with principles and the courage to stand in the rough and tumble of American politics - and we do so believing that with consistent support, folks can step forward - and yes, it may take one or two tries, or three tries, or five tries, but at the end of the day, if you have persistence, and you have courage, and you are willing to stand for the truth, you will break through!

I've tracked the record of achievement of BAMPAC, and its support of candidates around the country, proud of the wonderful job that has been done by our president and my great friend Alvin Williams.

And we are here, of course, at the Republican convention now. BAMPAC is an organization that is quite willing to entertain the possibility of bipartisan support. Every now and again, we have found a Democrat that stands on the kind of principles we believe in. But as a Republican, I gotta tell you, it hasn't been that often.

[laughter]

Still, if the principles are true and the heart is true, we will stand with you. And that is why we can send a message loud and clear as we look over the Republican platform, that BAMPAC finds in that platform a true reflection of what we believe is best for Americans - black and white Americans; Christian, and every other religious Americans. Across every line and denomination and creed, they can stand together in the great community of principle that the Republican Party offers to them.

Finally, as we stand here in celebration of not only the great contributions of BAMPAC, but also what will be, I believe, a great victory for the principles of BAMPAC and of American conservatism, and of the beliefs that we have championed in limited government and free enterprise and true individual responsibility - on the day, November 2, when G. W. Bush is reelected as President of the United States . . .

[cheering overwhelms audio]

. . . stands true to those principles, across every line of race and creed.

But I have a very special privilege today, because I want to introduce to you for a few words someone who has been a special friend of mine and a special friend of BAMPAC, someone who has shown a special understanding, as well, of the great appeal that Republican principles have, that principles of decency and moral conscience have, across every line of color, race, creed, and denomination in America, someone who has been willing in his tenure as governor of the great State of Virginia - not only as someone who talks a good game, but who walks the walk in every respect.

[cheering overwhelms audio]

. . . the people of Virginia, and sits in the Senate of the United States right now, doing it again - not only doing that same great job of articulating the great principles in which we believe, but also walking the walk and standing firm against the assault of those who would like us to back away. But George Allen of Virginia doesn't back away, and he doesn't back down, and he doesn't back off. He has moved forward in the name of those principles every time, and he's an inspiration to all Americans.

I am proud that he has been a supporter of BAMPAC, and I am proud to call him my friend, and welcome him again to the podium he occupied at the 10th anniversary of BAMPAC, when he spoke words that inspired us all. Welcome, Senator Allen, and thank you for coming to speak.

SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA): Good evening!

This is a fired up crowd. It's hard to follow Ambassador Keyes. Susan and I are so happy to be here, and Susan was just saying, "Gosh, is he a great speaker!" And you know why? Because he speaks from the heart. He speaks from what he believes in. And that is something that is so powerful about Ambassador Keyes' message. It's great to be with you, and I want to talk with you. I want to thank Alvin Williams and all the folks from BAMPAC for the great award you all have given me at your past event.

The issues that we talk about are for all people, because what binds us together is a trust of free people and of free enterprise, that if people have an equal opportunity to compete and succeed, that means that they can achieve to the best of their own hard work and their own ingenuity. That means taxes, unlike what John Kerry says, ought not to be increased, but they ought to be decreased.

It means that rather than worrying about isopods and mosquitoes on the north slope of Alaska, we ought not to be paying these high fuel prices and be so dependent on foreign oil, when we have fuel right here at home.

It means in education we'll have high academic standards for all children, to make sure that they are learning how to read and write and to speak the English language, knowing higher levels of mathematics and science, and knowing about the history of our country and major civilizations - that's how our young people will compete in the future.

And let me tell you, the folks who we have running for the U.S. Senate across this country are quality candidates, they are running inspirational, invigorating campaigns. We are conceding not a single state in this campaign, and that includes the Land of Lincoln, the State of Illinois.

[cheering]

Now, folks who've followed Illinois' situation as it has gone through all sorts of trials and custody papers and all the rest, the Illinois State Central Committee had really until the end of this month to make a selection. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, I'm very pleased, and I congratulate them on not waiting until the end of the month to make this decision.

They selected Ambassador Keyes. They looked over all the different candidates, their credentials, who could motivate and inspire people and carry the message, of what I'd like to call common-sense conservative principles, to the people of Illinois.

Illinois is not an easy state. President Bush lost it by 14 percent last time. But again, we're not conceding a square inch of any state.

Now, Alan Keyes, when we were talking about this before he got into this, the weekend before, I have never seen anyone who has garnered more media attention, free publicity advocating his ideas - which is great! His opponent might have millions of dollars. Alan has millions of dollars of good ideas! The media loves it, and it's getting out to the people of Illinois, and indeed what you're doing is inspiring people all across America.

His opponent, a state legislator, has not actually had to be asked about any of his stance. He's one who strikes me as a criminal apologist. A criminal apologist - we ran into them in Virginia, when we were abolishing the lenient, dishonest parole system. A criminal apologist type are those who, somebody commits a crime, and they're always coming up with some excuse. Some have said, he is a criminal because of potty training, or he was bottle fed, or the teachers were mean to him. There's an objective difference between right and wrong, and we don't need criminal apologists in the U.S. Senate.

You look at Obama's record on taxes, you look at his record on the life issue. That has not been examined. This gentleman, Ambassador Keyes, is going to have a vigorous debate. In fact, they'll be the modern-day Lincoln-Douglas debates.

His opponent, actually, before he got into it, said he wanted a bunch of Lincoln-Douglas debates. And of course, Mr. Keyes is Lincoln.

[cheering]

But all of a sudden, Obama's just scattering, he's wavering on not having debates and all the rest. But I think that the media, the American people, and the people of Illinois are going to want to see those debates. The more debates that are held between Ambassador Keyes versus his opponent, the more votes, the more support, the more enthusiasm there'll be for Ambassador Keyes. He'll be the next Senator from the State of Illinois.

[cheering]

Well, my friends, never, never give up. In listening to you, Ambassador, I have a saying - and you're talking about keep fighting, how ever many times it takes - my general view on politics is, so long as they don't kill you, you can keep fighting.

[cheering]

My friends, these are ideas that Ambassador Keyes is advocating that are not just ideas that matter to black Americans, it matters to people of paler shades of skin, as well. These are American ideas, and it is great to have a man of this character, this enthusiasm, this experience, and this motivation to be holding our banner high as Republicans in the State of Illinois - but also holding it up high for all Americans.

So, I thank you all for all of your adherence to principle, for your understanding that representative democracy is not a spectator's sport. Thank you for getting involved, thank you for standing strong for freedom, and I encourage you all to fight on for victory.

Thank you all so very much.

[crowd: "We want Keyes! We want Keyes!"]

KEYES: There are a few questions. We would be glad to take them all. Senator Allen is still here.

Q: Ambassador Keyes, tell us why President Bush deserves another four years.

KEYES: The question is, and I think this could also be addressed, I'm sure, to Senator Allen. The questioner wants us to explain . . .

[quiets the crowd]

We've been asked to explain why President Bush deserves another four years. I think the answer is actually easy to sum up in a single phrase: if you want America to survive the War on Terror and to triumph in prosperity and hope, then you have to reelect G. W. Bush.

[cheering]

We need a president who is not going to wait on events, sitting on his hands until the wisdom of hindsight catches up to him, but is going to act on the information he has to defend against the dangers we face - and that is what G. W. Bush has done.

I think that it would be the most serious and dangerous error this people could make, to turn to an individual who touts his war records while he abused that record after his service in order to try to cast shame on every single soldier he had served with in Vietnam.

It's time we sent a clear message that we are not going to support people who try to exploit with dishonor the sacrifices of our veterans, even while today we stand firm behind those who are again risking their lives for the sake of our survival and our liberty in the war against terrorism.

So, I think that the record is clear in that regard. Senator Allen?

SEN. ALLEN: I could easily say, "Ditto!"

[audience laughs, cheers]

SEN. ALLEN: Ditto! Ditto!

Let me add another point. It's not just defending this country, it's taking the offense. Yes, we play tenacious defense, but we're also taking it, too, to terrorists.

Furthermore - and this gets back to the U.S. Senate - President Bush needs reinforcements. He needs a stronger Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. Whether it's for tax cuts, whether it's for energy policy, whether it's reform of so many frivolous lawsuits - and let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, we need judges who apply the law, not invent it. And the president's nominees need a fair consideration and a vote on the Senate floor, and that's why I hope we'll get more U.S. Senators to make sure we keep moving America forward.

Q: Do you support No Child Left Behind?

KEYES: Do I support No Child Left Behind? I think that the emphasis on making sure that our schools are brought up to standard is probably one of the most important things we could do in education. I do want to say, over the years, I have stressed the need to emphasize one important principle - that school and home must work together. It's a matter of bringing the parents back into the equation, and if we're going to do it, the answer is clear: we must empower parents so that the money we spend on education follows the choice of parents, not the choice of educrats and bureaucrats and politicians.

With that kind of power in their hands, I think those who love our children will make sure that our schools properly serve our children.

SEN. ALLEN: As so often in Virginia, we didn't wait around for the federal government to come up with a policy on welfare reform, or, for that matter, bringing in high academic standards and accountability to our schools. There are school performance report cards in Virginia. Susan and I have three children, all in public schools. We know how well or not well the schools are doing. We know how well our children are doing. No Child Left Behind is a fine idea. I just don't want it to screw up what we're doing right in Virginia.

Q: Senator, how much money is your committee going to contribute to Mr. Keyes' campaign?

SEN. ALLEN: We're going to put money in races where it will have the greatest impact.

Q: How much in his campaign?

SEN. ALLEN: We'll see how it proceeds.

Q: There is a lot of debate of the gay rights issue. Can you talk a little bit about that?

KEYES: The question has been asked about the issue of gay rights. It has become something different, I think. It has become the issue of what is going to happen to marriage in this country. And I think it's very clear that just as the Republican platform now is taking a strong stand, so everywhere in the country, we must take a strong stand in defense of traditional marriage. Not just because it serves the people better in some practical sense, but because it is quite clear that at the heart of marriage is procreation.

If you define marriage in such a way as to recognize relationships as marriage that cannot include procreation in principle, then you will have destroyed the very meaning of the institution. For the sake of trying to make some small minority feel better about itself, that is too great a sacrifice for our whole society in general.

[cheering, applause]

SEN. ALLEN: This is an issue - the issue of marriage is one, first and foremost, that is illustrative of activist judges making decisions that are contrary to the will of the people of various states. Massachusetts, on that narrow [court] decision, 4-3, made that decision saying that marriage is not necessarily between one man and one woman. I believe marriage should be properly defined as a marriage between a man and a woman. Now, the way that this is going to play out is - and I've just studied it very closely, because one uses a constitutional amendment as a last resort. You prefer a statute because it's easier to pass, if nothing else.

A constitutional amendment, though, I believe must be resorted to as a last defense, because what will happen is some of these same-sex marriage people from Massachusetts will move to another state, and with the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, that comity will have to be granted to them, thereby negating the will of the people in those particular states.

So, ultimately, we do have to pass a constitutional amendment. Again, we're going to need more members of the U.S. Senate to get that amendment to the states for ratification.

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