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2004-09-01

First Lady, Bush Twins Address RNC

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President Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna in their national television debut and First Lady Laura Bush speak at the Republican convention last night. [includes rush transcript]

After Schwarzenegger, the other headline Republican speaker at the convention yesterday was First Lady Laura Bush.

Before she took the stage, her 22 year-old twin daughters Barbara and Jenna made their national television debut at the convention. They had the job of introducing their father, President Bush, who appeared via closed circuit from a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. This is an excerpt of Barbara and Jenna Bush last night.

  • Barbara and Jenna Bush, speaking at the Republican National Convention on August 31, 2004.

Their father, President Bush arrives in the city today and plans to meet with a group of firefighters and supporters in Queens. The last speaker of the night was First Lady Laura Bush. This is an excerpt of what she had to say.

  • Laura Bush, speaking at the Republican National Convention on August 31, 2004.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: This is an excerpt of Barbara and Jenna Bush last night.

BARBARA AND JENNA BUSH: It’s great to be here. We love Arnold. Isn’t he awesome? [cheers] Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to marry a democrat, nobody can complain. Except maybe our grandmother, Barbara. And if she doesn’t like it, we would definitely hear about it. We already know she doesn’t like some of our clothes, our music, or most of the TV shows we watch. Gamy, we love you dearly, but you are just not very hip. [cheers] She thinks Sex in the City is something married people do but never talk about. [applause] We spent the last four years trying to stay out of the spotlight. Sometimes we did a little better job than others. We kept trying to explain to my dad that when we are young and irresponsible, well, we are young and irresponsible. Jenna and I are really not very political but we love our dad too much to stand back and watch from the sidelines. [applause] We realized that this would be his last campaign, and we wanted to be a part of it. Besides, since we’ve graduated from college, we are looking around for something to do for the next few years. Kind of like dad. [applause] Our parents have always encouraged us to be independent and dream big. We spent a lot of time at the White House so when we showed up the first day, we thought we had it all figured out. But apparently my dad already has a chief of staff named Andy. When your dad’s a republican, and you go to Yale, when your dad’s a republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself. [cheers] I knew I wasn’t quite ready to be president, but number two sounded pretty good. Who is this man they call Dick Cheney? I think I know a lot about campaigns. After all, my grandfather and my dad have both run for president. So I put myself in charge of strategy. Then I got an angry call from some guy named Karl. We knew we had something to offer. I mean we’ve traveled the world, we’ve studied abroad. But when we started coming home with foreign policy advice, dad made us call Condi. Not to be deterred, we thought surely there was a place for strong-willed opinionated women in communications. Next thing we know, Karen’s back. [applause] So we decided the best thing we could do here tonight would be to introduce somebody we know and love. You know all of those time with us are growing up and your parents embarrassed you? Well, this is payback time on live TV. [applause] Take this. I know it’s hard to believe, but our parents’ favorite term of endearment for each other is actually "Bushy," and we had a hamster, too. Let’s just say ours didn’t make it. But contrary to what you might read in the papers, our parents are actually pretty cool. They do know the difference between mono and Bono. When we tell them we are going to see Outkast, they know it’s a band and not a bunch of misfits. And if we really beg them, they will even shake it like a Polaroid picture. [applause] So ok, maybe they have learned a little pop culture from us, but we have learned a lot more from them about what matters in life, about unconditional love, about focus and discipline. They taught us the importance of a good sense of humor, of being open minded and treating everyone with respect. And we learned the true value of honesty and integrity. [applause] When you grow up as the daughters of George and Laura Bush, you develop a special appreciation for how blessed we are to live in this great country. [applause] We are so proud to be here tonight to introduce someone who read us bedtime stories, picked up carpool, made us our favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheered for us when we scored a goal, even when it was for the wrong time.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, Barbara and Jenna Bush make their national television debut at the Republican National Convention last night in New York. Their plans for September 11? Well, according to some reports, they will be at their beautician’s wedding. He’s been with his partner for many years though the twins’ spokesperson has not confirmed or refused to confirm or deny that they would be at the wedding of a gay couple. Their father, George Bush, arrives in the city today and plans to meet with a group of firefighters and supporters in Queens. The last speaker of the night was First Lady Laura Bush. An excerpt here of what she had to say.

LAURA BUSH: No American president ever wants to go to war. Abraham Lincoln didn’t want to go to war. But he knew saving the Union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t want to go to war. But he knew defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn’t want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and the world depended on it. [applause] I remember — I remember some very quiet nights at the dinner table. George was weighing grim scenarios and ominous intelligence about potentially even more devastating attacks. I listened many nights as George talked with foreign leaders on the phone or in our living room or at our ranch in Crawford. I remember an intense weekend at Camp David. George and Prime Minister Tony Blair were discussing the threat from Saddam Hussein. And I remember sitting in the window of the White House watching as my husband walked on the lawn below. I knew he was wrestling with these agonizing decisions that would have such profound consequence for so many lives and for the future of our world. And I was there when my husband had to decide. Once again as in our parents’ generation, America had to make the tough choices, the hard decisions, and lead the world toward greater security and freedom. [applause] I wasn’t born when my father went to World War II. Like so many of our greatest generation, he’s now gone. Lost to Alzheimer’s nine years ago. He served in the United States Army in Europe for almost three years and helped liberate Nordhausen, one of the concentration camps. You can imagine his horror at what he found there. The methods of the terrorists we face today are different, but my father would know this struggle. Our parents’ generation confronted tyranny and liberated millions. As we do the hard work of confronting today’s threat, we can also be proud that 50 million more men, women and children live in freedom thanks to the United States of America and our allies. [applause]

AMY GOODMAN: First Lady Laura Bush addressing the Republican National Convention in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

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