Liberal judges are releasing dangerous criminals onto our streets to avoid jail overcrowding.
As president, I’ll appoint judges who know that it’s better to have thugs overcrowding our jails, than overcrowding your neighborhood.
And in California, I changed the law to hold vicious teenage predators accountable for their actions: If a 14-year old punk does adult crime, he does adult time.
Just as we hold individuals accountable, so must we reward them based on individual merit.
In America, the only limits to an individual’s God-given gifts should be his or her own ability, energy and ambition.
Faith in America’s fairness has made us one people from many lands. We must restore fairness to enjoy again the national purpose and patriotism that have made America great and a place of hope and optimism.
But let’s be honest: Today affirmative action preferences are quotas based on race and gender. They are inescapably unfair. They’re undermining a fundamental American dream. That’s why I’ve acted to end them in California, and a Wilson presidency will end them in America.
That’s why I’ve raised these basic issues of fairness and responsibility. Now, you’ve started hearing other candidates talk about these issues.
But there’s an important difference here.
The difference between the others and me is clear. They promise. As governor, I’ve delivered.
They talk. As governor, I’ve acted.
They delay, As governor, I’ve decided.
The answer, my friends, isn’t someone who blows in the wind. It isn’t someone who puts off the tough calls to some time in the future.
I believe America wants a leader with the courage of his convictions _ right now!
I was the first governor in America to sign a ``three strikes, you’re out″ measure to turn career criminals into career inmates.
I’ve led a national movement demanding an end to illegal immigration.
I’m the first chief executive in the nation to begin dismantling unfair racial and gender preferences.
The welfare reform I launched in 1991 has become a model for the nation.
And in California, I’ve made the deep spending cuts that Washington has never had the guts to make.
Members of Congress can abstain from voting. Governor’s can’t abstain from leadership.
So, we will take action.
We will join together on the eve of the new millennium. At this historic place, we will embark on a modern American Revolution, which _ like the first _ is conceived in liberty.
The perils are not those faced by legal immigrants crossing oceans. But the challenge is no less daunting. It demands courage and resolve. Like our nation’s first revolution, it will require sacrifice and hope.
Look with me into this harbor. To understand America is to see it through this lady’s eyes.
She promises freedom _ not a free ride.
She promises fairness _ not favoritism.
She promises unlimited hope _ not a guaranteed result.
She welcomes us to this island of freedom between two great oceans not to wring our hands, but to use our hands and our hearts and minds to fulfill the obligation that comes with the gift of liberty.
I undertake that obligation today...to make America a more fair,just and prosperous society, offering the greatest measure of individual freedom and opportunity the world has ever known. To make our freedom grow. To shine hope’s light in every corner. To make room for every person’s talents so they will soar beyond limits.
Today, I also see America through another set of eyes. They’re the eyes of 16-year-old Kate Barton.
Those eyes must have been filled with wonder at the hustle of our cities, and filled with fatigue after a long day’s work as a hotel cleaning maid.
They filled with tears as she struggled to raise and educate my mother, Peg, after killers struck down my grandfather Mike Callahan.
Kate’s eyes are they eyes of every American who came and conquered the cities, the prairies, the valleys, the deserts and the mountains to build a great nation.
Building America was not for the weak or the fainthearted...nor is rebuilding it today. It’s those committed to living by these four principles:
Reward hard work...
Restore individual responsibility...
Honor and preserve the family.
In that spirit, there’s one more thing to tell you about Kate Barton Callahan. She was blessed with a strong mind and a quick tongue..which made her unafraid of a good fight.
I intend to make her proud. I intend to fight fair and fight hard and win this campaign for the presidency.
Come join us. Get your neighbors to join us. Bring us your determination...your energy...you creativity...your pride...and, yes, bring us your strength and your love, too.
And if you’ll throw in some old-fashioned American grit, I truly believe that just as no force ever stopped these United States, nothing can stop us.
Now, we’ve had enough talk; it’s time for action!
Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.