Buenos tardes. Mis buenos amigos, gracias, gracias. This has truly been a convention to remember. I see so many old friends here, and we've shared many memories together. It's great to be here with Tirso and Sally del Junco, with Katherine Ortega, Congressman Manuel Lujan, and Governor Ferry.
Having come from California, I wouldn't feel at home unless there was a strong Hispanic flavor to these festivities. Hispanic Republicans are an increasingly important part of a Republican coalition, and the fact is pretty hard to miss with Katherine Ortega giving the keynote at this convention. I'm mightily grateful to have her on our Republican team and proud to have her serving as Treasurer of the United States. She's one of a multitude, more than 225, of our appointments of Americans of Hispanic descent throughout our administration.
Now, there's a record number of Hispanic delegates at this convention. The other party considers Americans of Hispanic descent a separate interest group, but we Republicans see you as representative of the mainstream of our party and of our country.
We're not a party of special interests that divides America into camps. We're a party of people who share the same love of country and God, who have the same respect for family and hard work. We're people who appreciate our freedom and are not ashamed to admit that we still feel a stirring inside every time we see the flag waving in the wind. And knowing the strong values that we share, I predict that in the years to come it is the Republican Party that Americans of Hispanic descent will flock to in ever-increasing numbers.
We're a party that will build not bigger bureaucracy in Washington, but an expanding economy throughout our land. We aren't for dependency, but for independence and upward mobility. We're not for handouts and welfare; we're for jobs and opportunity.
There's been a lot of talk lately about family. Well, I'm glad to see that some on the other side have finally discovered traditional values. [Laughter] But we don't wait for election years to proclaim our allegiance to those things that are fundamental to our way of life. Furthermore, we're not just using slogans and empty words; we've got tangible policies to back up our words.
We favor a tuition tax credit, for example, to give parents more say in their children's education. Now, education is an issue that underscores the choice the American people will be making in November. We Republicans call for increasing standards; the liberals are for increasing taxes and spending. We're for restoring discipline to the classroom; the liberals are for increasing taxing and spending. We're for more local control and community cooperation with teachers and schools; liberals are for more taxes and spending. [Laughter] You tell me who has the better plan for your children's education.
The voters, if we help them see beyond the rhetoric, have a real choice in November on this issue and on the issue of crime, as well. We Republicans are not just mouthing tough slogans against crime; we've proposed tough legislation to deal with crime, and the liberal leadership of the House has it bottled up in committee. The people deserve to hear from those now touting the commitment to fight crime. How do they feel about the anticrime package that liberals have held up in the House of Representatives? Republicans say let's get that bill through the process and start getting more criminals off the streets.
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