Here are excerpts of a speech prepared for delivery to the Republican National Convention in Houston last night by Vice President Dan Quayle:
. . . I know my critics wish I were not standing here tonight. They don't like our values. They look down on our beliefs. They're afraid of our ideas. And they know the American people stand on our side. That is why, when someone confronts them and challenges them, they will stop at nothing to destroy him. To them I say: You have failed. I stand before you, and before the American people -- unbowed, unbroken and ready to keep fighting for our beliefs.
I come from Huntington, a small farming community in Indiana. had an upbringing like many in my generation -- a life built around family, public school, Little League, basketball and church on Sunday. . . .
Like so many Americans, for me, family comes first. When family values are undermined, our country suffers. All too often, parents struggle to instill character in their sons and daughters -- only to see their values belittled and their beliefs mocked by those who look down on America. Americans try to raise their children to understand right and wrong -- only to be told that every so-called "lifestyle alternative" is morally equivalent. That is wrong.
The gap between us and our opponents is a cultural divide. It is not just a difference between conservative and liberal; it is a difference between fighting for what is right and refusing to see what is wrong.
Families can also be strengthened by empowering our people -- with low taxes, homeownership, parental choice in education, job training, safe streets, a clean environment and affordable health care. In all of these areas, we have a reform agenda, and it is time for Congress to get out of the way and pass the president's plan. . . .
The President's Council on Competitiveness, which I chair, will continue to lead the charge against unnecessary federal regulation. We've worked to save jobs, and to save lives. We have reformed the drug approval process to speed up the availability of new medicines for people with life-threatening diseases like cystic fibrosis, cancer and AIDS.
And what is the response of the Democrats in Congress? They have tried to kill the Council on Competitiveness, which stands up for the American people against the bureaucrats and the special interests. They think the Competitiveness Council should They don't get it. It is time for them to go. . . .
And it is time to change Congress for good. Almost 16 years ago, in my first speech as a member of the House of Representatives, I proposed limiting the terms of Congress. The Democratic Congress tells us that it is good for the country to limit Ronald Reagan and George Bush to two terms as president. I say to them, if it is good for the country to limit Ronald Reagan and George Bush to two terms, then it would be great for the country to limit the terms of senators like George Mitchell and Ted Kennedy, and the rest of that liberal Democratic Congress.
None of the reforms I've just mentioned has any support from Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton talks about change, but he can't really change America because the special interests won't let him. . . .
For more than a month the media have been telling us that Bill Clinton and Al Gore are "moderates." Well, if they're moderates, I'm a world champion speller.
We are the true voice for change -- and we do not take our marching orders from the special interests. On behalf of legal reform and education reform, we've taken on the strongest forces of the status quo -- and we will not back down. On behalf of deregulation and term limits, we've taken on the Democratic Congress -- and we will not back down. And, on behalf of family values, we've taken on Hollywood and the media elite -- and we will not back down. . . .
These last four years, I have worked with a man who represents so much of what is good in our country -- a man whose public and personal life are the embodiment of character. . . . George Bush has given us great victories abroad and performed great deeds at home. But, as Theodore Roosevelt said, "the greatest victories are yet to be won . . . the greatest deeds are yet to be done." . . .