Victory Rally

President George W. Bush makes a speech during a campaign rally for Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) Nov. 3 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Mitsumasa Misaki

President George W. Bush makes a speech during a campaign rally for Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) Nov. 3 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Jessica MacIntosh

Pushing the crowd to vote and helping with a hotly contested Senate campaign, the President of the United States paid Missouri Southern a visit Nov. 3 at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

“I get the feeling you might reelect me to the Senate next week,” said Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

Gov. Matt Blunt said he thought the Joplin crowd was louder than in Springfield.

“The President (George W. Bush) is here because we have a common goal on Tuesday, making sure that Jim Talent continues to represent us. Jim Talent needs our support on Tuesday.”

Bush said it was good to be back in Southwest Missouri because not only does he like coming to this area, but also he said there are hardworking people with common sense.

“That’s what you need in the United States Senate,” he said, “someone with common sense. Someone who has the right priorities starting with his family in the United States Senate and that somebody is Jim Talent.”

Bush said he appreciated the interest in this campaign and urges people to vote.

“When you vote, your vote is not only going to be good for Missouri, but it is going to be good for the United States,” Bush said.

Bush said Talent cares about the people of Missouri.

“He understands that this nation is at risk if we remain dependent on foreign oil when you get oil from parts of the world where people don’t like international security problems,” he said. “That’s why I have worked closely with Jim to advance new technologies that will enable us to use Missouri farm products to power our automobiles.”

Bush said taxes are an issue and asked which party would take the “necessary steps” to protect the United States.

“We have a philosophy,” he said. “We believe you can spend your money far better than the federal government can. Democrats want to raise your taxes because they believe that they can spend your money better than you can. We believe that when you have more money to save, spend or invest, the whole economy benefits.”

Bush said tax cuts have fueled a strong, growing economy and the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.4 percent.

“That’s the lowest rate in five and half years,” he said.

Bush also discussed the situation in the Middle East and keeping the nation protected against terrorism.

“The best way to protect you is to stay on the offense and bring these people to justice before they hurt Americans,” he said. “(Our job) is to protect the American people and that is the call of this generation. We have to be right 100 percent of the time to protect you and therefore, I made sure our professionals had the tools necessary to protect you.”

Bush said there was a wall separating the intelligence community and the law enforcement from sharing information.

“It’s hard to rationalize that that happened, but that is what happened prior to Sept. 11,” he said. “In other words, if you had somebody who had intelligence about somebody who might be coming our way and he couldn’t share that information with somebody whose job it was to stop them.”

Bush said he asked Congress to pass the Patriot Act, which “brought down that wall.”

“The Senate Democrats tried to filibuster that reauthorization of that important bill,” he said. “As a matter of fact, the Senate Minority Leader, the head Democrat of the Senate, bragged that ‘We killed the Patriot Act.’ He has a different mindset.”

In protecting the country, Bush said they have to understand what the enemy is thinking.

“When we see a threat overseas, we must take that threat seriously,” he said.

With the situation in Iraq, Bush said the goal is victory.

“Our goal in Iraq is an Iraq that can sustain itself, an Iraq that can govern itself, an Iraq that can defend itself (and) an Iraq that will be an ally against these extremist radicals,” he said. “We will support our troops in Iraq, we will fight in Iraq and we will win in Iraq.”

Talent said he is in agreement with what Bush said during the speech.

“He also said if we pull out, everything we’ve done to this point will be for nothing and I think he’s right on that, too,” he said. “I think it was a strong speech, he talked about a lot of good things. I’m pleased he came and I think the reaction was great.”

Talent said this is his third state-wide race and the elections have all been close.

“Other people give you different theories, but I just think this is Missouri,” he said, “and when you get this kind of an intense effort on both sides it’s going to be close.”

Guillaume Buissez, junior sports management major from France, said this was his first political rally.

“It was very amazing,” he said. “It was organized.”

Buissez said he learned a lot from Bush’s speech.

“The speech was very strong,” he said.