Published Online: February 12, 1997


'Limit the Claims and Demands of Washington'

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Limit the Claims and Demands of Washington

Following are highlights of the Republican response to President Clintons address, delivered by Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma:

Those of us who have been sent to Washington have a moral responsibility to offer more than poll-tested phrases and winning smiles. We must offer a serious vision. We must share our intentions. We must make our plans clear. That's my job tonight: to tell you what we believe, what the Republican Party believes, and what we will work for.

We believe first of all that the state of this union really isn't determined in Washington, D.C. It never has been, and it never will be. But for a long time the federal government has been grabbing too much power and too much authority over all of the people. And it is those people, it is all of us, who decide the real state of the union. ...

The strength of America is not in Washington, the strength of America is at home in lives well lived in the land of faith and family. The strength of America is not on Wall Street but on Main Street, not in big business but in small businesses with local owners and workers. It's not in Congress, it's in the city hall. And I pray Republicans and Democrats both understand this. We shouldn't just say it, we should live it.

And so we have made it our mission to limit the claims and demands of Washington; to limit its call for more power, more authority and more taxes. Our mission is to return power to your home, to where mothers and fathers can exercise it according to their beliefs.

[W]e can help our country by bringing back the knowledge, the ancient wisdom, that we're nothing without our spiritual, traditional and family values. The Republicans will take action to give those values a bigger place in solving America's problems. After all, our values are more important to our future than any so-called bureaucratic breakthrough. Think about your life and how you built it.

I didn't get my values from Washington. I got my values from my parents, from Buddy and Helen Watts, in Eufaula, Okla. ...

My parents also taught me I could do anything if I applied myself and understood sacrifice and commitment. ...

It is the Republican Party that has been trying to return these values to government, and it hasn't been easy, because for a long time the government has acted as if it didn't have any common sense.

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