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Republicans Should Stay Optimistic and On Offense

By Rudy Giuliani

For the past six months, I've been traveling across the country campaigning for Republican candidates. Conventional wisdom from Washington predicts a tough year for the party. By playing offense, solidifying our ranks and reaching out to Reagan Democrats and Independents, I believe that Republicans have reason to be optimistic. Because on the big issues Americans care about - from national security to the economy to the Supreme Court - Republican leadership has delivered time and again on its promises.

Republicans are united by our belief in going on offense to win the war on terror. Five years ago, our nation learned a painful lesson about the dangers of an inconsistent approach to dealing with the evil of terrorism. In his speech to Congress on September 20th, 2001, President Bush declared that we would go on offense against terrorists, and he has made good on that promise. Terrorists have been destabilized and put on defense around the world - including Afghanistan and Iraq.

Americans should remember the positive impact of tax cuts on our economy. Most Republicans agree with Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush that tax cuts are a powerful stimulus to the economy - that's why I cut taxes 23 times as Mayor of New York. Most Democrats disagree with that philosophy - it's an honest disagreement. But let's look at the results: Today, we have a 4.4% unemployment rate in our country - lower than the average in the 70's, 80's and 90's. The stock market recently hit 12,000 - an all-time high. And the lower tax rate is generating more revenue than the higher rate did before - $250 billion more than last year. Republicans stand for lower taxes; Democrats stand for higher taxes - it's as simple as that.

Finally, let's look at the Republican record on judges. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are models of what judges should be in this country. They are principled individuals who can be trusted to defend the original intent of the Constitution rather than trying to legislate their own political beliefs from the bench. The successful appointments of Justices Roberts and Alito are signs of promises kept.

But there is still more work to do: more promises that need to be kept.

When I talk to people across America, I hear their frustration with the gridlock and scandals from Washington. As a former U.S. Attorney, I spent much of my career bringing corrupt government officials from both parties to justice. Neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice - but we do have legitimate differences in terms of our ideas and vision for the future. And those principled differences should guide Americans' decisions on Election Day.

The people I've been talking with on the campaign trail want to see government get serious about fiscal discipline by cutting wasteful spending. American families want to see a revitalized education system with accountability, putting the focus on the students, increased school choice and higher standards, so that the United States can continue to be economically competitive throughout the 21st Century. They want us to do more to secure our borders while working to ensure that the virtues of legal immigration and assimilation are respected. They want us to move more aggressively toward greater energy independence.

But of course, the most important piece of unfinished business facing the nation is winning the war on terror.

In the era of President Truman and President Eisenhower, people used to say that "Partisan politics should end at the waters' edge." But lately some influential political voices seem to have forgotten this American tradition. The war on terror is not about "red" versus "blue" states - it is about right versus wrong; it is about good overcoming evil.

That's why these mid-term elections are so important. That's why we can't turn back. That is why Republicans need to solidify our ranks while reaching out with confidence. Because the issues that unite us as Republicans are the same issues that unite the vast majority of Americans: a commitment to winning the war on terror; a core belief in fiscal conservatism; and a faith in individual freedom. Advancing these principles, while staying on offense, can help keep the GOP a strong majority party in the United States.

Rudy Giuliani is the former Mayor of New York City and a Republican candidate for President.

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