Elizabeth Dole visits Fairfield


When Elizabeth Dole recently reprised her Oprah-like performance in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts to energize local Republican faithful in support of her husband's candidacy, the response was predictable. They were giddy for Liddy.

Escorted into the theatre by Republican Gov. John Rowland, Dole, in a smart royal blue business suit, abandoned the podium that was flanked by red, white and blue balloons and strolled the aisles to vouch for her husband's integrity and pitch his economic plan. "This is a defining moment because it will determine which vision and values will shape America," she said in an event planned by the local Republican party. "Bob's vision speaks directly to families. As I travel, families talk of anxiety because of their uncertain economic future. They're caught in the Clinton crunch: skyrocketing taxation and stagnating wages. If both parents want to work, it's their choice; but it shouldn't be an economic necessity. That's why Bob is advocating a 15 percent tax cut and a $500 per child tax credit."

In greeting well-wishers in the audience with handshakes, smiles and hellos, Dole used her gift for retail politicking to make the claim that Clintonomics was destructive for the country's long-term economic health. She picked out a young girl in the audience and asked her to stand up. "If we do not balance the budget, then Michelle will have to pay out $187,000 in taxes in her lifetime to help pay the interest on the national debt," said Dole. "Before Michelle has nightmares, let's assure her we are going to balance the budget in a Dole administration."

Dole said if her husband is elected, he will conduct a war on drugs that will include the military and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to discourage drug use. "We have to have a war on crime. He's going to make sure there is no more parole for violent criminals and require them to have at least a 40-hour work week. What has happened to victims' rights, ladies and gentleman?" she said to applause.

She pointed to his "leadership" on the commission that in 1983 saved Social Security from bankruptcy, and said her husband, who has a withered right arm because of a wound he suffered in World War II, is dedicated to preserving the social safety net. "He has a real sensitivity to pain and suffering," she said.

In addition, she cited his 35-year service in the Senate, including his election six times to the leadership position by fellow senators. "He is honest, trustworthy and his word is his bond," she said. "Bob's a workhorse, not a showhorse and the record proves it."

Dole also took some jabs at the President for vetoing the Republican congressional budget plan to balance the budget in seven years and regulatory reform, and "scaring senior citizens" about Medicare. "God willing, we're going to veto Bill Clinton Nov. 5."

Before leaving the stage, Dole was presented with a key to the town and "our hearts" by Fairfield Republican First Selectman Paul Audley.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 1, 1996