Remarks by Permanent Chairman Dennis Hastert as prepared for delivery at the 2004 Republican National Convention on Monday, Aug. 30:

Thank you.

In addition to being the Permanent Chairman of this Convention, I am proud to be a representative of the 14th District of the great state of Illinois, the Home of our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.

President Ronald Reagan grew up in Dixon, Illinois, which is in my district. Both President Lincoln and President Reagan believed in the American dream. They both believed in power of freedom.

And they believed in the Republican Party.

George W. Bush shares the hopeful vision of Lincoln and Reagan.

He believes in peace through strength. He believes that the economy grows when the private sector grows, not when the government grows. He understands that government has an important, but limited role in the lives of the people.

But John Kerry doesn't share that vision.

He is on the wrong side of taxation, of litigation, and of regulation. These are the job killers. They add costs onto our products, and put American workers at a disadvantage.

But John Kerry doesn't see it that way.

No, at his Boston Tax Party, John Kerry promised to increase taxes on the job creators. Instead of throwing tea in the Boston Harbor, John Kerry wants to throw the taxpayers overboard. Both President Lincoln and President Reagan understood, that in order to be respected around the world, you have to have the courage to stand up for America.

George Bush shares the Lincoln and Reagan vision.

Does anybody really know where John Kerry stands on the war? He has voted for it and against it.

My friends, this is no time to pick a leader who is weak on the war and wrong on taxes. George W. Bush is a strong leader with the right vision for America.

It is the Lincoln vision. It is the Reagan vision. And it is America's vision.