George W. Bush on Civil Rights

Local control with consequences if racial profiling occurs

Q: Do you support a federal law banning racial profiling by police?

GORE: Racial profiling is a serious problem. Imagine what it is like for someone to be singled out unfairly and feel the unfair force of law simply because of race or ethnicity. That runs counter to what the United States is all about. If I am entrusted with the presidency it will be the first civil rights act of the 21st century.

BUSH: I can’t imagine what it would be like to be singled out because of race and harassed. That’s just flat wrong. So we ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling. One of my concerns, though, is I don’t want to federalize local police. I believe in local control of governments. Most officers are dedicated citizens who are putting their lives at risk, who aren’t bigoted or aren’t prejudiced. I do think we need to find out where racial profiling occurs and say to the local folks, get it done and if you can’t, there’ll be a federal consequence.

Source: (X-ref Gore) Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

Condemns anti-Semitic comments of Dallas NAACP president

A Bush spokesman made it clear that Bush did not agree with the statements from Dallas NAACP President Lee Alcorn, who had raised questions about Lieberman’s Jewish faith during a local radio interview. “In the strongest terms, the Bush-Cheney campaign condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made against Senator Lieberman. When it comes to fighting anti-Semitism, Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all Americans in condemning such foolish utterances.”
Source: Aug 9, 2000

Enforce civil rights, reform education, help people achieve

Strong civil rights enforcement will be a cornerstone of my administration. I will confront another form of bias - the soft bigotry of low expectations in education. Raise the bar of standards. Give schools the flexibility to meet them. Insist on results. Blow the whistle on failure. Provide parents with options to increase their influence. A central part of my agenda is changing Title One to close the achievement gap. I have proposed a New Prosperity Initiative. We must provide a Family Health Credit that covers 90 percent of the cost of a basic health policy for low-income families. We’ll allow low-income families to use up to a year’s worth of Section 8 rental payments to make a down payment on their own home - then use five years of those payments to help with the mortgage. I will lift the regulations that hamper private and faith-based programs.
Source: Speech to NAACP, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” Jul 10, 2000

$145M over 5 years for disabled transportation

Source: Press Release, “Help for Disabled” Jun 28, 2000

Government should promote independence for the disabled

I am proposing today a New Freedom Initiative to ensure that all Americans with disabilities have every chance to pursue the American dream. First, we will promote independent living. My administration will be a champion of assistive technology. Independent living should also include greater opportunities for homeownership. For the first time, a section eight recipient who has a disability will be able to use up to a year’s worth of rental vouchers to finance the down payment on a home of their own, and continue using vouchers to pay the mortgage. Second, we will help citizens with disabilities to claim their rightful place in the workforce. We will spend $20 million in federal matching funds to enable Americans with disabilities to buy computers and other equipment. We will help Americans with disabilities to gain fuller access to community life. My administration will seek $10 million each year to aid religious and civic groups in making their facilities more accessible.
Source: (X-ref Health Care) Speech on Americans with Disabilities Jun 15, 2000

Apologizes for anti-Catholic appearance at Bob Jones U.

Some have taken-and mistaken-[my visit to Bob Jones University] as a sign that I approve of the anti-Catholic and racially divisive views associated with that school. I want to erase any doubts about my views & values.

I encourage tolerance and respect for the religious views of others. [I reject] guilt by association. I reject racial segregation-in our laws, in our hearts and our lives. And I reject religious intolerance-because faith is defined by grace and hope, not fear and division.

In my speech, I emphasized that I am a uniter not a divider and that Americans can work together for the good of all. On reflection, I should have been more clear in disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice. It was a missed opportunity, causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.

I am offended by any suggestion that I tolerate anti-Catholic bigotry. I hope that you, and all Catholics, will accept this assurance of my good faith.

Source: Letter to Cardinal John O’Connor Feb 25, 2000

Ten Commandments OK in schools for “inherent values”

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage?
A: “Thou shalt not kill” is pretty universal. Districts ought to be allowed to post the Ten Commandments, no matter what a person’s religion is. There’s some inherent values in those great commandments that would make our society a better place for everybody. I also believe our schools ought to expand character education.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Leave decisions on flying Confederate flag to the states

Q: At the South Carolina state capitol building, the Confederate flag flies with the state flag and the US flag. Does the flag offend you personally? A: I believe the people of SC can figure out what to do with this flag issue. I don’t believe it’s the role of someone from outside SC to come into this state and tell the people of SC what to do [about] the flag. Q: As an American citizen, do you have a visceral reaction? A: As an American citizen, I trust the people of SC to make the decision for SC.
Source: Republican Debate in West Columbia, SC Jan 7, 2000

English-plus, not English-only

Bush firmly rejected “English-only,” which has caused problems among Hispanics. “I support English-plus, not English-only,” said Bush. “English-only says to me that if Hispanic happens to be your heritage, you’re not part of the process.”
Source: Mike Glover, Associated Press Aug 6, 1999

State lottery OK, but qualms about casino gambling

Bush presided over a state lottery approved by Texas voters three years before he became governor. Bush himself, as a private citizen, voted in favor of creating the lottery, his office said. Yet, Bush has made clear that he has qualms about gambling and would campaign and vote against the introduction of casinos if voters are presented with another ballot question. “Casino gambling is not OK. It has ruined the lives of too many adults and it can do the same thing to our children,” Bush declared.
Source: Laurence Arnold, Associated Press Jul 26, 1999

George W. Bush on Affirmative Action

Affirmative access means a fair shot for everyone

Q: Do you support the hiring and contracting preferences based on race and sex that are inherent in affirmative action programs?

A: I support what I call ‘affirmative access’-not quotas, not double standards, because those divide and balkanize, but access-a fair shot for everyone. For example, I signed legislation in Texas requiring the top 10 percent of graduates from Texas high schools to be automatically accepted in any public university in Texas. As president, I will strip bureaucratic regulations, such as high permitting and licensing fees, which disproportionately hurt minority-owned businesses. I will break up federal procurement contracts to allow minority-owned businesses to compete for or partner with more experienced firms as subcontractors. And I will reward companies making aggressive efforts to involve minority-owned businesses through subcontracting and mentoring programs.

Source: Associated Press Oct 25, 2000

Affirmative access: qualified candidates guaranteed college

I going to find people that want to serve their country, but I want a diverse administration. I think it’s important. I’ve worked hard in the state of Texas to make sure institutions reflect the state, with good, smart policy that rejects quotas. I don’t like quotas. Quotas tend to pit one group of people against another. But policies that give people a helping hand so they can help themselves.

For example, in our state of Texas, I worked with the legislature, both Republican and Democrats, to pass a law that said if you come in the top 10% of your high school class, you’re automatically admitted to one of our higher institutions of learning. And as a result, our universities are now more diverse. I labeled it affirmative access.

In the contracting business, government can help, not with quotas, but to help meet a goal of ownership of small businesses, for example. The contracts need to be smaller. The agencies need to recruit and to work hard to find people to bid on the state contracts.

Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Affirmative access good; Gore’s affirmative action bad

Q: What about affirmative action?

BUSH: I’ve had a record of bringing people from all walks of life into my administration, and my administration is better off for it. But quotas are bad for America. It’s not what America is all about, which is equal opportunity and the opportunity for people to realize their potential. So to answer your question, I support affirmative access.

GORE: I don’t know what affirmative access means. Affirmative action isn’t quotas. I’m against quotas. They’re against the American way. Affirmative action means that you take extra steps to acknowledge the history of discrimination and injustice and prejudice.

Q: Are you opposed to affirmative action?

BUSH: No. If affirmative action means quotas, I’m against it. If affirmative action means what I just described, then I’m for it.

GORE: He said if affirmative action means quotas, he’s against it. Affirmative action doesn’t mean quotas. Are you for it without quotas?

BUSH: I may not be for your version.

Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Guaranteed TX college racial preference for top 10% of class

Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000” special Sep 30, 2000

Affirmative access: end soft bigotry of low expectations

Q: What are your feelings about affirmative action?

A: The best thing to do is to educate every child and to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations. We can have affirmative programs that enhance people’s chance to access the middle class without quotas and without pitting race against race. We were the first state to put a rule in place that the top 10% of each high school class could go to a state university. I call it affirmative access. This is going to enhance the ability of state universities to attract minorities. The pool of applicants must be increased for small-business ownership. I don’t mind measuring, I don’t mind a scorecard.

Yes, racism exists. I’m not going to be making policy based on guilt. The fundamental question in certain neighborhoods is, how do we break a sense that the system isn’t meant for me? You need mentoring programs. Part of it has to do with there isn’t the entrepreneurial system being passed from one generation to the next.

Source: Interview with Time Magazine, Aug 1, 2000

For affirmative action, but not quotas or preferences

Source: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’ Apr 2, 2000

Reach out to minorities, but without quotas

Bush opposes quotas and racial preferences, but said the private and public sector should be encouraged to reach out to minorities. He refused to state his position on a California law that eliminated affirmative action programs.
Source: Associated Press Jun 14, 1999

George W. Bush on Gay Rights

Bush claims gay tolerance but record differs

Bush claimed to be tolerant of gays, but he’s on the record as being adamantly opposed to hiring an openly gay person in his Administration. And Dick Cheney was forced to back off on his support for recognition of gay and lesbian relationships. Bush got positively gleeful over sending the three men who dragged James Byrd on the back of a truck to the death chamber, when only two are going (the other got a life sentence). And contrary to what he said in the debate, he did block hate-crimes legislation.
Source: Time, p. 62, “Double Standard” at Wake Forest debate Oct 19, 2000

Tolerance & equal rights, not gay marriage & special rights

Q: What is your position on gay marriage?

BUSH: I’m not for gay marriage. I think marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I appreciated the way the administration signed the Defense of Marriage Act. I presume the vice president supported it.

GORE: I agree with that, and I did support that law. But I think that we should find a way to allow some kind of civic unions. And I basically agree with Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, and I think the three of us have one view and the governor has another view.

BUSH: I’m not sure what kind of view he’s ascribing to me. One day he says he agrees with me, then he says he doesn’t. I will be a tolerant person. I’ve been a tolerant person all my life. I just happen to believe strongly that marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t really think it’s any of my concern how you conduct your sex life. That’s a private matter. I support equal rights but not special rights for people.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

No gay adoptions; but listens to gay GOP group

Bush invited us, a dozen gay Republicans, after he’d refused to meet with a gay Republican group that criticized him. Bush didn’t like everything we had to say. I was struck with his lack of familiarity with the issues, as well as by his desire to learn.

Bush admitted that, growing up in Texas, he had not been as open to elements of America’s diverse culture. He had a narrow set of friends and a firm set of traditions. But he was surprised and dismayed to hear that people saw him as intolerant. “What have I said that sent that signal?“ he asked repeatedly.

He assured us he would hire gays who both were qualified and shared his political views. When one of us talked about his lesbian sister and her partner adopting children, he acknowledged his often-stated belief that gays should not adopt.

Though Bush was attentive--and does show a willingness to hear all sides--I don’t think we changed his positions. He still opposes gay marriage and opposes classifying crimes against gays as hate crimes.

Source: Former Congressman Steve Gunderson, Newsweek, p. 43 Apr 24, 2000

Against gay marriage, but leave it to the states

Q: So if you have gays working for you, that’s fine and you don’t have a problem-you’d appoint gays in the Cabinet and so forth.
A: Well, I’m not going to ask what their sexual orientation is. I’m going to put conservative people in the cabinet. It’s none of my business what somebody’s [orientation is]. Now, when somebody makes it my business, like on gay marriage, I’m going to stand up and say I don’t support gay marriage. I support marriage between men and women.
Q: So therefore if a state were voting on gay marriage, you would suggest to that state not to approve it.
A: The state can do what they want to do. Don’t try to trap me in this state’s issue.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

No gays in Boy Scouts

Bush disagrees with the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that said the Boy Scouts of America must accept gays in their organization. “I believe the Boy Scouts is a private organization and they should be able to set the standards that they choose to set,” Bush said
Source: USA Today, “Not taking GOP nomination for granted” Aug 19, 1999

Hate-crime rules don’t apply to gays

Bush opposes the extension of hate crime laws to protect gays and homosexual adoption.
Source: Jul 2, 1999

Other candidates on Civil Rights: George W. Bush on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Al Gore
Bill Clinton
Jesse Ventura
Ross Perot
Ralph Nader
Pat Buchanan
John McCain
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
School Choice
Social Security
Tax Reform
War & Peace