As President Bush prepares for his first debate against opponent John Kerry in Miami, the first lady continues campaigning. Today the Victory 2004 Tour took her to Clovis, New Mexico.
"It's great to be in Clovis, Curry County and Eastern New Mexico are so close to where George and I grew up in West Texas. I feel like I'm home," says First Lady Laura Bush as she is cheered on by a crowd of about 1,500 people at the Curry County Fairgrounds in Clovis.
"Gosh, we had Dan Quail years ago but we're more excited about Laura Bush for sure," says Curry County's Republican Party Chairman Jeff Naggs.
The First Lady's presence is fitting since Republicans out number the Democrats in Curry County. "We actually have 47% of registered voters are Republicans and 42% are Democrats," explains Naggs. Even some Eastern New Mexico Democrats showed up to listen to the First Lady...and support President Bush. "To my Democrat friends, relax, just relax and remember: it's okay to vote for George W. Bush for president," exclaimed Clovis City Manager Raymond Mondragon, a Democrat.
Others chose to voice their opposition outside the arena. "We just wanted to come out and make sure everyone was heard," says a democrat from Eastern New Mexico as she holds signs supporting John Kerry for President. While inside, Laura Bush addressed the farmers, ranchers and residents of the area, urging them to support President Bush for re-election. "People across America see what you and I see, my husband is a man of character and conviction," affirms the First Lady.
She says the country is stronger today with the steadfast leadership of her husband, while expressing her passion for literacy and how President Bush shares that dedication by supporting education. "He wants there to be many more pell grants so that many more Americans can earn a college degree," adds Bush, her conviction hitting close to home with her audience. "I'm so happy education is finally getting the boost they need," announces an enthusiastic Bush supporter.
The First Lady didn't end her speech without a tribute to the U.S. Military. "President Bush and I want all our men and women in uniform to know how much every American appreciates their service and sacrifice," she says.
After her stop in Clovis, The First Lady travels to Albuquerque for two other events. Thursday evening you can watch the presidential candidates in their first debate on NewsChannel 11. It starts at 8 p.m.