Mitch Daniels CPAC 2011 Keynote Speech Exceprts
Governor Daniels gave the keynote speech Friday night at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, urging attendees to be bold, specific and welcoming to all who might support the actions necessary to save the nation from its debt and economic danger.
"If freedom's best friends cannot unify around a realistic, actionable program of fundamental change, one that attracts and persuades a broad majority of our fellow citizens, big change will not come."
He described a new "red menace," the nation's debt, and offered suggestions to save the Republic:
"If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help. We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled. That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do. It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era. Forgive the pun when I call it our "raison debt."
And spoke of a limited government that works for the benefit of private life:
"We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all."
He asked Americans to join together to sustain change:
"All great enterprises have a pearl of faith at their core, and this must be ours: that Americans are still a people born to liberty. That they retain the capacity for self-government. That, addressed as free-born, autonomous men and women of God-given dignity, they will rise yet again to drive back a mortal enemy."