About Senator Bob Smith

On March 28, 1945, two days before Bob Smith’s fourth birthday, his dad, a naval aviator, was killed during active duty at the end of World War II.
Bob’s grandparents helped raise him and his brother Richard on their family farm while his widowed mother worked to support her two boys. On the farm, Bob learned the lessons of hard work, responsibility and patriotism. Life wasn’t easy, but he made the most of what he had.

He worked his way through Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Government in 1965. He then met his wife, Mary Jo, and began his service in the Navy at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, in California. The newly married couple barely had enough time to unpack their bags before Bob left for active duty in Vietnam (1966-67) stationed on a ship in the Gulf on Tonkin.

In 1970, Bob and his family settled in New Hampshire’s beautiful lakes region, where Bob taught history and government and Mary Jo taught elementary school. There they raised their three children, Jenny, Bobby and Jason.

He coached varsity baseball and junior high football, and later chaired the local school board. He owned a real estate firm in Wolfeboro, NH, and learned first hand what it means to meet a payroll.

In 1984, Bob Smith was elected to Congress as a true citizen legislator. He was honored again by the people of New Hampshire when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1990 and again in 1996.

He currently chairs the Senate Ethics Committee and is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the Judiciary and Environment and Public Works Committee.

Throughout his service in the House and Senate, Bob has received national recognition as a champion for conservative principles. For fifteen years, Bob stood tall and often alone on such issues as defending the unborn, promoting a strong military, protecting our national sovereignty, accounting for our POW’s and MIA’s, and local control of education.

In the Senate Chamber, Bob sits at the original desk used by the great statesman, Daniel Webster. He says the desk, and the patriotic history it represents, inspires him every day to be mindful of his oath, to support and defend the Constitution.

Senator Smith steps to the plate for the GOP on foreign policy

In another age, the Republican voices coming out of New England belonged to the leading internationalists of the postwar era.
It was an unbroken line of big shots – Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Leverett Saltonstall, Margaret Chase Smith, Ed Brooke, John Chafee, Bill Cohen. They’re gone from the Senate now (or are about to retire, in Chafee’s case) or are in the Clinton administration, like Defense Secretary Cohen. In their place the voice of New England Republicanism in foreign policy belongs to Bob Smith, New Hampshire’s junior senator, presidential wannabe, America Firster, and NATO opponent.

In the political runup to President Clinton’s decision to participate in NATO’s effort to avert a humanitarian and security catastrophe in the Balkans, our region’s Republican spokesman with the loudest, clearest voice has been Smith.

The temptation in the elite world is to dismiss the friendly hulk who did as much as anyone, save possibly Oklahoma’s Don Nickles, to block the American military effort. Bad idea.

The temptation in politics, meanwhile, has been to ascribe the ideas and beliefs grouped under the concept of America First solely to its 1991 progenitor, Pat Buchanan. Again, bad idea.

For one thing, this minimizes the large impact Buchanan has had on the party since he embarrassed George Bush two election cycles ago. The fact is that Buchanan’s foreign policy views have been ascendant for some time. And this month, in the days leading up to the bombing, it was the majority view.

Smith was no wild man thundering against the wind – he was speaking for 38 of the Senate’s 55 Republicans who joined three Democrats in opposing a prebombing resolution.

Moreover, a similar resolution focusing more on US participation in any eventual NATO peacekeeping force was opposed by a solid majority of GOP members in the House. Smith laid out his thinking in a series of speeches this month that got virtually no press attention but had considerable impact in Republican circles. While it would be silly to think his presidential prospects have been affected, his visibility and ideological credentials have been enhanced.

What is more, his voice was essentially the only audible GOP voice from his region. His senior colleague from New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, was content to lamely dog-paddle in his wake. And Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a mildly surprising vote against the NATO action, steered away from the ideology and said instead that Clinton had yet to make an effective case.

Even from the other side, where the traditional New England Republican voice was loudly internationalist, there was mostly silence. Collins’s colleague, Olympia Snowe, was a quiet yes vote. Chafee, fresh from his retirement announcement, took a pass. And Jim Jeffords of Vermont, a NATO bombing supporter, took pains to make clear his opposition to any later use of ground troops, without which the NATO peacekeeping idea would fail.

Smith’s views go much deeper than the sound-bite blurb that what happens in Kosovo is none of our business. For starters, aiming directly at post-Cold War thinking about NATO as a force against violent instability in Europe, Smith notes that he strongly opposed the alliance’s recent expansion to include Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. NATO’s mission, he says, should be the defense of its members, period.

And he is willing to take his opposition to its logical conclusion: ”if this is what NATO has become – a means of dragging the United States into every minor conflict around Europe’s edges – then maybe we should get out of NATO.”

Another core component of Smith’s thinking involves almost a reverence for sovereignty. ”Kosovo is as much a part of Yugoslavia as New Hampshire is of the United States,” he says. He warns of dire consequences if we start using military might inside the borders of sovereign nations without some legal authorization from Congress. He also is consistent, applying his thoughts back in time to Vietnam and forward through Ronald Reagan’s disastrous blunder into the Lebanese civil war in 1983.

Don’t call him a Serb sympathizer, either; Smith is, if anything, a human rights tiger, nor is he anything resembling a peacenik. But he confronts the rationale for NATO’s action head on, even questioning the common view of its history in this century.

”They have it exactly backwards,” he says. ”A Balkan war became a world war in 1914 not because there was strife, but because the great powers of that day allowed themselves to become entangled in that strife.”

You can agree or disagree, but it’s time more people paid attention. Smith’s vigor and thoroughness demonstrate not only that traditional Republican internationalism is in repose. They also show that there’s a great deal more to America First than Pat Buchanan.

New Hampshire Primary Kickoff Dinner Speech May 2, 1999

Thank you Chairman Duprey and Chairman Nicholson.
As the senior Senator and Republican leader in this state, on behalf of the people of New Hampshire, I thank each of the Republican candidates for coming here and showing your support for our first in the Nation Primary.

Welcome to the Live Free or Die State.

One of the greatest Governors in our state’s history was Mel Thomson, who has been more than a political mentor, he has been like a father to me. He once told me “You either stand for something, or you stand for nothing.” Governor Thomson was right. Isn’t that what politics should be about.

I don’t have a famous political name, althought there are a lot more Smiths in America then there are Bushes, Doles, and Forbeses.

I don’t have any pollsters. My beliefs don’t come from political consultants or focus groups, they come from my life’s experiences.

As a kid who lost his dad at the age of three, raised on a farm by a widowed mother and loving grandparents, where I learned hard work, responsibility, and patriotism. A Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. As a coach, teacher, school board member, and most importantly, as a father and a husband.

I am not a leap year conservative, jumping up out of the weeds every four years saying “It’s Presidential campaign time, here I am, I’m a conservative.”

I have been fighting the fight day after day for 15 years in Congress. Fighting for the right to life, the rights of gun owners, strong national defense, sovereignty, and local control of schools.

Some have talked about Clinton’s bad judicial appointments to the Supreme Court. But, I was one of only three Senators to vote against both of them. While some candidates talk against partial birth abortion, I wrote the bill, and spoke alone on the Senate floor against this horror.

I might be a new face on the Presidential scene, but I am an old warrior on the battlefield for conservative values. I’ve backed up my talk with action.

Some say this election is about electing a Republican President. It is not. It is about electing a President and other candidates who will champion principles outlined in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bible, and the Republican Platform.

You see, my fellow Republicans, many in our Party have failed us. They failed us right here in New Hampshire when a Republican legislature passed a broad based tax for the first time in New Hampshire history.

Those Republicans who voted to acquit Bill Clinton in the impeachment trial failed us.

It was Republican appointments to the US Supreme Court who gave us Roe v. Wade.

Republicans failed us when they voted to give Bill Clinton the authority to conduct a war in the Balkans which was not in the interest of the United States and risk the lives of our men and women in the military.

I wrote the resolution to stop us from going in. I spoke out against this action before we went into Kosovo, and now I feel more strongly than ever that we need to get out and get out quickly before this expands into a Balkan war involving American ground forces.

Republican leaders fail us when they capitulate to Bill Clinton rather than challenging him on principle.

BEING a Republican is not enough. It is about LEADING on the issues we stand for.

We are not getting the job done.

That is why I am travelling all around this nation, every weekend, cramming this six foot six inch frame into coach seats.

I’m a country music Republican, not a country club Republican. No first class, no Lear Jet. It’s grassroots campaigning, and I am doing it because I love my country, not because I love to travel.

The people I meet are deeply concerned about our Party, and more importantly, our country.

That’s why thousands have joined my nationwide crusade.

This is not a campaign for the faint of heart.

Political leadership is NOT about who gives the best speech,

it’s NOT about who has the most money,

It’s NOT about who the media thinks is the front runner.

It’s NOT about political resumes.

It IS about CHARACTER.

It’s about INTEGRITY.

It’s about a commitment to principle.

If we don’t have bold, courageous leadership, we’re going to have more of the same.

Finally, it’s about each one of us joining together to rediscover our compass and our navigational charts. There’s nothing wrong with the charts. It’s our leaders who have gone in the wrong direction.

Our time in History is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to Him.

As President, I would send Congress a bill protecting the unborn from the moment of fertilization. I introduced the Personhood bill this week in the Senate, and I would sign it as President. 35 million babies lost to abortion lost since 1973 is not worthy of a great nation.

The Whig Party was anti-slavery, but they said “let’s put slavery aside and focus on electing more Whigs.”

But a loyal Whig Congressman named Abe Lincoln had enough. He saw slavery as the moral outrage of the day, and when his beloved Whig Party took a walk, he joined a new party based on principle to lead and speak out for its anti-slavery platform.

Many in the Republican Party today say we should “put abortion aside and focus on electing more Republicans.” But, the right to life is the moral issue of OUR day, and in honor of Lincoln, we WILL not waver on it.

As President:

I will abolish the Department of Education.

I WOULD have a litmus test for the Supreme Court. My nominees would be pro-life, pro-Constitution. I might even bring back Bork.

I will rid our government of unconstitutional programs, like the National Endowment for the Arts.

I will get the Federal Government off the backs of innocent law-abiding gun owners.

I will obtain a full accounting of our POWs and MIAs.

I will fully fund our national defense, including a national missile defense.

I will sign no global agreement that sacrifices United States Sovereignty.

I will conduct no military action unless it is in the national security interests of the United States.

No troops will serve under UN command.

And speaking of the UN, let’s face it, it is time, on January 21, 2001, I will get us out of the United Nations.

And let me say this, with Mary Jo and Bob Smith in the White House, you’ll never have to be ashamed of the White House again. Rather than selling the Lincoln bedroom for $50,000, we will give it to the teacher of the year.

How desparate we are for leadership in this country.

Yogi Berra once said “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” That’s how our leader make decisions today.

They take polls to find out what they should think.

Can you imagine Patrick Henry, preparing for his “Give Me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech, turning to his pollster, and saying “this sounds a little harsh. Lets do a poll to see whether they want liberty, or do they want death?”

Wake up America, and lets join together to restore our country to the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

In the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart plays a good man who goes to Washington believing that America is a good country and deserved good leaders. I agree. And if you elect me, together, we will chart the right course for America.

On the Issues

Taxes
Senator Smith has consistently been an advocate of lower taxes for individuals, families and businesses and his efforts have earned him numerous awards from taxpayer groups and opponents of wasteful government spending. He was a vocal supporter of the $500 per child tax credit, the reduction in the capital gains tax and the increase of the threshold of the inheritance tax, all of which allow families to keep more of what they earn to raise their own children and save for the future. Senator Smith also cosponsored the Tax Code Termination Act to eliminate the current tax code by the year 2002.

 


Education
Senator Smith opposed the creation of Goals 2000 and led the effort to prevent the use of taxpayer funds for homosexual advocacy in the classroom. As a cosponsor of A+ Accounts to allow parents and guardians to contribute money to education savings accounts with tax-free interest and as a former teacher and school board chairman, Senator Smith has been a consistent supporter of local control and choice in education. He believes that the U.S. Department of Education is unconstitutional and should be completely abolished.

 


Judicial Activism
To combat the current activist Judiciary, Senator Smith has introduced a Term Limits for Judges constitutional amendment. This bill would limit the terms of federal judges to 10 years, allowing them to be reappointed subject to confirmation by the Senate. He was one of three Senators to vote against Ruth Bader Ginsburg nomination.

 


National Defense
Senator Smith, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has made the protection of America’s national security a top priority and believes cuts to our nation’s military have been too deep and have cut too far in manpower, weapons and readiness. He is currently working to ensure that America is protected from the real and growing threat of ballistic missile attack. He has also worked tirelessly for 15 years to gain an accounting for America’s POWs and MIAs by travelling to Communist nations and declassifying Government records.

 


Pro-Life
A consistent pro-life leader with a perfect pro-life voting record for his entire 13 years in Congress, Senator Smith introduced legislation in 1995 to ban the procedure of infanticide, better known as partial-birth abortion. He also took a lead role in efforts to stop federal funding of human embryo research and led the successful effort to eliminate federal funding of abortions by preserving the Hyde Amendment from attack by pro-abortion advocates. He is the prime sponsor of the Human Life Constitutional Amendment and a bill establishing the personhood of the unborn child from the moment of conception.

 


Right-to-Work
Senator Smith is an ardent foe of compulsory unionism and is a cosponsor of the 1997 Paycheck Protection Act, which makes it illegal for unions to take dues from their members for political purposes without the written consent of the member.

 


Second Amendment Rights
Senator Smith continues to support the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners in America.

 


Flag Burning
As an ardent defender of the responsibilities and liberties symbolized by the American flag, Senator Smith is a cosponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment banning the desecration of the flag.

 


Government Ethics
As chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Senator Smith has a proud record of opposition to corrupt and unaccountable government. He has been a strong voice in exposing scandals in the Clinton White House while participating in the Special Investigation of 1996 campaign fundraising scandals as a member of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

 


Immigration
Senator Smith is concerned that illegal immigration is costing taxpayers millions of dollars while closing the door to legal immigrants. He is doing his part to tighten up immigration laws through his leadership on legislation such as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1995, which would deport terrorist aliens, and the Immigration Control Act, which enhances border patrol and fights smuggling.

 


National Sovereignty
Senator Smith opposes international agreements that threaten the sovereignty of the United States. He strongly opposed Chemical Weapons Convention, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. He opposes placing U.S. Troops under U.N. command.