George W. Bush on Drugs

$2.8B more for Drug War, for state treatment & abroad

Bush started the day with a narrower and more deliberate approach, unveiling a $2.8 billion proposal to curb illegal drug use. His campaign pitched the drug-policy speech as his main event, continuing the weeklong theme of “giving parents the tools they need.”

Clinton has requested $19.26 billion for antidrug measures in the fiscal 2001 budget, and has increased the drug-fighting budget more than $6 billion since 1993. A Bush aide said the governor’s five-year, $2.8 billion plan would be in addition to the current baseline budget laid out by the Clinton White House. Gore is proposing antidrug measures that would cost $5.3 billion over 10 years.

Among Bush’s proposals are providing $1 billion to states for treatment programs and conducting a state-by-state inventory of treatment needs and capacity, and increasing funding for the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act by $1 billion over 5 years.

Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A6 Oct 7, 2000

Clinton-Gore drug policy is inconsistent and has failed

Calling teen drug statistics “one of the worst public policy failures of the ‘90s,” Bush described a mounting national crisis. “From 1979 to 1992, our nation confronted drug abuse successfully. Teen drug use declined each and every year,” Bush said. “Unfortunately, in the last 7-1/2 years, fighting drug abuse has ceased to be a national priority.” Blaming a lack of funding and an inconsistent policy, Bush listed a litany of troubles: the doubling of teen drug use, the growth of methamphetamines, the increase of the number of high school seniors who use marijuana.

Gore aides dismissed the Bush statistics, saying they did not take the overall picture into account. Since 1992, the number of drug users ages 25 to 34 has dropped 39%, and drug use by teenagers ages 12 to 17 declined 21% between 1997 and 1999, a Gore spokesman said: He added, “Al Gore and this administration proposed the largest antidrug budget ever and under this administration drug arrests are up while drug use is down.”

Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A6 Oct 7, 2000

Feds must help border counties fight drug traffickers

The federal government has a critical responsibility to enforce our nation’s drug laws and to stop international drug traffickers. In our battle against the international drug trade, the Southwest border is the front line. Much of the burden from this national battle falls on border counties, whose limited resources are already stretched thin. The federal government must step up and do its part.
Source: Southwest Border Initiative, in “Renewing America’s Purpose” Jun 7, 2000

Supports military package to Colombia to fight drug supply

Bush has said little on the drug issue. His campaign spokesman said the governor favors the Colombian military package [which would eradicate drug suppliers], “to make sure their military is well-trained and well-equipped to fight the drug traffickers.” Bush is still trailed by unsubstantiated allegations of cocaine use. Bush also is a strong supporter of faith-based initiatives to fight addiction.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21 Mar 5, 2000

Stronger penalties for first time cocaine possession

As governor, Bush favored tougher laws for drug offendors, including signing legislation that allows judicial discretion to sentence first-time offendors possessing less than one gram of cocaine to a maximum of 180 days in jail. (Previously, first-time offendors received automatic probation.) Bush is still trailed by unsubstantiated allegations of cocaine use.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21 Mar 5, 2000

Full background checks on drug use for all appointees

Bush was asked whether as President he would insist that he his appointees undergo full FBI background checks, which include questions about drug use. He would, he replied. “Could I pass the challenge of a background check? My answer is absolutely,” Bush said. “Not only could I pass the background check and the standards applied to today’s White House, but I could have passed the background check and the standards applied on the most stringent conditions when my dad was President -- 15-year period.”
Source: R.W.Apple, New York Times, p. A12 Aug 30, 1999

Parents make up for past by warning kids against drugs

Bush said that parents have a responsibility to make up for their youthful mistakes by warning their children to stay away from drugs. “One of the interesting questions facing baby boomers is, have we grown up? Are we willing to share the wisdom of past mistakes? And I think the message ought to be to all children, ‘Don’t use drugs. Don’t abuse alcohol.’ That’s what leadership is all about.”
Source: Mary Leonard, Boston Globe, p. A3 Aug 22, 1999

Supports tough drug laws as well as drug education programs.

Drugs and alcohol destroy lives. We have toughened laws for people who sell drugs. We also spend millions of dollars on education programs such as “Safe and Drug-free Schools” grants.
Source: 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

George W. Bush on Alcoholism

Never disclosed DUI arrest out of concern for his daughters

Bush aides said he had not disclosed the [drunk driving] incident previously out of concern for his twin daughters. “He has always been very forthcoming in acknowledging that he drank too much in the past, before he quit drinking 14 years ago,” his communications director said. “He had made a decision as a father that he did not want to set that bad example for his daughters or for any other children,” she said

She was asked if she would have considered it acceptable for President Clinton to have denied involvement with Monica Lewinsky out concern for his daughter Chelsea. “The only time the governor was directly asked if he’d ever been arrested for drinking and driving and he replied, and I quote, ‘I do not have a perfect record,’ ” she replied.

She added, “He has been very forthcoming with the American people that he made mistakes as a youth.” When asked if 30, Bush’s age at the time, qualifies as youthful, she said, “It was before he was married. It was before he had children.”

Source: Mike Allen and Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A1 Nov 4, 2000

Changed license in 1995 to avoid arrest disclosure

Bush took one step to keep [his drunk driving arrest] under wraps in March 1995, when his driver’s license number was changed. first reported this in August 1999. At the time, MSNBC’s sources said that Bush got his license number changed because he was worried about an arrest record surfacing. “He has an arrest record that has to do with drinking,” a source said then. “He’s worried it will come out, but his handlers keep assuring him it won’t.” The allegation was not disclosed by at the time because the arrest could not be confirmed.

Also in August 1999, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told that changing one’s driver’s license number was “highly unusual” and that it is done only when the holder of the license can prove that someone is using the license number for illegal activities. Repeated calls to Bush at the time were unanswered, until [they stated] Bush’s license number was changed for “security measures.” He declined to comment further.

Source: Nov 4, 2000

Information about DUI was put out by partisan Democrat

I understand through you’re reporting that a Democrat official has, in Maine, put this information out. I believe most Americans are going to come to the conclusion that this is dirty politics, last-minute politics. I don’t know whether my opponent’s campaign is involved, but I do know the person who’s admitted doing this at the last minute is a Democrat in Maine -- a partisan in Maine.
Source: Speech in Pittsburgh Nov 4, 2000

A leader learns from his mistakes and shares wisdom

It’s become clear to America over the course of this campaign that I’ve made mistakes in my life, but I’m proud to tell you I’ve learned from my mistakes. And that’s the role of a leader -- to share wisdom, to share experience with people who are looking for someone to lead.
Source: Speech in Michigan Nov 4, 2000

Acknowledges arrest for drunk driving in 1976

Bush acknowledged Thursday that in 1976 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush, who was 30 at the time, pleaded guilty, paid a $150 fine and his driving privileges were temporarily suspended in Maine.

Bush said, “I’m not proud of that. I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much, and I did that night. I learned my lesson.” Bush said he was not jailed after the arrest. He said earlier in the week, “I quit drinking in 1986 and haven’t had a drop since then. And it wasn’t because of a government program, by the way -- in my particular case, because I had a higher call.“

Bush said the timing of the initial news report was ”interesting.“ When asked where the story may have originated, he said, ”I’ve got my suspicions.“ Al Gore and DNC officials both said they first learned of the arrest from news reports Thursday and said it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter.

Source: report from West Allis, WI Nov 3, 2000

Quit drinking when alcohol started to compete with family

Bush told Oprah and her millions of female viewers he gave up drinking because “Alcohol was beginning to compete with my affections for my wife and my family. It was beginning to crowd out my energy. And I decided to quit.” He said Laura had not quite given him an ultimatum. “But I think she got disappointed in some evenings.. There were some times when she said ‘you need to think about what you’re doing.’”
Source: AP Story, NY Times Sep 19, 2000

Identifies with former addicts based on former alcoholism

Bush told a group of recovering drug addicts that he still identifies with their struggle, more than a decade after he gave up alcohol. Bush told the young men his Christian faith was critical in shaping his turnaround. He cast his battle in simple terms, saying: “Just like you, I’m on a walk, and it’s a never-ending walk as far as I’m concerned. I used to drink too much and I quit drinking. I want you to know that your life’s walk is shared by a lot of other people. Even some who wear suits.“ Bush has said he was never addicted to alcohol. But since giving up drinking in 1986 at age 40, he described that as a turning point in his life.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A12 Jan 22, 2000

Did not use drugs for the last 25 years

Source: Time Magazine, p. 34 Aug 30, 1999

Encourages abstinence from tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

Government can only be a part of the solution. I encourage all young people to take care of their bodies and abstain from using tobacco, drugs or alcohol. With clear minds, young people can achieve their goals and dreams.
Source: 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

Our leaders are mostly responsible for the establishment of long term drug abuse recovery programs and other kinds of addiction treatment help.

Other candidates on Drugs: 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