EXCLUSIVE — Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore: Why I’m Running for President

Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Hello, I’m Jim Gilmore and today I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

With so many candidates already in the race, some may ask, “Why am I running?” That’s a fair question that deserves a straight answer.

I am a candidate for president because our current Washington leadership is guiding America on a path to decline, and I can reverse that decline.

That current leadership is damaging our economic and national security to such a degree, that for this first time in American history, most Americans believe their children will not be better off than they are.

I have a vision for a different America, one that will return America to the policies of a dynamic, entrepreneurial free-market economy and a policy of peace-through-strength for our national security.

I have been looking for someone to enter the race committed to my belief that America’s economic and national security is increasingly at risk, but I have not seen a response from anyone that makes me certain about their knowledge or solutions to the threats facing our nation.

I do not seek the presidency because I want to be something. I seek it because I want to DO something — for America.

During my service as an intelligence agent for the U.S. Army during the Cold War, during my time as Governor of Virginia – when the Pentagon in my state was attacked on 9-11; and during my service as Chairman of the national commission that warned before 9-11 about the dangers of domestic attacks on our nation – one thing was made very clear to me: When America retreats because of weakness and failing leadership, we place our country and our citizens in harm’s way because those who would attack us know no boundaries.

Unfortunately, the actions – and the lack of actions – of the Obama-Clinton administration have put us in exactly this position. Today we live in a dangerous world that has become more dangerous because of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy failures.

Our allies believe they can’t count on us, and our adversaries neither fear nor respect us.

I believe we must take immediate action to strengthen our national defense, restore and rebuild our armed forces.

While Russia and China have dramatically increased spending for their armed forces, the United States military has had more than $1 trillion in budget cuts that have decimated our national defense. President Obama has slashed the size of our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to dangerous levels.

This isn’t the result of a change in America’s strategies or any recognition of the evolving threats we face. Rather, these cuts are being imposed in disregard of those threats.

The result is that much of the defenses we need here at home and through which we have helped stabilize the world for 70 years, have been abandoned.

While this dismantling of America’s military has been occurring, the policies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton have shunned our allies and embraced our adversaries, recklessly throwing away decades of American-generated stability in the world.

Russia is invading and threatening the democratic governments of Eastern Europe because of America’s message of weakness and uncertainty.

China hacks the files of 21 million American citizens with no repercussions.

Now Obama has made a deal with Iran that fails to stop their support of terrorism throughout the Middle East and the world, insures them billions of dollars and modern weapons and fails to block their nuclear program.

For the security of our nation and the world this agreement must be rejected. I will do so if I become president.

Diplomacy is a vital part of restoring peace and stability in our world. But successful diplomacy requires a strong nation and a strong President, someone with the strength to walk away from a bad deal.

Ronald Reagan did that when he refused to sign an arms control agreement with Russia and continued the buildup of our military. The result— the Soviet Union collapsed, and we won the Cold War.

We are not and should not be the policeman of the world. But we do have true national interests and allies around the world who must believe that we will stand beside them and help them defend themselves.

We must not make commitments lightly, but danger comes when our President says there is a line that can’t be crossed and then we do nothing when it is crossed.

Candidate Barack Obama promised “fundamental change.”

I think we can say President Obama has succeeded. Unfortunately, it is our adversaries who have enjoyed the benefits.

Now, his handpicked successor wants to continue his policies.

We learned this lesson in the 20th century. The world will not be free and successful if America is weak and apologetic.

As Commander-in-Chief I will ensure the United States reverses the course of the past seven years, rebuild our economy, our military and our place in the world.

As George Washington said, “the only sure way of preserving the peace is by preparing for war.” Not war but preparedness must become our watchword and that means we must reverse the decline caused by the Obama-Clinton policies.

America’s national security and America’s economic prosperity are not separate ideas.

We cannot achieve national security without economic strength.

Our economy has been the great engine of freedom not just for us, but for all free nations for 70 years.

The damage the Obama-Clinton policies have done to both our national defense and our economy must be corrected by policies that are aimed to integrate the recovery of one with the other.

Seeing what has happened at home and abroad as a result of the Obama-Clinton policies, I hope every American will ask themselves these questions: Are you and your family safer than you were seven years ago? Are you better off economically? Is our country on the right track?

For a large majority of Americans, I believe the answer is “NO”.

The question then is, what can we do to change?

I believe we turn to things that work. I have proposed an economic plan called the Growth Code, which you can read on my website, GilmoreForAmerica.com.

Our program is a modernized version of the policies that worked for Presidents Kennedy and Reagan when they sought to restore Growth to sluggish economies.

A tax cut for ALL Americans, three simple tax brackets, a 15 percent corporate tax rate for all business activity that will make us competitive with our foreign countries and an elimination of the Death Tax.

These programs worked before because it placed our economy in the people’s hands, not the bureaucrats. If we do the same now, it will work again.

With these commonsense changes we can put the men and women of America back to work and allow our sons and daughters to have the opportunity to have a better life than ours.

Simply put, I believe restoring our national defense, cutting taxes and limiting the power of the government will get our nation back on track and begin the process of protecting the future of all Americans.

When the federal government can destroy your business, erode your Second Amendment rights, threaten your liberty and your security though mindless regulations and illegal executive orders, it’s time to take a new path.

I’ve come to this point in my life like millions of you. I am not a billionaire, the son of a former president, or a member of the Washington establishment. My Dad worked at Safeway as a meat cutter. My mother was a church secretary. It was in central Virginia, but it could have been anywhere in America.

Their goal for me, like your parents’ goals for you, was that I have a better life than they did. Their generation strived and sacrificed so that we could build on their success and hand it on to our children.

Our generation has an obligation to do the same now. We must once again choose leadership and resolve over weakness and the status quo.

As the Governor of Virginia, I cut taxes by a billion and a half dollars, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, fought to protect gun rights, worked for national legislation to keep the internet free of taxes, supported our military men and women and warned early on about the dangers of terrorism.

Despite all our current challenges, despite all our current setbacks, we can overcome them.

If we trust in ourselves, our capacity for self-government, our ability to believe in ourselves, there is no hurdle we can’t overcome.

I am entering this race today because I have confidence that the experience I have gained in this free country can be used to make a difference in the direction of our nation and the future of our people.

Please join me in this campaign by going to my website at GilmoreforAmerica.com.

Today, I am ready to engage those uniquely American attributes in cooperation with you, my fellow citizens, so together we can build a better life and a prosperous future – a safe and protected future – for you, your family and for all Americans.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless America.


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