05-22-2023 Reagan Library Speaker Series Screenshot
To watch Senator Capito’s full speech, click here or on the image above.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, last night delivered a speech on the future of the Republican Party at the Reagan Library. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute hosted Senator Capito as the latest speaker in their “Time for Choosing” series.

The “Time For Choosing” series, hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Institute and Foundation, was modeled after President Ronald Reagan’s iconic 1964 address, delivered to support U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid. The speaker series brings together some of the leading voices in the conservative movement to consider the past, present, and future of the Republican Party.

Excerpts from Senator Capito’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

A CHILD OF APPALACHIA: “I stand before you a proud child of Appalachia – something that might make me a little different than most of your previous speakers. Our state is the only state in the country fully contained within Appalachia. Hard work, self-sufficiency, and national pride are all deeply instilled in our DNA. As a region, we have one of the highest percentages of veterans per capita. I’ve often compared West Virginia to one very large small town where we know how to stand up for ourselves, while still looking out for one another. We’re tough as nails, but with a smile on our face.”

THE LEFT’S CRUSADE: “The disintegration of the Democrat party and consequent rise of the West Virginia GOP didn’t end with President Obama. The left has only grown bolder in their crusade – one that prioritizes academic goals and partisan ideology over the wellbeing of everyday Americans… Under the left’s vision for America, those who worked hard, saved, paid debts, and responsibly managed their credit are penalized to support those who have not.”

REPUBLICAN VALUES: “But, most importantly, I am a Republican because I believe our party can provide a better way because we’ve done it before. We believe in fair elections, in a secure border, in a strong national defense, and that strong families are at the core of a functioning society. They always have been, and they always must be. We believe in limited government. And, now more than ever, we believe in a government that stays in its lane, and protecting and preserving the institutions that keep America strong.”

WE BELIEVE: “We believe in an intelligence community that focuses on protecting the homeland, not one political party over another. We believe in supporting law enforcement and giving them the resources they need to keep our cities and neighborhoods safe. We believe in supporting our military as they strive to protect us, as well as their families and the veterans who have bravely served our country before them. We believe in responsible regulation, not the weaponization of regulations for political purposes, or regulations for regulations sake.”

CONSEQUENCES OF AN OPEN BORDER: “We believe in a secure border. Immigration has been critical to building the America we have today. We are absolutely a nation of immigrants, and we always will be. But, the biggest threat to that system comes from a lack of order like the kind we have seen for the last few years… Not only because of the dangers that come in from cartels and violent criminals, but also the scourge of Fentanyl, which we know all too well in West Virginia.”

A BIG TENT: “We need to make the case for our policies and our ideas with facts and compassion, recognizing that just as our party is a big tent, our country is an even bigger tent and there’s so much more that unites us than divides us. In our diverse Senate caucus, we don’t agree on everything, but the greatest victories Congress has seen in recent years came when we found the best, most conservative solution possible, and taken the win.”

AUTHENTICITY: “President Reagan wasn’t just the great communicator because he had punchy one-liners and clever zingers. He was authentic and real, and he was open with the American people. Nowhere was this more evident than when he opened up to the world about his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in his final letter to the American people. As a child of two parents who battled Alzheimer’s, his letter about it touched me deeply for its humility, his authenticity, and his vulnerability.”

THE AMERICAN FAMILY: “As we protect and restore credit in our American institutions, I believe we will see a great restoration of pride in America and in our American values. And the institution I believe is most important to this great restoration is the American family. President Reagan said, ‘All great change in America begins at the dinner table.’ In his farewell address, he spoke of the need for an ‘informed patriotism’ to ensure ‘we are teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world.’ He spoke of the importance of starting with the basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And again, as President Reagan said, this can and should begin at the dinner table.”

THE GREATEST HONOR: “My own service is entwined with those that have gone before me. As a nine-year old, my dad took me to the U.S. Capitol and I stood on a windowsill where I watched our nation grieve for President Kennedy. And now today, 60 years later, when I walk those halls, I can feel by the grooves in the marble steps the spirits of the men and women who have risen to the challenges of their generations. The honor bestowed on me is never lost. I am humbled, proud, and grateful to walk in their shadows.”

A TIME FOR CHOOSING: “President Reagan closed his timeless ‘Time for Choosing’ speech with the incredible invitation: ‘You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this – the last best hope of man on earth.’ We stand on a similar precipice today. And we have the tools to climb on as the great City on a Hill that’s inspired millions to embark through darkness and danger for the mere chance to stand on our shores. The roadmap is simpler than you might think: Choose substance, demand the best of those who represent you, and fight like hell for the things you believe in.” 

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