Our previous coverage:

The Jimmy Kirkpatrick Heritage Celebration Dinner in Johnson County

Former Governor Roger Wilson’s remarks:

Thank you. Please have a seat. For those of you that know me, you should know better than to applaud. It only encourages me. Thank you Jim [Matthewson], very much.  We did have a wonderful time in the Missouri Senate and working for the people of the State of Missouri. And, I think, you can just tell a good public official, no matter what our quirks or idiosyncrasies, you know when you’ve been to the office, if we’re trying to help you or not, if we’re trying to help the State of Missouri or not, if we’re trying to help your kids or not….

…It’s real simple. That’s why Democracy has lasted as long as it has, because you can not fool the American public. It just can’t be done. You might pull the wool over their eyes once or twice. You may get away with something, but even the last eight years, this country is going to survive.

It’s been the most embarrassing time I’ve seen in my political life, to have someone as arrogant and as ill informed, time after time after time embarrass us in front of the world.  Now, we’ve got [applause], we’ve got a chance to improve things for the United States and its citizens. And we’re gonna do it…

…I’m not gonna pussy foot around about this because my son’s future  [he served three tours in Iraq], your children’s futures are on the line.  And you can’t have a third idiot in the White House. [applause] You’ve got to have somebody who can make a decision. [applause] If this was a poker game you’d be all in. I’m dead serious.

We’ve never seen our economy teetering on the brink of a cliff like this.  And someone who can not, I mean this guy is gonna make Hoover look like a piker. What he is doing is shoveling money to his friends in Halliburton and to his oil buddies is despicable. It may be criminal. I don’t care what Nancy Pelosi says, and I don’t care about impeachment, I want to find out who was cutting’ deals in private meetings in the Vice President’s office and the President’s office and I want to know why the American people weren’t put first. [applause]

I need these therapy sessions every now and then. [laughter] Now, Every elected official in here I’m sure has the sense and the obligation and the duty to work for everybody when they are elected. You better erase the battle lines. These constant political battle lines are what’s bankrupting this country right now politically. And it is wrong and it is to the detriment of the United States. So, the minute the election is over I’ll expect every Democrat elected official to make it abundantly and painfully clear to their entire community, the entire state, and the entire nation, that we are in this with everybody, no matter what they said about us, no matter what they did. However, this turning the other cheek has got to stop. If somebody accuses and abuses you, like I have seen Barack Obama, Jay Nixon, and other friends of mine abused, it’s time to rare back and dot both of their eyes. I don’t expect you to do it physically, ’cause I don’t want to go there, but I want you to do it verbally. I want you to tell ’em, “How’s that four dollar a gallon gas working for yah?” Or I want you to tell ’em, “You know what? I know you. And you’re a good person and I do business with you. And I go to church with your family. And I know you don’t abide crooks and criminals. So we’re gonna be glad to have you vote Democratic this year. And it’s really your only choice.” [applause]

There is a lot to do to run this state and to run this nation. And the next president and the next governor are going to inherit some very difficult messes to straighten up. I know Jay Nixon and you know Jay Nixon. Jay is capable of it, I expect Jay to surround himself with good people. I expect Jay to make good decisions and I expect him to make a good governor. And I think the State of Missouri is on much better footing than the nation is, if that could be possible.

The next president of these United States is gonna have the biggest mess to clean up any president has been faced with in fifty years. This next president is gonna have to be another FDR. You mark this down and you mark my words. Because I [garbled].  Nothing used to scare me. Nothing, Then I had kids. And after that, I thought, well, nothing but my own kids can scare me. Well I’m telling’ you right now the cuts that people are putting on, our kids, our handicapped, our elderly, are unfair and ungrateful. The cuts that have been made to the veteran’s programs, and the president who said, “I will veto the GI Bill,” are unpatriotic. Period, End of sentence. That’s all there is to it. [applause]

There’s a field hospital in Columbia, Missouri and those people work their head off. But there are people sitting in those waiting rooms constantly. And there’s a reason for that. That’s because the campaign rhetoric has not matched fact.

People who are saying, “I am for education,” and then vote for a voucher system that will undermine the productivity of a good education and the productivity of the country [applause] are unpatriotic. I just can’t have any truck with that. You can’t tell me that “Let’s give every kid a chance too go to Pembroke or Country Day.” What is it? Twelve thousand dollars? Eighteen thousand dollars? “Well, we’ll give them a twenty five hundred dollar voucher and then everybody will get that kind of education.” Do I look like I was born last night? That’s crazy. That nonsense didn’t go on in the Missouri Senate when Jim Matthewson was pro tem. That kind of nonsense didn’t go on until you got a group of people who were bought and paid for. And Jim Matthewson never walked off the dais of the Missouri Senate and got in somebody’s face and said, “I’m gonna take your chairmanship away from you.” Democrats don’t do it that way. Now let me tell you one, if you don’t goose step, the right wing, you’ll lose a chairmanship. Ask Bob Johnson from Lee’s Summit about that. He had avote for labor one time and “boom” he was off the committee. There’s Democracy for yah. Don’t get me started. [laughter]

I’m planning on going knee deep. I’m only going back here to protect you. I’m gonna be knee deep in this election and I’m gonna be one hundred per cent for Barack Obama. And we [applause]…

…Everyone of you is gonna have to stick your face right into the fire. You really are. I’m gonna have you do it…Let me tell you what, if you had a hundred Claire McCaskills in the U.S. Senate this country wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in right now, and I’m [applause], she could make up her own mind.

This guy came from modest beginnings. He’s worked his way up, now they’re trying to brand him as too ambitious. Hey, the re isn’t a dog catcher elected that didn’t start thinking about president the day after the election. So don’t give me that stuff about political ambition. You wouldn’t be a politician if you didn’t have ambition. Ambition is just like capitalism, it can be great, or it can be the ugliest thing on earth. It just depends on how you wear it. Well, let me tell you what, that guy wears it with style and grace. [applause] And I’m happy about it…

…Barack Obama is going to open thirty offices in the State of Missouri. You know he’s gonna hit the college towns. I think young people in this state have a chance to just rock the foundation of Missouri. There’s not a doubt in my mind, not since John Kennedy, that you and I have seen that kind of youthful response. And if they will follow through, and match their enthusiasm with their registration, and with showing up at the polls in November, a lot of people that didn’t think that that Missouri would necessarily be in play are going to be strongly, strongly surprised. This is gonna be a fun campaign. But it’s gonna be a
real serious campaign, too. This is for all the marbles.

If we think four more years of this kind of administration, I’m not sure what you’re gonna be looking at in America. And I don’t think, thankfully you’ve got a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, and I think they’re gonna pick up some real strength there. I think Jay Nixon is going to run well around the state. I  think we’re gonna have a handsome slate of under ballot candidates. And that’s gonna help us pick up seats in the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate, because it is trending back that way now.

When this happens, when this happens, because Republicans were so organized, so effectively went after labor, and education, and critical things in the state like health care, we’re gonna have more work cut out for us than we’ve ever seen before…

…And there are two groups in this room tonight, three groups, excuse me, that have tremendous reach [garbled], educators, public safety, and labor unions. If the message emanates through all of the above, with strength, that these are goals that we expect to achieve…

…There is a lot of ground to recover. The quality of life has been diminished by the last eight years. I expect Missourians to be good enoughto get this done.[applause]…

…Let’s go out there and have some fun. It is fun to be among Democrats. It is fun to know that you’re a hundred per cent right. Every now and then they can throw an issue at you, and maybe, you know, a thoughtful person will say, “You know, I, I, at least I see their point. I don’t agree with it, but I see their point.” They’re just dead wrong. [laughter] They’re just dead wrong. They bring the ship of state into the mud and now you and I are tasked with pulling it out. We’re gonna do it. We’re gonna get it done. Our country deserves it, our country has given us so much that we can never repay it, all that we owe. I love this feeling of being a hundred per cent right. I love this feeling of helping our country.

And there’s one other thing that I’ll close my speech with, and that is, I love every one of you, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. You have a great evening and thank you very much for having me tonight. [applause]