A Courageous and
Compassionate Leader

G.W. Bush is not a pigheaded politician. Being able to admit when you're wrong is the mark of a great leader. He admits he sure was wrong when he recently lowered the age at which minors can be tried as adults in Texas to 14. After consultations with religious leaders, and after the big fuss over his own 'youthful indiscretions', he has opted for a more compassionate position on minors in the legal system.

G.W.Bush On Juvenile Crime
If we are going to save a generation of young people, our children must know they will face bad consequences for criminal behavior.* But not until they have really grown up. As I've said often enough in this campaign my childhood didn't really end until I was in my mid thirties. In fact, I didn't really get my act fully together until I was 40.

“If I had been thrown in jail for minor drug crimes in my 'youth', I wouldn't have ever been able to become governor, or run for president. That's why as president I want to raise the 'certification' age--the age at which minors can be tried as adults--to age 40.
“It's true that we should suffer consequences for the mistakes we make--only after we've had ample time to mature. I for one, have never suffered a single consequence for any of the big mistakes I made before age 40. And I made quite a few of them, and even broke some laws.

“Some people have said that I should dwell on those mistakes, itemize them and bow out of the race for president. But I'll just repeat, what I've said over and over:

I'm not going to talk about what I did as a child. It is irrelevant what I did 20 to 30 years ago. What's relevant is that I have learned from any mistakes I made.* And that's what's relevant for the youth of America. Have they grown up? Have they had enough time to grow up? And have they learned from the mistakes they've made.

 

*FROM THE HORSES MOUTH:

"I'm not going to talk about what I did as a child. What I am going to talk about -- and I am going to say this consistently -- [is that] it is irrelevant what I did 20 to 30 years ago. What's relevant is that I have learned from any mistakes I made. I do not want to send signals to anybody that what Gov. Bush did 30 years ago is cool to try." --Gov. Bush in an interview with WMUR-TV in New Hampshire, when asked if he had used "drugs, marijuana, cocaine" (See news story.)

If we are going to save a generation of young people, our children must know they will face bad consequences for criminal behavior. Sadly, too many youths are not getting that message. Our juvenile justice system must say to our children: We love you, but we are going to hold you accountable for your actions.--Bush campaign literature.