Public Papers - 1990 - November
Remarks at a Reception for Governor Bob Martinez in Orlando, Florida
Thank you all very, very much. You've been standing there a long time. Thank you. I am just delighted to be here. And the minute I got off this airplane, I felt that enthusiasm, the surge that guarantees that Bobby Martinez will be the Governor come election day once again. He deserves it, and he's got it moving. And Mary Jane, you were fantastic. If you want our dog to come down and campaign for you, just invite her. Barbara's already done her thing for Bob. [Laughter]
And of course, Allison DeFoor -- I mean, here's a sheriff, a man of the law, a man of the people. He'll be an outstanding Lieutenant Governor serving at Bob's side, working against the criminals in this State -- law and order, sound fight against narcotics. We're lucky to have a man like this on our ticket, I'll tell you.
Let me pay my respects to the Senator standing next to me here, Connie Mack. Although he's not running, he's out there across this State campaigning hard, giving the Florida Democrats a ``Mack attack'' -- [laughter] -- and doing a first-class job. And we're delighted you're here today.
And then my old friend Bill McCollum. He and I have been suited up in the political warfare for years. And you ought to see, you ought to see the job he does on his anticrime legislation and on this whole protection of the rights of the American family. He is superb. And we need another like him, and that's why Bill Tolley has got to be elected. Bill, good luck to you. For those of you in this congressional district, get out the vote and send me another good member of the Florida delegation, someone I can work with to hold down these taxes and keep the government out of your pocket. Bill, we need you.
And, of course, I want to pay my respects to three old friends: Jeanie Austin, who's doing a superb job on the national level as cochairman of the Republican National Party; Van Poole -- Mr. Chairman, we now call him -- thank you for your extraordinary effort in leading this party to majority status. And then, of course, when you want some heavy lifting done, I'll give you a little advice: get Alec Courtelis to do it. What a superb job he's done as finance chairman.
And so, I'm thrilled to be back here. This election here in Florida is close; it's crucial; it is important. And a few nights ago -- I missed it, but I've had the instant replay -- you saw it. You saw what was at stake. You saw what it takes to be a great Governor. And you saw a Governor offer the balanced approach that you would expect from a seasoned leader of a city, now a leader of a great and a growing State. You saw Governor Bob Martinez in action win that debate and go on to win the vote -- now he'll do it on Tuesday.
And some of what came through there was much of what we've been watching as his admiring friends over the years. We saw one who believes that the people of Florida know what's best for themselves. And he believes in empowering people, empowering communities, tapping into the power that comes when millions work for a common vision. And little surprise, then, that under a Republican Governor Florida is moving forward for a cleaner environment, for better schools for these kids, for streets safe from drugs and crime.
Florida ranks number one in the creation of new businesses and new jobs, especially in high-tech manufacturing. And the credit goes, of course, to the people of Florida and to this man, Governor Bob Martinez.
You're looking at a kindred soul when it comes to one who has respect for the Everglades because I love going down there each year. And you know that I know that every Floridian treasures the Everglades, that unique and irreplaceable resource. And last year, I was able to sign into law a bill increasing the size of the Everglades National Park by more than 100,000 acres -- Connie Mack being most instrumental in this, strong supporter of this legislation; Bob Martinez urging that it be done. I need a Governor here with whom I can work in the White House.
And, yes, I think we can say -- and this message goes out to other States -- that Florida is tough on drugs. Bob is in the lead here -- leading Governor on substance abuse and drug trafficking for the National Governors' Association -- fighting against these for the good of Florida. And he set a national precedent by appointing a State drug czar. And he's been a leader in making sure that parolees undergo drug testing and counseling to get straight and stay straight. And the credit goes to this man, Governor Bob Martinez.
And so, whether he is standing up for the environment or standing up to the drug dealers, he's completed a remarkable record of achievement that would make any Governor proud. He's never been one to walk away from a job. And for Governor Bob Martinez, even the toughest challenge is just another day at the office. We're lucky to have him. Please reelect him.
I was up in Massachusetts -- two stops in Massachusetts -- and the theme there is the same as it is here. The Republican Party is the party of change, not the status quo. We are the party of new ideas. And there is no higher domestic priority on the Republican agenda than the Nation's economy because our economy is the job-creating engine that every family in this country counts on.
And I know in recent months there's been some understandable uncertainty about and concern about slower economic growth. And that's one reason getting a budget agreement in my view was important and why I was willing to go the extra mile to get it. The negotiations were tough. And my approach was clear. The Democrats wanted to raise taxes, including income taxes, and I wanted to reduce the Federal budget deficit with spending cuts. And if we had had more Senators like Connie Mack, more Congressmen like Bill McCollum, we would have got it done exactly the way I wanted. Because they don't want to raise taxes on the American people. And they want to cut spending.
But every once in awhile a President has to compromise to make something happen -- to govern. And in this one, there was some good news, actually. We got 2 billion in deficit reduction, 0 billion in spending cuts. And then we've got some incentives in there to make America less dependent on foreign oil. And this is critical, and it is very important: We put Congress on a pay-as-you-go basis. The enforcement provisions of this agreement are real, and they are strong, and no longer will new programs be funded with red ink.
And finally, we did do something that I think is vitally important -- and these two Members of Congress agree is vitally important -- and that is we held the line against reckless cuts in our defense spending. You see, I am determined that given the threats we face around the world, I am determined that this nation's defense remain strong and prepared. And we owe that much, at least, to those fine young men and women who are stationed in the Persian Gulf serving our country with such distinction.
But let me tell you other places where our agenda coincides with what Bob Martinez believes. We fought for a responsible child-care law, one that would put choice into the hands of American families. You see, it is our belief that we ought to empower parents to choose those who will care for their children, not let the Federal Government make a determination how that should work. We fought for this, and these leaders here helped enormously, and we won it.
And we also fought for a responsible clean air bill. And we asked Congress to cut acid rain, to cut smog by harnessing new technology with the power of the marketplace. And we fought for this, and we won it.
And of great concern to me and to Florida is yet another landmark law, a fair and effective law to ensure the civil rights of every disabled American. And so, I was particularly proud in this session to sign into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, historic legislation that protects the civil rights of 43 million men, women, and children with disabilities. And that bill does prohibit discrimination against the disabled in employment and public accommodations and transportation and communications. And all Americans with disabilities can now pass through a once-closed door to a bright new era of equality and independence and freedom and opportunity.
And so, there were some historic achievements: clean air, child care, this ADA bill. The great strides, though, are just beginning to show what Republicans can do for this country. And, of course, there is still much more work to be done on the Republican agenda. And at the top of our agenda -- and I report to you with not too much happiness on this one -- was crime. America is fed up with crime, whether it's neighborhood crime or crime in somebody else's city. And Republicans know handcuffs belong not on the cops and the courts, handcuffs belong on the criminals. And that was the underpinning of our crime bill.
And shortly after taking office, I stood before the U.S. Capitol and called on Congress to pass tough, new laws to help America take back its streets. And instead, in the final hours of Congress, the Democratic liberals -- those in Washington like the ones Bob is running against here -- completely gutted our package to fight against violent crime. Republicans -- two of them right here -- fought for habeas corpus reforms aimed at stopping convicted criminals from endlessly abusing the appeals process. Republicans fought for revision of the so-called exclusionary rule, a judge-made law that lets the guilty go free. And Republicans fought for a real Federal death penalty for drug kingpins and terrorists. And we've got to be tough on crime and criminals. And it's Republicans that want change. Give me more Republicans in the House and in the Senate to get this job done.
And as I make that plea for Bill Tolley to go to Congress to support Bill McCollum and Connie Mack, as I do that, let me just say that Republicans can look no further than what Bob Martinez has done. With his leadership, it can be done. In other words, with his leadership, Florida has been tough on crime, toughening laws to ensure that the criminals stay behind bars and adding the prison space to enforce it. He picked a no-nonsense sheriff -- standing right here -- as his running mate. And that tells you something. Bob Martinez and Allison DeFoor will make Florida an even safer place to live, and you can count on it. You can count on their doing just that.
And that's what this election is all about. But, of course, while the election in Florida is crucial, our thoughts are also halfway around the world with the brave young men and women who are teaching us a lesson about what it means to love liberty. And so, my appeal would be this: As November 6th draws near, 5 days from now, I urge every Floridian to get out and vote. Do not take democracy for granted. And when you do vote, I hope you cast your ballot for a Governor who will carefully balance the needs of Florida's abundant and beautiful natural resources with the needs of man.
Bob Martinez -- and I've been in his home; I've known him for years; he's been in our home up in Washington -- he believes in the Florida dream. We can make the most of economic opportunity while protecting this State's special way of life.
And so, my appeal to you tonight on behalf of your State and nation is to vote for a leader who can take Florida forward. Vote for Governor Bob Martinez.
Thank you for all you have done for our country and for our party. And now go out and give America a better deal. Thank you all very much.
Note: The President spoke at 5:32 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott World Center Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Governor Martinez' wife, Mary Jane, and Van Poole, State Republican Party chairman. Following his remarks, the President traveled to Cincinnati, OH, where he remained overnight.