Public Papers - 1992 - February
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session in Hollis, New Hampshire
The President. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you so much, all of you. It's great to be back. It is great to be back, really. Nice to see all of you. Okay, let's get going. But first let me say how pleased I am to have been introduced by a hometown boy here and, I think, one of the greatest leaders that New Hampshire has ever produced, Senator Warren Rudman. I am very proud to have his support. With us also, also overdressed for the occasion since we've just been in church, and I didn't see all of you there -- [laughter] -- Governor Gregg, our campaign leader here, Judd Gregg, and Kathy and uno kid, dos kids right here. Judd, good to see you.
And let me also thank Hugh Gregg, predecessor in the Governor's office, but who's been so active once again for me and to whom I'm always grateful. Bill Zeliff is here, the Congressman, although I don't see him right this minute. Where is he? Bill, you here? Right over there, doing a first-class job in the United States Congress.
And I want to thank Katy Wienslaw. I want to thank Denis Joy, the principal, for letting us use his great school, this great facility. And, of course, a friend of long standing who asked that I not mention her name, but heck with that, Shirley Cohen, and we go back a long, long time. There she is.
I was reminiscing with Shirley about days gone by, but here we are. And what I wanted to do now, other than urge you to vote for me on Tuesday, which I'm up here for, is to simply say that I want to be President for 4 more years. I believe in this country. I am not a pessimist about the future of this country. When you look around the world and you see these kids, I hope that my Presidency has made a difference. These kids are going to grow up in a world with a lot less fear of nuclear weapons. And I think we can all take pride in the foreign policy of this country and what we've accomplished.
We got those energies turned now to try to turn this economy around. We've got a good program. It's not a campaign plan. It is a bill, two comprehensive bills, put it that way, before the Congress right now that would get this economy moving, not some campaign pledge. So, I need your help to lean on the Congress, not on Bill Zeliff, not on Warren Rudman or Bob Smith because they're doing the right thing, but lean on those that control the Congress to say, ``Let's leave the politics aside now and pass the President's plan by March 20th.'' Then we can all roll up our sleeves and fight on the political turf. But too many people up here are hurting to have politics as normal. So, my challenge to the Congress is: Move by March 20th, and give the people of this State and across this country what they need.
And now I'll be glad to take some questions. These guys have the mikes right here. Yes, shoot. I'll repeat it if they don't get the mike to you fast enough, but go ahead.
War on Drugs
Q. Mr. President, if elected, what steps would you take towards drug prevention in the United States?
The President. Drug prevention? What steps if elected? Follow-on on the steps we're taking now. And there is some good news with our national drug strategy; it is working. The use by teenagers of cocaine is down by 11 percent in this country, and that's encouraging news. We're doing better on the interdiction of narcotics coming in here. The budget is up at about billion for fighting the drug scourge.
One thing where you can help me, anybody here can help me, once again, is with the Congress because we have some strong anticrime legislation that would also help in the fight against drugs.
So, the answer to your program is, build on the national drug strategy that we already have in effect and that is working, both internationally and domestic. We've got to fight that scourge and whip it. And one of our national six education goals is schools and workplaces, but schools that are free of drugs. And again, support our America 2000 education program. It's good for this country.
Now, who's next? Here we are, right back there.
Q. Maria Gray. I'm a second-grade schoolteacher. And on behalf of the teachers I work with and my students, thank you for all that you do; Mrs. Bush, for all that you do, for your reading incentive programs. And would you give an encouraging word to those people who may be thinking about teaching as a profession?
The President. I'd be glad to give that encouraging word, and God bless the teachers. We'll start with that. I was hoping I would get a question on education. I only have one of these with me. But we have a good program called America 2000, and it gives parents choice. It says we can do better in math and science, so we'll be more competitive around the world.
And incidentally, this one started as a result of what the Governors, Democrat and Republicans, did at Charlottesville. They came together, put these six education goals before the Nation. And now we've got a program called America 2000. Judd Gregg, as your Governor, is out front for that program. And again, it transcends politics. And it really says this: We've got some good buildings, maybe need some better ones; we've got bricks and mortar, but we must revolutionize our schools. And that means strengthening the teachers, giving choice to the parents. And it is a good, sound program, and I hope you all will take a look at it. Not much of it needs legislation. Most of it is being done at the community and the State level, thank heavens, or it would take a longer time to get it through.
But as to the teachers, plenty of encouragement here. We have great respect for those who give their lives to the young of this country.
Now, how about this section? Well, all right. Is that for me? Oh, how nice. Here let me -- you got a question to go with it?
Q. This is from a Democrat. [Laughter]
The President. All right. That's great. Can I read your slogan? ``Willing and still able.'' Right here. Okay. Thank you all. Thank you very much.
Now, who's got the next question? Right in the back. Yes, sir.
Q. I'm from Brookfield, Connecticut. And I wanted to ask you, will you support the environmentalists in Rio de Janeiro that want to reduce the use of fluorocarbons and eventually stop them in the United States?
The President. We've already been in the lead of that. There was some new ozone information available the other day. It was the United States of America that took an early step to eliminate these CFC's that cause this terrible problem. Faced with this new information just last week, we sped up the timetable for the elimination. And I confidently expect Europe and the other countries to follow our lead. And the gentleman's pointing to an important conference, a U.N. conference that's going to be held in Brazil in June. And the United States will be in a leadership role there, not simply on the ozone layer but on the forests and everything else.
We've got a good, sound environmental record. We cannot keep some of the extremes in the environmental movement happy because I believe that sound environment can go hand-in-hand with reasonable growth. And in some corners of this country, particularly in the Northwest, there's some problems there where as many as 40,000 people can be thrown out of work by the excess of the environmental protection. So, we've got to find the balance, but I think we've got a very good record. And you put your finger on an important conference that will have the leadership and support from the United States.
Yes, sir, right back here.
Federal Budget Deficit
Q. I was just wondering what you could do in your second term to eliminate the budget deficit, and in 1996, when you leave office, if it would be possible to have a balanced budget.
The President. I don't think it will be balanced by 1996. I do think a lot depends on what happens in the congressional elections next year. As Senator Rudman knows, we have fought -- he's been way out front on trying to get the Federal deficit under control and keep spending under control. And remember, Congress appropriates every single dollar and instructs us how to spend every single dollar.
We're going to keep what we call the caps on spending. That 1990 budget deal was very controversial because there was a tax increase in it. People forget, however, there was spending caps put on what they call discretionary spending. A lot of spending the President has no control over, for example, Social Security and Social Security increases. And I don't want to fool with Social Security. I think people are entitled to receive those checks and have them on schedule.
But we will fight to keep those caps on. I have in my proposal a program to eliminate about 250 programs, just get rid of them altogether, and that's billion right there. And the answer, and I'll be taking this to the country in the fall, is send us more people to the Congress like Bill Zeliff here, Senators like Rudman and Smith. And then I believe we can get the Congress to spend less and to get on with getting the deficit down.
As I look at the schedule ahead, I cannot pledge that it will be in balance by then. And if anybody does, ask them to show you how they're going to do it, given the entitlement programs that are on the books and need to be there, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We're not going to be able to eliminate those. Change the health care, put in our health care plan; I think that will help. Keep the caps on; I think that will help.
Q. It's a privilege to be in the same company with you and Mrs. Bush. Can you tell me, what is your response to those in your constituency who feel that you are too willing to compromise, especially when you know you have our support? And I don't mean any disrespect.
The President. No, that's a good question because I've heard a lot of flailing around up here in New Hampshire. Let me say something about -- I've been in politics quite a while, as you know. I don't remember a campaign ever with quite this much negative campaigning. Maybe it's because most of it's aimed my way, coming out of a jillion Democrats over on one side and then a little out of the other side of the Republican spectrum.
I don't think I've been willing to compromise too much. I have had to veto 23 pieces of legislation, and the veto has been upheld every single time. I'll give you an example. I favored getting unemployment benefits extended for people, but the Democrats wanted to go ahead and just extend the benefits, forget the deficit, this guy's question. I said, ``Look, I want to extend the benefits, but we're going to do it within the budget caps. If we're going to extend those benefits, let's find some offsets so we don't add to the mortgage of the future of these kids.'' And so, we have fought back bad legislation through the veto to get something good.
I'll give you another piece, and this is, I hear a little voice coming out of right field on this one. I'm for human rights. I'm for civil rights. I'm against discrimination. I am for civil rights. I did not want a quota bill. And we fought against it. I don't believe that quotas is the answer. We fought against it, beat it down, and finally got a progressive, forward-looking civil rights bill that gives equal opportunity in the workplace without setting up quotas. And then I hear lonely voices running around New Hampshire saying I'm compromising too much. That's the only way you can lead when you don't control the Congress. And I'm going to keep on fighting for a United States that is free of discrimination, free of anti-Semitism, and free to move forward in the workplace without going to quotas. There's a good example for it.
Right on the end. She's been very patient here.
Q. Is it hard being a grandfather and a President at the same time?
The President. There's one of the toughest questions. You can see the seams on that one coming across at Fenway Park, you know; you can read every seam. It's a good question, though, because I'll tell you something, it isn't as easy as you might think. We have four of our grandchildren live there, and one of the parents, my son Marvin, doesn't like public life. He wants his kids to grow up without having the cameras, all these things on them when they come out and play on the White House lawn. And when they shed a tear, he wants to wipe it away in private, you know, so everybody doesn't see them crying.
Barbara and I try very hard to be good grandparents, and we stay in touch. And she's on the phone a lot. But I think you can do both. I think you can keep your family together. Of course, I salute Barbara Bush for what she does in there, encouraging them all the time. But you know you asked a very good question because there's a lot of times when you just wish you could do what everybody else does. But I wouldn't trade it because I've got a job to do, got a mission to fulfill, and I'm going to finish that. But then, I don't fear the future because after all that, I think we'll be better grandparents.
Right here in the middle. Yes, sir.
Defense Budget Cuts
Q. I've got a two-part question. With the tremendous cuts in the defense budget, whether it's you or the Democratic candidates, there are going to be a lot of people displaced from employment. It's just the natural thing. One, how do you deal with that? I don't disagree with the cuts, but I'm concerned that they go too quick.
Secondly, there are some of us who aren't in the beginning of our career but in the second half of our career. And retraining isn't a quick solution. And if you're in the last 10, 15 years of your career, it can be devastating. How do you deal with that?
The President. Well, you asked a very important question. First, on the defense cuts. I am very pleased that the way we have conducted the foreign policy of this country permits us now to make sound defense cuts. We have won the cold war. Imperial communism, that's aggressive communism, wants to take over a neighbor that's on the ropes, is out of business. We've got people talking about peace in the Middle East. And we have different security responsibilities.
I have proposed a budget that has billion of defense cuts over the next 5 years. I ask you, though, to listen to this gentleman because we cannot make reckless cuts in our defense. Last year at this time I was faced with a terribly important decision: Do we send your sons and your daughters into combat halfway around the world on the ground? One of the reasons I made the decision the way I did is, I knew that when we made that decision, these young men and women would have the best possible equipment, the best possible support, the best logistics behind them, the fastest transport, and the best way to move them.
And we did it, and they performed with magnificence. And that was Desert Storm that sent a message all across the world: The credibility of the United States means something. You see, Saddam Hussein never believed we'd do it. He was thinking back to Vietnam. He was thinking back to mixed signals out of the White House -- wouldn't quite dare do it.
And I'd say to those who remember Desert Storm, it wasn't quite as simple as it seems today. Go back and look at the debate a year ago about whether you commit the sons and daughters of New Hampshire to war. And I did it, took the full responsibility, and it worked out. But one of the reasons I made the decision with confidence was because of the levels of defense spending and knowing that we'd be able to move anyplace, go quicker, have the best equipment, and see them succeed. That still must be the hallmark of our defense.
And my defense budget has the support of General Powell. It has the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It isn't a political document. You listen to the raging debate around here from the extreme right and the extreme left, and all of them say, ``We don't need to keep up our defenses. We don't need to keep NATO strong. We can cut another billion or 0 billion.'' And one of them was up as high as 0 billion. That is crazy. And they can do the campaign rhetoric, but I have the responsibility as the President of the United States to keep this country strong. And I'm going to do it.
Now, the second one is much more complicated. The Defense Department does have some retraining programs. They've got some investment programs for, say, a Pease Air Force Base or whatever may happen in other installations around here. But I am troubled because I have no easy answer to it, frankly, for the guy that's this far along in his career, maybe he has 10 more to go, maybe he's been an aeronautical engineer who was laid off because we're not going to be able to keep the same level of spending.
All I know is, obviously, for those who are out of work, we've got to keep the benefits going until they find work, and that's a given. But you're talking about higher levels. You're talking about something more sophisticated. So, I would say job training and have it as responsive as possible to the kind of changing technology that we've got. And that, of course, means adult education. It means things of this nature. But it is not an easy question, and I don't want to oversimplify it. It's a heartbreaking one, too, but we've got to cope with it.
Yes, right back there.
Q. What are you going to do about the Ku Klux Klan?
The President. Ku Klux Klan? Can it. Speak out against it. And if anybody raises the specter of the Ku Klux Klan, you speak out against that ugly hatred. We're not a country of hating. We're not a country of bigots. We're not a country where we discriminate against people because of their religion or because of their race.
And they need the help of every kid here. If you see some guy in your class make some joke about somebody that might be of a different color or of a different religion, just turn on them. That's not us. That's not the United States.
And so, what the President can do about it, when you need legislation, why, you work for that. But in this one it's broader than that. You just stand up and say, ``Look, we're against that.'' That's always been the hallmark of our country, particularly something as vicious as the Ku Klux Klan. I don't think it's on the rise at all.
I'll tell you something, though, this is a serious point on economics. As people start working and get thrown out of work, sometimes they might turn on or resort to bigotry or discrimination if another guy has a job. And we've got to guard against that. We've got some differences with Japan in terms of trade, but we don't need to resort on bashing each other. We need to work, as I'm trying to do, to open the markets but not try to discriminate or make some ugly recollection of discrimination. And so, stand up against it every chance you get.
Capital Gains Tax
Q. Hi, President Bush. Joe Birch. I haven't talked to you in about 4 years. You probably don't remember me, but I gave you some pretty hard questions last time when you were -- --
The President. Go ahead.
Q. I told you then I was thinking about voting for Kemp because I wasn't sure how conservative you are and whether or not you're going to defend the conservative principles that I believe in. And you convinced me then, and I did vote for you. And I wanted to tell you that I'm pretty much in the same position right now, except that now I'm thinking of Buchanan. Okay, there's a couple of things I don't like about him, about his views, I should say. One thing is, I don't like the isolationism, and I don't like what I consider to be the trade war implications that I don't like. I'm with you on that.
The President. Protection, you mean?
Q. Yes. But the thing I have a problem with is -- it's got to do with education, but not in the sense you think. I don't think you're educating the rest of the people in this country as to the need for promoting business interest. Because business, as you know, has a lot to do with jobs.
Now, the capital gains issue is an issue that you're getting creamed on, left, right, and center, and it hurts the rest of us Republicans in a sense. Let me finish what I'm going to say, please. The capital gains issue, we're getting creamed, as a Republican, every time we turn around. I'm a Republican, and I don't have a capital gains problem because I don't make any money; that's not my problem. But my 10-year-old son here understands it better than 95 percent of the Democrats. I told him, ``Hey, look, 35 years ago a farmer could have bought a farm for ,000, sold it for 0,000 now.'' I said, ``When I was your age a candy bar was a nickel; it's 10 times that now.'' And he said to me, he says, ``Yeah, a comic book was a dime, and now it's a buck and a half, .50.'' So the farmer that made a 0,000 gain, he didn't even keep up with inflation, and yet the people are calling him the one percent of the rich in the country. And they're killing us on that issue because they're making it like the Republicans are taking care of the rich, and we don't give a damn about the working of the business.
So, Buchanan's coming across with this. And I'm right on the fence with a half-a-dozen other voters, and I want to hear what you've got to say.
The President. I don't know. I'm a little unclear whether you favor a capital gains reduction. I do, and I've been fighting for it for a long time. And the answer is, get me more people in the Congress that will support it. I can't do any more. I'm getting creamed by the liberals saying, ``You want a tax cut for the rich.'' A capital gains reduction will encourage investment. It will put ground under a person's home or their farm.
And so, I don't know where you're at. I am for it, and I'm going to continue to fight for it. And getting it done is a lot different than political, you know.
Q. I'm with that position. I'm with that position 100 percent. And the idea that Germany has none and Japan has none, it's understood. But the people aren't -- they don't understand it. When you say capital gains, they say you're trying to help the rich.
The President. I agree with that. And I need help from the people to make them understand it and to get the Congress to pass it. We've had those bills before the Congress for 3 years; ask Warren Rudman, ask Bill Zeliff. So, we need the help there.
It's one thing to make campaign rhetoric, and it's another thing to get your sleeves rolled up and trying to support the President in getting it done. And that's my point to the voters in New Hampshire. We're not electing the guy who can make the most money out there or can demonstrate the quickest wit. We need somebody that can lead for these things and get them accomplished. And that brings me to say, help me with the United States Congress. That's where the problem is on getting this economy turned around with our budget package right now, with capital gains, with other things like this homeowners tax credit.
You know, a family trying to buy a first home, our proposal says, ,000 tax credit. Congress must pass that by March 20th. Now if you feel upset about it, roll up your sleeves and get on the horn to the Congress or go down there and talk to them. I think you can do it; you look tough. [Laughter]
All right. Right over here. Good to see you again.
Q. Four years ago you promised to be our education President. And the America 2000 is a great set of goals. But can you think of one thing you've actually done to move us toward that goal here in Hollis, New Hampshire?
The President. Yes, I've gotten my wife to demonstrate her concern by reading to the children. And if you think that's not important, you're wrong. Because I had the mayors from the National League of Cities come into the White House, and you know what their main concern was? Urban problems. The mayor of Los Angeles, no flaming Republican, I might add, and a good man, and then a mayor from a small North Carolina town, a Republican, all came together, and they said the biggest problem is the dissolution of the American family.
And Barbara's out there, and I'm trying to help as best I can, saying, ``You've got to hold the family together. You've got to participate. You've got to read.''
We have passed for the first time, gotten the country together on six major national education goals. That's never been done before. That would not dictate to Hollis. That wouldn't tell them what the curriculum has to be. But these are the six goals, and let me just recite them because I do think it's a very strong program. And I do think we're making progress on it.
We need to go forward now and have every kid ready to learn. That means more Head Start. I have increased the levels for Head Start exponentially. We have it now budgeted so that every 4-year-old will get Head Start. You may not think that's progress on education; I think it is superb progress on education.
I think the high school graduation rate should increase to at least 90 percent. And we're making headway on that one.
The third one, American students will be competent in core subjects. You'd have to ask the teachers how they're doing on that one, but I think it's one where we've got to make better progress; I'll concede that.
U.S. students will be first in the world in science and math. And we're moving on that direction, the highest level of research that this country has ever had. And I believe that will help us achieve that education goal.
Every American adult will be literate. I'm trying to show the way there by learning to work a computer. And that's not just show business; it is suggesting to the American people we must have adult literacy. And that can help in this question of transferability over here.
And then the last one, every school in America will be free and safe from drugs and crime. Made progress; not near enough.
So, I would argue that we're making headway, but I would certainly agree with you that we haven't made enough headway. But I'm going to keep on fighting because I believe this record is a good one on education. And it's far better than what I hear coming out of left field out there, saying, ``Hey, the answer is for the Federal Government to set the curriculum and the Federal Government to come in and control these programs.'' That is not going to get to the educational excellence that these six goals demand.
Way in the middle.
Q. I am on the school board here for the Hollis/Brookline high school and junior high schools. We are a small town, and special ed costs right now are escalating all over, including in our small town. And we have to be concerned about the fact that although the costs are escalating, the Federal funding is going away. And it's hurting us because our tax bill is the only thing that's supporting it. Think about Federal funding sometime.
The President. I will. Federal funding, incidentally, for the Department of Education is up. It's up considerably from where I came into office. But you know what a problem is? A problem is that Congress still wants to quote, mandate, unquote, the benefits. Hollis may have a problem where, better have more adult education. Hollis may -- which is the one you mentioned?
Q. Special ed.
The President. Special ed. Hollis may need more on special ed. It is my feeling that block grants should be used instead of these mandates out of some subcommittee in Washington, DC. And if you need more for special ed, it ought to be here in a block grant for the people of Hollis and the Governor of New Hampshire to decide, rather than some subcommittee chairman that's been there 30 years on the Democratic side in Washington.
So, we're going to fight for the block grant approach and continue to try to do it, and that, I believe, will answer some of this problem, not all.
Yes, right here. Yes, sir.
Q. President Bush, with all due respect to your opposition on the Republican side, personally I like Pat Buchanan on television, and I like George Bush in the Oval Office. Just a question I have. I know you have a package before Congress now, but beyond that, however long it takes to get through, beyond that, what type of things are you doing or do you plan to do to try to help the economy with jobs? I'm a senior manager, and I'm facing laying off many people at the company that I work at.
The President. The investment bill we've got before the Congress I believe really will work. We fought -- and I can understand Joe's frustration -- we fought for some of these incentives, changes in the IRA's, capital gains, for 2 years and have just not gotten them through Congress. Now there's enough awareness there that I believe the package we have that includes those two things, also includes the first-time tax break for homeowners, plus several others -- there's seven points in it -- will help stimulate the economy immediately.
We have a family tax credit that's in the overall bill. It's a longer term; it has to be done by this year, but it's not in those seven ``incentivizations'', you might say.
The National Home Builders came up here to New Hampshire the other day and announced how many jobs they think this would create, just the adoption of the homeowners credit would create, and then get real estate leading the way out of this recession. So, I think we've got a good, sound economic program, but Congress has the votes. And I've got to change the Congress.
And I understand there are a lot of people out there a lot more charismatic than I am, but a lot of them don't have to make the tough decisions either. Heck, if that were the case, Phil Donahue might be President of the United States if you needed somebody to be out there on television -- [laughter] -- or some of the others, reporters we've got around here who are very good in their field, but I'm not sure we want them for President.
So, I'll keep doing my best. You know, I'll say to these kids here -- and this may sound a little gratuitous or silly, but it's not -- you go back to think what your parents are telling you, and they're saying: Do your best. Try your hardest. Don't let the critics get you down if somebody disagrees with you in your class. Work your hardest for what you believe in. And that's what I'm trying to do. And I'm going to keep on trying to do it.
And I've had to make tough decisions. Good God, a year ago, I was. I thought about that in church today. It wasn't an easy decision to commit some of your neighbors here to war. But you've got to do your best, and you've got to take the shots that come your way and say, ``Hey, that goes with the territory.''
But I believe in this country. I believe that we are good and decent and honorable. I believe we are the leaders of the free world. I believe that our workers can compete with anybody. And now we've got to get the programs to free that up and get them going. So don't let the pessimists get you down. We are the United States of America, and we got something moving. And now we've got to get this through so the people in New Hampshire are lifted up. That's the way I approach it.
We can hear you. I'll repeat it.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the health insurance plan?
The President. The health insurance plan. And again, it's not a campaign plan; it is up there for congressional consideration. It is built on this basis, building on this basis: We have the best quality health care in the world, the best. If not, why would neighbors from far and wide come to this country for specialized, strong health care? So, I want to change it in the sense that I want everybody to have access, everybody, rich or poor, to have access to insurance. And our program is built on that.
A person that doesn't have a job or is impoverished gets this insurance, they get the insurance. Middle-income people, they get deductions to permit them to put less money in the Government and more to get the insurance with. It is built on access, and that will keep us from turning to a state-run system.
I hear a lot of campaign rhetoric in New Hampshire about let's have a nationalized plan. What they mean there is a plan where the Government makes all the decisions. And that is wrong. And our plan will cost about 0 billion. We've sent up page after page of how to pay for it. But one of the ways is to cut down on these frivolous lawsuits that compel our doctors to go to all kinds of duplication in their care. Too many lawsuits, and too much liability for these people.
So the answer is to keep what works and build on what works and make insurance available and have access to all. And that's where the program -- --
Which one of you two want to ask this, reluctantly, but go ahead.
Q. What do you have to say to the women of America who feel that they're being reduced to breeders by your antichoice stand?
The President. Being introduced to what? I didn't hear the question.
Q. Breeders by your antichoice stand.
The President. Breeders?
The President. I've never looked at love between a man and a woman as a breeding proposition. I recognize there are differences on this question, but I happen to favor life. And I am appalled at the numbers of abortions that are going on. They are exponentially rising, and it's a tragedy. Some people use it as a birth control device. So, I just have a difference, an honest difference of opinion on that one. I'm not going to change my views.
But I certainly think the way you phrase it -- I don't think people should look at affection between a man and a woman as that kind of ugly thing. When you have a relationship, I hope it's based on something that has more affection. Maybe love, we ought to try that one on for size; maybe a little more education than we've had in trying to teach people that indiscriminate sex is not good. And we're having an awful lot of disease because of indiscriminate sex. And we have a lot of broken families, kids that nobody knows their name. And we've got to find ways to strengthen the family.
All these things I think we could agree on, whether we agree on that question or not, of whether you want abortion or whether you happen to favor life and adoption, as I do.
Q. Mr. President, could you comment on how you might motivate Congress to adopt the line-item veto? One of the concerns clearly is that the budget needs to be controlled, and that might be a message.
The President. Well, the question is, for those who didn't hear it here, how do you motivate the Congress to go for the line-item veto?
One, I strongly support it. Forty-three Governors have it. I don't think you've got it in New Hampshire, but 43 Governors across the State have it, across the country. And it gives the executives the chance to make the tough decision. So again it goes back to Joe's question: How do you get it done? And the only way I know to get it done is to keep advocating it and to get the kind of people in Washington that would support it.
And I'm going to keep on doing that because -- I don't believe it would solve this guy's question, or lady's question, whoever asked it originally, about the balanced budget. I'm not suggesting that there are enough items you could hack out of there unilaterally to do that overnight. But it would make a tremendous job.
I'm all for Lawrence Welk. Lawrence Welk is a wonderful man -- he used to be, or was, or wherever he is now, bless him. [Laughter] But we don't need 0,000 for a Lawrence Welk Museum when we've got tough times and people in New Hampshire are hurting. And there's the kind of thing that could be line-itemed out of the budget, and I think we need it. We really do need it.
Right over there in the middle. Yes, sir.
Accessibility of the President
Q. -- -- I was wondering if you ever considered meeting groups of people one-on-one -- [inaudible] -- with this problem of the different groups. I know you have a staff and can't do everything, but local people -- [inaudible] -- will help you win the election.
The President. Interesting suggestion. His point is, he said not a lot of people would want to have my job, but a lot of people would know exactly how to run it. I think that was the premise. But have you considered, he says, meeting one-on-one with individual people? And the Cabinet, he says, can do their job, but that may not be as representative as you get it down closer to the grassroots. Is that a fair repetition?
Not bad, not a bad question at all. Good observation. I do get a ton of mail. And people say, ``Well, you don't understand the heartbreak out there.'' I really believe I do. I don't think you have to have an experience yourself to understand it. Do you want me to put this on a real personal basis for you? Barbara and I lost a child. Some people here haven't done that. I wouldn't suggest that if that experience hadn't come to your family, that you would be less concerned about a neighbor who went through that. We care about it. We are in touch. I read the mail. I hear a lot of cries from the heart from people -- many, many ways. Friends reporting of neighbors out of work, whatever it may be.
I don't know how to implement what you've suggested. We've done some homework since we've been privileged to live in the White House. When Abraham Lincoln was President he lived right on the second floor of the White House, and he had his bedroom down at one end of the hall, same place where Barbara and I have the bedroom now. And the people could come up and wander into the White House and say, ``Hey, we want to see Abe,'' and give him their view. It was pretty good. I mean, it was a good system in a sense.
Now you've got some problems from that, most of them of a security nature. You've got a lot of nuts out there. You've got a lot of crazy people wandering around that you can't take a chance with.
Let me think about it. I don't know whether there's a better way to kind of just pluck a name out of the phone book or get some guy that was thrown out of work, for example, to come there as an individual with no staff and no preparation. Maybe there is because I'm not going to shoot it down as a lousy idea.
The President. I'll tell you how we do a lot of that is through the different groups that represent these people. But that's not maybe as good as what you're suggesting here. There may be a way we can do more of that. You go to these hospitals and talk to an AIDS family, or something, you get a better feel. And we do a fair amount of that. But maybe there's more. I mean, I think it's a good suggestion.
They tell me we've got to go, all nervous-looking people over here, because we're heading on. But listen, thank you very much. And may I ask you to vote for me on Tuesday. We need your support. Thank you very, very much.
Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. at Hollis/Brookline High School. In his remarks, he referred to Kathryn M. Wienslaw, cochairman of the Bush-Quayle campaign in New Hampshire.