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Public Papers - 1992 - August

Remarks on Arrival in Jacksonville, Florida


The President. What a great rally. What a fantastic Jacksonville turnout. Thank you all very, very much. This is good for the soul.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Thank you so very, very much. Senator Mack, Connie, my friend, thank you for that warm introduction. Let me just tell you something that you must know well: When the going got tough in Desert Storm days, you could turn to Connie Mack for success, for trust, for conviction. He was right on the ball all the way. And he is right: If you really want to change America, change control of the United States Congress, and let us get this country moving.

I want to thank the Mayor for that warm introduction. I'll forgive him for being a Democrat; he's a good man, and -- [laughter] -- I was delighted to have him say those pleasant things. To Mark Little: Mark, you've got a great voice, you ought to go in radio. [Laughter] Thank you. Thank you very much for being here and getting this gang all fired up. When I say fired up, I'm talking literally. I saw you when I came by on Air Force One -- a little warm out there. And may I salute Cliff Stearns and Craig James, both great Congressmen. And let me say this: Please elect Tillie Fowler and send her to the United States Congress. You want to change things; there's a good way to do it. And may I salute Minority Leaders Crenshaw and Lombard and our State Treasurer Gallagher and so many others that are here with us today. And to the kids, the Americakids that kept you entertained, my thanks to them and also to the Fletcher High School marching band and the Fletcher High School cheerleaders. Don't say I didn't mention them. And Mayor, thanks once again for your openmindedness and your warm welcome to your city.

If you're like me, you're grabbing every spare moment you can to keep up with the great Olympic games in Barcelona. My favorite events have been in the swimming, for three reasons. Make that four. First, Martin Zubero. His backstroke was for Spain, but I bet his heart, with his hometown of Jacksonville. And also, your own Gregg Burgess, who took home the silver. We're proud of him.

Here's another guy I like, Pablo Morales, the guy who missed out. Remember, he missed out in '84; he didn't make the team in '88; then he came back this year to take the gold, and at the ripe old age of 27. I don't know why, but I kind of like a guy who proves that youth and inexperience are no match for maturity and determination.

The fourth one was Summer Sanders. How's that for the name of a swimmer. Summer was trailing halfway through the 200 meter butterfly, then came on strong to win at the finish. Came on strong to win at the finish, I like that. We are going to do exactly the same thing to these guys coming out of this so-called new team.

We've heard a lot of talk about change this year; the other side has put forth more heat than this Florida sunshine. But don't worry; let's see how they can take it. I am going to carry it back to them and take my case to you, the American people. They've had their day, 6 months of carping and griping and tearing down the United States, and that day is over. We're going to take the case to the American people.

The other side, they talk about change, but when you look at their position on the most radical change of all, limiting the tenure of Members of Congress, they quietly admit they're against the idea. That's change, just changing their tune. [Laughter]

The other side talks about change, but in a certain 7,000-word speech at a convention that I was happy to miss -- [laughter] -- they devoted just 141 words to defense of this country and to our foreign policy. Then when they finally get around to it, they propose billion in defense cuts beyond which my national security experts tell me is responsible. They do not mention the fact that these reckless cuts will cost a million jobs across America, some right here in Jacksonville. They dry up Mayport to look like a prune, and we are not going to do that. We've got to keep our country strong. You talk about that change; that's called changing the subject.

The other side talks about change. Look at the first two ideas of the economy. They propose -- and Connie knows this, and he's fighting hard against it -- they propose a 0 billion tax increase now, half of it paid by small businessmen and farmers, and then follow it up with a new payroll tax of at least 7 percent to pay for a Government-run health care scheme. That is change, but change is all you're going to have left in your pocket if you listen to them.

I stand for a change, and here it is, a new approach. Congress has a lower rate of turnover than the Soviet Politburo used to have -- [laughter] -- 36 years with one party holding the power. I am fighting for term limits because the only way to break the deadlock in Washington is by clearing out a little deadwood on Capitol Hill.

I know when you have up there in some of these liberal communities, if you want people to do something that's politically appealing, yes, they want to gut the defense. But I am not going to let that happen. For the sake of our children and the economy, I am determined to keep the United States of America strong.

I don't believe the way to jump-start this economy is with a new tax-and-spend program. I trust you to spend your hard-earned dollars better than any bureaucrat can.

And so this election is not just about change. It's about something else, a flip side of change, and that is called trust. When you get right down to it, this election will be like every other. When you pull that curtain closed and cast your vote on November 3d, trust really does matter.

Many times in the White House, late at night, the telephone rings. Most times it's an aide checking up on the schedule. But sometimes it's another voice, more serious, more solemn, bringing news of a coup in a powerful foreign country, bringing word of Americans held against their will, bringing word of a bully threatening the peace halfway around the world. The American people need to know that the man who answers that phone has the experience, the seasoning, and yes, the guts to make the right decision and to make the tough call. You want a leader you can trust. I have worked hard to prove that I am that man.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. The bottom line is, that's trust in the traditional sense. That keeps America safe and strong. But that's part of the picture. And trust matters when you're looking to someone to build strength in the economy of this country, as Connie said, a better future. I stake my claim on a simple philosophy: To lead a great nation, you must trust the people that you lead. You look at every big issue we face, and you'll see a choice between those who put their faith in everyday Americans and those who put their faith in Government.

The other side says they want to put people first. But if you look at their ideas real close, the people they put first are all on the Government payroll. They remind me of the cartoon of a bus, maybe you saw it recently, two donkeys on board. The traffic above says, ``Left lane closed; keep right for the next 4 months.'' And one donkey is whispering, ``Don't worry, we'll just stay in this lane 'til November.''

Well, I did not adopt my philosophy 4 months ago, nor did you. I adopted it, mine, more than four decades ago, when I first had a job and ran a business and tried to meet a payroll. That is a good credential for the President of the United States. I learned then not to put my trust in the Government but to put it in the people.

I trust parents, not the Government, to make the decisions that matter in life. I trust the parents, not the Government, to choose their children's schools, public, private, and religious. I trust parents, not the Government, to choose their children's child care. And when the other side says, ``Government knows best,'' I say, ``Parents know better.'' Parents know better than some bureaucrat way up there in Washington, DC.

I trust the people, not the Government, to decide where and when you get a doctor's help. We can control costs. We must and will -- and I have a plan to do this -- make insurance coverage more available to everybody that needs it without a Government takeover of health care in this country. Frankly, I think we need, Americans deserve a better health care system than one that's run with the efficiency of the department of motor vehicles and the compassion of the KGB. We do not want to go to a nationalized or a socialized plan.

I know that, look, this is a funny year. You live and die every time you turn on the news, you hear some new poll. Let me tell you something about that. I know that my stands are not popular in all places. But they don't come from the latest poll or a special interest. They come from principle. And I make you one promise in this campaign. Others can listen to the polls; others can pay attention to the pols. I am going to do my level-best to do what is right for the United States of America.

I am delighted to be with our son here, Jeb, today, my boy -- [laughter] -- my little boy. I just wish that Barbara were here. I think she's doing a first-class job for this country.

But let me just close with that in mind, with family in mind, with a few words right smack from the heart. We are blessed, Barbara and I, blessed to serve at a moment in history when so many of the old fears have been driven away, when so many new hopes are within our reach. The changes that we've worked for have come to pass: the end of the cold war, the collapse of imperial communism, a new birth of freedom from Managua to Moscow, a new world of hope for ourselves and for our kids. The world we live in, let's face it, is a safer world, safer than it was a decade ago, a year ago, safer than it was 2 months ago when the children right here walked out of school and off into the summer. We have done so much to reduce the threat of nuclear war, and that is good for the world and good for the United States.

The bottom line is this: When we have done so much for the past 4 years, when we put our faith in the people, we can do anything we want. We have changed the world, and we will change America. We will not do what is easy or politically appealing. We will do what is right for the United States of America.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 12:31 p.m. at Jacksonville Landing. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor Ed Austin of Jacksonville; Mark Little, master of ceremonies; Ander Crenshaw, Florida State Senate minority leader; and James Lombard, Florida State House of Representatives minority leader.

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