Public Papers - 1992
Remarks at a Welcome Rally in Anaheim, California
The President. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you very much, President Reagan. May I salute not only President Reagan but Governor Wilson, our master of ceremonies; Bob Dornan, our great Member of Congress, a loyal supporter. I want to thank the Gatlin Brothers, my old friends that are with us today. What a job they do for us. It's great to be in California. And it's especially great to be here with these three Members of the United States Congress, with Senator Seymour. We must reelect Senator Seymour, and we must elect Bruce Herschensohn to the Senate.
Mr. President, last year I was honored to help dedicate your library. When I leave office I look forward to your dedicating mine. Not to be specific, but how are you fixed for 1997?
I love Ronald Reagan for the same reasons you do. First, his sense of humor. No wonder he took Washington by storm. Here was a politician who was funny on purpose. Quite different. [Laughter] I'm a Reagan fan for another reason: his eloquence. Ronald Reagan didn't just make the world believe in America again, he made Americans believe in themselves again.
That Great Communicator was indeed the Great Liberator. Abroad, he helped free millions from tyranny. And at home, he helped free millions from a Government that's too big and spends too much of your money. He turned America around. And he turned the days of malaise into ``a shining city on a hill,'' and the American people will never forget it.
Now, I'm not saying these nice things about Ronald Reagan in case he decides to run for President again in 1996. Though I'll confess, if it weren't for a little something called the 22d amendment, he'd be now well into his 12th year of the Presidency. And I'd be going to funerals halfway around the world.
But I say these compliments because the President had that unique ability to peek around the corners of history. Look to Berlin, where a wall has crumbled. Look from Kuwait to Panama, where those once enslaved have been set free. President Reagan predicted communism would land in the dustbins of history, called it the ``evil empire.'' And today imperial communism is not merely E - V - I - L, it is D - E - A - D, dead. So, Mr. President, on behalf of all who love freedom -- and look at these signs around here from different countries all over the world -- we thank you very much.
Now, as the President said, with the cold war over -- and let me say this. Let me interrupt here and just say, I see these POW - MIA banners. We must never, ever forget the POW's and MIA's. And I can assure you we're not going to do that.
With the cold war over, we face a world of transition. Last week in Detroit, I talked about some of those economic changes: the defense industry's adjustment to a more peaceful world; the competitive restructuring of our industry; and most important, the globalization of our economy. No State has felt this transition more than California. And I understand that.
My opponent looks at all that is happening and says we are a nation in decline. He says we are ridiculed and that our economy is sliding below Germany, heading south toward Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka. Come on, Governor, stop picking on small southern states who can't help their leaders take them -- can't tell where they take them.
You know, Governor Clinton has it wrong, dead wrong. America is not a nation in decline. We are on the rise. And the lights in the shining city will still shine if we but make the right choices today.
Last week I laid out my plan, my agenda for America's renewal, a comprehensive game plan to create a trillion economy by early in the next century. And my agenda keeps faith with the crusade we called the Reagan revolution. It will decrease what Government must do and increase what individuals may do. It shows what the differences are in the 1992 election: two candidates, two philosophies, two agendas, a Grand Canyon of a divide.
And on the one hand -- the left hand, naturally -- stands my opponent, a man who started in politics with the McGovern campaign -- --
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. -- -- a politician nearly all of his adult life, a man who has known virtually no avocation beyond getting elected.
And on the other hand, you're looking at a man proud to have spent half my life in the private sector working for a living, built a business, met a payroll. And from my own experience, I know that Ronald Reagan had it right: The American people aren't undertaxed; the Government in Washington is overfed. If we had more Congressmen like these sitting here, you wouldn't be yelling, ``Clean House!'', and I wouldn't be having the problems I'm having with this darned Congress. Send us more like these men.
Take a look at how to get the economy moving again. Just last week, Governor Clinton was interviewed by Tom Brokaw. And his first words were advocating a tax increase. He wants at least, listen, he wants at least 0 billion in new spending, 0 billion in new taxes, just to start.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. His ideas could lead to a new training tax and a new payroll tax for his health care scheme. They say that President Reagan thought every day was the Fourth of July. Well, Governor Clinton seems to believe that every day is April 15th. And when it comes to taxes, think of him as Willie Brown with a saxophone. We don't need that in Washington, DC.
I want to take America in an entirely different direction. I have a specific plan to cut the growth of mandatory Government spending by almost 0 billion in the next 5 years. We'll get those taxes down, and we'll get this economy moving again.
Audience members. Viva Bush! Viva Bush! Viva Bush!
The President. What about foreign trade? Ronald Reagan's ``peace through strength'' made the United States the dominant military presence around the world. And now I want to build on that legacy with a strategic network of trade agreements to keep America an export superpower and an economic superpower. That's why we negotiated the North American free trade agreement, to build the world's largest free-trade zone from Manitoba to Mexico, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for the working men and women in America.
And my opponent's position on free trade? Well, first he was for it, and then he changed his mind. And now he says firmly: ``When I have a definitive opinion, I will say so.'' Governor Clinton, here's my opinion: Americans never retreat; we will always compete. And we will always win.
Small business, small business is the backbone of the California economy, begging for relief from taxation, regulation, and litigation. Did you know that each year consumers and companies spend up to 0 billion on direct payment to lawyers? Americans want to know: If an apple a day keeps a doctor away, what works with a lawyer? Well, I have a plan to give business and workers relief by getting rid of these crazy lawsuits. And as a nation, we must sue each other less and care for each other more.
My opponent doesn't think this is a problem. Listen to the president of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, and I quote, ``I can never remember an occasion where Governor Clinton failed to do the right thing where we trial lawyers were concerned.'' While Governor Clinton's in the corner sponging the trial lawyer's brow, I want to get in the ring and strike a blow against all those crazy lawsuits.
And another thing. My opponent says that all this talk of family values is irrelevant. And he's been doing a lot of fearmongering lately, talking about how we want to divide America. You know what I mean when I talk about strengthening the American family. I don't mean to go back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Families are measured not by ``what kind'' but ``how close.'' I speak of strengthening the American family because I believe in dealing not with symptoms but with root causes. You ask Governor Wilson or any Governor, any mayor, any teacher, any preacher: The surest way to strengthen America is to strengthen the American family.
And that's why I want parents, not the Government, to choose their kids' day care. And I want parents, not the Government, to choose your kids' schools. And Pete Wilson is right. We need a welfare system that convinces families to stick together and fathers to stick around.
And about the military. Of America's place in the world, Governor Clinton talks the talk, says he's for a strong military. But he walks the walk of the liberals whose idea of high-tech weaponry is the super-soaker squirt gun. And he wants to slash our budget, our defense budget. He wants to cut it billion beyond what the military experts and our civilian experts tell me is right. These cuts would cost as many as one million jobs in defense, especially in California's hard-hit aerospace industry. He also wants to gut one of Ronald Reagan's greatest legacies, the Strategic Defense Initiative. And he shouldn't do that. We can't let him do that.
Maybe Governor Clinton is simply confused about what exactly SDI does. After all, last week you heard him talk about Patriot missiles, the missiles we used to shoot down Saddam's Scud missiles. Here is what Governor Clinton said of our Scud busters: They go through doors or down chimneys. Whoops! That's not the Patriot. The Patriot shoots down other missiles. Governor Clinton may be a Rhodes scholar, but he is no rocket scientist.
And so here it is.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Here's the sum of it. We have a real clear choice in this election: on to the future with conservatives or back to the drawing board with the liberals; to build on the entrepreneurial policies that Ronald Reagan started or to go back to the liberal agenda that made America look finished.
And I know we have big challenges before us. But following Governor Clinton's prescription for our economy would be like going back to the used car lot, picking up the lemon you sold 12 years before. Only this time it would have higher prices from inflation, skyrocketing interest rates for credit, and a hot air bag thrown in. America, this is not a deal for you.
Like the whole world, America is going through an age of transition. But there's clear sailing ahead if we make the right choices today, if we put our faith in our people, not in Government, if we build to the future, not protect the past.
President Reagan taught us many things. And his first lesson was the enduring power of ideas. In America, the best ideas always triumph. And yes, the polls tell me that we're behind today, but on November 3d, I have no doubt we will finish first. We will win it because our ideas are right for America, and our ideas offer the best hope of matching the peace around the world with the peace of mind here at home. If you believe in these ideas, I ask you to join this crusade to renew America, to make this fair Nation safer, stronger, and more secure.
Thank you, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you all very much. You guys did great. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 2:25 p.m. at Yorba Regional Park. In his remarks, he referred to entertainers the Gatlin Brothers and to Willie Brown, Jr., speaker of the California State Assembly. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.