Public Papers - 1992
Remarks on Arrival in Longview, Texas
The President. Thank you very, very much. Thank you so much. It's an honor and privilege to be introduced by Florence Shapiro, not only the Mayor of Plano but going to be a member of the Texas Senate. We need her. She's typical of our great women leaders in our State of Texas. Thank you, Florence. I want to thank our State chairman, Jim Oberwetter, who is here somewhere; Rob Mosbacher, the Texas Victory '92 chairman; Barbara Patton, the Bush-Quayle cochairman; and our master of ceremonies, Jim Offutt. Let me say it's great to be back in east Texas, great, where the people understand the values that make this country strong.
You know, Longview brings back many memories. Back when I started a business out in west Texas and then down on the Gulf Coast, where I met a payroll, learned the basic truth about things like the role of Government and the power of the individual, I stood here at this very airport, I believe it was 22 years ago, and saw a former President come into this airport. And I am proud to be back here as President of the United States, asking for your support for 4 more years.
Here in Texas, I learned something, and I learned that prosperity doesn't come just from the hallowed halls of Government. It comes from the hard work, the imagination, and the industry of men and women like you here today. I'm grateful to you for coming out to this rally. I'm glad to see all the bands and participants here, glad to see the Kilgore Rangerettes. I wish they'd go up to Washington for a few days. They could go over and take a look at the Congress and put those high-kicking boots to good use, help us to ``clean House.'' You talk about kicking it, they're the ones to do it.
Now, you know, for the past few weeks I've been traveling the length and breadth of our country, and what a great country it is, stumping for the ideas that I believe in, the Agenda for American Renewal. I want to open new markets for our American products and new jobs for American workers. Americans never retreat; we always compete. And we always win. Let's open these foreign markets.
I have a fundamental difference with the Governor next door. I believe Government is too big and spends too much of your taxpayers' money. I want to do something about it. He wants to raise taxes and increase spending. I want to cut taxes and cut spending.
Good news today for the Nation, good news today on housing starts: They are up, the largest increase in 18 months. Inflation is down. Interest rates are down. Productivity is up. And the economy is poised for a recovery. We must not let Governor Clinton get in and tax it back into oblivion. I want to see incentives. I want to see incentives, and one of them ought to apply to the domestic oil business. We want to change the alternative minimum tax so we can get on with the business of developing more domestic resources and less dependency on foreign oil.
You know, it's small-business people, small-business women, small-business men that saved this economy when the going has been tough. They need relief from taxation, regulation, and yes, from litigation. As a nation, we spend up to 0 billion a year on lawsuits. As a nation, we ought to sue each other less and care for each other more.
I see a lot of young people here today and welcome. Let me say this about education: I want to give the young what they truly deserve, the finest schools in the entire world. I want to give every parent and every family the right to choose their children's schools, whether they're public, private, or religious.
You know, I believe the Governor next door, Governor Clinton, has made up his mind: The only way he can win is to tell everybody how horrible things are about this country. He has persisted on attacking me day-in and day-out, many of the attacks personal. He has distorted and, I would say, told the untruths about my record. This week, he unveiled -- started in, the first one to do it -- the first negative campaign ad. He's the one that says, watch out for the Republicans. Watch on the television, the first negative campaign ads in the Presidential race of 1992 belong to that sorry ticket of Clinton and Gore. It's a sad thing.
I have taken it for 11 months, listening to these guys. And I'll tell you today: I'm starting to dish it out and tell the truth about his record. So, this morning for openers, I went to the State of Missouri, and I laid out the Clinton record, just the facts, telling the truth. I'm stopping by these States, our State and others, that are neighbors to the State of Arkansas so that we can get past this campaign rhetoric of his and look at what he's done for the people of Arkansas or, should I say, done to the good people of that great State. Look, they are good, decent people next door. They are good, hard-working people, and they deserve better treatment than they've received from their Governor.
You know, the other side keeps talking, you hear him talking about debate, they want to change the rules from the debate rules that have been in effect for the last four Presidential campaigns. Now he wants to change them. But now they ought to have a debate. On the one hand, you ought to have candidate Clinton; he'd be over here. On the other side, promising everything, Governor Clinton. They ought to debate each other on the issues.
Each stop here along the way in this six-State swing, I'm talking about various issues. And let me talk today just about affordable health care, something that I am desperately interested in providing to every man, woman, and child in this country. As you might expect, my opponent and I have two vastly different ideas how to go about this. I want to use the competition to expand coverage, making insurance available to the poorest of the poor, to everybody else, everybody, preserve quality, and allow you to spend less of your paycheck on health insurance.
He has a different approach. He expresses so much enthusiasm for Government, he would have Government get involved in setting health care prices and perhaps eventually get involved in running our health care system. We do not need the Government to run it. We need to protect quality and provide insurance to all. You'd think he'd learn from the way the Democrats ran the House post office. They can't run that; they can't run a bank. Why in heaven's name do they think they can run the health insurance programs?
You know, this guy, he's too much. Up until a few weeks ago Governor Clinton pretended that his plan wouldn't cost a dime. But then someone at USA Today -- you know the paper that got him to admit what I've been saying all along: his plan would require a new payroll tax on the back of, you've got it, small business. Now, I don't know about you, but I think small-business men and women pay enough in taxes already. We cannot let him do this to the American economy.
You know, he says that health care should be a right, not a privilege. Yes, I think everybody should have health care. But yet, look at his record as Governor, not the candidate but Governor Clinton. Arkansas has one of the Nation's worst health insurance crises. More than 42 percent of Arkansas workers, decent, hard-working people, 42 percent, the second highest percentage in the entire Nation don't have employer-paid health insurance at all and a full 25 percent have no health insurance at all. He talks one way around the Nation; he delivers misery at home. We do not need that for the Nation.
You know, early last year in his fifth term as Governor, Governor Clinton finally signed a bill to provide bare-bones coverage to people who have gone uninsured for more than a year. Last fall, even his minimal plan had still not been implemented. Even today, not a single insurance company has ever set up a single policy for anyone under Governor Clinton's model program.
So, on this issue, on health care -- and I could be talking about the environment, whatever -- on this one, look at the Grand Canyon between the words of candidate Clinton, running around the country criticizing me, and the actions of Governor Clinton, which is a sorry record by any Texas standard.
I love fishing and hunting. I know everybody in east Texas does, too. I flew over some beautiful bass lakes, and I got thinking about Governor Clinton's record on the environment. Some of you may have tried to fish or swim in the Arkansas River. You may have heard that night fishing is catching on over there. The rivers are so polluted that the fish glow in the dark. He has a lousy record on the environment, and we across the line in Texas have a good record on the environment.
You know, on issue after issue he talks a great game, but his actions betray his words. While he makes promises, the workers, the decent, hard-working men and women of Arkansas, their standard of living weakens and their crime rate rises up faster than the rest of the Nation. Their children's test scores slip, and Governor Clinton cannot muster the courage to even put in a basic civil rights law like we have right here in Texas. Forty-eight States have them, but not Arkansas. That is not fair. There's not fairplay in Arkansas.
So in other words, what I'm asking the American people today on this six-State swing is to take a look at the record that he's laid down, and then compare that against the rhetoric that he's trying to take all across the country, and be careful, because it's slippery when wet. [Applause] You're right.
We've got a lot of challenges, and we have a lot of problems, but we've got a great future. I see that airplane sitting over there, and I don't want to start telling you war stories, but that's the kind of torpedo bomber I flew in World War II. I was shot down in that airplane in World War II, and I am proud that I served my Nation in combat. I am proud that since I have been President we have reduced the threat of nuclear war so young men and women go to bed at night without that awesome fear of nuclear war.
We have changed the world, and now I'm asking for your help to bring honor and decency right back here at home and change things to make things better for the people of Texas and the other 49 States. We can do it. We've got a sound record. We are on the right track. Now I need the help of the American people to guarantee 4 more years to finish the job.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. I am very proud to be back home. We are going to carry Texas, and we are going to win this election because we are right on the issues and because I have been telling the truth all along. Thank you very, very much.
May God bless you all. Thank you so very, very much for this wonderful rally. What a fantastic turnout. I love the signs, man. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 1:17 p.m. at Longview County Airport.