Public Papers - 1992
Remarks on Concluding a Whistlestop Tour in Grand Blanc, Michigan
The President. Thank you very, very much. Thank you. Four more, that's it, 4 more of them. Thank you very, very much, Governor Engler. You have a great Governor in the State of Michigan. Thank you, John Engler. May I salute Mrs. Engler and thank Mayor Crane. Thank you all for this fantastic hospitality. And may I salute Dick Chrysler and Megan O'Neill, both of whom are running for the United States Congress. It's great to have two great people running for the Congress. Let us clean House, change the Congress. Get rid of that tired old leadership, and get some new blood in there. Clean House!
And may I salute the three great bands who are here: the Grand Blanc High School Cats, Montrose High School, and Davison High School. You make us all feel welcome. Barbara and I want to thank all of you for this unbelievable reception there. You know, this is the end of a 233-mile tour across America's heartland, building momentum for this election. And you give a guy a feeling of confidence. I am absolutely convinced we are going to beat that Governor of Arkansas and win this election.
You know, for 233 miles, we've been hanging off the back of this marvelous train, waving to people. We've seen some incredible sights: kids and pets and rolling farmlands and factories, thousands and thousands of enthusiastic Americans. We've also seen some great signs out there. One of them said, ``Blow the whistle on Bill.'' That's exactly what we're here to do. Then we must have -- saw one guy who obviously was a student of the Arkansas environmental record of Governor Clinton. His sign said, ``Arkansas fish for Bush.'' The fish are tired down there of all that pollution. It's the only place they light up at night. [Laughter] You talk about the environment -- take a look at that Arkansas River, and I'll have more to say about that in a minute.
We've even seen some chickens along the way. Here's one back here. But I can't figure out if that chicken is talking about the draft. I can't figure that out. Or maybe he's talking about that Arkansas River again, where they're dumping that -- I've got to be careful here -- that fecal, some kind of bacteria, into the river. Too much from the chicken. [Laughter]
You know, this election is like every election, a referendum of what kind of America we want for the young people that are here today. And we have laid out a renewal plan. We call it the Agenda for American Renewal. It is a comprehensive and integrated plan so that in the 21st century America will reign as the economic superpower of the entire world. We still have the best economy in the whole world. Now let's make it better.
Tomorrow in Dallas some supporters of Ross Perot will gather to hear what both campaigns have to offer. And we're going to send a team just to make a case for the agenda that I offer for America. Mine is the only agenda that includes cutting the growth of mandatory Government spending, cutting the size of Government, and reducing the Federal deficit because that is the way to give the kids here today a better America tomorrow. I'm afraid that Governor Clinton offers more of the old big taxes, big Government; no serious plan to control the deficit. And when you compare our ideas, it is a very clear choice. He wants to do what is right to win an election, and I want to do what is right to win the global economic competition.
Well, you might say, how are we going to do it? Down the street a little bit is a small business called Impact Auto Collision. The owner of that business lost his job with GM so he decided to start his own business, and today it's going strong. This is the story of human renewal, a story of American renewal. It is happening all across America. No people are more resilient than the American people. No people can rise better to any challenge if Government pursues the right policies. Send me a Congress that will help, and we will pursue the right policies for the next 4 years.
You see, I believe that small business is going to create the real opportunity and the new jobs in this economy. Bill Clinton looks at small business as the goose that laid the golden egg. And he wants to tax you. I see small business as the sturdy house, that sturdy horse that's going to pull the American economy into the next century. And I want to give you relief from taxes and build a strong residence, a strong house, a strong economy for everybody.
You know, our legal system today is another thing. He refuses to change it. He's in the pocket of the trial lawyers. And our legal system today is careening out of control. Doctors are afraid to deliver babies. Some guys are afraid to coach Little League because they get sued. Some are afraid to stop at a highway accident for fear somebody will sue them later on. And the victims in the car crash sometimes, therefore, lose out because of outrageous lawsuits. And as a nation, we've got to stop that. We've got to sue each other less and care for each other more. Help me put a cap on these outrageous lawsuits. As a nation, we've got to sue each other less.
But Bill Clinton wants to go another way. He wants to increase Government regulation, not cut it. Listen, here's what he wants to do on automobiles. You all know something about automobiles. He wants to go to 40 or 45 miles per gallon on these CAFE standards. And there's a couple of problems with this idea. Scientists say we can't do it. It could throw 40,000 Michigan auto workers out of work. Help me defeat Governor Clinton and those crazy environmental standards. We've got a good record on the environment, far better than this chicken has in Arkansas. And I want you to know that we've got a good one, but we don't have to come down on the side of throwing auto workers out of their jobs. I am not going to do that.
I want to see us fundamentally reform our Government. Governor Clinton says he's for change, but he opposes the single most important change offered this year. You see, he is against it, and I am for it. I want to limit the term for Members of the United States Congress. I want to see some change in there. A President's terms are limited; why shouldn't Congress be limited?
While I'm trying to find ways to build America up, the only way Governor Clinton can win is to tell everybody how bad everything is. And for 11 months he's been doing just that, tearing down America. He says we are somewhere less than Germany but a little higher than Sri Lanka. And to him I say: Open your eyes, Governor Clinton. We are the most respected nation on the face of the Earth. And one of the reasons is when we were faced with a tyrant halfway around the world, and the President had to make a tough choice, I didn't do what he did, be on one side of the issue one day, another the other. I said, we are going to have to fight for what is right. We did it. The young men and women of Desert Storm restored the pride to the United States. And I am proud of that role. And I am proud of this record. And I'll stand for it. To listen to Governor Clinton and Gore talk, you'd think foreign affairs and national security means nothing. I am very proud that every young person here today goes to bed without that same fear of nuclear war that their predecessors had. That is progress, and we should be grateful for it.
Now, we're talking about blowing the whistle on Bill. But you see, the people of Arkansas are good and decent folks, and they deserve another leader down there who will give them a better deal. But let me tell you what happened. Governor Clinton says he wants to do for the national economy what he's done for Arkansas. But if you look at his record you'll see that's not a promise, that's a threat. He's extended and raised the sales tax over and over again. He taxed groceries. He taxed mobile homes. He doubled the tax on gasoline. And he even raised the tax on beer. I don't think we need that now for the United States at our level.
Governor Clinton says he's seen the light. In this campaign, he's proposing already 0 billion in new taxes plus at least 0 billion in new spending. But don't worry, he says, we can take it all from the rich guys, people with over 0,000. But here's the problem. Here's the truth. To get the money he needs for this plan, the 0 billion he's promised in new taxes, Governor Clinton would have to raise tax rates on every individual with over ,600 a year in taxable income. That is ,600. These are not the people on the ``Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'' These are not people that are driving Jaguars. These are people who are hard at work every single day. And we cannot let him do that to the working men and women of this country.
But it's even worse, if you can take a little more bad news here. Governor Clinton has promised a new program every time he makes a speech. He's got more answers than there are problems, but he hasn't said how he'll pay for them. We'll need hundreds of billions of dollars more, beyond the tax increases that he's already proposed. So don't kid yourself. When Governor Clinton is pulling promises out of the sky with one hand, he's pulling dollars out of your wallet with the other. We cannot let that happen to the American people.
Hey, listen, you don't have to take my word for it. Listen to the Pine Bluff Commercial, a paper right in his home State, right in his home area. And they said this: ``If Congress followed the example that Bill Clinton set as Governor of Arkansas, it would pass a program that hit the middle class the hardest.'' And I am not going to let him do that to the American people. You know Grand Blanc. Let me tell you what it would do to somebody right here. Let's say you've got a good job. Let's say you're earning 38,000 bucks a year in taxable income. Governor Clinton would have you give another ,700 to the tax man. And I say that you ought to be free to use that money to pay for your kids' education or to pay the mortgage on your house and not send it to Washington, DC.
Governor Clinton says, ``Forget my record.''
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Governor Clinton says -- you know, here's what gets me -- he says, ``I'm a different kind of Democrat.'' He says. But what's different about him? George McGovern, he worked for George. Jimmy Carter, he voted for him, brought us the highest ``misery index'' in modern time. Michael Dukakis, he nominated him. And he didn't forget Walter Mondale, he borrowed his tax increase from him. Different? What's so different about that?
I'll tell you one real worry I've got. Just think about him teaming up with those spending Democrats on Capitol Hill. I've had to pass 33 vetoes to protect the taxpayer against those maniacs. So imagine what it would be if they controlled both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. We'd have a rubber-check Congress. That's what they are. And we'd have a rubber-stamp President. And you watch out for your wallet if that ever happens.
So I say forget his plans to spend more and tax more. You deserve to keep your hard-earned dollars, and you can invest them better than any Government bureaucrat. And when it comes to the Presidency, we simply must not take a risk. This is serious business. The decisions you face in the Oval Office are not easy decisions. You can't be on one side of the issue one day and then on the other the other day. You can't keep everybody happy. You've got to be honest. You've got to call them as the umpire does, call them as you see them, take the heat when it comes with it. And you can't waffle around, whether it's on your record in the military or whether it's on your service as the Governor, or wherever it is. You've got to call them straight. And I am asking for your trust for another 4 years.
I honestly believe that that big Government philosophy is wrong for America at this time. And any way you cut it, I believe Governor Clinton, with this philosophy of tax and spend, is the wrong man to be President of the United States. I hope I have earned your trust for 4 more years in this high office. You know, I'll take my share -- --
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. When you make a mistake in life, you ought to admit it. You ought to stand up and admit it. And I've taken my share of the heat, and I'm perfectly prepared to do that. But I want to point out that it isn't just the United States that had difficulties. The entire world has been in a bit of a global recession. And there isn't one country in Europe that wouldn't trade their economy for the economy of the United States of America, our problems notwithstanding.
And the nations that have gone downhill are the ones that have endorsed the Clinton plan of more taxes, more socialist ideas, more Government. We don't need that. The nations of Europe now that are recovering are on the road for democracy and freedom, and that's what we want to keep here, and that's what we want to help extend around the world. So we must not adopt for the great United States the failed strategies that are being rejected in Europe. We're not going to take a risk by socking it to the middle class right here in this country.
You know, I think our world is filled with great opportunity, unlike any that we have known before, if we in America can rise to the challenge. We have stood fast for freedom. And now the world is embracing our ideas. And in this election, I stand for freedom, freedom from big Government, freedom from the arrogance of the bureaucrat, and freedom from the long arm of the tax man. That's the kind of freedom we need more of in the United States of America.
At the end of this trip -- I came here to ask for your support. We've got a lot of reasons. I happen to think we've got the best First Lady in the entire world. And I think when she reaches out her hands to the kids in teaching them to read, she's setting an example for family. And when she holds an AIDS baby in her arms, she's showing the kind of compassion that all Americans feel. And I want to find ways through choice in schools and choice in education to strengthen the American family. The heartbeat of America is our family, and we ought to strengthen it, not tear it down by lousy welfare programs and things that don't work.
We have a great country, and we can make it even greater. So thank you for this fantastic turnout today. It is good for the soul. It makes me more convinced than ever that I will have 4 more years to finish the job.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Let this chicken back here tell you what's wrong about America. I'll tell you what's great about it. We are the freest, fairest country on the face of the Earth. Now let's make it even better.
Thank you, and may God bless each and every one of you.
Note: The President spoke at 3:30 p.m. on the observation deck of the Spirit of America train. In his remarks, he referred to Greg Crane, Mayor of Grand Blanc, and an audience member dressed in a chicken costume.