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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks on Arrival in Chattanooga, Tennessee


The President. Thank you very much.

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

The President. Four more. Four more. That's what we need. What a great Tennessee welcome. Thank you all. Thank you so much.

Audience members. We love you, George.

The President. Thank you. Thanks for that Chattanooga welcome. Let me thank two special guests with us today: of course, an old friend of mine and Barbara's, Ricky Skaggs, one of the great entertainers, great American; and also, I'm the one that's honored to be introduced by Naomi Judd, also a great American talent. I love country music, because country music loves America. Today we get to hear it all across Tennessee.

May I also welcome those others here standing with me: Senator Howard Baker, one of the great leaders of this country. All across the country we hear words of ``Clean House! Clean House!'' People are tired of the Democrats that have controlled Congress for 38 years. And if we had more like Don Sundquist here and Jimmy Duncan, we wouldn't be yelling that. But we need more. Where's Zach? Here's a way to help clean -- get Zach up there.

May I pay my special respects to the Forrester Sisters. The Forrester Sisters are here. I'm told that they have a popular song called ``I Choose You Again.'' Well, I take that personally.

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

The President. I've got to get this going here. This campaign, like every campaign, is about a very simple question: What kind of America do we want for the young people here today? I'll tell you the kind of America that I want, an America that is not just a military superpower but the greatest economic superpower in the world and an export superpower.

I have laid out a detailed agenda for America's renewal, a specific, comprehensive, integrated agenda to create in America the world's very first trillion economy. We can do it if you give us the support in Congress and reelect me for 4 years.

The other side acts like foreign affairs and national security means absolutely nothing, but I am very proud of our leadership in winning the cold war and proud of the way the sons and daughters of Tennessee stood fast and proud in the sands of Saudi Arabia, standing up against aggression.

Now I want to use that leadership and that experience in international affairs to lead the new market for American products, because that is how we will create more good jobs for the greatest workers on the face of the Earth, the American worker. And if we're going to compete in the global economy, and I'm confident we will, we've got to reduce that budget deficit and remove the burden from the backs of these kids that are here with us today.

Governor Clinton has gone through the entire Federal budget -- --

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. -- -- and he has spelled out exactly one Federal program he would cut out, and that is the million Federal honeybee subsidy. Believe me, no one will be stung by that courageous decision on the part of the Governor of Arkansas.

I have put specific programs forward to eliminate 4,000 projects, 246 programs, and to control the growth of the spending that's out of control, the mandatory spending programs, saving almost 0 billion over the next 5 years. But I want to go further. I want that line-item veto to discipline the Congress. I want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to discipline that spendthrift Congress. I want to give you, the taxpayer, the right to make a check on your income tax return, earmarking up to 10 percent of your tax return to go to reduce the Federal deficit. If the Congress doesn't have the guts to take a whack at the budget deficit, let the taxpayers have the ax and give it a try.

You know, I'm proud -- this guy's fired up over here. I am proud of my record, and I'll stand by it in November. But if Governor Clinton, candidate Clinton, wants to talk about the past, let's look at what's been going on over in the great State of Arkansas, and they're wonderful people there. But let's look at the record. There's a lot you don't know about my opponent, and the more you find out, the more you know that he is wrong for America.

Look at health care reform. Take a look at health care reform. We need it desperately. But he says, no more pressing problem faces America. And yet after five terms in office, 40 percent of Arkansas residents don't have health insurance with their jobs, one of the highest rates in the entire Nation. We can do better than that.

It's the same on every issue. Tennessee's a fairplay State. Governor Clinton says he's for civil rights. But Arkansas doesn't even have a basic civil rights law. He says he's for clean environment, but the Institute for Southern Studies ranked Arkansas fifth in environmental policies.

And I'm told that there's a new aquarium in town, and maybe they'll have a live fish from the polluted White River in Arkansas. No, really, that would be a rare species exhibit. [Laughter] I love to fish. Sometimes I fish at night. In the river over there, you can fish at night because the fish light up at night from the pollution in that river.

You talk about a polluted river, you talk about cheap chicken -- I've got to be careful -- chicken fecal coliform bacteria. That's what dumps into the river. It's the only place where the mother fish don't teach their fish to swim. They teach them to jog, it is so polluted in that Arkansas river. A lousy record. We don't need that for the United States.

You know, Bill Clinton says -- here's another issue, one of real concern, because when I see the police officers here, members from the sheriff's department, I think of our bill hung up in the Congress to back these law enforcement officers, to support them because they're supporting our families. But Bill Clinton says he's tough on crime? Listen to this: Arkansas prisoners get let out of jail after serving one-fifth of their sentence.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. And his hometown police force endorse me for President of the United States of America.

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

The President. You guys are too much.

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

The President. I will continue to battle in the Congress, with the help of these Congressmen, to get a crime bill that gives a little more sensitivity and support for the victims of crime and a little less for the criminals themselves.

I know that many families are worried, and I know we've had some really tough economic times. But understand, we are being affected not just by what's at home but by a global economic slowdown. Our competitors in Europe would trade places with us in a minute. Yet Governor Clinton offers America the European social welfare state policy: more Government, more regulation, more special interest spending, and spending more taxes, tax bills, putting more taxes on the middle class. We simply cannot let that happen to our great country.

He's been going after me for 11 months, but how about this one? Governor Clinton raised and extended the sales tax, including a tax on baby formula, vegetables, and other groceries. He raised the gas tax. He raised the tax on mobile homes. And for those of you ESPN watchers, he even taxed cable TV. And then for good measure, he put a tax on beer. Try that one on.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. But now, here's good tidings of great joy. Governor Clinton says he's seen the light. In this campaign he is proposing at least 0 billion in new taxes, plus at least -- that's not the worst of the news -- a 0 billion new spending bill. Don't worry, he's going to take it all out of the very rich, those that make -- the top 2 percent.

But here is the problem, and here is the truth. To get the money he needs for this plan of his, the 0 billion he's promised in new taxes, he would have to get his money from every individual with a tax income over ,000. That is not the ``Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'' That is going after your pocketbook.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. We're going after him. Don't you worry about it. Just the start of his tax campaign -- wait a minute, you haven't heard the worst of it. I'm sorry, that's just the start of his tax campaign against the middle class. He will need hundreds of billions of dollars more to pay for all the spending programs he's promised. He's going after the nurses, the teachers, the hardware store owners. I say you can spend your money better yourself on your home or educating your kids.

Ask him about it, and he'll take both sides. He'll say, on the one hand, I'm for you, and on the other, I'm for you over here. And when you're President of the United States you've got to make the tough decisions. You can't waffle. You can't go around like a chameleon all the time. You've got to say what you're for and vote that way.

I'll give you an example. I think of the sons and daughters of Tennessee that served in Desert Storm as among the most patriotic people in the entire world. Consider Governor Clinton's principled stand on both sides of the Gulf war when he said, and here is an exact quotation -- remember now, this man wants to be Commander in Chief -- and here is the exact quotation, ``I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote, but I agree with the arguments the minority made.'' What kind of leadership position is that?

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. He's like that on a lot of issues. He turns up in more places than Elvis Presley. You know, I saw a tape on this the other day, looking right into the camera saying, ``I will not run for President. I will finish my 4 years if you people of Arkansas elect me.'' The very next year he says, ``I'm running for President.'' One day he says he's for the North American free trade agreement, and then he says, ``Well, I've got to study it. I haven't made up my mind yet.'' One day he says the middle class deserves a tax break, and the next day he's plotting new ways to hit the middle class for all his programs. One day he's for an automobile fuel efficiency standard, CAFE standard, of 45 miles per gallon. And that would throw a lot of Tennessee auto workers out of their jobs. The next day he says, ``Well, I'm studying it.'' When you're President of the United States, privileged to sit in that Oval Office, you've got to make a decision. You cannot sit there being all things to all people.

We do not expect the man to win, but don't expect him to level with the American people. If he ever got to be President, we'd have to take off the American eagle as our symbol and put on a chameleon. We don't need that for the head of the United States of America.

So it boils down to this -- I'm having fun because for 11 months I've wanted to go after this guy and his record, and now we're doing it. It is great.

It simply boils down to this: We cannot take a risk on Governor Clinton to become President Clinton. You know, I've been in that Oval Office, and I've faced some tough decisions, made some mistakes, hopefully called a lot of them right. But believe me, I've tried hard to be a good and principled leader, willing to make the tough calls. I am a leader whose ideas are right for the United States of America.

So I came here to this great part of Tennessee today, asking for your support so I can go to work with a new Congress to fix the problems that stand in our way. We've got to reform our health care system, reinvent our public schools.

And let me salute Lamar Alexander, our great Secretary of Education. What a job he has done. For Lamar and for me it's not enough to change things. We want to reinvent them and back up our teachers and the people, the local people that know what's best for Tennessee education.

We're going to reinvent the schools, and then we want to retain the workers from one generation and create jobs for the next. So that we can cut Government spending, cut these taxes to get this economy moving again, and pass term limits for Members of Congress and give the Government back to the people.

Let me tell you something. I am very proud that I served our country in the uniform of the United States of America. That helped me make a tough decision when Saddam Hussein moved out and tried to take over another country. Again, I salute every person in the United States that was willing to stand up and fight against aggression and for the United States of America and for freedom.

As the result of what happened, you have ancient enemies talking to each other in the Middle East. You have democracy on the move, and Russia -- who would have thought that possible. You have far less fear of nuclear war today than when I became President of the United States.

Now what we've got to do, and what I can do with your help, is to take that same principled leadership and lift up and renew America. I ask for your support for 4 more years as President of the United States.

May God bless our great country. May God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2:15 p.m. at Lovell Field. In his remarks, he referred to Zach Wamp, Republican candidate for House of Representatives in Tennessee's Third Congressional District.

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