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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks to the Community in Edison, New Jersey

1992-10-16

The President. Thank you very, very much. And I am delighted to be back here in New Jersey. Great to be in Middlesex County, and great to fly over in that helicopter with Governor Tom Kean. I wish he were still Governor of this State. While we're talking about good -- whoops -- got a Democratic bee here. [Laughter] Let me just say at the beginning that New Jersey needs Bob Franks and Al Palermo in Washington. We've got to clean House. Get Bob Franks and Al Palermo down there.

You know, this week on your TV screens you saw a spectacle of intense competition, breathtaking battle of wits and courage, a spine-tingling fight to the finish. I am talking about the Pirates-Braves game, of course. [Laughter] You know, I sort of identify with the Atlanta Braves, because politics is like baseball: It ain't over until the last batter swings. And we are going to win this election.

We're going to surprise the pundits -- what's this bee here? -- surprise the pundits, annoy the media, and hit a home run on November 3d. The reason is clear: Our ideas are better for America. My opponents, sorry opponents, pathetic, try to tell you that America is in decline, and we are not in decline. Not so. Our people are still the best educated, and our economy is still the most dynamic. Our companies and our workers are still more productive than any other in the entire world.

You know -- --

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

The President. You know, if we'd have listened to this nuclear -- --

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

The President. You know, we've led the United States through a very difficult global transition, and I am very proud that the world is safer for our kids. And does that matter? You bet it does. The fear of nuclear war is less.

We've kept our economy afloat when many of those European economies are drowning, and the Europeans would trade with us in one minute. We've kept inflation down. We've kept interest rates down. We have made our industries stronger and more competitive. And I am proud of our leadership.

For all his rhetoric about change, Bill Clinton offers a very old path: more Government, more regulation, and more taxes; more Government, more regulation, and more taxes.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. We must not let Clinton do this to our country.

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. All right. Listen to this program. Let me tell you about Governor Clinton's program. In June, Governor Clinton promised 0 billion in new taxes, plus 0 billion in new spending. I thought that would satisfy his appetite, but that's just an hors d'oeuvre, because ever since then Bill Clinton has made new promises, billion in new Government spending every single day.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Who is going to pay Bill's bill? Of course, Governor Clinton says he's only going to tax the rich. But everybody out there with ,000 in income better be ready, because he's going to sock it to the working people in this country.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. He'll go after the cab drivers and the teachers and the nurses and the middle class.

Let me say this: Higher taxes do not create new jobs. They destroy that. You've seen it when their man, Governor Florio, was elected. Governor Florio has too much taxes. So does Governor Clinton. That Florio-Clinton combination, they kicked half a million jobs out of New Jersey. When Governor Kean was here, we were building jobs.

But I have a very different agenda, a plan to control the growth of mandatory spending and get the taxes down so we can create good jobs, create them. We're going to win the new economic competition. Our Agenda for American Renewal includes the steps that we must take to create good jobs today and build a stronger America, and some of these ideas are being tried. But working with a new Congress, we're going to put this entire agenda into effect and get America moving, get rid of these Democrats from Congress and get them moving.

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. One way to do it is to tear down barriers to free and fair trade so that we can create good jobs for American workers. In the past 3 years, our exports to Japan have increased 12 times faster than our imports from Japan. Whether you shop in Tokyo or Trenton, chances are that the goods don't say ``Made in Japan'' or ``Made in Germany,'' they say ``Made in the United States of America.''

Today in New Jersey one out of every six jobs is tied into foreign trade. And the average export-related job pays 17 percent more than the traditional job. So if we want the sons and daughters of steel workers to have good jobs, we've got to fight for free and fair trade. Do it the New Jersey way, more exports.

We've already got a great new trade agreement -- one that Governor Clinton has waffled on. He waffles on everything. He's on one side and then the other. We've got a good trade agreement, and I'm going to fight for more trade agreements. Just as we once used our military alliances to win the cold war, we will use our economic alliances to win the new business war.

[At this point, audience members interrupted the President's remarks.]

I wish these draft dodgers would shut up so I can finish my speech. It's pathetic.

Audience members. Where was George? Where was George? Where was George?

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. You see -- these guys. Where was Bill?

Audience members. We want Clinton! We want Clinton! We want Clinton!

The President. No. You see, I'm glad we've led in foreign policy, because now we'll use those alliances that have made the world more peaceful to bring more prosperity to the workers right here in America.

I also want to do for the country what Governor Kean has tried to do when he was Governor here, change our schools. Make our education system better for all. I am proud of what we have done already. We have educational standards nationally for the first time in the history of this country. We want to let the parents choose the schools, public, private, or religious. Every parent should be able to choose his children's schools.

You know, I believe that small business is the backbone of our economy creating two out of every three new jobs. Bill Clinton wants to slap a tax on small business. I say if we really want to help small business, let's give them relief from taxation, regulation, and litigation.

Now, let me mention just another subject the New Jerseyans know about, and that is auto insurance. At the root of many of our problems is a legal system that is out of control. I want to do something about these crazy lawsuits. Governor Clinton and the trial lawyers do not want to do anything about it.

You know, 15 percent of American companies report that they have laid off workers because of high premiums from liability insurance. Experts estimate that over billion of our health care costs come from doctors and nurses doing unnecessary tests because they're afraid that a lawyer is going to sue them, and auto insurance costs continue to rise, as New Jerseyans know better than almost anyone. One big cause is our lawsuit-happy legal system. Thousands of people enter frivolous lawsuits for pain and suffering. But the lion's share of the benefits goes not to people who are injured but to the trial lawyers. I say we must reform our malpractice laws and our product liability laws.

When Congress comes back, I'm going to introduce a new proposal to allow all Americans to opt out of the so-called pain and suffering standard. You know, this reform allows States to go even further than New Jersey's landmark insurance reforms.

Audience members. Bill's a fake! Bill's a fake! Bill's a fake!

The President. Thank you very much.

But anyway, this proposal will save American drivers 20 to 30 billion dollars in insurance premiums every year.

So these are part of our Agenda for American Renewal. But the election is a lot more about other things, the best economic plan. It's about another virtue, and it's called trust. It's called trust. Who do you trust to be President of the United States?

You know, I've got to tell you, I enjoyed last night's debate, and I'm grateful to have a chance to have Americans compare my views with my opponents'. But it's difficult to debate Clinton because he comes down on every side of every issue. You can't do that as President of the United States. You've got to make a decision. You can't be popular to every group. And yes, he ought to tell the truth.

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. Thank you. Look, a lot of being President is about respect for that office and about telling the truth and serving your country. You are all familiar with Governor Clinton's various stories on what he did to evade the draft. He still has not leveled with the American people. He still hasn't told the truth.

Last night you heard Governor Clinton state that he was absolutely against allowing parents to use tax dollars to send their kids to private or religious schools. But he used to be for the idea.

What about limiting the terms of Members of Congress? I am strongly for it. He said he was interested, and now he's against it. Let's limit the terms of Members of Congress.

Just this morning in the Los Angeles Times, there's an article suggesting that Governor Clinton is already preparing yet another economic program, with billions of dollars more in new spending. But his advisers won't spell it out until after the election.

Now, you might say, why is this important? Because there's a clear pattern to Governor Clinton's past, a pattern of deception. Character does matter. A pattern of deception is not right for the Oval Office. You cannot be leader of the world, you cannot be leader of this country if you have a pattern of deception.

You know, last night Governor Clinton said he was not interested in my character. He said, I quote, ``I want to change the character of the Presidency.'' Well, let me tell you something. You cannot separate the character of the President from the character of the Presidency. They go together. You cannot be one kind of man and another kind of President. It is that simple.

You know, I've been there. I've had to make some tough decisions in that Oval Office. I hope this doesn't happen, but the next President who may have to send our young men, women in harm's way. And the next President will have to stand up to the special interests and that big-spending Congress. In the White House you cannot make everybody happy, and you have to level with the American people. He is not capable of doing that.

So my problem is this pattern of deception. We cannot have this pattern of deception brought into the Oval Office. I believe you cannot lead the American people by misleading the American people.

Now, you know, we've had Presidents from the South and from the North; Presidents who were rich, Presidents who were poor. But rich or poor, southern or northern, you must have integrity. And that's what it takes to lead this great land.

I think the American people are beginning, as they focus in on the final part of this election, they're saying: Who do you trust? Who do you believe? Who do you trust to be in the Oval Office?

You know, last night in that debate I asked the American people to imagine what would happen if a crisis occurred that could affect you and your family. Who would you prefer to lead in a crisis? And so this is the question that I'm going to ask all of you to ask when you go into that voting booth. I hope because of my character, my judgment, my ideas, that I have earned your trust to lead America again.

Thank you all, and may God bless you. Thank you for a wonderful rally. Thanks a lot. Thank you so much.

Note: The President spoke at 4:23 p.m. at Middlesex County Community College.

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