Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Cornelia, Georgia
The President. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Four more! Thank you all very, very much. Thank you for this great Cornelia, Georgia, welcome. It's a beautiful day in Georgia, and it's a bright day for the United States. We are going to win this election.
You know, all across the country I see signs, ``Clean House!'' I'd like to see a new Congressman in Washington, Dan Becker. But while we're talking about it, while we're talking about it, let's do something great. Let's clean Senate and send Paul Coverdell to the United States Senate.
I was so pleased to be accompanied on this trip by one of the truly great American public figures, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. What a great American he is. And also proud to have at my side in this campaign, as in the last, one of the great young, upcoming Governors of the country, Governor Carroll Campbell of South Carolina.
And may I thank Russ Spangler for arranging all of this, being our master of ceremonies. And let me say this: I am sorry that she's not with us -- she was in Norcross and is now off in another State -- but I think in Barbara Bush we have the best First Lady in a long, long time. She sends her love. She sends her love. And let me put it this way: It's great to be in the land of the free and the home of the Braves. Chop 'em.
Forget all these polls. Forget them. We are going to win on election day. We're going to show America it ain't over 'til Cabrera swings. And by the way, I'll make a confession. I don't like -- I don't watch them anymore -- I don't like these Sunday morning inside-the-beltway talk shows emanating from Washington. I'm going to sic Rick Flair on some of those talking heads. I'm glad he's here with us today, great American sports figure and a wonderful guy.
Now, I've got to ask you a question: Did anyone see the debate last night? Well, it seems to me we had a good, clean shot to go right into the living rooms across Georgia and across the United States and to lay out a choice for the American people, a vast difference in experience, a vast difference in the philosophy, and a vast difference in character among those who want to be President. A scary moment in the debate came when Governor Clinton said, ``I want to do for America what I've done to Arkansas.'' We can't let that happen.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Hey, listen, we've got a lovely day out here. But let me just click off a few statistics. I don't want to sound like Governor Clinton, but I've got a few statistics of my own. Fiftieth, here's Arkansas for you, 50th in environment initiatives; 49th in schools, students with high school diplomas; 45th in the overall well-being of children; income, jobs, wages lag the entire Nation. We must not let him do to us what he has done to Arkansas.
My feisty little friend from Texas, Ross Perot, had one thing right. He said the grocery store is no preparation for Wal-Mart. Well, I think the man's on to something.
But you know, on the economy, we've had a tough time. We're caught up in a global slowdown, in some areas, a global recession. Governor Clinton talks about the United States being less than Germany and more than Sri Lanka. He ought to open his eyes. We are still, in spite of our problems, the envy of the world. What I want to do is help America jobs recover. The way not to do that is do what Clinton wants. He wants to raise your taxes by 0 billion and spend 0 billion more just for openers out of Washington, DC, and we cannot let him do that to the American people.
He says, ``Oh, let's let the rich guys pay it.'' There aren't enough of them. There are not enough Ross Perots out there. The middle class is going to have to pay. So do not elect somebody that starts out of the box saying, ``I want to raise your taxes, and I want to increase spending.''
It is my belief that Government taxes too much and spends too much. Help me right-size the Congress, right-size the Federal executive branch, and right-size the Government. With the new Members of Congress coming there, we are going to be able to sit down with them and change things and protect the taxpayer and the young people of this country.
I want to create more jobs. Exports have saved us. We have the most productive workers in the entire world, and I want to see us create more jobs in this country that will sell more competitively abroad. We can do it, and I believe we will.
We've got to reform our health care system. I think it's a crying shame that doctors don't dare deliver babies because they're afraid of a lawsuit. Or some of you guys won't coach Little League because you're worried some nutty parent's going to sue you, or some lawyer will get ahold of them. Or you pass an automobile accident on the street, and you're afraid to stop and help somebody because you're afraid a lawyer will come along, get the family of the victim to sue you. We can't do that. We've got to sue each other less and care for each other more. I need your help to make that change in this country.
The hope of the country is the young people here. The hope of the country are the Raiders. And we ought to give them the best possible education. That's why I favor school choice for parents, public, private, or religious schools. Help the parents strengthen the American family. The liberals don't like it when I talk about family values, but let me tell you something: When you come here to the State of Georgia, I think the Nation understands what I mean. We need to strengthen the American family through choice, teaching discipline, respect for the law enforcement officers. Help me strengthen the American family. And one way you do that is by getting better, tougher anticrime legislation.
Let me tell you this: In Arkansas, people go to jail, and they spend 20 percent of their term in jail. Under the Federal law, it's 85 percent. Let's pass some laws that have a little more concern for the police officers and the victims of crime and a little less for the criminals.
You know, one of the great meetings -- I have been privileged to be your President and have a lot of fascinating meetings in that marvelous Oval Office -- one of the very best was when I met with eight men from Little Rock, Arkansas, the other day. Grassroots, they could be the neighbors of everybody here in Cornelia. They came and said, ``We are for you.'' And they were the Fraternal Order of Police of Little Rock, Arkansas. That says something about who's going to support the law enforcement.
Now, give me your help in this next term in reforming the Government. Give me a balanced budget amendment. Make us live within our means. Give me a check-off that says every taxpayer can check up to 10 percent of his tax returns to go to lowering the deficit, and make the Congress adjust. If they won't, cut it across the board. Give the people the power. And give me those line-item vetoes so I can cut out the pork and protect you, the taxpayer. While we're at it, I'd like to see term limits for the United States Congress. They've been around there too long. The Presidency's term is limited. Let's give the Congress back to the people by limiting those terms.
You know, I had a chance last night in the debate to point it out, but Governor Clinton in the Richmond debate said it's not the character of the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' Let me tell you something. They are inseparable. They are locked. Barbara and I have tried to be good stewards and custodian of the American dream and of that precious White House. And we have exemplified, I hope, enough courage and enough statesmanship to merit the trust of the American people.
But character is important, and you cannot in that Oval Office be all things to all people. You go forward, and if you make a mistake, you say, ``Hey, listen, I was wrong about that one.'' But you keep on going, serving the people. Governor Clinton tries to be on every side of every issue, and you cannot have that as President of the United States.
I am very proud of the courage and backing I got from Georgia when I had the toughest decision of my life to make, and that is whether you send somebody else's son or daughter to fight for this country. I fought for my country, and that helped. But I'll say to you as President, it is not an easy decision. And Georgia backed me. The people here did.
But Governor Clinton said, ``Well, I agreed with the minority'' -- meaning let sanctions work and all of that; let's not commit ourselves -- ``but on the other hand, I would have voted with the majority.'' You cannot waffle as President of the United States of America. If he were a baseball fan he'd say, ``Well, I'm for the Blue Jays. But then, on the other hand, I may be for the Braves.'' I'm for the Braves, taking a firm commitment here. Give it to 'em. [Applause] You're right.
Let me say this: It's like Harry -- remember Harry Truman? They'd say, ``Give 'em hell, Harry.'' And he said, ``Look, I just tell the truth, and they think it's hell.'' I just tell the truth, and he thinks it's hell.
You know, I believe we're going to win this election. I'm absolutely confident in my heart of hearts. Don't believe these crazy polls. Don't believe these nutty pollsters. Don't let these guys tell you what you think. You have a debate, you see what you think. And then 2 seconds later some crackpot comes on and tells you what you think. We don't need that in the United States. They don't like it, but that's the truth.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Four more! That's what we need to get this job done.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Let me tell you something. You know, these days have been some difficult times. I've been blessed. You saw one of my sons here and my twin granddaughters here. And like a lot of people in this audience, I've been blessed by strong family, a wonderful wife to back you up when the going is tough. I want to serve 4 more years because I really want to help people.
I think we've got the best answer in health care. I think we've got the best answer in education. And there's another reason: I don't believe for one single minute that this Nation is a nation in decline. I've served; I understand the world. We're caught in something international here, and it is the United States of America that is going to lead the way to better lives for our people here, but also for a better world. And I want to continue this job.
I am grateful that these high school kids here go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war that their older brothers and their sisters had. And that happened under my Presidency.
So don't let people try to get into the White House by telling everything that is wrong with this great country. We are the greatest, the fairest, the best nation on the face of the Earth. And may God bless our country.
And thank you for this tremendous support. Thank you so much. I'll never forget it. A beautiful day in Georgia. Thank you. This gets me fired up for the next one. I can't tell you what this has done for my spirits. Thank you very, very much. God bless you all. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 4:15 p.m. on the observation deck of the Spirit of America train. In his remarks, he referred to professional wrestler Rick Flair.