Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Gastonia, North Carolina
The President. What a fantastic welcome. Thank you, thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thank you very, very much. Thank you, Alex. Let me just say this about Alex McMillan and Cass Ballenger: If we had more men of distinction, people of their character, people wouldn't be saying, ``Clean House!'' Keep both these guys in the Congress, and send us a lot more like them.
May I say what a pleasure it is to be here with both the Mayors of Renlo and Gastonia. I'm delighted to be welcomed by both of them. In fact, for good luck we've even thrown in the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, over here, Mayor Vinroot. I'm delighted to see him. And, of course, I'm honored once again to be standing next to one of the truly great Governors in the United States, Jim Martin. You've been very, very lucky.
You've been very, very lucky for these last few years, and now I hope you'll keep this record going by sending Jim Gardner back to be Governor of this State. And also, when they yell, ``Clean House!'' they're starting to yell, ``Clean Senate!'' And well they should because we need Lauch Faircloth in the United States Senate.
I heard the introduction he got, but let me just put a P.S. on it: I am very honored to have with us one of the country's senior statesmen and most respected leaders in the whole country, Strom Thurmond. What a wonderful man he is.
I don't know if you watched the ball games, but I hope you see my Braves jacket because the Braves are going to win the World Series. Now, you've got the chop going. You got it.
Did any of you all watch that debate on Monday night? You said that, not me. Now, wait a minute. [Laughter] Well, I think we had a chance to lay out the choice before Americans, the vast difference on philosophy, on issues, and yes, the vast difference on character. Character matters.
We also had a chance to put into focus this man's record. This sign says it pretty well: 50th in environmental initiatives. I would add, 50th in percentage of adults with college degrees; 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice; 49th in per capita spending on police protection; 48th on percentage of adults with high school diplomas; 48th in spending on corrections; 46th, teachers' salaries; 45th in the overall well-being of children. And he said, ``I want to do for the country what I've done for Arkansas.''
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. We cannot put him in the White House. He's like a struggling Little League manager wanting to go to the Atlanta Braves. We're not going to have it happen.
I think the biggest difference between us really relates to what he calls change. He wants 0 billion in new taxes. He wants 0 billion new spending. And he wants trickle-down Government, big Government trickling down to the people, and we aren't going to let him get that.
Yesterday he backed off a little bit, once again flip-flopping, one side of an issue one day, one on another. Now he says, well, he didn't mean it, when they pointed out to him he would have to tax the middle class. And he said, ``Well, maybe I'll slow down reducing the deficit.''
We can get this deficit down by controlling spending and without raising taxes. That is my position.
He talks about change, change, change. The last time we got that kind of change we had interest rates at 21 percent; we had inflation at 15 percent; we wiped out every family budget. We do not need a liberal Democrat in the White House with this spendthrift Congress we've got. He talks about change. He talks about change. That's all you'll have left in your pocket if his program goes in, believe me.
So how do we help people? Here's the way we do it. We open up new markets for the products made right here in North Carolina. We have the best workers. Now expand our markets so those products can be sold in this interrelated world economy.
How do we do it? We put some incentive in there for small business. Big guys can take care of themselves. Give some incentives to small business to remove the regulation, help with the taxes.
We've got to do something about these crazy lawsuits. Governor Clinton is in the pocket of the trial lawyers. Let me tell you something: Up to 0 billion is spent on lawyers. We ought to sue each other less as a country and care for each other more.
We've got a good health care program. It's backed by these two Members of the Congress, a good program. Governor Clinton wants to get the Government setting the prices. I want to provide insurance to every American, help the middle class with tax credit, help the poorest of the poor with vouchers, get insurance provided for all, but keep America's quality of health care up while making it accessible to all. We've got to do that.
Education: We've got a good record; 1,700 communities across this country, some North Carolina communities in the lead, literally revolutionizing education. It is not good enough to have education refuse to change. We are going to do it. We are going to give parents a choice of schools, religious, public, or private. We've increased Pell grants for kids going to college by far more than any other administration. We're going to fight for choice, and we are going to make these schools better. But we're not going to do it by trickle-down Government, having Governor Clinton tell us how to run our schools all across this country.
You know, all along the line I see these police officers at these crossings, and it makes me count my blessings for those men and women who are out there defending our neighborhoods against the criminals. We need more strong anticrime legislation in this country. We need to back up our police officers more and have a little less concern about the criminals themselves. Nobody in this country is fighting harder for strong anticrime legislation than your neighbor and my friend Strom Thurmond. We owe him a vote of thanks for what he's doing.
The other day -- one of the best visits I've ever had in the White House -- we had a group of, I think it was six or eight men. They came to see me, and they said, ``We support you for President.'' They were the leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas, and they joined the National Fraternal Order of Police, saying, ``We've got to get strong legislation. We support President Bush for reelection.''
I don't think we need more of the status quo. I told you what it was like when Jimmy Carter left and when those liberal Democrats controlled both the White House and the Congress. Remember now, those interest rates were 21 percent. Inflation was wiping out every senior citizen; it was at 15 percent. And remember, it led us into a deep recession where unemployment got far higher than this today.
So what have we got to do? We've got to reform the Government. Send me new Members of Congress, and we will. Give me that line-item veto to cut down on the spending. Give the taxpayers a check-off on their tax returns. And if you care as much about the deficit as I do, check off 10 percent of your income tax and make the Congress and the White House cut that deficit by cutting spending.
I want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The Governors have it. Give it to the President, and let's get this country on the move. I want to give the Congress back to the people and get some term limits. The President's term is limited. Let's limit the Members of Congress.
My big difference with Governor Clinton, though, is -- --
Audience members. Clean House! Clean House! Clean House!
The President. Clean House! You've got it.
The big difference I've got with Governor Clinton relates to being on all sides of all issues. You know, as President you cannot do that. When I had to make a tough decision, a rather lonely decision, to commit the sons and daughters of North Carolina to battle, where was Governor Clinton? He said, well, I'm with the minority -- I'm paraphrasing -- I am with the minority -- they wanted sanctions to work; they wanted to let Saddam Hussein have it the way he was, and hoped we'd back him out -- I'm with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority. What kind of leadership is that? That is not leadership. That is pathetic.
We made a tough call, and we kicked Saddam Hussein out. We busted the fourth largest army, and we resurrected the image of the United States all around the world.
No, we do not need a pattern of deception. It isn't one single issue. It's not simply whether -- I'm still offended by the fact that anybody, when your country is at war, would go to a foreign country and organize demonstrations against the United States. I'm against that.
But it is not just that. It is this flip-flop and pattern of deception on one issue after another, whispering to one union what they want to hear and then going out and saying something different. Fuel efficiency standards, spotted owls, term limits, trade agreements, you name it: He is on both sides of the issue, and a President cannot do that. You simply cannot lead by misleading. I ask the American people to look at this Arkansas record and then listen to his rhetoric, and let's tell the truth to the people.
When that telephone rings in the Oval Office or at the White House late at night, and you have to make a decision, you cannot be all things to all people. If you make a mistake, you do what you people do. You stand up and say, ``I blew it. I was wrong. Let's go on about the Nation's business.'' But do not try to be something you're not. Do not try to tell them one thing and then do something else.
You notice the Sun just came out. Well, let me tell you something: That's what's going to happen on election day. Don't believe these crazy pollsters. Don't believe these nutty pollsters. You know my favorite bumper sticker: ``Annoy the Media. Reelect President Bush.'' They don't like it. They don't like it a bit. They don't like it, but I love the American people, and this train trip is fantastic. You get outside of that beltway; you take your case to genuine Americans. My case is the right case for this country, because I want to make life better for every kid here.
Let me tell you something. They say, what is your -- what accomplishments you like -- take the best out of? What do you like the most? I'm proud that we put choice in child care. I'm proud that we passed an ADA bill that says to the disabled, you have a shot at the American dream. I'm proud of what we did in clean air, try to help this environment so they'll have a better chance when they get older. But I'll tell you one thing that pleases me the most: We have lowered the threat of nuclear war so every kid here will have a safer future. That is good.
Now I ask your support, and I ask your help to get this economy moving again so we can make life better for every single young person here. With your help and with your support, I will be reelected President and will serve the people for 4 more years.
Thank you. And may God bless the United States of America. May God look after us. We are the world's leader. Let's keep it that way. Thank you very much. Thank you guys very much. Thank you. All aboard. All aboard. Thanks a lot. What a great rally. Thank you, kids. Chop 'em up. You got it.
Note: The President spoke at 10:25 a.m. beside the Spirit of America train. In his remarks, he referred to Joe Lawing, Mayor of Renlo; James B. Garland, Mayor of Gastonia; and Richard Vinroot, Mayor of Charlotte.