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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Remarks on Arrival in Trenton, New Jersey


The President. Thank you very, very much. Thank you, guys.

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

The President. Thank you, New Jersey. Thank you, Chris. You know, everyplace I go, you see these signs that say, ``Clean House!'' If we had more Congressmen like Chris Smith, we wouldn't be saying, ``Clean House!'' And I want to salute not only Chris but Governor Tom Kean. What a great job he did for this wonderful State. I want to thank the Mayor, Rosemary Pramuck, and everybody else who's done a superb job on this rally.

May I say that I am proud to share this stage with Joe Cicippio back here, a true American hero. Great courage, you talk about courage and stick with -- my heavens, that man has shown us all an awful lot. And we learn from that kind of courage in this country. I want to thank him for his perseverance. And I am proud that our policy of not negotiating has freed all the American hostages.

Well, I can hardly believe it, but 12 days from today, the fate of this country and, indeed, of the free world is in your hands. And I ask for your support for 4 more years to lead this Nation.

It's going to spell out -- --

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

The President. The question that Americans will answer and that the whole world will be watching for the answer to is: Whose idea do you trust to lead America out of this global recession, to create new jobs, and to keep trust and character in the White House?

For 11 months, Governor Clinton and the other liberal Democrats have been running around distorting our record. So I want to just spend a little time, not ruin this beautiful day in New Jersey but a little time to remind America of Governor Clinton's own record in Arkansas. Here we go: They are -- I think of this State and all we've done to work with the New Jersey officials to help clean up the beaches -- in Arkansas, his record is the 50th in quality of environmental initiative; 50th in percentage of adults with college degrees; 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice; 49th -- they're moving up -- in per capita spending on police protection; of their students that graduate from high school, 75 percent of those that go on to college need remedial education; 48th in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas; 48th in spending on corrections; 46th in teachers' salaries; 45th in the overall well-being of children. And the other night in that debate, he says, ``I want to do for America what I've done for Arkansas.'' No way.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. No way. It makes you think of the guy that's failed; he's 0 and 10 in the Little League, and he wants to manage the Braves. You can't do that.

He calls this change. He calls himself the candidate of change. Now, let's look a close look at what he offers. Chris mentioned it, 0 billion, this is for openers, 0 billion in new taxes; 0 billion in new spending. That is called trickle-down Government. It goes right from the top into your pocket. And we don't need that anymore. He says he's going to take it from the rich. I think everybody's heard that one before. He's not going to take it from the rich. If you drive a cab, teach school, trying to make ends meet in the household, watch your wallet, gang; he's coming after you. And we're not going to let it happen on November 3d.

He says he can work with Congress. I remember the last time we elected a southern Governor to go up there and work with this spendthrift Congress. Thank God we've got guys like Chris. Let me remind you of what it was like, though, because that's what he wants to do; program sounds identical. When Jimmy Carter left office, same kind of situation: inflation wiping out every senior citizen, every family, every saver with 15 percent; and interest rates, remember, 21.5 percent. We do not need that kind of change. Family budgets were wiped out, hopelessness and despair, the world standing, not even believe in the credibility of the President of the United States. And that was changed. And if you listen to that kind of change, change is all you'll have left in your pocket. We don't need that.

You heard my program the other night. We're going to get that Government spending down and get the tax rates under control and let the private sector provide the growth. Let small business move out and employ more people in this State.

I'm not the kind of guy that likes to attack the media. I like to needle them once in a while, though. You remember the bumper sticker -- who's got one of those bumper stickers? I'd like to show it to you. It's my favorite, there it is, my favorite bumper sticker, ``Annoy the Media. Reelect President Bush.'' It's great. It's fantastic. I sure hope they've got a good sense of humor back there. [Laughter]

But really, let me tell you this -- we'll see how they play it tonight on the news. In early October, this was just announced today, the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a 2-year low. Now, this is a good sign. We've still got big problems, but that's a good sign. We've had 3 months in a row with unemployment going down. But I don't hear too much noise about it out of here.

I'm not saying we don't have problems. We've got plenty of them. But we're not going to improve them by raising taxes and raising Government spending, I'll guarantee you that.

Here's what I want to do. I want to see us expand our markets abroad. You know, we've been in a global recession. The United States, you can't tell this from Clinton and Gore, the Ozone Man, but I'm telling you, the United States is leading all these world economies. It's not just my failure, if you listen to the Democrats. We're caught up in something global. And the way we'll get out of it is to increase our exports. New Jersey sells an awful lot of product abroad, sells a lot. Open these markets is what I say. Get those New Jersey products going into worldwide markets, and you watch us lead out of this recession.

I'd like to pin down Governor Clinton on this one because he's got all kinds of mandates he wants to stick on small business. But one of them was his health care plan that would sock it to the small business. And instead of that, I believe that small business employs two-thirds of the people in this country. And they need relief from taxation and regulation and litigation.

And I said yes, litigation. We need legal reform. We spend up to 0 billion a year on lawyers. I don't have anything against lawyers. I do have something against these crazy malpractice lawsuits, these lawsuits that keep a neighbor from helping a neighbor, afraid of getting sued, that keep a Little League coach afraid of coaching because some crackpot dad is going to sue him with a big trial lawyer at his side. We got to sue each other less and care for each other more.

And yes, we need to do something about health care. But what we don't need: to get the Government to try to run it. Congress couldn't even run a two-bit bank and screwed up a two-bit post office. Now they want to run the health care.

My plan provides insurance to the poorest of the poor; says to the middle class, we're going to give you tax breaks; says that your health insurance will be portable if -- leave one job, it goes with you; pools insurance so the rates come down; goes after malpractice; and it does not turn to the Government for rationing. Anytime Government rations, the price goes up. Let's get it down by pooling insurance.

Tom Kean was and is one of the great education leaders in this country. He and I both know that our America 2000 program to literally revolutionize education is the way to go. What we are doing is trying to give parents a choice, say to a parent: You should be able to choose, and we'll help you, whether your kid goes to public school, private school, or a religious school.

Governor Clinton always knocks my background, but did you know that he drove in from Hope into someplace else, a bigger place in Arkansas, to go to a parochial school? Forty-six percent of the schoolteachers in the public schools in Chicago send their kids to private school. If you give parents a choice, not only will the schools that are chosen improve, but it will show as it has in Milwaukee that those that are left behind will pick themselves up and compete and be better for those kids that are left there.

I think of the police officers and the sheriff's department and those that are helping enforce the law here as dedicated Americans, and we owe them a vote of thanks for trying to keep our neighborhood free of these crackheads and backing up the law. And you don't get that way by coddling the bad elements.

The other day, I told them at this last rally, it was a very moving meeting for me. Just before I left the White House, I think it was eight guys that came up to see me. And they were your basic grassroots family people, hard-working men, and they came to endorse me for President. And they were the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas.

The last point, we got to reform the Government. We've got to get it right-sized. And I'll tell you what I'd do. I've got a program for getting the deficit down. Let me tell you what it is: Give the Nation the balanced budget amendment to make the Congress get it down.

Give the taxpayer a check-off on his tax return. And if you feel as strongly about the deficit as your neighbor or as I do, check 10 percent of your taxes, send it in, and that 10 percent then will have to be offset by a reduction in Government spending. Congress can't do it, let the people do it.

Forty-three Governors have this one -- give the President the line-item veto to cross out all this stuff.

And I like the idea of giving the Congress back to the people, putting term limits on for the new Members of Congress.

I'll tell you something, I think the defining moment in the debate was when Governor Clinton in Richmond said it's not the character of the President, he said, it's ``the character of the Presidency.'' And I say to everybody here, the two are interlocked. You cannot separate them. You cannot separate those two things.

I'm not asking for sympathy; I'm just telling you sometimes those decisions are tough. Sometimes you've got to make a decision that doesn't keep anybody happy. Sometimes you have to make a decision that might send somebody else's son or someone else's daughter into harm's way, as I had to do in Desert Storm. And you cannot waffle. You've got to look the American people in the eye and say, this is what we're going to do. And if you make a mistake, admit it, and then go on about the people's business.

But in time after time, Governor Clinton waffles, trying to make one person happy and then the group opposing him happy. And you can't do it, whether it's free trade or if it's right to work or whatever it is. Here's what he said on the war; here's what he said in Desert Storm -- how's this, try this one on for a Commander in Chief. He said, ``Well, I agreed with the minority.'' You remember the minority were telling me you can't do this, you can't do that, you've got to let sanctions work. ``I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' Leadership? That is a waffle house, and we can't have it for the American people.

Now, every President, every decision the President makes in one way or another affects the lives of others. And let me tell you something about character and trust: I've messed up a time or two, but Barbara and I have worked hard to uphold the public trust by living there in that White House. We've tried to conduct ourselves with decency and honor because I do believe in duty, honor, and country.

And now we're getting down to a choice: Who do you trust to be the leader of the free world and the President of the United States?

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

The President. Governor Clinton -- --

Audience members. Bush! Bush! Bush!

The President. Governor Clinton wants to win by saying we are a nation in decline. Somewhere, he puts it this way, somewhere less than Germany and a little more than Sri Lanka. Let me tell you something, we have problems. We have big, tough economic problems, and people are hurting. But we are the United States, the most respected nation on the face of the Earth. And I will not apologize for this country.

I am proud that I served my country in uniform. I am proud to be serving as President. And I came here to say this: I need your support because I want to finish the job.

And may God bless America. May God bless our great country. Thank you all very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2:07 p.m. at Trenton-Robbinsville Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Joseph Cicippio, former American hostage held in Lebanon.

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