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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks to the Community in Sioux Falls, South Dakota


The President. Thank you, Governor. Thank you, South Dakota. Thanks for that welcome.

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

The President. Thank you, George. Hey, listen, thank you so very much. I am very proud to be introduced by your great Governor, George Mickelson. Let me salute the others here: Larry Pressler, your Senator; Lieutenant Governor Walt Miller; Bill Janklow, the former Governor, warming up the crowd in more ways than one out here. Jim Abdnor is here, a former Senator. Arlene Ham is here. We've got two from Nebraska, former Governor Charlie Thone and the present Congressman Doug Bereuter, both outstanding servants from nearby. Don Peterson and, of course, Mary McClure, the executive director; and then Baillie and the Boys. You've had a full house here, with great people. And let me just say that I am delighted to be here with them.

I will also say that, you know, everyplace I go in the country, you have signs held up, and they say, ``Clean House!'' Clean House! Change the United States Congress. Well, you can do something about it right here. You can help clean out the House of Representatives by sending John Timmer to the United States Congress. And you've got a great chance to make history in the Senate, because we have an outstanding candidate standing here with me in Char Haar. Elect her to the Senate, and let's get this country moving again.

Well, we're going down to the wire in this national election. I come back here to South Dakota fired up. And the reason we're going to win is because the American people have a clear choice. There is a vast difference between experience, difference in philosophy, and yes, character does count, a difference in character.

Governor Clinton -- I hate to ruin a lovely rally like this, but I've got to just point out since Clinton's going around the country talking about my record, ill-defining it for 11 months -- and I'll talk about the positive things in a minute -- but let's just take a quick look at his record in Arkansas. Sorry about that.

He promises health care for America. He's been around there for 12 years; 40 percent of the Arkansas workers have no health insurance. He promises education reform. And 12 years later, 75 percent of Arkansas college students, when they first get to college, have to have remedial education because they're not getting the job done the way you are here in high school education. He promises to get the American economy moving. But 12 years in Arkansas, wages, income, and jobs are trailing the entire Nation. So when he stood up there in that debate the other night and he said, ``I want to do for the country what I've done to Arkansas,'' we must not let him do that.

You know, Bill Clinton made a lot of promises to the people of Arkansas, and he broke most of them. But last year, he told the Arkansas people that he would not assume higher office in 1992. He looked right into the lens and says, ``I'm not going to do it.'' And here he is, one more promise that he has not kept.

He calls this change? Let me tell you something. He says that he is the candidate for change, but let's look at the record. He wants 0 billion in new taxes. He wants 0 billion in new spending. That is not change, that is trickle-down Government. We do not need any more of that.

His numbers don't add up. Anyway, he says he's going to just sock it to the rich. Not so. To pay for all his programs, he's got to get down to everybody making over ,600. And then, to take care of all the promises, every nurse out here, every teacher, every farmer watch out, he's coming right after your wallet. Mr. and Mrs. America, don't let him do this to us. Tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. George talked about it, your Governor. The last time we had that, had a Democratic President along with this spendthrift Congress that's been controlled by the Democrats for 38 years, we had inflation at 15 percent. We had interest rates at 21.5 percent. And they had a malaise or a ``misery index'' that's doubled what it is today. We cannot let this man do this to the country. Your hear Clinton and Gore, the Ozone Man, talking about change. That's all you're going to have left in your pocket if you get these guys in there, I'll guarantee you that.

Also, if you haven't detected, I'm a little sore at the national media. Let me tell you something -- remember what Harry Truman said? I'd better be careful -- well, I'd better not say that. They're mad at me anyway. I love my favorite bumper sticker: ``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' I love it, absolutely love that sticker. There it is. There it is.

But you know, if you listen to these guys, you'd think everything was wrong with this country. They try to tear down. The only way that Clinton and Gore can win is to make everybody convinced everything is horrible. We forget 93 percent of the people are working in this country. We forget that interest rates are at record lows. We forget that inflation is better. And we forget that ag income is up in the United States, and as long as I'm President it's going to stay up.

Audience members. You tell them, Mr. President.

The President. I will. And besides that, I want to say a word about ethanol. I am the one who worked out the ethanol waiver to spur the use of ethanol. Ethanol use has gone up, way up, since I've become President of the United States, and I'm going to keep it going up. But Governor Clinton's adviser, one of them, says that ethanol might blow a hole in the ozone. Well, heck with that. It's not going to blow any hole in the ozone. It is safe, and we're going to use it more.

And then another adviser gets up -- because I did the right thing for the corn growers in fixing that waiver -- another one gets up and says, well, we'll review that after Clinton is elected. Two things wrong with that: He ought not to review it because I made the right decision, and two, he ain't going to be elected President. He comes to South Dakota and talks ethanol, and then he goes out and starts talking about reviewing the waiver. We cannot have that flip-flop on every single issue.

Now, on international trade, we are working hard to open markets for our agricultural goods all over the world. And I am proud of our export enhancement program. I am proud that we are fighting against these European subsidies. And this fall, out here in South Dakota at a wonderful farm nearby -- farmer is standing right over my right shoulder -- we announced a new EEP, a new export program. We're staying with that. We're going to sell billions of tons of U.S. wheat to 28 countries, and we are going to protect South Dakota jobs and sell our products all over the world. We've promoted another billion in ag exports under the so-called GATT triggers, technical but very important to farmers in this State. And we're going to keep on fighting for new markets. This North American free trade agreement is going to be good for American jobs and good for American agriculture. And Governor Clinton is on all sides of that question.

Let me tell you, there was something disturbing, and this is a very serious one, this morning, this Sunday, this very day in the Daily Telegraph in London, the Sunday Telegraph of London. The Clinton campaign worked out a secret agreement, it is alleged in the paper -- I have to be fair, it is alleged -- they worked out a secret agreement with Jacques Delors of the EC, the President of the European Community, on the Uruguay round of GATT trade. And what the agreement was is that they would delay making an agreement on the GATT round until after the election because apparently this man sides with Governor Clinton's ideology.

Well, let me tell you something: If this report is true, and if the Clinton campaign is going over to Europe interfering with an agreement that would benefit all American agriculture, it is a sorry, pathetic thing to be doing a few days before an election. It is in the national interest to work out a GATT agreement, and it's a sorry thing if somebody would put their own personal political interest -- afraid we might get something done for the American people -- right now to stand in the way of it. I don't think that's good foreign policy, and I don't think that's very good politics, either, because it's going to blow up right in their face.

Other priorities, South Dakota is doing great. Your business is moving, and you've got a low unemployment. But the rest of the country has been hurting. We don't need more tax and spend. What we need to do is stimulate small business. Small business creates jobs for two-thirds of the American people. And we need relief: relief from regulation, relief from taxation, and yes, we need relief from litigation. We're suing each other too much and caring for each other too little.

These crazy lawsuits by these trial lawyers that are the biggest supporters of Governor Clinton: Doctors don't even dare deliver babies, or they have to have additional tests, running the cost of health care up. Some Little League coaches don't dare coach, afraid of some nutty lawsuit. Along the highway, somebody can be hurt, and the person won't come along and pick them up, afraid that a trial lawyer will get to the victim and say, hey, this guy didn't handle you right when you were in your hour of distress. We cannot continue to sue each other. We're trying to do something about it in the United States Congress. Send us Char Haar and let us help get the job done, and John Timmer as well.

We've got a much better program for education. We literally want to revolutionize K through 12, and our America 2000 program will do that. A part of it is this: I believe in school choice, and I want to help parents choose their schools, public, private, or religious.

Health care: Let's not let the Government get further involved. Let's provide insurance to the poorest of the poor through vouchers. Let's provide that overworked middle class a little bit of a tax relief to get the insurance. Let's pool insurance. Let's correct malpractice. And let's move forward so that those who don't have health care have it. But do not lower the quality by setting some board that the United States Government will run. We've got enough trouble with the post office. Don't give us trouble with health care.

A couple of more subjects here -- I'm just getting warmed up, you'll be pleased to know -- now, crime. I've just come from a marvelous meeting in Detroit with the police chiefs from all across the country; indeed, an international meeting. And there I spelled out the things I was for on crime. But we have a big difference. Arkansas prisoners spend 20 percent of their sentences in jail. The Feds, Federal ones -- that comes under me -- 85 percent. I have this peculiar feeling that we ought to have a little more sympathy for the victims of crime and a little less for the criminals.

I hope you heard the difference when we had the debate on getting this budget deficit down, because I don't believe you need to spend and tax more. I think we need to control the growth of those mandatory spending programs. And then give me these things: Give me that line-item veto, and let the President try it if the Congress can't do it. Give me a taxpayer check-off, or put it this way, give you a taxpayer check-off so you can check 10 percent of your tax to go to lowering the deficit, and the Congress has to find the spending to go with it. And if they don't, we sequester across the board. It is time to put the power back in the hands of the people as far as this deficit goes. And there's two other things that would help: a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution -- we almost got it -- and that will discipline the Congress and the executive branch. And I like term limits because that gives power back to the people.

But the last one and the key one, in my view, in this election and what it's going to be determined about is character and trust. You simply cannot be on all sides of all questions. You cannot come to a State that doesn't have right to work and say, ``I'm against it,'' and then in a State that does, say, ``I'm for it.'' You cannot one day be on the North American free trade agreement and saying, ``Well, I'm for it,'' and then go to the big labor unions, ``Well, I'm for it, but I'm going to change it.'' You cannot keep making these waffles. We must not turn the White House into the waffle house. And that is what's happening.

It's not any one thing. It is not any one thing. It is this pattern. It is this pattern of deception, trying to be all things to all people. You can't do that as President. Let me remind you of what it was like at Desert Storm. I had to go out and say, here's what we are going to do. I couldn't say maybe; I couldn't say, on the one hand we'll do this, and on the other hand we'll do that. I made a very difficult decision. And thanks to the sons and daughters of South Dakota and other States, the mission was accomplished. Saddam's army was destroyed, and we kicked him out of Kuwait.

But where was Governor Clinton? He was on both sides of the question. Just when I was trying to mobilize national support in the United States Congress and in the press, just as I was trying to mobilize it, he made this statement about the time of the vote: I favor the position -- that is paraphrased -- I favor the position of the minority -- let sanctions work; don't do any -- favor the position of the minority, but I guess I would have voted for the majority.

I'm sorry, as Commander in Chief you cannot have a waffle for a position. You've got to make the tough calls. If they ever put this guy on Mount Rushmore, they'll have to have two faces for him, one on one side of the issue, the other on the other. You cannot do that.

Audience members: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. I've told you my view. And some ask that I not discuss it because -- I don't know what the politics are, but I said what I think about somebody that goes abroad when his comrades or his peer group are in prison in Hanoi or are drafted out of the ghettos to serve. I know that war was controversial, but I don't believe it is right to go to a foreign country when your country is at war and demonstrate there, mobilize demonstrations against your country.

And the liberal press hate it. The press don't like it. I'll tell you, I feel I owe it to the American people to say what I think on that. The trouble with the draft is not that he didn't serve. A lot of people didn't serve. A lot of people didn't like the war. But on April 17th he said, ``I'm going to tell the full record.'' And he hasn't done it. I think you're entitled to know whether he had a draft notice or whether he didn't, whether he went to England because he wanted to serve or because he didn't. It is not right to play both sides of the issue to protect your own political neck.

Now, I believe we're going to win this election. And it's been about the ugliest political year I can remember. I've never seen anything quite like it. The news media wouldn't know good news if it hit them right in the face. But I'll tell you something, there's something wrong with them; they lost it. No, no, we don't want to be too hostile about the media. But I do remember what Harry Truman said about 50 reporters: They couldn't pound sand in a rat hole if they had to. Well, that was Harry Truman speaking, that wasn't me.

Well, let me tell you, I do believe we're going to win this election. And I'll tell you why I think it's going to happen. First place, I think we've got a first-class First Lady, and that helps, I'll tell me. But here's the reason. I've made mistakes, of course. And I do like you do, say, hey, I messed this one up, I'm sorry. You look into the American people's eyes and you say, I made a mistake. And now you get on about doing the American people's business.

But I have tried very hard as your President to uphold the trust that you have placed in me and in Barbara and in my family, to be living in that most prestigious and most awed house in the entire world, the White House. And I honestly believe that when people look to this country, they look, not as Governor Clinton said, to ``the character of the Presidency,'' but they look to both the character of the President and the Presidency. They are interlocked. You cannot separate them. You cannot separate these two.

Life has been very good to me and to my family and to our 5 kids and to our 12 grandchildren. Life has treated us well. We believe and we've tried to live family, faith, friends, and all of that. But I'll tell you why -- and there's other lines of work I'm sure that would be a lot more pleasant every day, day in and day out, than taking the shots one takes in this life. But I want to finish the job I've started.

Tonight these kids here will go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war that the generation precedent had. That is something that is significant. Ancient enemies are talking to each other around the world, talking peace in the Middle East. Russia is now democratic and trying to perfect their democracy. To the south of our border you see democracy and freedom on the march. And literally, because of the taxpayer, because of my predecessor staying with strength, peace through strength, we have literally changed the world.

But the job is not done. And it won't be done until we can lift up every family in this country, inspire them that the American dream is still alive, help them with education, make our families more secure in the neighborhood by less crime. Lift up America.

Lastly, Clinton says we are a nation in decline, somewhere south of Germany but just ahead of Sri Lanka. He ought to open his eyes. We are the most fair, the most decent, most honorable country on the face of the Earth. Now help me make it even better. I ask, as we drive down to the close with things moving and the excitement building, I ask for your support. I ask for your vote. Help me change America and make life better for every kid here today.

Thank you. Thank you. And may God bless our great country on this beautiful Sunday in South Dakota. We are fortunate to be here. May God bless us all. Thank you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:20 p.m. at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds Exposition Center. In his remarks, he referred to Arlene Ham, Republican national committeewoman; Don Peterson, State Republican Party chairman and State Victory '92 chairman; Mary McClure, executive director, South Dakota Bush-Quayle '92; and entertainers Baillie and the Boys.

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