Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico
The President. Thank you, New Mexico. And thank you especially to one of the truly great, decent, honorable, committed United States Senators, Pete Domenici. And, you know, you've got a great Republican delegation to the Congress in Steve Schiff, the local Congressman; Joe Skeen is with us here today. Former Governor Garrey Carruthers is over here. I want to thank our New Mexico State chairman, John Lattauzio, and our special guest, my dear friend Ricky Skaggs, just back from Russia, one of the great entertainers and a really decent guy.
Let me say I am very, very pleased to be in Albuquerque. And let me tell you this: Ignore the pundits, annoy the media, and let the people decide who's going to win this election. We are going to win the election.
Let me tell you why. There's a clear choice before the American people, a vast difference in experience, a vast difference in philosophy, and a vast difference in character. And character counts when you're talking about the President.
Now, I hate to ruin a beautiful day in this lovely plaza with this magnificent unbelievable turnout. But let me tell you a little bit inasmuch as Clinton has been misrepresenting mine, let me tell you the facts about his record in Arkansas. Sorry, I've got to do it.
Here's what it is. You like your environment? Arkansas is 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives. They are 50th in the percentage of adults with a college degree. They are 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice. They are 49th in per capita spending on police protection. They are 48th, sorry, in percentage of adults with a high school diploma. They are 48th in spending on corrections. They are 46th -- they're moving up -- 46th in teacher salaries. They are 45th in the overall well-being of children. And listen to this one, New Mexico, Governor Clinton signed into law a prejudicial English-only statute for Arkansas.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. We do not need that kind of leadership in Washington, DC. He calls this change. All you hear out of him and Mr. Ozone, Al Gore -- [laughter] -- I've never seen a guy with such crazy ideas. They'd screech this country to a halt, I'll tell you.
But Governor Clinton talks change, change, change. But let's just take a look at what he wants. He's already proposed 0 billion in new taxes, 0 billion in new spending. You talk about trickle-down Government, that's it. His numbers do not add up, and he is going to sock it to the middle class, and we're not going to let him do that.
Remember what it was when the Democrats controlled the White House and have these silly liberals controlling Congress. Remember how it was. The last time they controlled it, inflation was 15 percent, interest rates were 21 percent, the ``misery index'' was out through that ozone layer, and the country was in a disaster. And we're not going to let him go back to that.
Watch your wallets, men. You've heard it before: Sock it to the rich. He means sock it to the working man, the nurse, the teacher, the cab driver. And we're not going to let him do that. You listen to this guy, and change, change is all you're going to have left in your pocket if you hear from him.
You know, Governor Clinton can only win if he tells everybody how bad everything is. Today, employment is at 93 percent; inflation is only 2/2\ or 3 percent; home mortgages are about 8 percent. Ask yourself this question: Can Bill Clinton do better, or is he going to make it worse? He is going to make it worse.
And maybe some New Mexico issues. On defense, we've got a good defense. I have cut defense where we're able to. But I've accepted the recommendations of the respected Colin Powell and Dick Cheney. We're not going to cut into the muscle of our defense. And Clinton wants billion more, throwing a lot of New Mexicans out of work. We cannot let them cut the muscle of our defense. Clinton is no expert. He has no feeling for foreign affairs or defense. He was the guy that said the Patriot missile was the one that goes down chimneys. Governor, that is Santa Claus. [Laughter] That is not the Patriot missile. That shoots down other missiles. I mean, come on. This guy wants to be Commander in Chief, and he doesn't know the difference between a Patriot and Santa Claus. [Laughter]
The energy bill, I was proud, with the help of Pete Domenici and the Members of Congress with us here today, to sign an energy bill that's going to get our domestic energy industry moving again. We have changed the alternative minimum tax. And that frees up the independents to go to drill for more oil. We are too dependent on foreign oil. Let's get the domestic industry moving.
And beware of environmental extremists, these crazy people that say that we cannot -- you want to protect the owl but throw the timber worker out of business. You want to protect CAFE, car efficiency standards, throw the auto workers out of business. But around here, I favor multiple use of public lands. And I will stop these environmental extremists.
And here's something that New Mexico understands and I'm not sure the Clinton-Gore ticket understand, the thing that has saved us in a global slowdown. And remember, the United States is doing better than Japan; we are doing better than Germany and the rest of Europe; we are doing better than Canada. And all you hear from these guys, assisted by these talking heads on the news, is how bad everything is. But the way we're going to lead this world actually into recovery is by creating more jobs for Americans as we export more products. And I am proud that we negotiated the North American free trade agreement with Mexico. This is sound and solid. And it will create 175,000 jobs.
Small business, look, small business creates two-thirds of America's jobs. Let's get the regulatory burden off of small business. Let's reduce the tax burden on small business. And let's reform our legal system. We're suing each other too much. We're suing each other too much and, frankly, caring for each other too little. And what we've got to do is put a cap on some of these frivolous lawsuits.
Governor Clinton is in the pocket of the trial lawyers. I am trying to reform this legal system so doctors can practice medicine without raising the cost, Little League people can coach without fear of some crazy lawsuit. And if you drive by and you see somebody hurt on the highway, you don't want to have to worry whether some lawyer's going to come and say you shouldn't have tried to help that person; you did the wrong thing.
I have the best plan for health care reform. It is to keep the Government out of the business and provide insurance for all, the poorest of the poor through vouchers, the over-taxed rest of the people through tax assistance. Get these malpractice suits under control, pool the insurance so you bring the cost down, but do not let the Government get into the business of rationing health care.
On education, my administration has increased spending for education tremendously. But let me tell you this: We need a new approach, and we've got one. Seventeen hundred communities are literally reinventing their schools. One out of two college students gets financial aid. But we've got to do better. And I want to give parents a choice. Parents should choose private, public, or religious schools and get help as they do that.
Those merchants of change, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore, aren't even willing to try a new idea. They wouldn't know one if it hit them in the face.
I've got a big difference with those two guys on crime also. You know, the Arkansas prisoners spend 20 percent of their sentences -- they serve only 20 percent; the Federal criminals, 85 percent. And my view is we ought to have a little less respect for the criminal and a little more to the victims of crime.
I support our law enforcement people, and they're getting a bum rap. We ought to back them up more. You know, the other day in the White House I had a visit from eight people from the South. They came, and they were real down-to-earth, wonderful family people. They said, ``We're supporting you.'' They were from the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas, and they endorsed me for President of the United States.
Governor Clinton says he wants to take more tax money to invest. Since when is the Government able to invest in anything? You can't do it. I want to see private business invest by giving them tax relief and by getting this deficit down.
Do you want to know how we should do that? I'll tell you: We need, right, we need a balanced budget amendment. The Democrats fight us, and we're going to get it done in the new Congress. We need a taxpayer check-off. The taxpayer should say, ``Look, I'm going to allocate, if I want to, 10 percent of my income tax to go to reducing the Government debt.'' That should be enforced by the Congress, and it will if I am reelected.
We need term limits. The President serves limited terms. Let's limit it for these Congressmen.
The last point on getting this deficit down, let's try something new for the Federal Government. Forty-three Governors have it. They can take a pen and wipe out the pork. Give me the line-item veto, and let's get this budget down.
No, we've got a world of difference between the Clinton-Gore ticket and the Bush-Quayle ticket. And may I say I'm very proud of my running mate. I love the equity in the news media. They beat up on Dan Quayle for going into the service, and they apologize for Clinton for staying out of the service. Come on. Where's fairplay out there? Where is fairplay?
Now, I'll tell you what's going to make the difference, though. The newspaper generously referred to it. It really does have to do with character. My argument with Governor Clinton is, as President of the United States you cannot be all things to all people. You cannot say you're for one issue and then flip-flop the next day. When you make a mistake you ought to look to the American people in the eye and say, ``I made a mistake, and I'm sorry. And I'm going to go on and lead the American people to greater heights.'' You cannot cover up. You cannot cover up. I have a big difference, as you know.
But here's a test of leadership. I had to make a tough call, a very difficult call for any President when you have to commit someone else's son or daughter to go into harm's way. I did it. I led, and we brought along the Congress. We formed an international coalition, and we kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. We busted up the fourth biggest army. And we restored the United States as the one leader in the world.
Now, where was Bill? Here's what he said. Here's what he said about the Persian Gulf: ``I was for the minority'' -- meaning let sanctions work, let Saddam Hussein march into Saudi Arabia -- ``I was for the minority, but I guess'' -- this is an exact quote -- ``I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' My friends, you cannot do that as the President of the United States.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. He comes from Arkansas, a right-to-work State, says he's for it there; goes up to the labor leaders in Detroit and says he's against it. He's for term limits one place, against them in another.
The biggest argument I have with him on the draft is this: I have said, and I feel it viscerally, I do not believe that it is proper when your brothers or when the guys out of the ghetto are drafted, to be over in a foreign country leading, organizing demonstrations against your country no matter how strongly you feel. But I recognize that people differ on that question. But I recognize they differ on serving in that war.
But let me tell you something, what I don't think is right is to try to have it both ways on there. He said on April 17th, ``I'm going to reveal all my records on the draft'' -- was he inducted, wasn't he; was he drafted, wasn't he? He has not done that. You cannot equivocate and obfuscate. You've got to tell the truth if you want to be President of the United States of America.
There is a pattern of deception, and you cannot lead America by misleading. You darned sure can't turn the White House into the waffle house. The phone rings over there sometimes in the Oval Office or sometimes upstairs where Barbara and I live in the White House, and you don't have time to equivocate. You have to make up your mind and call them as you see them, as the umpires do, and do your level-best.
Here is why, in conclusion, I believe we are going to win. I believe, in the final analysis, when people go into that booth, I think they're going to say the President has the best agenda for renewing America. I think they're going to say we have the best record because we are saying to these young people here, you don't grow up with that same fear of nuclear war that your mother and dad had. We have led and dramatically changed the world, and I want to take that leadership now and help lift these kids up and give them a better life.
But I'll tell you why I believe it. I believe I will win because I believe in the final analysis that my wonderful wife -- and I think we've got a first-class First Lady in that White House, and I am very proud of her. We have tried -- the reason I'll win this election is I have tried very hard to keep the public trust. You have placed in me a trust, and we have had a clean, a decent administration. We've made some mistakes, admitted them. We are leading. Don't believe it when Governor Clinton and the Ozone Man tell you, don't believe it when they say we're a nation in decline. They had the nerve to tell the American people that we're less than Germany and a little more than Sri Lanka. Forget it. We are number one in the entire world. We are the fairest, the most decent, the most honorable country in the world. I ask for your support and your vote to lead this country for 4 more years.
Thank you, and may God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you very, very much. Thank you all.
Note: The President spoke at 2:15 p.m. at the Civic Plaza.