Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Paducah, Kentucky
The President. Thank you very much.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Four more! Thank you. Thank you very much, Gerald McRaney. I am proud to have ``Major Dad,'' Gerald McRaney, at my side. And I am grateful to him for his loyal support. Let me just say at the outset I'm very pleased to be here, back again, back for me in this great part of -- --
Audience member. Kentucky.
The President. I was going to say, of western Kentucky. But let me point it out this way. Every place I go, every place I go, I see signs that say, ``Clean House!'' I want to see David Williams elected to the United States Senate, and I want to see Steve Hamrick elected to the United States Congress. Let's clean House!
May I thank your Mayor, Gerry Montgomery; Bob Gable, our State chairman. And it is great to be in Paducah. You should have seen it, flying in with these fall colors. It makes you agree with the guy who said, ``Heaven is a Kentucky kind of place.''
Here we come down to the wire with 7 days to go. It's like a close race at Bluegrass Downs, and we're closing the gap. And in 7 days, we are pulling ahead at the finish line to win this election.
You know, I was very pleased today that the figures came out refuting the Clinton-Gore claim of how bad everything is. The figures came out for growth in the third quarter, and the economy of the United States led Europe, led Canada, led Japan, and we grew at 2.7 percent, 2.7 percent. All you get from Clinton and Gore is bad news. That is good growth, and we're going to do even better.
You know, Mac referred to this, and I hate to ruin such a lovely day, but I must do this, because for months the Clinton-Gore crowd have been telling everybody how bad everything is and that he's going to make things better, that Clinton will make things better. Let me just remind you, as a southern State, and a good one at that, and Arkansas has some wonderful people, but let me remind you of just a few statistics on the Arkansas record. They are 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives. They are 50th in the percentage of adults with college degrees. They are 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice. They are 49th -- getting better -- in per capita spending on police protection; 48th in percentage of adults with a high school diploma; 48th in spending on corrections; 46th in teachers' salaries; 45th in the overall well-being of children. And this man said in a debate, he wants to do for America what he's done for Arkansas. We cannot let him do that.
Imagine trying to bring a record like that. He did point out one thing: In the debate, you may remember, he said that the work had gone up, jobs had gone up in Arkansas one year. That was this year. He's been out of the State 85 percent of the time. That's why it went up. For 10 years, for 10 years they averaged 30 percent of the national average.
So, enough for Arkansas. Now look what he wants to do to this country. He's already said he wants to raise 0 billion in new taxes. He's already said 0 billion in new spending. That is trickle-down Government. The numbers don't add up, and the middle class of America, watch out. He says he'll sock it to the rich, but he's coming after your wallet. He's coming after you. Don't let him do it to America.
He talks about change, change, change. We changed inflation. It was changed when you had a Democrat in the White House and Democrat Congress. You had inflation at 15 percent. You had interest rates at 21.5 percent. He wants change. That's what he'll bring us, and we're not going to let him do it. You listen to that kind of change, and change is all you'll have left in your pocket, believe me. We cannot go back. Here is the economy growing, and we cannot go back to those failed policies that brought us a ``misery index'' going right out through Gore's ozone layer.
You know, you hear from the -- I'm kind of down. Some of you may have noticed my favorite bumper sticker. I don't see it around here. Is it up there? There it is. And everybody knows what it means. Everyone knows what it means, ``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' You know and I know that inasmuch as we've got some wonderful people traveling with us, let me say, don't take it out on the photographers. Don't take it out on these guys with the cameras and the boom mikes. They're all good folks. Take it out on those talking heads in the national press that come on and tell us everything that's bad about America.
Harry Truman had it right. Talked about 50 reporters who were talking the same thing about gloom and doom. He said, ``They couldn't know enough to pound sand in a rathole.'' That's true. And we are going to win the election in spite of these mournful polls.
Here is why: Employment is at 93 percent in this country. Inflation is down, only 2.5, 3 percent. Home mortgage rates, as I mentioned to you, interest rates were 21.5; now they're down around 8. The gross domestic figures today: 2.7 percent. We have grown for six straight quarters. And all you hear is gloom and doom from Clinton and Gore. We're moving, and we're going to lead the world to recovery.
We've got a good plan to hold the line on this domestic spending and get that tax base down and lower the deficit by helping small business. Governor Clinton says, ``Look, I want to have the Government invest.'' The Government never made a sound investment in its life. The investment is small business, and that's where we want it to be.
You know how he wants to do it all, is to cut the muscle out of our defense. We have cut defense because we were successful in standing up against aggression around the world, and we must not cut into the muscle of defense. You throw millions of people out of work needlessly, have an adverse effect on where we've landed at Fort Campbell. Look, the Soviet bear may be dead, but there are wolves out there, and we must keep our eyes open and keep America strong.
And here's the way we're going to do it. We're going to create more jobs in America through exports. We make the best product. We have the best workers anywhere in the world. You build cars right in this State that are sold over in the Middle East. We are going to create more jobs through free and fair trade, not by listening to the waffle iron of Clinton and Gore.
Small business creates two-thirds of the new jobs, and they need relief from taxation, they need relief from regulation and, yes, they need relief from litigation. We are suing each other too much and caring for each other too little.
So I propose tax relief for small business. What does Mr. Gore, the Ozone Man, propose? A carbon tax. He suggests it in his book, a carbon tax. That's supposed to do something about the environment, but I'll tell you what it would do to industry in Kentucky: drive it right into the ground. We're not going to let him do that. We have a good record on the environment, a good, sound record. But you do not have to go to the extreme and throw a lot of families out of work to keep the Sierra Club happy.
I mentioned legal reform. One thing we've got to do is make it so that these Little League coaches aren't afraid to coach, that doctors are no longer afraid to deliver babies, that a person going by the highway is not scared to stop and help his fellow American because of a lawsuit. We sue each other too much. Help me get some Congressmen that are willing to put a cap on these outrageous lawsuits.
We've got a great health care plan to make insurance provided to the poorest of the poor through vouchers, through -- give tax credits to the next group of overtaxed Americans, to bring insurance to all, to make insurance go from job to job with the person that has the insurance. But we do not do what Clinton and Gore want to do, create some Government board and let Government ration health care. We're not going to do that.
In education, I see these kids, and it is priority. We've got an America 2000 program that bypasses that all-powerful, dictatorial teachers' union and goes to the teachers and works with them to strengthen education. God bless our teachers. We are working -- college grants for kids are up under my administration by far. Spending for education is up. Now we've got to go with America 2000 and literally reinvent our public schools. And that's another idea. Let's give the parents the right to choose and help them do it, public, private, or religious schools.
You know, everyplace I go we're helped by police officers. And let me be very clear: I don't think we need anybody on the Supreme Court that is going to go on there like Governor Cuomo, one suggested by Mr. Clinton. We need people on there that will interpret the Constitution, not legislate, and those who will have a little more sympathy for the victims of crime and a little less for the criminal elements.
The Democrats talk tough, the liberal Democrats, about crime. But let me tell you something: The other day I had a visit in the Oval Office from eight individuals, grassroots family men, all coming up there. They said, ``We are for you for President,'' and they represented the Fraternal Order of Police of Little Rock, Arkansas. I was proud to have their support.
In the next term we are going to reform Government. We're going to get the deficit down. I ask you to send people to Washington, only those who will do the following: Give us a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Give us a taxpayers' check-off so you can check 10 percent of your taxes, and make that money go to lowering the deficit. Give me a line-item veto and let me try to cut the deficit.
You know, in one of our debates Governor Clinton said it's not the character of the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' And I beg to differ. I think they are interlocked. I do not believe you can have a candidate who tries to be on all sides of all issues.
Here's what he said on the Persian Gulf war. That was not an easy decision, to send someone else's son, someone else's daughter into combat. A President has to make it, and he can't say ``maybe,'' or he can't say ``but.'' I made a tough call. But here's what Governor Clinton said. He said, ``I agree with the minority,'' that means those who wanted to let sanctions work; if we'd listened to that, Saddam Hussein would be in Saudi Arabia today. ``I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' You cannot flip-flop and waffle if you want to be President of the United States.
He says one thing about right-to-work laws in right-to-work States and then goes up to the powerful union bosses and said he's against that. He says, ``Well, maybe I'll be for term limits,'' which I support, and then he says he's against term limits. You cannot flip-flop. You cannot do this. It would be like him judging the Hatfield and McCoy feud: ``I guess I would have agreed with the arguments that the McCoys made, but I would have sided with the Hatfields.'' That is not leadership. [Laughter]
What is troubling America is a pattern of deception. Everyone's aware of politics, but when you're going for President, you cannot be followed by this pattern of deception. You can't lead the American people by misleading the American people.
I have differed with Governor Clinton on the war and on his own service. My position is clear. And some people differed with me on the Vietnam war. But I'll tell you the thing I do not understand. I simply do not understand a person whose peers are dying in Vietnam, some of whom are held in Hanoi prisons, going to England to organize demonstrations against the United States. We cannot have that. What will he tell a young man or a young woman as Commander in Chief if they said, ``Oh, no, we want to go off and organize demonstrations''?
We differ on the draft, on what he did. But the problem is the pattern. He said, ``I'll bring out all my records on April 17th,'' and we haven't seen anything. It isn't his choice about the war. It's the idea that he tried to have it both ways. And you can't do that if you're a leader.
You know, all around America, people look to the United States, and they look to the President of the United States for moral leadership. And so when you go into that booth, I ask this question -- we see our economy recovering; we know people are hurting -- but you ask the question: Who do you trust and who has the character to lead this great country?
Barbara and I -- I know one other good reason to keep me as President. We've got the best First Lady you possibly could have. But she and I have tried very hard to keep the public trust. I think most people by now know that we've been blessed by a strong and wonderful family. We have faith in God. We believe we are one Nation under God. Now it's not a question of needing to be President of the United States. It is a question that we have literally changed the world. These kids go to bed at night without that same fear of nuclear war that their mother and dad had.
Now what I want to do is bring that same leadership and lift these kids up, convince them that the opportunity is bright. Execute our program, the agenda for America's renewal, increase our exports.
Let me end this way: Clinton and Gore say we're a nation in decline. They say we're south of Germany and a little better than Sri Lanka. Let me tell you something: They ought to open their eyes. We are the most respected nation in the whole world. We are the leader of the world. I ask for your support. I ask for your vote to lead us to new prosperity for every American young person here today.
Thank you. Thank you, and God bless you. What a spectacular rally. What a wonderful, wonderful turnout in western Kentucky. This is superb. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 12:36 p.m. at Paducah Community College.