Public Papers - 1992
Remarks at a Rally in Toledo, Ohio
The President. Thank you so very much. Let me just thank Bruce Willis, a man of conviction. I'll tell you a little story about Bruce. About 4 months ago, when everyone was declaring us dead and buried politically, we got a phone call at the White House. Somebody came to me and said, ``Well, Bruce Willis is calling.'' I said, ``Well, how do you know it's Bruce Willis?'' And they said, ``Well, it is.'' So we called back, and when things were really rough, down he came. Barbara and I had dinner with him. And he has been out there, working hard, helping me at every turn, and I am very, very grateful to him.
Let me tell you something that I think Ohioans know, but again, on a very personal basis something I feel strongly about. I know you know you've got a great Governor. But I want you to know that the Voinoviches are close, personal friends of ours to whom we will always be grateful. He is a good and decent and strong leader for this State, and I'm grateful to George Voinovich.
I want to salute Walbridge Mayor Robson; and Donna Owens, the former Mayor of Toledo; Tom Nowe, the Republican Party chairman. Do me a good favor. Do yourselves a favor. Do the country a favor. Clean Senate, and send Mike DeWine to the United States Senate. We don't need any more gridlocked Congress, so help me clean House, and send Ken Brown to the United States Congress.
I love this sign back here, ``Six days to victory.'' Believe me, we are going to win this election. The reason we're going to win is that there is a vast difference in experience, a vast difference in philosophy, and a vast difference in character and trust. Believe me, character and trust matter for President of the United States.
Governor Voinovich kind of put it out there as it is, talking about the Arkansas record. One reason I will win the election is, after 11 months of distorting our record, we begin to put into focus the Arkansas record. I'll repeat just one or two parts of it, because it is 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives in Arkansas, 50th in percentage of adults with college degrees, 50th spending on criminal justice, 49th per capita of police protection, 48th in percentage of adults with a high school diploma, and on and on and on it goes.
Governor Clinton bragged about leading the Nation in jobs. They did it for one year, and he was out of the State for 85 percent of the year. The rest of the time, they were 30 percent behind the national.
You know, there was a scary moment in one of those debates. He said, ``I want to do for America what I've done to Arkansas.'' I said, ``No way. Please, no.''
No, but, you know, if you listen to Governor Clinton and the Ozone Man, and all they do is talk about -- you know who I mean, Mr. Ozone? You know what they'd do to the auto workers right here in Toledo? They want CAFE standards, those are fuel efficiency standards, of 40 to 45 miles per gallon. Talk to the union guys working in the plants here in the auto business. That will put almost every Ohio auto worker out of work, if we went for the extreme on the environment. I have a strong environmental record, but I'm not going to let Mr. Ozone dictate to the American worker.
One of the reasons things are moving -- and everybody here knows that it's moving nationally -- good news out there today on these national surveys. One reason it's moving is that people do not want 0 billion in new taxes and 0 billion in new spending. We cannot get the deficit going up. We've got to bring it down. Let me tell you how we're going to do it.
We're going to control the growth of spending, and then I'm going to get the American people to insist that we get a balanced budget amendment to force the Congress to do it; that we get a check-off so every person in this country paying income tax can check 10 percent on their income tax and make that go to one thing, and that's one thing alone: reducing the deficit. The Congress is going to have to cut to make that possible. Then the third thing we're going to do is get the American people to insist that the President be given what 43 Governors have. Give me that line-item veto, and let's get that spending under control. Those three things will help enormously.
There's one more that I like. Presidents serve two terms. Let's give the Congress back to the people and have term limits for the Members of the United States Congress.
I had it figured out one day in one of the speeches. I think Governor Clinton and the Ozone Man had about 58 references to change. Change, change, change. Raise the taxes 0 billion, and that's all you'll have left in your pocket is change. We're not going to do that.
Something happened yesterday that's casting fear into the hearts of these talking heads on television, fear into the hearts of the Clinton-Gore team. You know what it was? It came out that our economy had grown at 2.7 percent for the last quarter, and it puts the lie to the fact that we are in a deep recession. And yes, people are hurting; and yes, a guy has a job today and might not know whether he's going to have it tomorrow. But the answer is, we are not in a recession. We are growing. If you go to their plan, you'll put us back into a Jimmy Carter malaise days, with interest rates at 21 -- --
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Hey, wait a minute, I don't want to ruin this meeting, but you remember what it was when you had a Democratic President and a liberal -- you had 21.5 percent interest rates, and you had inflation at 15 percent. They did it through the same Clinton siren's call of tax or spend. Let's keep this economy growing. Let's reduce the Federal deficit. Let's control spending, and let's control taxes.
Two point seven. The economy -- --
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. You know, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something good about this country. You hear plenty that's bad from the Clinton-Gore ticket. Our economy is growing. It's growing too weakly, but we're going to lead the country through increasing jobs that sell the best-made products in the world. That's U.S.A.-made products. Expand our markets abroad through exports. We are leading the world in exports, and that means jobs for America.
Our economy is doing better than Japan, than France, than Germany, than England. You hear them talk about it, Clinton and Gore. The only way they can win is to convince the American people that we're in a deep recession, and we're not. The good news yesterday -- even the talking heads on those Sunday television shows are going to find a hard time making bad news out of good news. I'm tired of that.
You know, we landed out here, came in a helicopter and landed next to a factory out here. There was a big sign. And on it, it said, ``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' Why is it? Why is it that everybody, Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative, know what that sign means?
Now, I ask your forbearance, and I'll tell you why. We've got some good people traveling with us in the press. And because they've felt that sign so strongly, some of them started hectoring the cameramen or the photographers. These are the good guys. Leave them alone. They're just doing their job. Take your frustrations out, as I do, on the guys back East in those Sunday talk shows who tell you everything that's wrong, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, because we're going to make them eat their words on November 3d.
No, all I'm asking is that people make a comparison on the plans, and I've told you the fundamental differences. But we've got to keep going forward. I'll tell you a big difference we have. Governor Clinton talks about getting the Government to invest to create jobs. That's what Europe tried, and that's where Europe failed. It is not the Government that does it. It is small business that creates the jobs in this country. They create two-thirds of the jobs.
How do we help them? We give them a little relief for taxation. Give them an investment tax allowance. Give them a capital gains so a new guy will get out there and start a new business. Give that first-time homebuyer a tax credit so he or she can buy a home and live the American dream.
Then we lighten up on regulation. And one other thing where I have a big difference with the Governor from Arkansas, and that is on litigation. We are suing each other too much and caring for each other too little; 0 billion a year go to lawyers; billion to billion are added to your health bills every year because of these crazy malpractice suits. Little League coaches are scared to coach because somebody will come up and sue them. You good Samaritans are afraid to stop along the highway for -- afraid if you move the person, then this -- ``Oh, you did that wrong,'' and they'll slap a lawsuit on you. We've got to end and cap these crazy lawsuits.
Governor Clinton will not do that, because the trial lawyers are his biggest supporters. The lead trial lawyer in Arkansas sent around a letter: Elect our man, and then we won't have anything to worry about changing the lawsuits.
We've got to help the American people, the doctors, the medical practitioners, by reducing the fear of nutty lawsuits.
Speaking of health care, we've got an enormous difference on that. Governor Clinton, typical of the way the liberal Democrats work, he wants to set up a board to kind of set the controls and prices. You can't do that. The Bush plan is good. Provide insurance through vouchers to the poorest of the poor, pool the insurance, provide tax credit to the next people -- the most overtaxed end of the tax scale on the working men and women in this country -- pool the insurance, control malpractice, streamline the efficiency, and get the cost down through this pooling, but keep the Government from rationing health care.
My daughter-in-law Margaret is a teacher. God bless the teachers, because they are out there trying to restore some values to these kids. And we have a good program in education. We have a good program. It bypasses the NEA that tells the teachers how to think and supports the bureaucracy. We have 1,700 communities participating in this program. We have a rather old-fashioned idea. We think that the parents should have the right to choose public, private, or religious schools. Give them a chance to do that.
We have a positive record. One out of two college students has financial aid. We've increased the Pell grants. We've increased dramatically Head Start spending. We've got a good education program, but it puts our confidence with the teachers and with the local community, and not with that educational bureaucracy that's sopping up the money and not letting it get to the classroom.
I have a big difference with the Governor on crime, because I have an old-fashioned idea. We ought to have a little more sympathy for the victims of crime and a little less for the criminal. Governor Clinton wants to put -- Governor Clinton -- quiet, you guys. [Laughter] Governor Clinton wants to put Mario Cuomo on the Supreme Court. How do you like that?
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. And I instead want to back up those police officers that lay their lives on the line for you and for me and for our neighborhoods every day of their lives. Let's pass the Bush plan, the tough anticrime, pro-law enforcement, and pass that legislation, and let's help our communities. It just isn't right for a mother afraid to send her kid down to the corner store for fear of some criminal in the neighborhood. We have got to win the fight on drugs. We've got to win the fight on neighborhood crime. We've got to back our police officers with strong legislation, and we've got to restore the family values that teach these children right from wrong.
You know, I see all these signs about trust. Let me tell you, I do have a big difference with Governor Clinton. It was expressed by him. It was expressed by him in one of the debates where he said -- he put it this way -- he said it isn't the character of the President, he said, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' My view is this: When you're in that White House and when you are the President of the United States, the character of the President shapes and is interlocked with the character of the Presidency. You can't separate them.
My argument with him is you cannot be on all sides of every issue. You cannot flip-flop. You cannot turn the White House into the waffle house. He'll go to the unions here in Toledo and say he's against right to work, and yet in Arkansas he is for it. In one point he's for term limits, and then he says ``oh, no'' -- when he gets into the hands of the Congressmen that he wants to work with, he says, ``Oh, no, I am against it.'' He is, on the North American free trade agreement -- you heard it in the debate. He said, well -- first he had some reservations; then he is for it. Then he goes to the labor union leaders, not the rank and file; he finds out he's against it. Then he's for it. And then at the debate you heard him, ``Well, I am for it, but.'' He does. You can't have a lot of ``buts'' in the White House, believe me.
But the biggest difference, I think the clearest difference in this race will be the responsibility a President has as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The biggest difference I had with him was on the war. I had to organize an international coalition. I had to bring along a reluctant Democratic Congress. I had to make a very tough decision.
I mentioned this the other night. Barbara and I sat up there at Camp David on a Sunday before we knew the war was going to start. We'd given the orders to Colin Powell, who passed them on to Norm Schwartzkopf. Believe me, it isn't any fun to have a decision like that on your hands, because you have to send someone else's son or someone else's daughter maybe to die for their country. But I did what I felt was right. I made the proper decision. We kicked this Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. We restored the leadership, we restored the U.S. position as the only credible, trusted leader in the whole world.
And where was Bill? Let me tell you. Here's what he said at the time of the war. He said, ``I was with'' -- I've got to paraphrase and try to be accurate on it. I wrote it down, but I don't think -- here it is: ``I agreed with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' What kind of decisive Commander in Chief would that be?
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Somebody asked me about some of the unions protesting here. Let me appeal to those union members and say this. Let me say this. I know of your patriotism. I know of your love for country. I know that many of you served in the Armed Forces. And yes, I do have a difference with some -- maybe with some here today. But I found it appalling that when our country was at war in Vietnam and Americans were held hostage and prisoner, that Bill Clinton said, ``I went to England to organize demonstrations against the United States.'' I don't believe that is right. Protest in front of the White House, but when you're abroad stand up for the United States.
It does make a difference. Character and trust matter. I have tried to uphold the public trust in the White House. Let me say this: I've had a wonderful person at my side, but you see, I think, and I know Margaret agrees -- we wouldn't dare disagree -- I think we've got the best First Lady we possibly could have in Barbara Bush.
You know, we have been privileged. We have been very privileged to serve this country, and we've tried to uphold the public trust. And people know this. We're lucky. We've got 12 grandkids. We've got five kids all happily married now, and we've got a lot going for us in terms of family, got a lot going for us in terms of faith. We've got a lot going for us in terms of friends.
People say, well, you know, this hasn't been a particularly pleasant year. You know, you've taken your fair share of shots from the media and from the Clinton-Gore outfit. Why do you need this? You've got a lot of things going for you. Let me tell you why. Bruce touched on part of it. We have changed the world. The kids today go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war. But the job is unfinished. We've got to lift these kids up through better education. We've got to tell them that America is not in decline, that we are on the move. I want to finish the job. I ask for your support. I ask for your trust. We are going to win this election.
May God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 10:26 a.m. at Seagate Center.