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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Remarks to the Community in Columbus, Ohio


The President. Thank you very much. What a fantastic rally. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, let me first say that I get this wonderful feeling that things are really moving across this country. And you look at this crowd and say, ``This is it. It's going to happen. It is going to happen.''

May I thank Arnold Schwarzenegger. We all know him and respect him. But let me tell you one thing in all seriousness. A while back I asked him to head our fitness program for the entire Nation. He's been to every single State, and he is doing a first-class job, all pro bono, for this country. And I am very, very grateful to him.

I am delighted that Bruce Willis -- let me tell you about that one. Arnold and I have been together for a long time. In fact, it was 4 years ago that he was at my side, not very far from here, as we were coming down the stretch. Bruce Willis called me up and he said, ``I have had it with the United States Congress.'' The polls weren't so hot then, and he said, ``I want to help you.'' And here he is, and I am very, very grateful to him. As for the Oak Ridge Boys, the same thing. You may remember the convention back in 1988. They have been at my side through thick and thin, and I am delighted that they came all this way to be with us.

Two members of the family are with me, my daughter-in-law Margaret and my sister, Ann Ellis. We're going to put the family push on this thing now as we come down to the wire.

And of course, I am so proud to have heading up our effort here your great Governor, George Voinovich. And speaking of Governors, I was so pleased to see the Caribou Man, Jim Rhodes over here, a former Governor of this State; and Chalmers Wylie, the Congressman; and Bob Taft and so many others. I especially want to say thank you to your Mayor. Greg is doing a great job, Greg Lashutka. I am proud to see him every time I come here.

Now, I want you all to do something: Everyplace we go, we see a lot of signs that reflect changing Congress. How about changing Senate and sending Mike DeWine to the United States Senate? And elect Debbie Pryce to the House of Representatives. Clean House! Clean House! No more gridlock! We are going to sit down with that new Congress and get things done for this country.

And may I thank another one from Columbus, Dewey Stokes, who is the president of the National Fraternal Order of Police. I am very proud to have been endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police. We back our law enforcement officers, and we'll continue to do that.

And I want to thank John Fisher and Dick McFerson of Nationwide Insurance for letting us use this fantastic facility and being a part of all of this.

And now to the business at hand: You've got a choice on Tuesday between a vast difference in experience, difference in philosophy, and, yes, character. And on that basis I ask for your support. I don't want to ruin this beautiful rally, but I think it is only fair right down to the wire that we point out the record of the person that would like to have this job. And I'm talking about the Arkansas record of Governor Clinton. Sorry to ruin this upbeat meeting, but let me just give you a few statistics. We have heard everything that's coming out of Governor Clinton and the Ozone Man. We've heard everything that they think is wrong. Well, let me tell you about Arkansas. They are 50th -- and they're good people, we lived right next door to them, good people and they're entitled to something better than this -- 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives; 50th in the percentage of adults with college degrees; 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice; 49th on police protection; 48th -- getting better -- on adults with a high school diploma; 48th on spending on corrections; 46th in the whole country on teachers' salaries; and 45th in the overall well-being of children.

And Governor Clinton said in that debate ``I want to do for this country what I've done for Arkansas.'' No way! No way!

And I've got only two more things here, I believe, to say about Arkansas. But you've got to hear them, and then I'll get on to the positive aspects. He talks about Arkansas leading in job growth. They had one good year. That was 1991, when he's out of the State 85 percent of the time. And he's been Governor for 10 years and they were 30 percent of the Nation on that one.

And the other one is there's an AP story today -- talk about the Arkansas miracle -- AP story today detailing how the Arkansas Medicaid program has been mismanaged, projected now to be 0 million in the hole, a huge amount for a tiny little State. And the story includes tales of secret meetings -- go read it -- between Governor Clinton and the legislature to try to figure out whether to raise taxes after the election. It sounds like Governor Clinton better clean up his mess in Arkansas before fooling around with the United States of America.

No, we can't have that kind of change. Governor Clinton and Ozone, all they do is talk about change. Well, let me tell you something, what kind of change we get -- if you went back to the last time we had one of those Democrats in the White House and a Democrat Congress, you had interest rates at 21.5 percent, and you had inflation at 15 percent, and you had a ``misery index'' at 20.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. We are not going to go back to those failed days. You talk about change, you talk about change, that's all you guys will have left in your pocket if we get those people in there.

Now, there's bad news for Governor Clinton, because there is good news for the Nation. If you listen to them, you'd think everything was a recession and disaster. Yesterday it came out that for the sixth straight quarter we have had growth. It grew at 2.7 percent, and personal income is the highest in 9 months. The country's beginning to move. Don't set it back.

A lot of people are hurting in this country. And we care about them and we've got to help them. But the last thing we need is to get the Federal Government further involved. Governor Clinton talks about Government investing. Government never created a decent job in its life. It is small business that needs to be stimulated, and small business that does the investing. He wants to raise taxes and raise spending so the Government can invest. I want to get the taxes down and spending down so the people can invest.

You know, Governor Clinton's got one idea. He wants to tax foreign investment that would threaten here in this State 150,000 jobs. They're bringing jobs here from overseas. Let's not seek retaliation. Let's open markets abroad. Free and fair trade, not protection.

And if there are any auto workers out here -- this is a great auto State -- if there are any auto workers or any people who work in companies that supply things for the auto industry, Governor Clinton and Ozone want to go for 40- to 45-miles-per-gallon CAFE -- that's the fuel efficiency standards -- that would cost Ohio 20,000 jobs. We've got a good environmental record, but let's not go to the extreme.

Small business, small business creates two-thirds of the new jobs. And they need relief, they don't need more taxation. They need relief from taxation, relief from regulation, and yes, relief from these crazy lawsuits. You know, we spend too much on this, and we need to put some caps on these crazy lawsuits. When a doctor is afraid to practice medicine and deliver a baby, when a Little League coach is afraid to coach for fear some nutty trial lawyer will come along and sue them, why, that means we are suing each other too much and caring for each other too little in this country. Let's put a cap on these lawsuits.

So in addition to holding the line on spending and taxes, I want to get a good health care program. Governor Clinton wants to set up, of course, a Government board. We don't need the Government to do it. Here's what we need to do. Provide insurance to the poorest of the poor through vouchers; give credits to those, the most overtaxed Americans; get pooling of insurance so we can bring it to every single family. But keep the quality of medical care up by keeping the Government out of the medical business. We've got the best health care plan.

And we've got the best education plan. And it's already working, because the gridlock guys don't get too much of their hands on this one. Seventeen hundred communities have already started revolutionizing education. We spend more than every country per capita than Switzerland, and we're not getting the results. Let's help us put the emphasis, and support the teachers and not the teachers union. Let's give the parents a choice of public, private, and religious schools. That will make public education better. That will make public education better, not worse. It worked for the GI bill after World War II. It will work now if we try it for K through 12.

On crime, let me be very clear where I stand. I am not interested in legislation that shows more sympathy for the criminal than for the victims of crime. Toughen it up. Toughen it up, and back our law enforcement officers. Bring in these good programs like our ``Weed and Seed'' program that weeds out the criminals and then seeds these tough neighborhoods with hope. That's what we've got to do. Homeownership. Enterprise zones. We've got to encourage the communities, not try to legislate from Washington, DC.

And while we're at it, with this new Congress, we're going to sit down with them right after the election -- we're not going to wait for anything to happen -- sit down with them. And I'm going to say, all right, we want to get the deficit down. Here's a three-point plan, we'll make it a four-point plan. Here it is: Give us a balanced budget amendment; give us what the States have. Give us a check-off, give us a check-off so every taxpayer -- don't have to do this, but you can -- check 10 percent of your income tax if you want to, to be applied to lowering the Government deficit and making Congress comply. Three, give us what 43 Governors have. If these big spenders in Congress can't do it, let the President have a shot, a line-item veto. And four, let's give the Congress back to the people. The President's terms are limited. Why not limit the terms of Members of Congress?

As we drive down to the wire here in this wonderfully exciting rally, let me point something else out. I've been talking about it, and I feel very strongly about it. Governor Clinton said in the debate it's not the character of the President, it's ``the character of the Presidency.'' Wrong. They are interlocked. You cannot separate the character of the President from the character of the Presidency. You can't do it. And you cannot be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces if you flip-flop on every issue. You cannot be all things to all people as President. And if you make a mistake, and yes, I have, you look the people in the eye and say, I blew it, now let's get on about leading this great country.

Governor Clinton will go to the auto guys, and he'll say that he's against CAFE standards. And yet he and Ozone go out and say, well, we've got to have 45 miles per gallon. That will drive auto workers out of business. On the one hand -- you heard in the debate -- the NAFTA agreement, the free trade agreement, yes, he's for it, ``but.'' You cannot have a lot of ``buts'' sitting there at that Oval Office, I'll tell you. In one part of the world he's for right-to-work, and then he'll go up and tell Mr. Kirkland and the rest of the labor guys he's against it. You can't do it. You've got to say what you're for.

And when it comes to war and peace, you can't do what he did. Let me tell you, it is not easy when you have to commit somebody else's kid to go into battle. But I was tempered by fire. I believe in honor, duty, and service. I made a tough decision on that war. And we brought along this country. We did the right thing when we kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. And where was Governor Clinton? Where was Governor Clinton? Here's what he said. Here is what Governor Clinton said: ``I agree with'' -- I'm not giving him hell. It's like Truman said. Do you remember? He says, give 'em hell. He said, ``I'm just telling the truth, and they think it's hell.''

Okay. Here's what he said. Here is what the man said. You remember, think back to what it was like then: all the demonstrations; all the press fighting us; all the different struggles going on; Congress dragging its feet; people telling me, well, you haven't sold the American people. Here's what Governor Clinton said when it came to that vote. He said, ``I agree with the arguments of the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' You cannot make the White House into the waffle house. You can't do it.

The Arkansas Gazette today said Bill Clinton is a master politician, but what principles, if any, informed his politics. The bottom line is, you cannot lead by misleading. You can't be all things to all people. You've got to do it like the umpire does, call it as you see it, and then go forward and lead this country.

Let me say this. First place, I wish our great First Lady, Barbara Bush, were here. She would be thrilled to see this. And yes, we plan to keep Millie in the White House -- I see the sign -- because, you see, if I want foreign policy advice, I'd go to Millie before I'd go to Ozone and Governor Clinton.

You know, you haven't read anything about -- I haven't attacked the media yet. Stay tuned. Wait a minute. No, I want you to be kinder and gentler to the media traveling with us, especially those guys that are taking the pictures, carrying the mikes, and carrying those cameras all around. And yes, be grateful. Amnesty for the White House press. Take it out on these talking heads, Republicans, Democrats, whoever they are, come on every Sunday, tell you how to think, saying we're dead. We are going to show them they are wrong. We are going to prove them wrong. And here's why.

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

The President. Here's why, here's how it's going to work. Here's how it's going to work and why all these critics and all these naysayers and all these people telling you that we have no chance are going to be wrong. It's going to boil down to this: First place, I believe that we're not a country in decline. I'm absolutely convinced that we are a rising nation, not a declining nation. Secondly, I know it's been tough out there for families and for kids, but we're moving. And I can say as the President of the United States I take great pride in the fact that these young kids here go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war as their mothers and dad did. And that is a significant accomplishment. The world is more peaceful, and the world has changed.

People say to me, ``Listen, with Barbara at your side and your 5 kids and your 12 grandkids, you've got it made. Why do you want to do this?'' Well, let me tell you, I finish what I start. I want to see us lift up these young people here today and make them understand that if we do what I've told you today I want to do, their lives are going to be better than the lives of their parents. And we are going to lead the entire world into economic recovery, and that means jobs for every American that wants to work.

And so I'm not done yet. I ask you to go to the polls on Tuesday. I ask for your support on the basis of character and trust. And I will do my level-best to lead this country to new heights and new prosperity.

Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America and keep her. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 4:32 p.m. at Nationwide Plaza. In his remarks, he referred to Bob Taft, Ohio secretary of state.

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