Public Papers - 1992
Remarks on Arrival in Louisville, Kentucky
The President. Thank you very much. Thank you so very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Thank you very much. Let me just start by thanking first all of you for this great Kentucky welcome and a great Kentucky sendoff into the final hours of the campaign. Tomorrow, let's do the country a favor and give the country back to the people by sending some new Representatives to the United States Congress. Let's send Dave Williams to the Senate. And you know, you hear a lot about the able women candidates, strong, powerful women. We have one right here in Susan Stokes. I want to see her win. Get her in there. Get her up there. You talk about cleaning House, we can start right here, I'll tell you. May I thank Mitch McConnell, who has been at my side through thick and thin. We climbed off the plane, and he said, we are going to win Kentucky. What a great Senator you have.
You know, the last couple of days, I don't know whether you saw it here, but Governor Clinton's been talking about his inaugural parade and playing sax -- wait a -- --
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. -- -- playing his saxophone in the White House. Well, I told him, hold on, Bill, not so fast. Don't believe the pollsters; believe the American people. We are going to win the election.
No, that's the way it works. You go to the polls, and the people make these decisions. They don't have to have a filter. They don't have to have one of those instant analysts coming across, those people that tell us from Washington every Sunday what's wrong with our country. Let's go and vote for what's right, the reelection of George Bush and more prosperity for this country.
Hey, listen, if we'd do it the way the media wants you, they wouldn't even have -- if they were running the races here, they'd just say who the favorite is and let it go. That's not the way it works at Churchill Downs, and that ain't the way it works for American politics, either.
Here's what it's about. The choice before the American people is the vast difference in experience, a vast difference in philosophy, and yes, a vast difference in character. Character matters. The big question the American people ask tomorrow is: Who do we trust? Who do we trust with our kids? Who do we trust with our country?
Governor Clinton talks about change, change, change. That's all we hear about -- uses the word about 50 times every minute with gusts up to 250. [Laughter] But let's look at what he offers. Change: 0 billion in new taxes before he can get started.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. And 0 billion in new spending before he even gets started.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Bigger Government: He talks about Government investing. Government doesn't invest. It's small business that invests and creates jobs in this country.
Clinton and the Ozone Man don't like to hear this, but -- [applause] -- hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute. That's fair. ``Ozone Man'' is fair. How about trying a carbon tax on the coal industry here -- what he wants to do. We're not going to let him do that.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. This Ozone Man and Governor Clinton want to put fuel efficiency standards on the auto business of 40 to 45 miles per gallon and throw a lot of auto workers out of work. And we're not going to let them do that.
Audience members. No-o-o!
The President. These guys are my favorites, I'll tell you. These Oak Ridge Boys are just great. And I want to tell you something, I wish you could have been with us on the plane, every single one of you -- might have been a little over baggage there. But nevertheless, I wish you could have heard these guys singing those beautiful gospel songs. It made us -- not a dry eye in the house. These are my friends, and I am grateful to all four of them.
Back to the business at hand. The last time we tried the kind of change that Clinton and the Ozone Man are talking about, we had change -- exactly. We had interests rates at 21 percent. We had inflation at 15 percent. We had a ``misery index'' of 20. Now it's 10. We cannot go back in the name of change to those failed policies of the past.
We're going to win not just on character and trust. We're going to win on a positive agenda. We have the best program for rebuilding our schools, putting the faith in the teacher, putting the faith in the family to have a choice. Give the parents the right to choose public, private, or religious schools, and all schools will be better.
We've got the best plan for reforming health care: Make insurance available to the poorest of the poor through vouchers; next income bracket, give them a break through taxes; pool insurance so you get the price down. But do not do what Governor Clinton wants and get the Government in the rationing business. Keep the quality of health care up.
At every turn, every turn, Governor Clinton talks about expanding Government. I want to expand the American dream. There is a difference.
Now let's just talk about character and trust. And let me tell you what this election is about. Here's a quote by Horace Greeley. He said, ``Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing; only character endures.'' And that is true. That is very true.
In the debate, Governor Clinton said it's not the character of the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' Wrong. They're both interlocked. What happens in that White House shapes the character of the Presidency, and make no mistake about it.
We have tried very, very hard to uphold the trust. Frankly, in Barbara Bush I think we have a first-class First Lady that has held America in her arms and cares about people. She cares. And when she reads to those children in the Diplomatic Entrance of the White House or holds an AIDS baby in her arms, she's saying two things: We should care about each other, and she's saying family matters, family values matter.
So what it boils down to is we simply cannot take a risk on a man who keeps changing his position every single day in order to get votes. You can't do it. You know, Kentucky, Fort Campbell and many other places, rallied around when we faced a very critical moment in our history, on the Persian Gulf. I had to make a tough decision, look the American people in the eye, and say here's what we're going to do. And we did it with the help of the American people. But I would remind you what Governor Clinton said at the time. He said, ``I agreed with the arguments the minority made, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' You cannot do that as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Hey, the good one happened the other day. Maybe you didn't see it in the press; I did. Don't read it too much anymore, but I saw this one -- [laughter] -- this one said that Saddam Hussein's government plans a party of 500,000 people when George Bush loses. Saddam, put it on hold, old friend. We're going to come after you until you lighten up on the people of Iraq. We are going to make you live by the United Nations resolutions. He's not going to get rid of us. We're going to keep to it until he does what's right by his people. Frankly, I couldn't care less whether he's unhappy if I win. That doesn't bother me one single bit.
So here's what it is. Just picture this: We've dramatically changed the world, dramatically. All these kids here go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war than they had 4 years ago. Now, that's change. You talk about change, that's change.
But we're not out of it yet. Governor Clinton and the Ozone want to cut defense by billion more. They are still some wolves out there. We have cut defense. We have cut it, but we must not cut the muscle of our defense.
Just imagine if there's a crisis; imagine if we have to face an unforeseen crisis. The question then is this: What American leader will you trust in that kind of a crisis? I do not believe we should put our trust in a man who is all side of every issue. You can't do that in the Oval Office. You have to make the tough decision.
I remember well that very cold and rainy February just before our young men and women from Kentucky and the other States were sent into battle. Barbara and I were at the Camp David chapel. And yes, we prayed, prayed hard to do the right thing. We prayed that these young people would come back. And boy, did they ever do this country proud. They did us proud, and don't let them take it away from us.
But my point is, this is an awesome responsibility, to ask someone else's son or someone else's daughter to put their lives at stake. It's a responsibility that I have tried to fulfill with honor, duty, and above all, integrity. We must serve this country with integrity.
So tomorrow, as we end the long campaign trail in what's got to be one of the most controversial years, certainly probably the most unpleasant year of my life, which is totally unimportant, but I think others know it's been a rather ugly year with this national media just writing us off from day one.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Let me tell you something. We're going to show them they're wrong.
So tomorrow is the day of responsibility. I ask you not to take this responsibility lightly. You see, democracy was conceived from liberty, nurtured by freedom, and protected by the blood of those who came before. When you walk alone into that booth tomorrow, you will not spend more than a couple of minutes, but your single voice will echo down the corridor of time. With your vote, you will shape and help shape the entire future of this, the most blessed special nation that the world has ever known and that God has ever created.
Never forget, I don't care what they say, never forget that we are one Nation under God, and we ought to be grateful for that.
So what we do will cast its shadow forward into history. Your vote -- look at it this way -- it's an act of power, a statement of principle, and a harbinger of possibility. So like all the candidates, I ask only that you think deeply about our Nation and its needs, because tomorrow the polls don't matter. The pundits don't count on election day. Only conscience should be your guide. And never, never let anyone tell you that the United States is a nation in decline. We've got problems, but together we can solve them and lift America up.
May God bless you, and may God bless our great country. Thank you so much. Let's go win it. Go to the polls. Go to the polls and win. Thank you very much. Thank you, Kentucky. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at 4:33 p.m. in the Signature Flight Support Hangar at Standiford Field.