Public Papers

Remarks to Cabletron Systems Employees in Rochester, New Hampshire


You guys are fired up. Thank you very much. What is it about the water around this place? You guys just standing out here for 2 hours and being so darn nice. But thanks for the welcome. I appreciate it. To Craig and Bob, let me phrase it this way: Who would have thought that I would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with two guys who but a handful of years ago had a dream and who together, with some very able men and women I want to mention in just a minute, made this happen.

I mean, this is America, and it's strong, and it's wonderful. And I am all fired up and pleased with the reception here but, more important, pleased to see the quality of the work and the pride in the work. It just reinforces my view that we've got to resist this siren's call of protection and continue to send our quality goods wherever the market is, domestic or foreign. And I'm going to keep on trying to open these foreign markets to fairplay. And if we succeed in that, these goods are going to compete. They are quality goods. And I'll tell you, that's the strong lesson I'd take back to Washington, DC.

I had a chance to chat with some of you all's associates in there. And I will single out but two because I wrote down their names. But Dominique MacDonald and Frank McWilliams -- I don't know whether you have to have a ``Mc'' to work in the quality end of this thing, but I don't think they were programmed by one of these machines out here -- both of them telling me about how their fellow workers took pride in what they were doing. And then you hear Craig and Bob reflect this, too, the Tom Selleck and the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the high-tech world up here.

I was briefed on this visit by my longtime friend and the able Governor of this State, Judd Gregg, who I'm proud to say is running our campaign in this very important State, who's with us here. I'm also pleased that we have Bob Smith, one of the two great Senators from New Hampshire, and also Bill Zeliff, the Congressman here, and then Ed DuPont, the State Senate leader.

Let me just say this. I'm not up here to assign blame. Look, I know some people aren't doing as well here as the people at Cabletron. I'm sure people here have friends and family that they wonder whether they're going to have a job. So, I will accept my share of the responsibility as President of the United States. And I will state to you my determination to do everything I can to turn this economy around. But let me put it in stark political terms. If the growth initiatives that I have been proposing for the last three State of the Union Messages had been supported by more people like Senator Smith and Congressman Zeliff and Senator Rudman, we would have this economy on the move.

We can stimulate the growth through sensible tax policy in this country, and that's what I will be proposing in the State of the Union once again. Then I'm going to look to the American people, including everybody here: Help me. Help me get a sensible program through this Congress that's still back in the dark ages of Government intervention, liberal spending, and more taxes. That's not what's needed.

I'm impressed with the spirit here, the creation of more jobs. And believe me, the rest of the State can succeed if we give them the proper support in Washington, DC, in terms of stimulation of the economy. I'm going to have to resist the siren's call, obviously, for protection. It's coming at me from the right, way out on the right, coming at me from the left. But you guys -- I forget what the export figures are here. They're strong, 28 percent in something like 5 years. That's a tremendous growth. That means jobs. And it isn't just Cabletronics, other countries. And if we go back the protection route, why, we are simply going to dry up markets and invite retaliation from other countries.

I got criticized for this trip to Japan, not just for throwing up on the Prime Minister. [Laughter] You've got to admit when I get sick for 24 hours I do it with a certain flair, you know. [Laughter] But all that aside, some people -- ``Well, the President shouldn't do this, hat in hand.'' My eye. What I was doing was saying to these foreign leaders, look, give us a shot at these markets. We're not asking for protection. We're not asking for quotas like some of this silly Democrat legislation that I'm going to have to knock on its -- knock down when I get back to Washington, DC. [Laughter] What we're asking for is access to the other guy's market.

And let me tell you something. I will bring the same kind of leadership, world leadership, we brought to Desert Storm to these economic questions around the world. We will expand our markets abroad. And I will not listen to the protectionists.

You did it the old-fashioned way: You took risks. You took pride. You built quality into what you're doing. And you can hold your heads up, and you can compete with anyone in the world. We've got to get that spirit going across the rest of this country. And I really believe we can do it. Yes, times are tough. And yes, unemployment is unacceptably high. But interest rates are down. Inflation is down, so you're not being wiped out by the cruelest tax of all. And we are poised now for a real recovery.

I will repeat it for the third time today, but the first visit was over at Pease, and I want to see how we can assist in the economic development of Pease. We can make something positive. We have to cut back because we're doing better in terms of world peace. And because the way our soldiers performed in Desert Storm has now led to a more peaceful world, we're able to cut back. That's something that's being demanded, and I think properly so. And we will have more to say about that in the State of the Union.

But I want to help and take something that is a difficult situation and turn it around and make it positive for the people of New Hampshire. And I believe we can do it. It's happened in other parts of the world. Waco, Texas, is a good place to look, and other places that had great big installations. They were turned to civilian use, and they made real progress. So, we want to go forward and help on that.

But we need to keep this spirit alive. And over there at Pease this woman said to me, also a country music fan like I am, and she said, ``Well, do you remember the song about the light at the end of the tunnel,'' and the song goes, ``I just hope it's not a train coming down through the tunnel.'' Well, good warning. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I told her my song that many of you have heard, ``If you want to see a rainbow, you've got to stand a little rain.''

New Hampshire stood a lot of rain. And there is going to be a rainbow, because we are America. We can compete. And I'll take this case in the State of the Union, and I'll spell out the incentives that I think are smart. I'm going to have to resist some of these instant fixes that takes this so-called Federal money -- that's yours, incidentally, if you're paying taxes -- and kind of spreads it around out there in some giveaway fashion that sounds good and has appeal but does not stimulate the economy. So, we're going to do what we can to have sound fiscal policy.

And as I say, I sure would like to have your help. Spill it over into Maine, or spill it over into Massachusetts, so we can get some more people in the Congress like those that are supporting me here and get the job done in Washington. I'm sick and tired of a Congress that thinks old thoughts and can do nothing but try to tear down the President of the United States. We need some changes in the Congress, and I'm going to fight for them.

We made some progress on our Japanese trip there. We got 49 nonauto standards, these are standards just for access to market, cleared up. That was good. We signed dozens of literal market-opening agreements in these four countries that I visited. And I think that the business leaders who spoke out and said, in the computer business, that we at least -- we get them to keep the agreements, but that we'd broken into the Government computer market. Here's a figure. We sell 40 percent of computers used in Japan -- are American because they're good -- and Government, Japanese Government, .04 percent. And what we think we've done now, and the computer industry agrees, is to break into that market and insist on fairplay. No tariffs, no subsidies needed, just the ability to let you guys that know what you're doing compete. That was what this trip was about. And as I say, I'm going to stay engaged, stay engaged in this all the way.

We've got some other blessings in this country. You won't hear them in a primary. One thing, I'm a little tired of people telling me that I've just found New Hampshire. My God, I was growing up around here before some of you guys were born and certainly before some of these people that are now campaigning for President knew where New Hampshire was on a map. They've never been here before. They don't know the heartbeat of it. When a hurricane hits Portsmouth, it hits my house up there, not so far away from here. And when I was going to school, we used to compete into New Hampshire. And my daughter-in-law is from here.

And one thing that really -- I will clean this up for this marvelous audience -- burns me up, put it that way, is this charge that I don't care. And I can understand it. Some people think you get to live in the White House, and you're dealing with all kinds of world figures. But we do care.

At lunch this fellow asked me, he said, ``If you could get one message over to the people in New Hampshire, what would it like to be?'' And I thought that you can help me with the fiscal program or open up these markets or help us with crime or help us with our wonderful education program. But I said to him, ``Listen, I guess the one message would be, both Barbara and I care. We think we understand your heartbeat. When somebody hurts, we think we know enough about family to identify with that. And we care.'' And then we can build from there in terms of where this country ought to go.

It was one year ago, one year ago that Desert Storm was fixin' to begin, as they say in another of my home States, Texas, one year ago. And you think back to the criticism -- that goes with the job -- from the media, the columnists, ``The President hasn't prepared the American people.'' Look back at the very people, some of whom are running today for President, criticizing me for moving forces. Look back at them telling me what I could not do as Commander in Chief. And we did it. You and I and those brilliant young men and women did it. And we lifted the spirits of America.

I want to take that same leadership and lift the spirits of America in the economy. And we can do it if I can get some help in the United States Congress. That was the difference. They ask me what's the difference. Well, let me tell you guys. Let me tell you 250 mournful pundits what the difference was. I didn't have to go ask Senator Kennedy if I could declare war or go on and move these troops. I didn't have to. Listen, if I'd have listened to the leader of the United States Senate, George Mitchell, Saddam Hussein would be in Saudi Arabia, and you'd be paying 20 bucks a gallon for gasoline. Now, try that one on for size.

I'm getting sick and tired, I am, every single night hearing one of these carping little liberal Democrats jumping all over my you-know-what. [Laughter] And I can't wait for this campaign. And if I decide to become a candidate for President of the United States -- [laughter] -- why, I'm going to come right back up here and ask for your help.

Look, there's a lot of problems out here, a lot of things wrong with our country. But there's an awful lot of things that are right about our country. Some people around here that may have been old enough to remember the conflict of the Vietnam war. There are some people around here that may have kids, parents -- maybe in the 10th, 12th grade -- who wonder, ``Hey, is my kid going to have to go off and do combat in a superpower war?''; who go to bed at night saying their prayers, as most families do, wondering about the fear of nuclear war. That's been diminished. I'll take the blame for some things, but please give us a little bit of credit for the fact that your kids and my grandkids have a chance to grow up now in a world that's much more peaceful. And that is fundamental.

And the second thing I'd say is this: This ain't the easiest job in the world. But I didn't expect it would be. But I love it, every single minute, the challenge of trying to work for and hopefully improve the lot of the American people.

And the longer I'm in this job, the more important I think are the values that I think of as New Hampshire values, your family values, I hope they're mine, of family, involvement of parents in the lives of these kids, the need to do better in education, the need for all of us to come together at the community level or family level to knock out this scourge of drugs. And there's some good news on that in terms of the teenager use of cocaine. There's some good things happening out there.

But it's family and, yes, faith. Somebody reminded me of Abraham Lincoln's comments about, during the Civil War, praying. Of course, you feel that way. These are fundamental values. And we have tried to live them. We have tried to emulate them. We have tried to advocate them. Thank God, Barbara Bush is out there hugging those kids and teaching people to read and serving, as she should, as an example to a lot of people in this country of a caring person. No political agenda, she just gives a darn.

And so, I'll roll up my sleeves and get into the arena when they decide who they want to have as their nominee. But in the meantime, let me tell you this: I know how I got there. I know how I got this opportunity to serve as President of the United States. And I've tried to be a good President.

Now, things aren't so good in some parts of this country. And we do care about it. But I believe there is a rainbow out there. And I need your help to prove it. So, I would appreciate your support. But whatever you decide, keep up this work. This is the America's spirit, alive and well and flourishing. May God bless our great country. And don't ever apologize for it.

Thank you very much.

[At this point, Cabletron Systems officers presented a jacket to the President.]

All right. Thank you all very much. That's great. Thank you.

Thank you all very, very much. Good to be with you. I hope we can -- how long have you been standing out there? An hour? Two? Oh, no! A thousand apologies. But really, it's been a great day for the spirit. And I meant what I said. I am terribly impressed. And please keep doing this. People are learning; people understand. We've got some problems, but you're showing we also got some wonderful answers. Thanks a lot.

Note: The President spoke at 3:41 p.m. at Cabletron Systems, Inc. In his remarks, he referred to company officers Craig R. Benson, chairman of the board of directors, chief operating officer, and treasurer; S. Robert Levine, president and chief executive officer; Dominique R. MacDonald, sales trainer; and Frank McWilliams, test manager.