Public Papers

Remarks at a Breakfast in Nashua, New Hampshire


Rhona, I'm glad to see you here, our able chairman of our party, friend to all, and Alice. This takes me back a year or two, I'll tell you. And thank you all very much for being here. In addition to thanking Alice Record, I want to thank Harold Acres, our Nashua chairman, and Valerie Walsh, who is handling the volunteers; and say to Alice Record, with whom I go back a long time, Barbara and I do, we are just delighted and pleased to be here at this wonderful breakfast.

What you don't need, I think, on this Sunday morning is a long political speech, so you're not going to get one. I think that deserves a round of applause, too, after what this State has been through. [Applause] But I will just say a quick word about it because we're getting to a crossroads now, getting to a very important point.

Really, you make serious choices here, and you don't elect the loudest or the biggest protester. I think you take these elections seriously. And New Hampshire has a record of being a pretty good predictor on who should be bearing the responsibilities for President of the United States. We're not in this for messages. We're in here to see who should be chosen to be President and accept the full responsibilities of that job.

I have tried to stay above the fray in terms of all the negative campaigning that this State has been subjected to, much of it aimed towards me. But I think, in spite of the problems that exist here, people want to get a little bit of a positive idea as to where this country is going and what we stand for. And so I've tried to keep it on a good plane. I don't think this election is about trashing the candidacy of somebody else in some 30-second spot.

The issue, the one that counts the most here, is the economy. And this year there are two different kinds of choices: one who can tell you what he's doing right now, and then we have others from both extremes, it seems to me, who just don't have a clue as to where this country should be going or what to do about the problems that exist.

I've spelled out a two-part plan. And it's not political rhetoric. I have a responsibility as President of the United States to send a plan to the Congress each year. And regrettably, for the last 2 years, they have not acted on things that would have stimulated the growth in the New Hampshire economy. But I'm trying again now with very comprehensive programs, one short-term, one comprehensive and longer-term, both of which should be passed by the Congress this year to help the people of this State.

Though you hear the carping and the complaining up here in the campaign, but I haven't seen what I think of as a sensible action plan, one that fits in under these budget caps, one that will stimulate immediately. You hear some things that sound attractive to people, and there's great division amongst the candidates as what they should be. But our plan, I believe, really would move the country forward. It includes the student loan deductions. It includes tax relief for America's families with children. It is a good plan, and it will work. And it will stay under these budget limits. We've got to control the growth of Federal spending. And you ought to ask everybody that has one of these things, what does it cost? Ours, I have to account for it. It is before the Congress now. It will not increase these awful deficits we're facing.

Another subject that's come up is the one of protectionism and isolationism. And you talk about a sorry, negative approach. Those candidates on both sides who are promoting isolationism and protectionism, that is a clear blueprint for failure in my view, based on considerable experience. We can't go that way. The truth of the matter is we're not going to succeed economically at home unless we lead economically abroad. So when you vote, you've got to understand the new world, the world after the cold war.

And I think I might say, parenthetically, we ought to look at the whole record when we decide to elect, who a President of the United States is. And I'll claim to be second to none in terms of working for world peace and making it better for these kids to grow up in a world free of nuclear war.

I do believe that housing and real estate are going to lead this economy, lead the recovery, lead us out of recession. And that's one reason we have a proposal that will create 1,000 new homes and more than 2,000 new construction jobs in New York -- I mean in New Hampshire, starting this spring. I hope it will do some for New York, too. [Laughter] But Congress has got to pass it on time. And it will create 415,000 jobs nationwide; you had the head of the Home Builders up here the other day confirming this, nationwide; generate billion in new economic activity. It's based on investment incentives in our plan, and they're going to help business grow, buy new equipment, and hire new workers.

Because of the economy, you haven't heard about the successes we're having in fighting drugs. You haven't heard about the comprehensive energy plan. You haven't heard enough about our America 2000 education plan that would actually rejuvenate and revolutionize American education. We've got to do better. But the debate here is, for understandable reasons, on the economy. We've got a good health care plan that I put forward in detail, not a campaign plan but one that's right up there at the Congress right now. And I hope you'll pay some attention to that one.

But as I listen to the debate, sometimes from close in, sometimes from afar, I just hear the old thinking of let the Government do it all; or an isolationistic trend I mentioned; or bigger Government; or don't worry about the cost, pass this national health plan that's going to cost 0 billion more. And we just can't do that.

I've spent a lot of my life in this region of the country, as many of you know, spent a lot of my time in this State. I haven't just discovered it. We are, in a sense, neighbors; certainly not strangers. So, I want to ask you something. I'd like to ask you now to help me persuade the Democratic leaders in the Congress to get moving on our action plan. We've got to move it through the Congress, and we've got to do it now. Frankly, if we had more people like Judd Gregg, when he was on the Ways and Means Committee, and Bill Zeliff, who is there now, and Warren Rudman and Bob Smith in the Congress, that thing would be moving through. If we had control of the Congress, it would be moving right on through.

So the election is more than campaign slogans. It's more than who can get the 30-second bite by criticizing the President the most. The election is who do you want to be President of the United States. And I believe that when it comes Tuesday, I will carry this State, I hope substantially. I believe I will go on to have another 4 years as President. But I need your help. Send them a strong message, if you want to send a message that is positive, that is upbeat, that expresses confidence that the United States is the number one country in the entire world. And we're going to make it even better.

Thank you all very much. And I'm so pleased to be with you.

Note: The President spoke at 9:11 a.m. at Pennichuck Junior High School. In his remarks, he referred to Rhona Charbonneau, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, and Alice Record, State legislator. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.