Public Papers

Remarks at the North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville


The President. Thank you all very much. Thank you so much. Listen, even the rain can't ruin a great festival like this. This is wonderful, and Barbara and I are thrilled to be here. We have great respect for your Governor, Jim Martin. What a superb job he's done for this State and, indeed, for our country. And may I salute Congressman Taylor, who I understood was going to say a few words; Congressman Cass Ballenger. If we had more like them in the United States Congress, we wouldn't be faced with a gridlocked Congress. So my plea is, keep these guys there, and then help us clean House. Let's get rid of the gridlocked Congress and move this country ahead.

May I thank everybody that arranged all this. In this election you're going to hear a couple of very different versions. My goal is that the United States must remain a military superpower, keeping our defenses up. And I thank all those in North Carolina who served this country in uniform and have done so much to guarantee the peace and guarantee freedom around the world. No State has been more patriotic, none more in the forefront of service.

We've got to remain an economic superpower, and that means we've got to be able to compete. That means we've got to be able to create more jobs in the United States, and that means we must be an export superpower. Let's not turn inward and protect. Let's turn outward, sell American products abroad, and create more jobs at home.

When we go into the voting booth in November, I ask you to consider the experience. I've held a job in the private sector, and I happen to think that's a good experience for President of the United States, private sector job. I also happen to believe that in the fact -- they tell you, well, foreign policy doesn't matter; security doesn't matter. I take great pride in the fact that these young people go to bed at night with a lot less fear of nuclear weapons because of the way we've acted over the last 12 years.

I'll tell you what the major issue is in this campaign. The major question in this campaign is this: I believe that the Government is too big and spends too much and taxes too much. The other side wants to tax more and spend more. We cannot let that happen to the United States.

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

The President. Four more years is what we need to finish this job, 4 more.

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

The President. You know, let me just mention the tragedy in Florida. We went out this week to try to help people. We took some Federal money that had already been appropriated to use to help farmers whose crops were destroyed. We've led the private sector in helping people in Homestead, Florida, and all across for the hurricane. And Governor Clinton was outraged. He accused me of pandering. Now, that's the same guy that Paul Tsongas called the ``Pander Bear.'' You remember that in the primary. He's now acting like Goldilocks, saying, ``Somebody's been sleeping in my bed!''

Here are the facts, pure and simple: We have suggested specific spending cuts and specific tax reductions. And he has told the American people, ``I want to increase your taxes by 0 billion and increase spending by 0 billion.'' We can't have that.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Barbara and I are delighted to be here. We know you've been standing out in that rain for a long time. But when Barbara Bush -- you know, the other side wants to get us away from talking about family values. You come to a festival like this, and you feel that sense of love and that sense of family. We're going to keep on saying, let's find ways to strengthen the American family, not tear it apart. I might say I am very, very proud of Barbara when she holds an AIDS baby in her arms or teaches some child or adult to read. That is what we mean by strengthening the American family.

My last point is this -- you've been standing out there long enough, and I want to eat some apples. The last point is this: The other side says that America is in decline and that we rank somewhere between Germany and Sri Lanka. Well, let me tell Governor Clinton something. I have been around the world many times, and I've worked hard in this country. We are not behind any other country in the world. We are proud. We are patriotic. Don't let them tear down the United States of America. Stand up for us. Don't listen to them.

We can do anything we set our sights to do. So let's have a better system of education. Let's help the people that need it. God bless those from North Carolina who -- when people from Florida came to help in Hugo -- North Carolina paying it back in spades. I was in Jeanerette, Louisiana, the other day. Here was a group of guys, they'd driven all night to show that North Carolina hospitality and concern for the people of Louisiana. That wasn't the Government. That was the people that were doing it.

Thank you all very, very much for this warm welcome back to this State. I need your support in November. I believe we're going to win. Let us finish the job of helping the United States of America. And yes, let's help those veterans.

God bless you. And thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 3:10 p.m. at the Henderson County Courthouse.