Public Papers

Remarks at a Bush-Quayle Rally in Middletown, New Jersey


The President. Thank you all. Thank you, Governor. Listen, thank you for this welcome. What an honor it is to be introduced by Governor Tom Kean, great New Jerseyan, great friend. Thank you, Governor Kean, for heading our campaign. I know that guarantees success.

Now, hello to everybody. A thousand apologies for being, what, 15 minutes late. [Laughter] And I'm delighted to be back, back in New Jersey. Allow me to quickly thank my host, Mayor Rosemary Peters; the Vets, Neal Cassidy, Al Thomas, Ben Ferrera, and all the New Jersey veterans in the audience, as well as the Nottingham Little League. What a job they did. And I look forward to seeing Joe Kyrillos in Washington soon where he'll join Congressman Chris Smith.

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

The President. Four more. And let me acknowledge some New Jersey talent: Bob Franks, Don Francesco, Chuck Haytaian, members of the New Jersey Legislature and members of the Monmouth County Free Holder Board, all good Republicans.

I was not far from here, as the Governor said, almost exactly 4 years ago to the day, and I was campaigning for the Presidency. Our world was very different, largely because of one undeniable fact: A nuclear sword of Damocles hung over our children's head. Well, today I return to this beautiful Garden State to say something no President could ever say before: The cold war is over, and freedom won. Thanks to the sustained effort of brave men and women like the veterans here today, now our kids can go to sleep without nuclear holocaust haunting their dreams. That is real progress for mankind, and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Audience members. Where was Bill? Where was Bill? Where was Bill?

The President. We'll let him answer that one. [Laughter]

Thanks to folks like veteran Bill Denisson, who's 82 years old and came here tonight just to hear a young guy like me. He deserves credit. Does our children's peace of mind mean anything? You bet it does. We should be proud that together we have made it happen.

Now, America's challenge is straightforward. In the 21st century, America must be a military superpower, an export superpower, and an economic superpower.

And in this election, as the Governor said, you're going to hear two versions of how to do that. Theirs is to look inward and try to protect what we already have. And ours is to look outward, to open new markets, to prepare our people to compete, to strengthen our families, our social fabric, to save and invest, so that we can win.

My agenda starts with a commitment to trade, by opening world markets to the fruits of American labor. My opponent says, turn inward. I say American workers can still outwork, outthink, and outcreate anybody in the entire world. New Jersey, this great State, knows what that's worth better than just about anyone. In this State alone, more than a quarter-million jobs are tied to foreign investment and thousands more to exports.

Understanding the reality of this global economy led me to negotiate the North American free trade agreement. That agreement will create the world's largest free trade zone, a trillion market from the Yukon to the Yucatan, and will create 300,000 American jobs, and that is just in the short run. Governor Clinton used to support it. Now he says, ``I'm reviewing it carefully, and when I have a definite opinion, I'll say so.''

Well, Walter Lippmann said leadership means guarding, and I quote, ``a nation's ideals.'' Peter Drucker said, quote, ``Leadership is action.'' But you know, nowhere have I seen leadership defined as, ``Hey, I'll get back to you later.'' You can't do that when you're in the Oval Office. You've got to make a decision.

There's a clear choice when it comes to getting the economy going again, too. I spent half my career in the public sector and the other half working for a living in the private sector, running a small business. And I had ulcers to prove it. I think meeting a payroll is a good qualification for being President of the United States. Holding a job in the private sector is a good qualification. What I learned as a businessman is that it's as plain as day that higher taxes do not create jobs. They destroy jobs.

I'll tell you something else I disagree with my opponent about: I believe that Government is already too big and spends too much of your money. That's why I've proposed freezing discretionary spending in a plan to cap the growth of the mandatory spending without touching Social Security. We're not going to mess with Social Security. We're going to control the growth of other spending. And that cap would save almost 0 billion over 5 years, 0 billion. I need your help for that program.

You heard Joe talk about, Joe Kyrillos -- so far Congress has balked at making these tough choices. I want to give you, the taxpayer, the option of taking 10 percent of your income tax and using it for one purpose alone: To reduce the budget deficit. Let's get the crushing weight of debt off the backs of these young people here today.

We can take those savings and cut taxes across the board. I've already vetoed one Democratic tax increase, and I'll veto another if I have to. I've got a pen right here in my coat to do just that. No more tax increases.

Now, what about my opponent? What about my opponent?

Audience members. Clean the House! Clean the House! Clean the House!

The President. We've got to clean the House. I'm getting to that, now, just a minute.

Well, my opponent's been in the public sector practically all his professional life. He caught the bug during his work on the McGovern campaign, and he's been at it ever since. In fact, he's either been in public office or trying to get into public office ever since he was 27 years old. Just yesterday, Governor Clinton said, ``No government can ever replace the marketplace.'' Well, now, he sounds like he respects and understands the small businessperson. But that's like a guy saying he loves to sail, but he's never been near the water. You've got to understand how it works.

It's reflected in his policies, too. Last week, when Tom Brokaw interviewed both of us and interviewed him, the first words out of the opponent's mouth were, after he said good evening -- he did say that. Then he started talking about raising your taxes. We do not need to raise taxes in this country. I found out the hard way. I went along with one Democratic tax increase, and I'm not going to do it again, ever, ever.

He specifically means 0 billion in taxes. That's his proposal. Then he proposes 0 billion in new Government spending, although Newsweek magazine says it might cost 3 times as much as he claims. They called Governor Clinton's plan an ``economic fantasy.'' And they are right.

Of course, he says he only wants to tax the rich. But you know there aren't enough rich folks to pay for his programs. And he endorsed the 0 billion tax increase passed by the congressional Democrats this year. And he's for it. And I'm against it. And who do you think is right?

I ask New Jersey: Does this saxophone song sound familiar, tax and spend? I wish I could bring every American voter to New Jersey to see firsthand what a liberal Governor and a liberal legislature can do to wreck an economy. Thank God we've got some Republicans in there now. When Governor Florio was in cahoots with the Democratic legislature, they acted like every day was April 15th.

I remembered Governor Kean's motto for this State. Well, today, every New Jerseyan knows all too well: A rubber-check legislature and a rubber-stamp executive are not perfect together.

We need tax incentives to get this economy moving. By the way, if you'll give us Joe Kyrillos and a few more like him, I'd be using my pen not to veto tax hikes but to sign tax cuts into law. That's what we need.

The solution to our challenge isn't raising taxes. It's creating more jobs. I know that tourism, for example, is a big part of your great economy. I know it creates thousands of jobs. So, as the Governor said, I came here in 1988 and promised to clean up, help clean up your beautiful beaches, and I meant it.

First, I promised to end ocean dumping of sewage sludge. Well, the last barge to ever dump sludge in your ocean sailed from New York Harbor last June. No more. When tourists look out over the shore, they won't see sludge barges. They'll see sailboats.

Second, I want to clean up the sewage coming from New York City and points beyond. We've going to compel New York to build those sewage plants so you don't have to put up with their sewage washing up on your shores and ruining your beaches and vacations.

We're finally getting the garbage out of the water. That's what the Government can do when it confronts real problems with real policies based on real ideas, not an old formula from the past.

Now, while my administration's out helping deliver results on the Jersey shore, my opponent is talking a good game. But let me just give you his record on the environment back in his home State.

According to the Institute of Southern Studies, Arkansas ranked dead last for environmental initiatives, and in the amount of toxics they dump in to surface water, per capita, they were 47th. Now, they did better in the amount they pump into the air, they jumped all the way up to 42d worst. They were way up there at 42 in the percentage of rivers and streams that are polluted, too. There's a rumor down there that night fishing is getting more and more popular in Arkansas because it's so easy to spot the fish: They glow at night. They light up. [Laughter] Yes, the Governor wants to do for America what he did to Arkansas. Why would you want to let him do that?

You know, my opponent reminds me of a tired guy looking into the medicine cabinet, trying to choose among a bunch of old prescriptions that expired years ago. Old medicine will not cure our ills. Tax-and-spend will not solve our problems. It might kill off the patient. Let's not retreat into the past, with tired, expired remedies. Let's press forward into a new century of global economics where America can compete with the best and win a secure and good life at home.

May I thank the veterans who've provided us this wonderful hospitality. God bless those that served our country here, each and every one of you. May God bless the United States, a nation that is on the rise, not on the decline. Don't listen to the pessimists. May God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 3:04 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall. In his remarks, he referred to Neal Cassidy, commander, Middletown VFW Post; Al Thomas, chairman, and Ben Ferrera, executive director, New Jersey Veterans for Bush-Quayle; Bob Franks, Republican State Chairman; Donald T. DiFrancesco, president, New Jersey State Senate; and Chuck Haytaian, speaker, New Jersey State Assembly.