Public Papers

Remarks on Arrival in Tulsa, Oklahoma


Thank you all very much. What a fantastic rally. Thank you so very much, and good morning, Oklahoma. I'm delighted to be back. May I first salute J.C., the man that introduced me, my friend. You should be very proud to have a man of his character and experience in office here in the great State of Oklahoma. J.C., thank you very, very much.

Before I share just a few remarks with you on our campaign, as I look at national priorities, one of them simply must be the reelection of your great Senator, Don Nickles. We need him in Washington. And you know, everyplace I go you hear people saying, ``Clean House! Clean House!'' We've got a good man in Jim Inhofe. Reelect him, and then send Jerry Hill to the United States Congress. We've got to change it.

I am just delighted to be here. May I pay a special tribute to these great bands: the Hornets, the Warriors, the Indians, and the Eagles. It's great to be back in one of the great States for high school football. All four of these schools won their football games last weekend. Good news.

May I also just say a word to those who work for the great company that puts together that fabulous fighting machine, the F - 15, the people at McDonnell Douglas. Thanks for hosting us here, and good luck with the new sale abroad. And I want to say hello also to those who work for the great Rockwell Industries, two giants of American industry, employing men and women who are the best workers in the entire world.

You know, for the past few weeks I've been traveling the length and the breadth of this fantastic country of ours, stumping for the economic ideas that I believe in: an Agenda for American Renewal. I want to create new markets for American products and new jobs for American workers. You see, we never retreat; we always compete. And we will always win. We are the United States of America.

And yes, we've had some tough times in this country, but don't believe the pessimists on the other side who can only win by tearing down America. We're coming out of our difficulties, and we are leading the world, and we'll continue to do so as long as I'm your President.

Big difference in this election. He wants to spend more and tax more. I want to see the Federal Government spend less, and I want to see us taxed less, so private sector can get the job done. I'm standing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the great oil capitals of the world. I want to see a change in our tax system that benefits the independent oil people so we can get those rigs running again. Change the alternative minimum tax, and watch what Tulsa and the rest of Oklahoma can do.

Frankly, we are trying hard to give small business relief from taxation, from regulation, and yes, from litigation. We are suing each other too much, and we should care for each other more. I want to change all the lawsuits up there.

Another big objective, and we're on the right track, is we want to change the American schools. I want to give these young people the finest education in the entire world. I want to give the parents the right to choose the schools, whether it's public, private, or religious.

We've got a good health care program for America, and I want to use competition to cut the cost of health care, make it available to you and your neighbors. And the way I see it, you should only feel the pain when you're in the doctor's office, not a month later when you get the bill in the mail. And so, do not go for the Clinton plan that says get the Government further involved; go for our plan that says provide insurance to all, and keep the quality of health care we now have.

You know, for about 11 months, Governor Clinton has been attacking me and my record, and I've sat back trying to get things done for this country. Month after month he's persisted in these unrelenting attacks, many of them quite personal in nature, distorting my record; and his campaign cochairman even called me a racist. And this week Governor Clinton unveiled the first negative television advertising of the campaign. He fired the first negative campaign shot, and I am not going to take it anymore. I'm going to take his record to the American people as well as my own.

And so let's see how the American people -- how they feel after they understand the facts about his record. In Springfield, Missouri, a few minutes ago I talked about the overall record. And today I'm coming by some of the other States that are near Arkansas to move beyond the record and find out what he has actually done in Arkansas, or put it this way, done to the good people of the State of Arkansas. First, my argument is not with the people of that great State. They are good; they are decent; they are hard-working. And they deserve better treatment than they've received from their Governor.

The other side is eager to debate. We'll probably have a debate. But for openers, let them debate each other. Let one side, as candidate Clinton, a promising young man who seems to be willing to promise anything to get elected; and on the other is Governor Clinton, whose record in Arkansas is a series of broken promises.

Now let me look at just one issue today because I think of the people of Oklahoma as fair. Let's take a look at the civil rights record. Candidate Clinton says, and I quote, ``Everybody knows that I have the best civil rights record.'' Well, that is a very modest statement by the Governor saying he has the best civil rights record. But let's see if his rhetoric is matched by his record.

Some of you may know in 1968 when I was a Member of Congress from Texas that I voted for a fair housing act. It was not a popular vote with my constituents. But times have changed now, and nowadays 41 States have laws banning housing discrimination -- 41 States, including the great State of Oklahoma. Arkansas is not one of them, and that man's been Governor for 10 or 12 years. He's talked a lot and done nothing.

Forty-eight States, the young people here might be interested, have basic civil rights law, 48 that ban discrimination and guarantee equal opportunity, and Oklahoma is proud to be one of them. But not Arkansas. Arkansas is one of only two States without a civil rights statute. What has the Governor been doing, other than talking about fairplay?

Governor Clinton goes around criticizing my 1990 veto of the Democrat Congress' quota bill. Well yes, I did veto that bill, and I'll veto any other quota bill that the liberals cook up in Washington, DC. I am for civil rights, and we've got a good record on that. And I am against quotas. And that is not a contradiction. I'm proud last year to have signed a very good equal opportunity bill, and it had no quotas in it. Now, even though his party enjoys overwhelming control of the Arkansas Legislature, he still hasn't brought a civil rights bill to the people of Arkansas. So when you hear candidate Clinton, his rhetoric about civil rights, remember Governor Clinton's record in Arkansas.

You know, Bill Clinton talks a very good game. He's got more statistics than there are problems out there, but his actions betray his words. In Arkansas, individual income has slipped; crime is up relative to the Nation; children's test scores get weaker; while streams of air get more polluted. If you go swimming in that Arkansas River, keep your mouth closed and hold your nose. They are doing a terrible job on pollution.

So again, candidate Clinton talks one way, and Governor Clinton has a very, very different record. Governor Clinton proves that it doesn't matter what the candidate says. He simply will not deliver. So whether it's candidate Clinton or Governor Clinton, the message is the same: Bill Clinton is the wrong man to accept your trust to be President of the United States of America. I will let you all make up your mind about service to country when it comes to war and peace. I will take my record with pride to the American people. We have stood tall, and freedom has prevailed.

Not far from here, you know, is the birthplace of Will Rogers, the man who said he wasn't a humorist, he just watched the Government and reported what happened. Well, I don't know what he'd say about Governor Clinton. Maybe he would say that here's a guy with the gall to promise the Moon to America while the sky is falling down in his own backyard. But I really believe we can do better, and I say America deserves better.

And yes, we have challenges, and yes, we have problems. But this agenda of mine will confront our challenges. There's going to be over 100 new Members of Congress, maybe 150. And the day I am reelected and they are elected, I'll sit down with them and say, ``Now let's improve our schools; let's fight for America's security; let's do something about these lawsuits that are plaguing America; let's do something about health care; let's get on with the business of governing this Nation and solving our problems.''

And so what I will be offering the voters, and I ask for your support, is experience, ideas that are right for America. And I hope that my character will pass muster with you, the American people.

Thank you very much, and may God bless this great State. And thank you for this fantastic welcome to Oklahoma. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:12 a.m. at the Tulsa International Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Johnnie Cherblanc, master of ceremonies for the event.