Public Papers

Remarks to the Community in Orlando, Florida


The President. Thank you very much. All right, you guys, thank you. Thank you very much.

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

The President. What a fantastic rally. And let me say, I've got great respect for Pat Williams. Wasn't he great up there, I'll tell you, giving us that warm introduction. As for Gerald McRaney, ``Major Dad,'' he's been a great campaigner, and I'm proud to have him at our side. I want to salute Congressman Bill McCollum. I'm not sure he made it. But he's a good man, and he obviously -- if we had more like him, they wouldn't be yelling ``Clean House!'' all the time. But we've got the answer to cleaning House in John Mica and Bill Tolley with us here today. We've got Bill Grant running for the Senate. More like that and we are going to get a real advantage here in the Congress and change America. Help me clean House. Thank you, everybody, for this great welcome. It's wonderful to be back in this City of Light, this City Beautiful.

Before I begin, let me just make a serious comment on what happened in Tampa this morning. We were followed out of town by a tornado which devastated some residential areas, tragically killed four people. On behalf of Barbara and me, our hearts and prayers go out to the family and the victims and all others whose homes were in that tornado's path. We've seen, and I saw it again today in Homestead, that Floridians are strong and good people. You've had your fair share of natural disasters, and I want to just express my concern and say, Florida's fighting back. Never make a mistake about that.

I might say, on a brighter note, I am very pleased that we have reached agreement with the Clinton campaign to hold three Presidential debates beginning next Sunday. I look forward to going head-on-head with Governor Clinton and Ross Perot. I'm especially pleased that Americans will be able to compare our ideas side by side without any media filter and get the facts and the truth to the American people. I didn't go to Oxford, so I'm not the world's greatest debater. But I know how to tell the truth, and that may make a difference.

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

The President. Let me say this. This election and what we'll be putting in perspective in the debates out there is asking the rhetorical question: What kind of an America do you want for the young people here today? My opponent rips our country down and says that we're a nation in decline, somewhere between Germany and Sri Lanka. He ought to open his eyes. We are the most respected nation on the face of the Earth.

Now let's use that leadership that changed the world and brought democracy and peace to all the countries moving around the world, and bring that same progress and prosperity to every working man and woman in this country. That's why I want 4 more years.

You might say, how do we stay number one economically, and we are when you look around the world. We do it this way: Here's the agenda for America's renewal. It is a comprehensive, factual plan, integrated plan to create the world's first trillion economy in the next few years. We can do it because we are the United States of America.

One way you do it is to turn away from protection and open up new markets abroad for American products. We must become an export superpower. We can do it if we don't listen to the siren's call of protection emanating from the other camp.

This agenda prepares our young people to excel in science and math and English, because this is the way we're going to outcompete the Germans and outcompete the Japanese. This agenda helps strengthen the American family because family is still the foundation of our Nation. I worry when it's weak, and I want to see us help strengthen it. We've got to literally reinvent American education and give every parent a fundamental right to choose the public schools, private schools, or religious schools. Parental choice will make all the schools better.

One thing that Governor Clinton doesn't want to touch, and I want to see done and done quickly, is to reform our crazy legal system so that we sue each other less and care for each other more.

He has already advocated spending, and he hasn't even started yet, already advocated 0 billion in more spending. I want to get the spending down and the taxes down. Here's the way we'll do it: Give me that balanced budget amendment; give me that check-off; and give me that line-item veto; and let me do what the Congress can't do.

And another thing, give us these three good men for the United States Congress. Then let's say, let's limit the terms for the Members of Congress. A President's terms are limited. Limit the Congress' and give it back to the people.

Now these are just some of my ideas. I hate to ruin this program, but I think we ought to take a little look at Arkansas because this man's trying to get elected by doing one thing: Tear down the country, say we're down, and criticize the President. If that's fair game, let's take a look at Arkansas.

Now first, the people of Arkansas are good and decent. We live right next door to them in Texas. They are good and decent people, but there's a lot they don't know about their Governor and a lot you don't know. And the more you think about it and the more you find out, the more you know he is wrong for America.

Audience member. Tell him!

The President. I am.

He says he's for civil rights. He says he's for civil rights. Arkansas doesn't even have a basic civil rights law. I have passed a sound bill, sound civil rights bill, a sound ADA bill, the best creative piece of civil rights legislation in the last two decades. He hasn't even done one single thing for fairplay in the State of Arkansas.

He says he's for a clean environment, but the Institute for Southern Studies ranked Arkansas 50th in environmental policy, 50th.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. The Governor sounds like he can walk on water. Well, you can do it over there in that Arkansas River. [Laughter] No, really. There's so much fecal coliform bacteria in the river that the fish teach their kids to jog rather than swim. [Laughter]

Governor Clinton says he's tough on crime, but crime in Arkansas has increased twice as fast as the rest of the Nation. And the cops who know him best, the Fraternal Order of Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, have endorsed me for President of the United States.

This guy says he wants to do for the country what he's done for Arkansas, and I say, why in the world would we let him?

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. That is a real threat. We can't let him do that. Now, look at the economy, a major issue in the campaign. And look, I know we've had tough times. Families are worried; people are out of work. But I'll tell you something: We need to understand that it's bigger than America. We're feeling a global economic slowdown. Everybody knows that. It's worse overseas. Not one single country over there wouldn't trade in a minute for our economy.

So, yet, Governor Clinton offers to America that same kind of tired European social welfare approach to life that has failed them. We don't need that in this country. He has already proposed 0 billion in new taxes, 0 billion in new spending. Don't worry, don't worry, he says, he'll take it all out of the top 2 percent, everybody making over 0,000. But the truth is, to get the money for his plan, that 0 billion, Governor Clinton would have to get his money from every American with taxable income over ,600. It's not just the top, and these people are not Shaquille O'Neal. They're not rolling in millions. These are your neighbors.

So I've got an idea, though. We ought to do what Shaquille would do and stuff the Governor's tax increase right into the front row. But on top of this -- I hate to ruin this marvelous rally -- but on top of this, Governor Clinton will literally need hundreds of billions of dollars more to pay for all the programs he's promised. You say, who's going to pay? The same people who always pay: those who work hard, pay their bills, sweat it out at tax time. He wants you to sweat harder for the tax man, and I say his ideas deserve a cold shower. We cannot do that for this country.

You're a third grade teacher making 22,000 bucks a year in taxable income; he could slap you with another 430 bucks a year in taxes. I say you ought to be able to use that money to pay for your kids' education, take a shot at the mortgage. You don't need to send it up to the IRS in Washington, DC. And therein lies the biggest single difference on this election: tax and spend versus holding down taxes, holding down spending, and return the power to the people of the United States.

I've got another. You know, for 11 months this guy and bunch of these other Democrats have been around tearing me up, and I'm having a good time now getting this thing in focus. I enjoy it. This guy is on every side of every issue. You talk about ``slippery when wet'' -- [laughter] -- listen to this: One day, Bill Clinton tells Arkansas he'll never run for President -- I've seen the tape of it -- and 8 months later, he's out there running for President, announcing his campaign. One day he says, I'm for the North American free trade agreement; then he backs away. Now today the Washington Post reports that tomorrow the Governor is poised to switch again and support the trade agreement. Watching him go back and forth on the issues is mind-boggling. It's like watching a Chinese ping-pong match. [Laughter]

One day he says the middle class deserves a tax break, and the next day he's plotting new ways to give the middle tax the greatest honor of paying for all his programs. If he ever became President, and he won't, we'd have to replace the eagle with a chameleon.

Now, I'll give you another example. I'll give you another example. Look at the question of whether to follow my lead and stand up against Saddam. Just 2 weeks ago in Washington Bill Clinton read a speech on foreign policy -- it sounded like a college term paper -- and he said, and I quote, he said this, ``I supported the President when it became necessary to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait,'' end quote. But 2 years ago, when I was trying to mobilize the whole country behind it, fighting not only the demonstrators out there in front of the White House that Saddam misunderstood and a lot in the media and plenty in the United States Congress, here is what Governor Clinton said: ``I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote, but I agree with the arguments the minority made.'' Now, tell me what kind of leadership that would be for a Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. No, we've got too much on one side and then another side. I've found one thing about the Oval Office: You can't make everybody happy. You're bound to make mistakes, but you've got to do like the umpire. You've got to call them as you see them and stay with it and tell the truth as you go along.

I'll tell you why I'm going to win the election. In the first place, we've got a better plan, an Agenda for American Renewal. Secondly, the young people in America go to bed at night without that same fear of nuclear war the generations ahead of them had. Thirdly, when people go into that voting booth, they're going to ask themselves this question: Who do I trust to be empowered with the dignity, prestige, and the enormous power of President of the United States? And I have worked hard to uphold that trust. Yes, I've made mistakes. But I have not betrayed the public trust. I have been a strong leader. And now I ask for your support for 4 more years to finish the job and get this job done.

Thank you all, and God bless you. God bless you all. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:05 p.m. at the Church Street Market. In his remarks, he referred to Patrick Williams, general manager, Orlando Magic basketball team.