Public Papers

Remarks at a Post-Debate Rally in Lansing, Michigan


The President. Thank you very much.

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

The President. What a fantastic rally. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you for this great Lansing welcome.

May I first thank Mel McDaniel; and of course, another old friend, Fred Travalena; and Wynonna Judd, a great friend of the Bush family. We're delighted that she is here. Many thanks.

Anybody watch the debate? I believe we won, but I believe we won because our ideas are right for America, and Governor Clinton is wrong for America. And I think the American people know that the Presidency is a position of trust. I believe character is important.

Let me say how pleased I am and pleased at our campaign. This State is headed by one of the truly great Governors, John Engler, with us today. I am very very lucky. I watched how he did it. The polls had him down, and he fought back, and he won for Michigan. We're going to do exactly the same thing. We're going to do it.

Our Lieutenant Governor is here somewhere, Connie Binsfeld; the chairman of our party, Dave Doyle, right here in Michigan; and our national committee people, Chuck Yobb and Betsy Devost. We've got a first-class political team, and that's why we're going to win.

One point I made tonight, and I feel strongly in my heart about it, being President, is that the next President is going to have to stand up against the special interests in that big-spending Congress. And I believe I'm the one to do that. You cannot be all things to all people, try to keep every single group -- you've got to call them as you see them, as the umpires do in the World Series. I have done it, and I believe that's why the American people will put their trust in me.

And yes, you had to stand for principle. You heard the revisionists out there tonight trying to make something of it. But I looked into the camera and told the American people that Saddam Hussein's aggression will not stand, and it didn't stand.

I really believe that tonight -- --

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. I believe that right here, right here at this rally, the first post-debate event, we are starting to move. We are going to close this thing up, and we're going to win it on November 3d.

I'm going to stay out on the road. A while back I said I'll do what it takes to win, and I mean I'm going to outhustle this guy, outwork him. I'll take my message to the American people. Let him talk about making Government bigger. I want to get that deficit down by getting rid of some of this taxation and getting rid of some of this Government spending.

I loved it when I told the American taxpayer -- tomorrow, listen, you'll hear the last -- just a few hours ago, you hear them talk about tax the rich. You cab drivers, you beauticians, you schoolteachers, watch your purse. They're going to come right after you. We cannot let that happen to the American people.

With all respect, with all respect, I had a lot of fun when I reminded some of the media about that bumper sticker, ``Annoy the Media.'' ``Annoy the Media. Reelect George Bush.'' I probably shouldn't have done it. You know, they always have the last word. But, gosh, that was fun. [Laughter]

Well, I have never lost confidence. I have always been convinced, because of our record and because of my belief in America as a rising nation, that we would win this election. And tonight I'm never more certain of it.

That Clinton-Gore ticket would make the Carter years look like a bonanza. We cannot go back to the tax-and-spend years: interest rates up at 21 percent and inflation up through the roof, every senior citizen getting wiped out, the ``misery index'' going through Gore's ozone hole up there someplace. We're not going to go back. We're going to go forward, because we are America. And my confidence is with the American worker, not with the big Government. Besides that, we've got the best First Lady in the world, and we'd better keep her there.

So thank you. All I ask now is that you take this enthusiasm, do what the Governor tells you: Get to the polls. Get our message of hope and opportunity and power to the people, out to the voters of Michigan. We will win this State, and we will win the national election.

Thank you. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 9:35 p.m. at the Lansing Civic Center. In his remarks, he referred to entertainers Mel McDaniel, Fred Travalena, and Wynonna Judd. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.