Public Papers

Remarks to the Community in Gainesville, Georgia


The President. Thank you, Dow Williams. And thank you, Gainesville. What a fantastic rally. I am grateful to you, and it makes me think we are going to win this election.

Let me just say how pleased I am to be accompanied on this trip by two of America's greats: Governor Campbell, the Governor of South Carolina, and Senator Strom Thurmond, the great United States Senator. And you know, everyplace I go I see signs that say, ``Clean House!'' Let me say let's also clean Senate and send Paul Coverdell to the United States Senate.

May I thank Dow Williams, who's our master of ceremonies, and everybody responsible for this fantastic rally. And let me say this: One left me in Norcross. I expect I will see her in the White House Thursday night, but I am very proud of our First Lady, Barbara Bush, who sends you her very best.

It is great to be in the land of the free and the home of the Braves. You know -- you got it. This is what we're going to do to Governor Clinton, Clinton-Gore. You know, baseball's exactly like politics. So you forget about all these crazy polls. Don't let these newscasters tell you what's happening or how to vote. On election day we're going to show America it ain't over 'til Cabrera swings, and that's exactly the way it's going to be.

Anybody see that debate last night? Well, it seems to me we had a chance to lay out the difference before the American people. I was talking about a difference in experience, a difference in philosophy, and yes, a difference in character. And I think all three of those things matter.

The scariest moment of that debate was when Governor Clinton said he wanted to do for the United States what he's done to Arkansas. That scares me. We cannot have that. I hate to ruin a beautiful rally on a sunny day in Gainesville, but let me tell you something: Arkansas is the 50th out of 50 States in environmental initiatives; 49th in high school diplomas; 45th in well-being of children; and incomes and jobs and wages lag the entire Nation. We do not need that for the greatest country on the face of the Earth.

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

The President. I thought -- --

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

The President. Four more!

You know, I agreed with one thing that Ross Perot said. He said, the grocery store is no preparation for Wal-Mart, and I think he's right. This is the big leagues. You can't have it both ways on every issue. You've got to say what you think, admit your mistakes, and lead and not waffle. I am that kind of a leader, and the other man is the waffler.

I had a chance to point out last night -- he didn't like it a bit -- that Governor Clinton has already said he wants to raise your taxes by 0 billion. He wants to spend -- --

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. I'm sorry. He wants to spend 0 billion. He says he'll take it all from the rich. All you cab drivers, all you nurses, all you boys club workers, all you watch out, because he's coming right after your wallet, coming right after it. We are not going to let him tax the American people anymore.

He wants trickle-down Government. We do not need bigger Government in Washington, DC. We need to control that growth in spending, give the over-taxed taxpayer a little relief, and get this deficit down. That is my program.

Georgia is a great export State. We create a lot of export jobs here. I think exports are going to lead our way to a new prosperity for the entire world. Let's not go back to protection. Let's open up those foreign markets to Georgia's goods. Our American workers can outproduce any workers, any part of the world. We are the best.

Everybody here knows this, but it is small business that creates the new jobs. Two-thirds of the new jobs come from small businesses. And the small businesses need relief from taxation, regulation, litigation. Clinton would sock the taxpayer with more. I say no, lighten up on small business, and let them create jobs.

Last night, I can't remember whether we talked about it in the debate, but one big difference I have with this man is he doesn't care about these lawsuits. My view is we are suing each other too much and caring for each other too little. We ought to do something about these crazy lawsuits. We spend over 0 billion a year on lawyers, and that's too much. We've got some darn good ones, and I hope they're here. But we've got to put a cap on these crazy lawsuits.

Last night, we showed a big difference on education. We've got a lot of kids here. I think it's time to give the parents the choice and the help to send their kids to the schools they want, public, private, or religious. I think it's time we have a new health care system that makes insurance available to the poorest of the poor, gives the middle class a tax break, but does not turn it over to the Federal Government. The Federal Government can't run the post office too well, and we ought to do better in health care.

On crime, I've got a fundamental difference with the Governor, because I believe we ought to be a little more sympathetic to the victims of crime and a little less sympathetic to the criminals themselves. In Arkansas, prisoners spend 20 percent of their term in jail. In the Federal system it is 85. We do not need to be more lenient; we need to back up the families and the law enforcement officers and bring law and order back to our communities.

You know, one of the best visits I've had as President of the United States is when a group of young men from the Fraternal Order of Police came to see me, and they were from Little Rock, Arkansas, endorsing me for President of the United States.

Last night, we talked about reforming Government. I do believe we need to get this deficit down, and here's three ways to do it: Give me what many of the Governors have. Give me a balanced budget amendment, and make this Congress save money. Give me a line-item veto. Forty-three Governors have it. Let the President draw a line through those wasteful programs. Congress can't do it. Give me the chance.

I want a check-off on the tax returns so if a person says, ``I'm concerned about the deficit,'' they can check off 10 percent of their tax they send to the Government, and then the Congress and the President must reduce the deficit by that much. Discipline the Federal Government.

One other idea where I have a big difference with the status quo and with Governor Clinton and Mr. Gore is I believe that we ought to have term limits on the Members of the United States Congress.

I do believe character counts. We're talking about the Presidency. We are talking about who is privileged and honored to serve in that hallowed White House. Character counts, and I don't believe you can flip-flop on every issue.

Governor Clinton is on one side of the war. He was saying, ``Well, I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted for the majority.'' When you're President, you've got to make a tough decision. We did it, and Georgia's sons and daughters behaved with honor, and we kicked Saddam Hussein all the way out of Kuwait. And we restored the honor of the United States.

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

The President. My objection -- --

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

The President. Four more!

My concern about Governor Clinton is there is a pattern of deception. It flip-flops. It's on the right-to-work laws. It's on free trade. It was on the war itself. It was on term limits. You cannot be all things to all people. You can't say one day, ``Well, I'm for the Blue Jays, but maybe I'll be for the Atlanta Braves.'' I'm for the Braves, and that's the way it is.

Listen, you guys -- --

[At this point, the audience chanted the Braves cheer.]

The President. Wasn't that great? You know, I'll make one serious comment here that transcends politics. But I know all Georgians, everyone in the United States was upset when we saw the Canada flag inadvertently, by mistake -- everyone's human -- make an error, and their flag was flown upside down. This morning I apologized to the people of Canada. They understand. They are our friends and our allies. They have respect for our flag, and we have respect for theirs. They are great people, and I hope they come in second in the World Series.

In conclusion, let me say this: In the Richmond debate -- maybe some of you had to suffer through that one -- Governor Clinton said it's not the character of the President, it's ``the character of the Presidency.'' And I said, no, you can't separate the two. When I see these kids out here, I am more determined than ever not only to serve with honor, not only to show compassion and concern for the people of this country but to enact the programs that are going to help the young people and lead them to a new prosperity and a new hope.

We have literally changed the world. These kids go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war that their mothers and their dads and their older brothers and their sisters had. That is dramatic change. And because of our leadership we are, indeed, the most respected nation in the world. Now help me take that same leadership and lift up the American people, because our best days are ahead. We are the United States.

May God bless the United States of America. Thank you all very, very much. What a great rally. Thank you.

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

The President. Thank you so much. Thank you all. Great rally. Thank you, Gainesville. Thank you, Georgia. Thank you, the United States of America. We are going to win this election. Thank you so much. All aboard!

Note: The President spoke at 2:25 p.m. on the observation deck of the Spirit of America train.