Public Papers

Remarks at the State Fair in Raleigh, North Carolina


The President. Thank you very, very much. And let me say at the outset, let me say at the beginning how proud I am to be standing here with your great Senator, Jesse Helms, and to be introduced by him. With us all day today is Strom Thurmond from South Carolina, another great leader, a man that is fighting for strong anticrime legislation in that Senate. Every place I go people talk about cleaning House, changing the Congress. Well, let's clean Senate and send Lauch Faircloth to the United States Senate.

I've known your Governor, I've known Jim Martin for a long time. And I'm not saying this just because I'm here, but I think he has been one of the truly great Governors in the entire United States. And I served in the Congress with the man who must succeed him, when he was there, Jim Gardner. Please elect him to be Governor of this State. Speaking of cleaning House, let's get Vicky Goudie up there to try her part, and Don Davis, too. Then, of course, the real celebrity of the night, king over here, Richard Petty. You know, in the President you get a lot of thrills. One of mine was standing next to Richard at this last Daytona 500 and hearing that crowd who worship him, embrace him with their cheers. It was a wonderful day in American sports, and I am proud to have Richard as my friend. Besides that, I was in this fair headquarters and I heard what he had to say -- 14 laps behind and moving and ended up 4 ahead. I like that.

Well, it's great to be at the fair, and you've got a lot of things going: cotton candy, cotton candy, cotton candy. [Laughter] I know you all are doing a lot at the fair, but did anyone see that debate Monday night? It's a marvelous thing, those -- I don't particularly like them, but there's one good thing about those debates. You can get your message out unfiltered. It was a good thing because the American people saw a choice, a difference in philosophy, a difference in experience, and a difference in character.

What I didn't get to do is to spell out in enough detail the Arkansas record. I'm sorry to ruin it, but I've got to tell you a little bit about it, because for 11 months the liberal Democrats, and Bill Clinton in the fore, have been misrepresenting my record. So I think the American people are entitled to know some facts about his record in Arkansas. Here we go.

You won't be cheering when I get through these numbers: 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives; 50th in the percentage of adults with a college degree -- --

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Sorry about that -- 50th in spending on criminal justice; 50th in spending on police protection; 49th in percentage of adults with a high school diploma; 48th in spending on corrections; 46th on teachers' salaries -- --

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. -- -- 45th in the overall well-being of children. Now, Governor Clinton said in the debate, ``I want to do for America what I've done for Arkansas.'' We cannot let him do that. We're not going to let him do that.

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

The President. You know, it's like taking the manager of the team that finished last in the Little League and saying, you go up and manage the Atlanta Braves. It doesn't work that way when you want to be President of the United States.

Governor Clinton calls this change. Let me tell you something; he calls himself a candidate of change. Let's look close at what he offers: to openers, 0 billion in new taxes, bigger than Mondale and Dukakis together -- we can't have that -- and 0 billion in new spending when I last heard from him. Now he's changing the plan a little bit.

Audience members. Waffle, waffle, waffle!

The President. Hey, listen, I'm getting to the waffle house part. I'm just getting warmed up here, you guys.

What he's talking about is saying to the working man in this country, give us more of the money. Let the Federal Government figure it out, and we'll let it trickle down to you. We do not need trickle-down Government. We need to cut taxes and cut spending and get the people a break.

You hear Clinton talking about Herbert Hoover. He doesn't have to go back any further than Jimmy Carter. Let me remind you of this. Jesse alluded to this. You remember the ``misery index''? They invented it. The libs invented it, inflation and unemployment added together. It got up to 21 percent under Jimmy Carter, and it's 10 with us. We cut it in half. Everybody buying a home, or everybody trying to buy one, I ask you to remember what it was like when the Democrats controlled the White House and, as Jesse said, the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Congress. Interest rates were 21.5 percent. And we don't need to go back to that for the good of America.

This is change, all right. Change, that's what you're going to have left in your pocket if you put this guy in the White House.

Let me tell you what else we've got to do. We've got to increase the markets for North Carolina products all around the world. We've got the best workers in the world in America. Now let's sell more abroad.

We've got to get the tax burden off of small business. I mean build some incentives into it, investment tax allowance, capital gains, whatever it takes; less regulation, less taxation, because they provide two-thirds of the jobs for America. Relief for small business.

Hey, fella, quiet.

Then we've got to change the legal reform. We're suing each other too much in this country and not caring for each other enough. We've got to put some lid on the lawsuits in this country. Clinton is in the pocket of the trial lawyers, and we can't let that happen.

On health care, I don't want to get the Government involved. I want to provide insurance for the poorest of the poor, and I want to do it through vouchers and tax credits and keep the quality but provide insurance for all Americans.

On education, we are providing more grants to kids to go to college than at any time in the history of this country. Now I want to bring it down to the elementary, K through 12, and what I want to do is this: Give the parents the choice between private, public, and religious schools. Give them a break. That's going to help the public schools as well as the others.

On crime, we've got to be a little tougher on the criminals and have a little more sympathy for the victims of crime. I might say I was very proud to have been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas.

You know, they talk a lot over there on the other side about getting the deficit down. But here's three ideas for you. Let's pass a balanced budget amendment and make the Congress get it down. Here's another idea: Give the taxpayer a check-off on his income, 10 percent to go to reduce spending. Make them reduce that spending. Then give them a line-item veto. Let the President cut right through that waste. Three good ideas.

My biggest problem with Governor Clinton is that he's on one side of the issue one day and on the other, the other day. We cannot let the White House turn into the waffle house. We can't do that. He'll take one position on right to work in the right-to-work State, and in the other States he says he's against it. On term limits, which I am in favor of, he is for it in one State and against it in another.

On the Persian Gulf war, where the sons and daughters of North Carolina served with such distinction, here's what Governor Clinton said. Think of this in terms of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He said, ``Well, I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' What kind of leadership is that?

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. You cannot lead the American people by misleading them. Nobody is perfect. If you make a mistake, admit it. That's the American way. Then go on about leading the country. But do not try to be all things to all people.

Let me tell you this: I'm very sorry Barbara is not here because I think we've got the best First Lady we can possibly have. But she and I have tried very hard to uphold the public trust. The White House is your house. The Presidency is your Presidency. We have tried to keep that place decent and honorable so all the American people can look up to the White House.

Let me just add that sometimes that telephone rings there at night, and you have to make a decision. You can't wait. You can't procrastinate. You can't take a poll or have a town meeting or have a referendum. You've got to make a decision. That's what being President is all about.

I am very proud to have served my country in war. I put on a uniform and fought for the United States, and I am honored and proud to be President of the United States. I want to succeed in this campaign, not that I need the job, but I want to lift up these kids here today. We are in a global recession, a global slowdown. The United States economy is doing better than most of the European countries, Japan, Germany, Canada, you name it. But with my program, the one I have proposed, and with 150 new Members of Congress, we are going to lift this country up. We are going to help these kids here tonight. We are going to lead the way out of this into economic recovery.

Thank you very much. And may God bless the United States of America. And may God bless the wonderful people of the State of North Carolina. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 9 p.m. at the State Fair Grounds.