Public Papers

Remarks at a Rally in Ridgewood, New Jersey


The President. Thank you. It's great to be here. Thank you. What a beautiful day in New Jersey. And let me tell you something: This marvelous crowd convinces me that I will be reelected for 4 more years in 12 days from now.

I want to thank Bob Grant. I want to thank Bob Grant. He always brings people he's for some good luck. And I want to thank your Congressman, Marge Roukema. You've got a great Congressman in Washington, DC. Everywhere I go, people yell, ``Clean House!'' If we had more like Marge, you wouldn't be doing that. But we need a new Congress to work with her to change America.

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

The President. This guy's fired up, up here.

Let me also say that I still wish that Governor Tom Kean were Governor of the State of New Jersey, I'll tell you. May I thank Mayor Pat Mancuso. And may I say a belated congratulations to the Ridgewood Maroons, the State champions, football champions.

And so, I come into this State feeling good. Something's happening out across this country. Something is happening. We're moving up on this guy. And remember, the vote is not over until November, when people vote on November 3d. And we are going to win the election because we are right for the American people.

Here's what's going to decide it; here's what's going to decide it: When people go into that booth, they're going to have to ask themselves, who do you trust to lead America out of a global recession? Who do you trust to create new jobs? Who has the experience and the ideas to lead the United States of America?

For a long time, for a long time, Governor Clinton and a handful of others running for President, for about a year, have been misrepresenting our record. And so today, I want to run the risk of ruining what is a lovely recession -- a lovely reception -- [laughter] -- wait'll you hear this, you'll know what I'm talking about. I've got to give you just a little bit on the Arkansas record. We've got to get in perspective. Watch out, here it is.

The 50th, Arkansas is the 50th in the quality of environmental initiatives; they are the 50th in the percentage of adults with a college degree; they are 50th in the per capita spending on criminal justice; they are 49th in per capita spending on police protection. When a kid gets out of high school, 75 percent of them in college need remedial learning. They are 48th in adults with a high school diploma; 48th on support for corrections; 46th on teachers' salaries; 45th on the overall well-being of children. And the other night Governor Clinton says, ``I want to do for America what I've done for Arkansas.'' No way.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. No way. No way. No way. It's like taking a guy in the Little League, taking a manager of the Little League team that finished last, and say he ought to be managing the Braves. There's a big difference between failing in Arkansas and leading the United States of America.

I'll give you a little idea of what he has already said he wants: 0 billion in new taxes, 0 billion in new spending. He talks about trickle-down; that is trickle-down Government. Government's not yet to create a job that means anything; small business does that. Let's help small business, not big Government.

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

The President. It's easy when the times are tough. And yes, we've got a tough economy. We happen to have one of the best in the world. It's not as good as I want it, but we're in a global slowdown, a global recession. And we've got to change things. But what we don't need to do is go back, what it was like when the Democrats controlled the White House and the Congress, which they've controlled for 38 years.

I want to remind you of what it was like. Interest rates, some here are too young to remember, 21.5 percent. We don't want that for the United States. Inflation was 15 percent. The ``misery index'' was going through the ozone hole that Gore talks about all the time. And we cannot go back to the failed policies of the past.

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

The President. Our idea is to get the Government under control and get Government spending and the taxation bill down. I saw a horrible sign here. It says ``Clinton equals Florio.'' No, we cannot do that to the United States. There it is. The guy's got it right there.

In early October, the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits -- to a 2-year low. We just got this announcement today. It's a good sign. And I can't wait to turn on the evening TV tonight and hear good news for America; I'm sure they'll report it. So far I haven't heard too much about that. We've had unemployment down for the last 3 months. I haven't heard too much about that. And my favorite bumper sticker, Tom, you got it? Here's my favorite bumper sticker of all, ``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' What is it about these guys?

Let me tell you what we've got to do, and New Jersey knows this, we've got to open up markets abroad. New Jersey can outproduce, outhustle -- our workers can outproduce, outhustle any, anywhere in the world. But we've got to open up these markets. We've got to outcompete the rest of the world. We don't turn inward, we turn outward and sell New Jersey products in markets all around the world, and that's what I stand for.

A lot of you people here today are small-business people. And that means they employ two-thirds of the people in this country, two-thirds. And they're not taxed too little. They're not regulated too little. They're taxed too much and regulated too much, and they're sued too much. Let's change all three.

I'm not, hey look, I'm not against lawyers. What I'm against is malpractice lawsuits that keep doctors from practicing. I'm against lawsuits so if a person goes by and sees a person lying on the side of the road in a car accident and then they're afraid to pick them up and help them because somebody is going to sue them; or a Little League coach who's afraid to coach because some nutty trial lawyer is going to come in and sue the opposition. I'm sorry, we are suing each other too much in this country and caring for each other too little. And we've got to change it.

And Governor Clinton owes his election to the trial lawyers in the past. And we've got to stand up against those people and put some caps on these ridiculous lawsuits that are costing health care alone to billion. Do something about it. Change it. That's the kind of change we need.

We've got a good health care program that's going to get insurance available to the poorest of the poor; tax credit to the overworked middle class; get the insurance portable so it goes with you from job to job; change malpractice. But do not let the Government run the health care program. And don't let the Congress do it. Congress can't run a two-bit bank or a two-bit post office. Don't let them do anything except change; change them out. Give Marge some company up there that's sensible like she is.

We've got a good education program -- reform education, America 2000. Tom has been in the lead of it, taking our case for new American schools all across the country, saying to the parents, you ought to be able to choose. You ought to choose whether you want your kid to go to a public, private, or religious school. It worked for the GI bill; it will work for public education, too.

Everyplace I go we are so well supported by the law enforcement community. And very candidly, we have been fighting hard to get decent, strong support for our law enforcement community in the Congress. And it's been frustrating. But my idea is we ought to have more support for the police and less support for the criminals. We need people in Congress that will stand up and support us.

The other day, I think it was eight people came up to see me. And they were the salt of the Earth, strong family people, dedicated to the values of this country. They are supporting me for President. And they are the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas.

And speaking of support from labor, I'm glad to see the guys from 472 here. Heads are on right, strong workers, the best, the best.

Now here's -- let me, let me -- I get wound up, too wound up here, but I want to tell you another approach. I'm concerned about the deficit. Marge is concerned about the deficit. Parents are concerned about the deficit because they don't want their kids having their future mortgaged anymore. So I'll give you four ideas: One of them, give me a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and make us, make the Congress and the Executive do something about it.

I like the idea also of giving the taxpayer a check-off on his income tax at the end of the year. And he or she can check a box, pay the tax. Ten percent of it would then go, and have to go to reducing the Federal deficit. And that would force the Congress to offset with spending cuts. We need to give the people the power to get this down.

I think we ought to give the power of the Congress back to the people. The President's terms are limited. I favor term limits for the Congress.

And lastly, they send me bill after bill, and it's got 3 good things in it and 25 bad things. Or it will have 20 good things and 4 bad things. And I want that, you've got it, I want that line-item veto that 43 Governors have.

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

The President. I'll tell you why I really believe I'm going to win this election. I'll tell you why: I don't believe that the country is going to turn to a man who said in his debate it isn't the character of the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' They are interlocked. You cannot separate the leadership of the President from the character of the Presidency.

And you cannot be all things to all people. You've got to say, here's what I believe. And if you make a mistake, you do what you all do: you say, I was wrong about that; now I'm going to get on about the Nation's business. You can't be on all sides of all questions, whether it's term limits, where he is one day, someplace else the next. CAFE standards, one day he wants 45 miles per gallon -- drive every auto worker out of business -- the next day, oh, he's going to study it a little more. A furry owl out on the West Coast, oh, he's all for the owl, but then he sees the timber workers, ``Oh well, I'll study that one a little more.''

You can't do that as President of the United States. I had to make a tough decision. Some of you may have agreed with it; some of you didn't. But when Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait, I determined that we were going to kick him out of Kuwait, and we did.

And where was Bill? He said, here's exactly what he said, he said, ``I agreed with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' What kind of leadership is that? Flip-flop, flip-flop, everything to all people. You can't do it. Look the American people in the eye and say, this is what I'm for. I'll call them as I see them. I'll be right, I'll be wrong, but I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm not going to be all things to all people. You can't do it.

And so I think character is important. And I think trust is important. And Barbara and I have tried very hard as a family to uphold the public trust. The honor of living in this, the most fantastic ``people's house'' in the entire world. We have changed the world. These kids go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war that their mothers and dads had. And that is significant challenge and significant change.

And now what we've got to do is take that same leadership, and working with the new Congress -- and there will be one, there will be over 100 new Members of the United States Congress -- say, I want to sit down with you the minute this election is over and do the people's business. Get on with the business of lifting up every family in this country and telling them, not like Clinton does, that we're a Nation in decline, but we are the best, the fairest, most decent country in the entire world. And now let's make life better for every single American.

Thank you all. Thank you very, very much, and may God bless the United States of America. May God bless our great country. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 3:35 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. In his remarks, he referred to Bob Grant, WABC radio talk show host.