Public Papers

Remarks to the Community in Madison, New Jersey


The President. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Here we go for the last day. Thank you all. Thank you so very much. Thank you. May I start by thanking Rush Limbaugh. And last night, Governor Clinton was at the Meadowlands with Richard Gere and other Hollywood liberals.

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Well, here's a good deal for you. Let Governor Clinton have Richard Gere. I'll take Rush Limbaugh any day.

May I salute Governor Tom Kean. There's a great nostalgia in this State wishing they had Tom Kean back because they don't like the tax-and-spend policies of Governor Florio. My friend, Dean Gallo, great Congressman; and Mayor Capen and Jinny Littel; and the Madison High School and Chatam High School bands. It's just great to have them here today.

You know, you see some strange reports. Yesterday or the day before they had Governor Clinton talking about his inaugural parade. My advice is, put the parade on hold, Governor, because I am going to win this election tomorrow.

The pundits don't matter. These national pollsters who have been all over the field, they don't matter. What Governor Clinton doesn't understand, it is the people in that booth tomorrow that matter. They don't want somebody who is going to expand the American Government. They want somebody like me who is going to expand the American dream and make life better for every young person here today.

You know, the choice tomorrow is based on these points: a vast difference in experience, a vast difference in philosophy, and yes, Rush is right, a vast difference in character. That matters. Don't let them tell you it doesn't matter. I guess it boils down to this when you go into the booth all across this country: Who do you trust? If there's a crisis out there, who do you trust with your family? Who do you trust with the future of this country?

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

The President. Thank you very much. I had planned to ruin part of this rally by talking about the Arkansas record. I won't do it to you. I won't do it to you. But I will say this: I remember coming to -- --

Audience member. Give 'em hell, George!

The President. I don't give them hell, I just tell them the truth, and they think it's hell. You know, it's like Truman said. But let me point this out: Governor Clinton has the 50th record, 50 out of 50, at the bottom, in environmental initiatives. I came to this State 4 years ago and said we're going to clean up those beaches, we're going to stop ocean dumping; we're going to get a Clean Air Act. We've got a good record on the environment, and Governor Clinton has the 50th in the entire country down there in Arkansas.

As we approach the environment, we ought not to go to the extreme, like Ozone Man does. He'd throw everyone -- he's backtracking so fast he looks like the guy on the unicycle we just saw, going backwards. We've got to have a little more concern about the working man and the working woman in this country and still be good for the environment. And that's what we've been.

You know, 48th in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas, 48th in spending on corrections, 46th on teachers' salaries, 45th on the overall well-being of children. Then Governor Clinton gets up and says, ``I will do for America what I've done for Arkansas.'' No way, Bill! No way!

The bad news for Governor Clinton is that there's good news for this country. We've got a long way to go. We've got to help people. But when the economy is showed to be not in a recession, as he's been telling the country, but growing at 2.7 percent, that came as bad news, because the only way they can win is to convince the people of America that we are in decline and that the economy is awful. Yes, it needs to improve, but the worst thing we could do is put a tax-and-spend liberal back into that White House.

You know, in this campaign Governor Clinton said, ``Well, I'm a different kind of a Democrat, especially on the economy.'' He says he doesn't favor middle class taxes, he wants investment. He's talking about Government investing. Now, remember that, and listen to this. Here's what he said in Newsweek magazine: Bill Clinton says, and this is an exact quote, ``There's a lot of evidence you can sell people on tax increases if they think it's an investment.'' Those were his own words, his own duplicity. When he says ``investment,'' America, watch your wallet. He's talking about taxes.

Now, you got plenty of that message right here in New Jersey, deja vu all over again with Jim Florio, higher taxes, more spending, economic stagnation. We're going to change all that. When Bill Clinton's blowing that ``taxophone'' -- [laughter] -- middle class America will be singing the blues. We just can't let that happen to the United States.

Governor Clinton says he's the candidate of change. What he means by that is he wants -- and this is his numbers -- ``I want to tax 0 billion more. I want 0 billion more in new spending.'' You talk about trickle-down, that is trickle-down Government, take it from you and let Government spending. We cannot do that.

And I would remind America what it was like the last time we had a man coming in with exactly the same approach. When Jimmy Carter left office, or just before, we had inflation at 15 percent. We had interest rates at 21 percent, 21 percent. We had the ``misery index'' at 20. America was then in decline until Ronald Reagan and I came along and straightened it out and gave hope for this country.

The way we're going to do that -- New Jersey is a great export State. We are going to create more American jobs by selling the best product in the world, ``Made in America'' products, overseas. We're going to open these foreign markets. And it is small business that creates the jobs. Instead of putting the money in Government, how about a little tax relief for the people along Main Street? How about less taxes, less regulation, less lawsuits?

We need legal reform. We are suing each other too much in this country and caring for each other too little. And the trial lawyers won't let the slippery one do anything about it at all. They won't let him do anything about it at all. The head trial lawyer in Arkansas said he's never been for reform. And we are going to reform it so doctors can practice medicine, Little League coaches can coach, good Samaritans along the highway can help their fellow man without fear of a crazy lawsuit.

Health care: We've got the best plan. Make insurance available to all, but do not let the Government screw around with the quality of health care in this country.

In education we've got the new approach: reform. More than that, it is actually revolutionizing education. Bypass the powerful NEA, and let the teachers and the parents and the communities have more say in education without mandates from the Federal Government. And beside that, one way to make all schools better is for parents to have the choice of whatever school they want, private, public, or religious. Given them competition and give those parents a needed break.

Crime: Let me be clear where I stand on that one. I support the men and women who are out there in our neighborhoods every single day, trying to fight against the criminal elements. I'm talking about the police, the local police, the State police, whoever it is. I support the police officers and not the criminals. You know, we need more -- I think of Dean Gallo here and what he's doing for the victims of crime. He's been a leader in Congress for that. And I believe we need more sympathy for the victims of crime and a little less, a little less for the criminals themselves.

They talk about getting the deficit down. With the new Congress -- and there's going to be over 100, maybe 150. And you know why they're going there? Because the leadership that's controlled the Congress for 38 years has messed it up so bad they can't even run a two-bit bank, say nothing about a tiny little post office. They're going to clean House. And with them will come a lot of new Members of Congress. And when that happens, how about protecting the taxpayers with this: a balanced budget amendment; a taxpayer check-off so the taxpayer gets to allocate 10 percent of his taxes to making the Congress bring that deficit down; a line-item veto so the President can do -- [applause]. And I like that concept of giving the Congress back to the people and having term limits so these people don't become entrenched over the years.

And now let's talk a little about character, because I really believe that the Presidency is shaped by the -- you know, Governor Clinton said it's not the character of the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' Wrong, Bill, wrong. They are interlocked. You have to have the trust of the people through character, and you have to have the trust of the world when you are President of the United States.

You know, I quoted Horace Greeley in one of the debates. And here's what he said. He said, ``Fame'' -- and think about this now -- ``Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing; only character endures.'' That is so true. And I think it is especially true of the Presidency. It matters not just because of the plans you make but the crises that you never foresee.

And we simply cannot take a risk on Governor Clinton. He is wrong for America on the issues, and I believe I am better for America on character. He goes after me with a vengeance. And let me tell you something, I'm not the guy who invented the word ``slick.'' I did say ``slippery when wet,'' and I'll stand with that. But I did not say ``slick.'' That came from the primary. That came from his own hometown newspapers. So I am going to say, let them speak for them; I'll speak for me. I am a better, I will be a better President for the young people in this country for 4 more years than Governor Clinton ever would. Here's why. Here's why.

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

The President. Here is why. You know, as President you cannot be on all sides of every issue. You've got to look people in the eye, call them as you see them, like the umpire. If you make a mistake, say so, and then go on about leading the American people. But Governor Clinton, one day he's for the NAFTA agreement; the next day he's against it. One day he's for term limits, oh yes; in the debate he opposes it. One day he's going to go for these taxes, and then the next day he backs away. One day he's for fuel efficiency standards that would throw a lot of auto workers out of work; the next day he backs away, and he's going to study that one.

Here's what he said, his own words, on the Persian Gulf: ``I agree with the arguments the minority made, but I guess I would have voted with the majority.'' What kind of Commander in Chief would that be?

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. And in spite of the harassing from the media -- listen, I've got to define the ground rules on the media. I love these signs, ``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' And every one of you know what that means. Every one of you know that there has not been objectivity in the coverage. Every one of you know it. And they are having their own debates, all these talking heads: ``Have we been fair? Well, this is the way we do it. That's the way we do it.'' And everyone knows that they're covering up the fact this has been the most biased year in the history of Presidential politics. But we don't need them anymore. We don't need them. I take out as much ire on these Republican talking heads on the talk shows on Sunday as I do on the Democrats. They're all running for cover. And we are going to show them wrong.

I'll tell you who else we're going to show wrong. It was Saddam Hussein's government. A couple of days ago they said they were going to have a celebration, 500,000 people in downtown Baghdad, thinking I was going to lose. And then yesterday they kind of backed away from -- well, I've got a message for Saddam Hussein: You're going to have to contend with me. You're going to have to do what the United Nations said. We're going to keep the pressure on you until you take the pressure off your own people.

So here it is. Here is what is going to determine this election. Yes, it is trust, and yes, it is character. Because, look, we've come a long way. These kids in these bands go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war as their mothers and dad had. That is dramatic change. It is worldwide change, and we helped bring it about.

But here's the problem. We still have problems out there threatening this country. Who knows where the next crisis will appear? And imagine a dangerous situation; an American leader totally without experience, completely untested; a person who couldn't even call it right when aggression threatened the whole world. And what we see is a troubling pattern of deception, an ingrained habit of trying to lead people by misleading them. And when that crisis occurs, and you can bet it will, the entire world looks to the President of the United States of America, looks to his experience, looks to his determination. And they will. They will count on his character.

I have been tested. We've managed the world change of almost Biblical proportions. And our success can be measured by the headlines that were never written, the countless crises that never occurred. Let's keep a President in that Oval Office who is strong and knows to stand up for America.

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

The President. And let me give you another reason to reelect me. I've tried very hard to stand for true family values there, respecting all different kinds and sizes of family, but standing for values like safety in the neighborhoods and teachers, supporting them, and discipline in the family, respect for this flag of ours, whatever it may be. I've tried to stand for that all along.

And tomorrow you're going to have a major decision to make on who do you trust to stay in that Oval Office. Let me tell you something. I think we've got one good reason, because every time Barbara Bush holds a little child in her arms, an AIDS baby, or reads to them, she is demonstrating compassion. And believe me, we have the best First Lady we possibly could have.

Audience members. Barbara! Barbara! Barbara!

The President. I know it's unfashionable to talk about faith, but I remember that cold day up in Camp David when we had to make this terrible decision about sending the sons and daughters of New Jersey into Desert Storm, into combat. And my experience in combat, the pride I felt in wearing the uniform of this country made a difference in how I made that decision. On that cold day in Camp David, Barbara and I went to that little chapel, and yes, we prayed that I would do the right thing and that these young men and women would come home safe. And they did. They lifted up the morale of this country. They lifted the burden off the veterans of Vietnam. They raised with pride service to country. And I'll tell you something: It was a proud moment. And the press and the media are not going to distort it. It was decent and noble and made us the leader of the entire world.

So now we go. The last day I will ever campaign for myself for President of the United States or anything else, and I can't tell you what this crowd means. So just take this enthusiasm and go to the polls, take your neighbor, get that Local 172 mobilized. You talk about good, decent, hard-working Americans. Fantastic. Get them to the polls. Vote for trust and character and lifting up this country.

And don't let Governor Clinton win based on the country in decline. Look, we are the United States of America. We are the envy of the world. We are one Nation under God, the world leader. Don't let them forget it. Vote for George Bush.

Thank you all very much. May God bless our great country. Thank you very, very much. What a great send-off. Fantastic. Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 8:03 a.m. at the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building. In his remarks, he referred to actor Richard Gere; radio commentator Rush Limbaugh; Mayor Donald R. Capen of Madison; and Virginia Littel, State Republican chair.