Bill Clinton photo

Excerpts of Remarks in Little Rock

November 04, 1992

Good afternoon. Ladies and gentlemen, I have just heard a summary of President Bush's recently concluded remarks. I'd like to begin by expressing my appreciation for them. I'd like to read this statement.

Today I want to reaffirm the essential continuity of American foreign policy and my desire to seek bipartisan support for our role in the world.

During the transition that is now beginning, I urge America's friends and foes alike to recognize, as I do, that America has only one President at a time, that America's foreign policy remains solely in his hands, that even as America's Administrations change, America's fundamental interests do not, that the greatest gesture of good will any nation can make toward me is to continue their full cooperation during this period with our one President, George Bush, and that the greatest mistake any adversary could make would be to doubt America's resolve during this period of transition.

I look forward to working closely with President Bush to insure continuity in global affairs of interest to all Americans, from continued progress in the Mideast peace talks to completing negotiations on the details of the START II arms control agreement, to making progress toward a good agreement on our world trade talks, to bolstering Russia's fledgling democracy, to working toward peaceful resolution of the conflict in the republics of the former Yugoslavia, to assisting the victims of famine in Somalia.

I also look forward to getting to work on the hard and vital task of restoring our nation's economic strength. Today I say to our financial and business leaders that although change is on the horizon, we understand the need to pursue stability even as we pursue new growth.

The changes I seek will strengthen America's market systems not weaken them.

And to the people of our great nation, for whom we pledge to get up every morning and work hard to bring the economic opportunity that was at the core of the Clinton-Gore campaign, I say that the task has already begun. It will not be easy, but we will spare no effort to restore growth, jobs and incomes to the American people.

Let me also stress the stakes and the opportunities in the months and years that lie ahead. The cold war is won. Now we have a chance to build a new peace. We have entered a global economy. Now we have the opportunity to master its competitive challenges rather than let these changes undermine our strength. We have become a diverse people of many colors and languages and beliefs. Now we have the obligation to insure that our diversity is a source of strength and pride to all of us here at home and around the world.

We've become a nation of 250 million Americans. Now we have the opportunity, the duty and the imperative to see that we do not leave even one of those 250 million behind as we move toward the next century.

We have entered a period of great challenge and extraordinary opportunity for our nation. I am confident we can make it a proud time in our history, proud for the families who are raising this nation's next generation, proud for the workers and businesses who are America's lifeblood, proud for the men and women who wear America's uniforms and proud for the peoples of other nations living today in freedom, or in fear, who draw strength from American ideals, and share our vision of a peaceful and more prosperous world.

America has called upon me to be our next President. But our forebears call on all of us at this moment to honor their efforts, their sacrifices, their ideals and their lives by working hard and working together to improve this good and great nation as much for our children and our children's children as those who preceded us did for us.

They call on us to take our dreams and our hopes and make them real. Thank you, and God bless America.

William J. Clinton, Excerpts of Remarks in Little Rock Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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