Exchange With Reporters on the Economic Program in Frederick
The President. [Inaudible]—deficit down to keep these interest rates low. Here at this place, people understand low deficits means lower interest rates, more jobs and more money in middle class people's pockets. That's what's going to happen.
Q. You seemed more adamant and forceful in your speech today.
Q. Mr. President, why did you come to Republican territory?
The President. This is an illustration of what really counts. Coming here today and being able to put the charts and the words and the numbers with real jobs, real homes, and real people's lives is what really makes this go for me. And this is what I got elected to do. This is why I ran for President. And I'm doing my best to give real opportunity and hope back to the American people.
Q. But Mr. President, why did you come to someplace where you didn't—
Q. [Inaudible]—back off with the Btu tax?
Q. It's Republican territory.
Q. Why did you come to someplace where you didn't succeed in November? You only got 32 percent of the vote here.
The President. Doesn't matter, because even here I wanted to make the point that it's not a partisan issue. I mean, I don't know that a majority of the homebuilders in America or a majority of the realtors in America voted for me in November. Most of them were probably Republicans. But the homebuilders and the realtors, as a group, nationwide, are supporting this program because it's good for the economy; it means jobs; it means lower interest payments for middle class people, for businesses; and it means economic opportunities. And I wanted to illustrate that this is not a partisan issue. It's a bipartisan effort to move this economy forward.
Q. Is it still an uphill battle in the Senate, sir?
The President. I'm encouraged. I feel good about it.
Q. Is Lani Guinier a partisan issue, sir.?
[At this point, the President greeted community members before taking further questions from reporters.]
The President. [Inaudible]—and some—if there can be—if there are more cuts, and we're all trying to agree with that.
Q. What's the status—
Q. Do you think that Lani Guinier deserves a public Senate hearing?
The President. I'm here to talk about jobs and the economy today.
Q. Hi. I'm State Senator Jack Derr. We're happy to have you here in Frederick today.
The President. Good to see you.
Q. Are you reconsidering keeping her, sir?
Q. Are you afraid it's going to look like you're cutting and running in the face of Senate opposition?
The President. You can't have it both ways, folks. You can't say that I'm brave to the point of being crazy for offering an economic plan that raises taxes, cuts spending, and changes things, and for taking on issues like gays in the military and then say we're cutting and running. This administration has taken more tough positions on more tough issues earlier than any one I can remember. So I don't think you can have that both ways. This is an idea issue, and I will have more to say about it later.
Q. Are you going to have a speech, Mr. President, this afternoon?
The President. Lower interest rates and real growth. That's what people who don't have jobs are worried about.
NOTE: The exchange began at approximately 11:30 a.m. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.
William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters on the Economic Program in Frederick Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/220126