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Press Release - Defiant Dole Sticks to His Guns

January 25, 1996

Refuses to Compromise Conservative Principles for Clinton

A defiant Bob Dole carried the conservative message of his State of the Union Response across the Midwest today, despite attacks on his speech from what he called "the liberal media."

Responding to the President's address Tuesday night, Dole called Bill Clinton the "rear guard of the welfare state," the "chief obstacle to a balanced budget," and the "last defender of a discredited status quo." Castigating "elites" and "liberals" who have "hijacked our government, our institutions and our culture," Dole described the battle over the budget between Congress and the President as a struggle over "the character of our nation."

At a campaign event today in Waterloo, IA, Dole repeated those themes and stood up to his critics in the media: "We're sorry if the liberal press doesn't like it," Dole said. "We weren't making it for the New York Times."

Later in Rapid City, SD, Dole said, "I'm concerned about America, not the media... They're having little heart palpitations about it because it's not the message the liberal media likes to hear. If you don't sing their songs, you don't get good reviews ... We'll just hang right in there, the liberal media isn't going to run America."

In a strongly worded address Tuesday night, Dole said, "Every political movement and every public official must locate a place in his heart where compromise ends -- a core of conviction where we keep our conscience. There comes a time when even practical leaders must refuse to bend or yield. For Republicans, and countless Democrats and Independents, we have arrived at that time."

In his address, Dole asserted, "While the President's words speak of change, his deeds are a contradiction. The President claims to embrace the future while clinging to the policies of the past."

Dole said today that many Iowa Republican Caucus voters had approached him to praise his speech and to urge him to stick to his guns. He told them he would never abandon the fight for conservative change or compromise his principles for Bill Clinton. As he did in his State of the Union response, Dole challenger President Clinton to "walk the talk he talks so well."

Robert Dole, Press Release - Defiant Dole Sticks to His Guns Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315617

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