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Press Release - Text of Elizabeth Dole's Radio Address

October 26, 1996

Following is a text of the national radio address delivered by Elizabeth Dole, wife of Republican Presidential Nominee Bob Dole the weekend of October 26, 1996:

As I travel the country and hear the concerns of women who speak to me about their values and the dreams they have for their children, it is so clear that my husband, Bob, understands what American families are facing today.

That is especially true when it comes to Medicare. Medicare is not only an issue on the minds of American seniors, it is something that concerns every American who wants to make sure that there is a safety net for their parents.

No one understands this better than Bob. His mother would say to him, "now Bob, all I have is my Social Security and my Medicare." And you can trust Bob to protect and preserve Medicare for your parents, just as he did for his parents.

Of course, that's not what you hear from the Clinton campaign, For months they have been running a $35 million dollar ad campaign to try to frighten seniors into believing that Bob's economic plan will threaten Medicare. That's not true - and the President knows it. Under Bob's plan, Medicare spending will increase 7 percent a year, almost double the rate of inflation.

That's a far cry from what Mrs. Clinton proposed when she testified before a congressional committee that the administration's target was "zero growth" in Medicare spending.

I'm not the only one who is concerned about the Democrats' "Medicare" attack on Bob's economic plan. Earlier this week, a USA Today editorial accused the Clinton campaign of "demagoging Medicare and misleading voters on what needs to be done to fix it." The Washington Post called the Democrat's effort, "a campaign based on distortion and fear."

And listen to what the American Association of Retired Persons -- the AARP -- has to say about Medicare. In a letter sent to the President a year ago, the Executive Director of the AARP stated that the Republican plan increased Medicare spending. That was part of the balanced budget plan that President Clinton vetoed. That's right. He is the one who vetoed an increased in Medicare.

Bob Dole and the Republican Congress wanted to balance the budget and increase the spending for Medicare. Bill Clinton responded to both with a veto.

Those are the facts -- and the AARP backs them up.

Earlier this month, the Executive Director of the AARP sent another letter, this time to both the Chairmen of the Democrat and Republican parties. This letter says essentially what Bob has been telling the president and what his own advisors have been telling him for some time: Medicare is on the path to bankruptcy.

Bob agrees with the AARP. That is why his economic plan tackles the problem before it is too late. That is the responsible thing to do, and it is line with what the AARP is calling for.

So let me make it clear to any seniors listening, or any children of seniors worried about their parents: Bob's economic plan increases Medicare by 7 percent a year, a figure backed up by the AARP. Over the next six years, Medicare benefits will rise from $5,200 to $7,100 per year -- and increase of $1,900 per beneficiary.

Under Bob's plan, we will have lower taxes, a balanced budget, and a Medicare program that is stronger and more reliable.

President Clinton has offered nothing to save Medicare. But the AARP says that doing nothing is unacceptable. We must act now to save Medicare.

In 1983, Bob was appointed by President Reagan to a commission of Democrats and Republicans. They were given the assignment to figure out how to save the Social Security System, which was almost bankrupt. Claude Pepper, a democrat from Florida, known as the champion of senior citizens wrote Bob a letter of May 11, 1993, when their work was finished. They could have never accomplished the monumental task of saving Social Security, he said, without Bob's skills. As President, Bob will appoint another bi-partisan commission to tackle the problem of Medicare, because he wants to be known as the president who saved Medicare.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bob's word is his bond. When he makes a promise, you know it will be kept. Bob's colleagues continued to put their faith and trust in him, making him the longest serving majority leader in Senate History--11 years. Why? Because they know he is honest, trustworthy, a man of his word. As Diane Feinstein, a democrat from California said, "Bob Dole's word is his commitment and his commitment is a matter of honor. No, we did not always agree, but even on issues where we disagreed, I always knew where I stood, and I knew I could trust his world."

You have Bob's word. That's why we hope you'll join us and lend your support to a campaign that is dedicated to keeping its promises and making America a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Robert Dole, Press Release - Text of Elizabeth Dole's Radio Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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