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Press Release - The Unkindest "Cut" of All

September 02, 1996

Whenever the Clinton campaign starts talking about "cuts," remember what their boss said about the use of that inaccurate term earlier this year.

White House Press Briefing, May 8, 1996

Wolf Blitzer:

"Mr. President, your most recent Clinton-Gore campaign commercials still speak about Republican cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Speaker Gingrich points out repeatedly that these aren't cuts in Medicare or Medicaid, these are simply cuts in the projected growth of Medicare and Medicaid, which you in your own seven-year balanced budget proposal similarly propose. Are you prepared now to stop calling the Republican savings in Medicare and Medicaid cuts?"

Bill Clinton:

"Let me say this, are you prepared to stop it? Are you prepared to stop it? When I came to Washington I was amazed when I proposed budgets, that that was the language that was used. The press used it. We all learned to use it from the press. I have seen repeated -- years and years of articles saying, cuts in this, cuts in that, cuts in the other thing. ...

"So maybe we should try to find some new language, but it ill becomes the Speaker to say that when I -- you go back and you could probably find reams and reams and reams of speeches that he's given about defense and other issues, talks about cuts that weren't cuts -- they were cuts in the rate of increase. ...

"Once we have an agreed-upon balanced budget, nobody will ever be debating this again. Everybody knows we have to have savings in the projected levels of spending in Medicare and Medicaid.

Thank you, Mr. President, for that clarification.

Related Images

Robert Dole, Press Release - The Unkindest "Cut" of All Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315443

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