George Bush photo

Remarks to a Bush-Quayle Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio

August 27, 1992

The President. Thank you very much. Hey, George Voinovich, thank you very, very much. Thank you. Last time I was at a rally at this marvelous park, Johnny Bench and I rode in on a fire engine, and it started to rain. Now the sun is out, and things are looking good.

I want to thank George Voinovich, all our other great leaders here. I want to thank Ronnie McDowell for that musical number and mention those Olympians that were here, Mike McMurray and Joe Hudepohl and Tim Austin, thanking them for being with us and for what they did for the United States of America in Barcelona. Also, a special thanks to my friend Johnny Bench, everybody's hero.

These athletes, these competitors know something about competition, and this year's campaign is about one question: how America can win the economic competition and win the peace. I believe I am the person to lead us to do just that.

You know, you can't build a home without a hammer; you can't build a dream without a job. So you need to know which candidate has a plan to fulfill your dreams. I believe I have the plan that works for America. My plan starts with the idea that the deficit, the big spending deficit, is a dark cloud hovering over the future of these kids. The Federal Government spends too much of your hard-earned money. Help me put an end to that.

I have asked Congress to take over 4,000 specific projects, 250 Federal programs and send them the way of the pet rocks and the mood rings. And they refuse to act.

Here's another idea. So far, Congress has said no to my efforts to cut spending. So last week I put forth a new idea. If they can't do it, I want to give you, the taxpayer, the power to take up to 10 percent of your tax return, earmark it for one purpose only: reduce the dangerous Federal deficit. If you can check off for America, I believe we will finally get the big spenders up there in Washington in check.

You might say, "How do we create jobs in America?" Well, unlike my opponent, I spent half my life in the private sector, trying to meet a payroll like many of you out here. I happen to believe that having held a job in the private sector is a good qualification for President of the United States or for anything else.

I know this, that taxes stifle growth and they stop job creation. So with a new Congress, and we're going to have a new one, we will cut spending, and then we'll cut taxes. They want to increase spending and increase taxes, and that is the big difference.

Another thing: I want to get rid of all those crazy lawsuits. If you fall off a stepladder today, a lawyer will be there to catch you before you hit the ground. My opponent doesn't believe this is a problem, nor does the gridlocked Congress. I've got to dig out my coat now because I want to read you something here. Earlier this year, the head of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, a guy named David Williams, wrote a letter of endorsement for Bill Clinton. He said, and I quote directly, "I can never remember an occasion where he failed to do the right thing where we trial lawyers are concerned."

Well, I don't want to do the right thing for the trial lawyers, I want to do the right thing for the American people. We've got to sue each other less and take care of each other more.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. You know, we've got to have -- there are too many families that wonder whether they're going to be able to pay their medical bills. We've got a good, strong health care reform program. The Clinton program is to go the way, the same old way the liberal Democrats do: put your fate in the hands of Government. I believe that we control costs, extend coverage, insurance coverage, to the poorest of the poor without putting your health care under the control of those same people who brought us the House post office and the House bank.

Audience members. Clean the House! Clean the House! Clean the House!

The President. Right. You know, listen, this is really fact here, Governor Clinton's health care plan would lead to a new health care tax on those who can afford it the least, the small business. I believe small business needs capital, needs incentive, needs relief from regulation. What small business doesn't need is the Excedrin headache of Governor Clinton's new taxes.

Here's some of the other things I'm fighting for: Job training, to lend a helping hand to workers that are caught in the transition of our economy. I want to revolutionize the way we teach our children, giving many American parents a new freedom, the freedom to choose where your kids go to school, public, private, or religious; make the public schools greater and make the private schools like St. Xavier's right here greater. I want to reform our welfare system to encourage families to stick together and fathers to stick around.

Some people don't like it when I talk about family values. Well, they'd better get used to it because let me tell you something, let me tell you something that everybody in Cincinnati knows, and that is that the family is the foundation of America. All our other successes are worthless if we fail at home. We need to strengthen the American family if we are going make America stronger and more secure.

So we've got a wide array of issues we're talking about here. You might ask, well, where does my opponent stand on the issues? Well, good question, very good. As this campaign gets underway, it's getting harder and harder to tell. He's turning up in more places than Elvis Presley. You just can't tell. [Laughter]

Take the question of whether to stand up to Saddam Hussein, the most important foreign policy decision that a President had to make, certainly the most important one that I had to make. Two days after Congress followed my lead, let me quote you what my opponent said. I want to be fair about this. Here's the quote directly: "I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made."

Now, in the Oval Office, when you have to make life and death decisions you cannot have it both ways, not when people's lives are at stake. You have to make the tough call, whether it's popular or not. I hope I have earned the trust of the American people.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Listen, the big problem is the economy. In his acceptance speech, Governor Clinton insists that Government takes too much and gives too little in return. But then he proposes, and this is factual, $220 billion in new spending, plus the largest tax increase in history, $150 billion.

I say, and you say, let's go the other way. Let's cut spending, and let's cut taxes.

I'm just getting wound up here. Let me give you one more example, though, one more example because it affects a lot of lives here in the State of Ohio. A few months ago, Governor Clinton said he wanted to raise fuel efficiency standards, they're called CAFE standards, for cars to 45 miles per gallon. It sounds like a great idea, but scientists will tell you it is impractical. It will cost lives, and most important, it will throw 30,000 Ohioans out of work.

Governor Clinton finally figured this out. So last Friday he sang a different tune, keeps shifting ground. He said, and I quote, "I never said that I didn't think there was more than one way to do it, or that we shouldn't be flexible in the way we approach it." Now, you talk about back-pedaling. The Bengals could use him in their secondary, for heaven sakes. This is crazy. It is strange.

So I ask the American people, is there a pattern going on here? Will Governor Clinton say anything to anybody? America cannot afford in a President double-speak, double-talk, double-time. Please elect me to keep the integrity and honor of that White House.

I see some of these signs out here. Hey, this is great. I see some of these signs out here; I'm reminded of a story, reminded of a story about the farmer and the certain farm animal. The animal was so slippery that it kept slipping out of its pen. One day the farmer went looking for it, followed the animal's track all over creation. When the farmer returned, his wife asked if he knew where the animal was. The farmer said, "Yes, ma'am, I found him. He's on both sides of the fence." [Laughter]

Now, in this campaign you're going to find me on just one just side, the side of the American family, the American taxpayer. But it's not just enough electing a President; I need some help. The gridlock Congress has been run by the same entrenched, ossified, change-allergic leadership for 38 years. The one institution that hasn't changed in this country is the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. And it is time.

Audience members. Clean the House! Clean the House! Clean the House!

The President. It is time to take a broom and clean the House. You can start right here by giving me Mike DeWine for the U.S. Senate. Change the Senate; get him elected. Do what the people of Ohio want done: Have somebody in Washington that will vote the same way there that he talks in Ohio. Send Mike DeWine to the Senate. We need to clean the House, so give me Steve Grote to the first district seat right here in Washington; send him up there from the first district.

Sending Mike and Steve to Washington and then fighting side-by-side with Bill Gradison and John Boehner and Bob McEwen, we will break the gridlocked Congress, and we will get this country moving again. We will fight for a balanced budget amendment and a line-item veto and for this tax check-off. If you change the Congress, we can get that job done for the American people. We will fight to lower spending and taxes. We will fight to stop these crazy lawsuits. We will fight for you so that, together, we can build a stronger and a more secure America.

The last point is this: We've been through a lot in the world. These young people here go to sleep at night with a lot less fear of nuclear war. That is something good. That is something wonderful for every family. But make no question about it, when you hear the other side talking about that we're ridiculed abroad, don't believe it. We are the most respected nation on the face of the Earth, and we're there because we made the tough decisions. We stood up against what was wrong and fought for what was right. Now I ask you to help me and give me 4 more years to continue to lead this country.

May God bless the United States of America. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:42 p.m. in Fountain Square. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. George Voinovich of Ohio; Mike McMurray, Cincinnati disc jockey; and Johnny Bench, former Cincinnati Reds baseball player.

George Bush, Remarks to a Bush-Quayle Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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