Robert Dole photo

Remarks in Fresno, California

October 26, 1996

Thank you.


AUDIENCE: Bob Dole! Bob Dole! Bob Dole! Bob Dole!

DOLE: Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you very much. I know there are people here as far as the eye can see and I appreciate very much your coming. I'm very honored to be at this retirement party for Bill Clinton. Hope you are.


I want to thank all the Republican leaders over at my left. I don't know what they're doing on the left, but in any event...


I'm sorry Elizabeth cannot — the Clinton-Gore people there. They'll get the tax cut too. Tell them not to scream and shout. They'll get it. They'll be all right.


They'll also get good government for a change.


Before I say anything, let me say that we're very honored today to have some very special men with us. They were introduced a few moments ago. But just stop and think about it. Regardless of your politics, whether you're for Bob Dole or Bill Clinton or whether you just came to wrong meeting...


I can already see some did, but in any event...


Let me ask these medal of honor winners just to step up here a minute. These are the guys who had the courage, who risked their lives, who did it all for America. That's what America is really all about.


Don't ever forget — thank you is right. Thank you. Don't ever forget what America is really all about. Oh, it's about politics. It's about a lot of things. it's about work and it's about our job and about our family. But the bottom line, it's about liberty and it's about freedom and it's about you and men like these and men and women all over this crowd that have made it possible. We are the greatest nation on the face of the earth, make no mistake about it.


And we want to keep it that way. We want to keep it that way. And I must say, I don't see the right signs coming from the White House. When I see the president saying, or candidate Clinton in '92 come to California.

DOLE: Said a lot of things he was going to do for California. One thing he did, to cost you about 500,000 defense jobs. That's one thing he did for California.


He said he would cut defense 67 billion, which maybe was all right, but he cut $112 billion.


Then we turn everything over to the United Nations. I'm not going to do that. I'll make the decisions.


It won't be Boutros Boutros-Ghali deciding where Americans are going to be deployed.

And I do kind of wish I'd never said a thing about the president's record in the service. But...


Well, put it, lack of a record. Put it that way.

But I am just a little unnerved when I see him wearin' these army fatigues around like he'd been in the army all his life.

But the bottom line is this. This election is about the future. It's right behind me here. All these young people here, all the young people out there...


We talk about the past. We learn a lot from the past. We wouldn't be around today if it weren't for these guys. And they're in the past, they're in the past. They're here. So, because of them, the next generation has an opportunity. That's the way it works. Has a chance in America.

Right now, I believe we're fighting for America again.

A different kind of war. We're fighting for the heart and soul of America in 1996. It's all going to happen on November 5, 1996.


And one big difference that I have with Bill Clinton: he's getting ready to leave the White House, and I'm getting ready to move in. That's one big difference.


And when I move in and Elizabeth moves in — and she does a great job, she'll be a great, great first lady. She'll be a role model for young women all across America, regardless of party.


And she, as I said before, she is so talented. Eleanor Roosevelt is trying to reach her. That's how talented she is.

And I said yesterday, I think in Texas somewhere, I said, if I had a dollar for every time President Clinton leveled with the American people, I would keep one and give the other to Elizabeth. And I'm not certain I can think of two times, but there ought to be a couple out there.

So let me just take a few moments, and let me talk about the economy.

DOLE: You're talking about jobs. Talking about the future. Governor Wilson mentioned the estate tax relief. And a lot people said, well, you know, I'd like to vote for Bob Dole. I'd like to have that 15 percent tax cut.

But you know, Clinton promised us a tax cut in '92, and we got a tax increase — the biggest in America instead. Let me say I am not Bill Clinton. I keep my word.


And this — is not rocket science.

It's not rocket science. He wants to spend 20 percent more federal government spending in the next six years. We'll hold it down to 14 and give the difference. Just that little 6 percent — that little 6 percent back to the American taxpayer.

You haven't had a federal tax cut in 10 years. So let's have 15 percent across the board — 15 percent across the board, $500 credit for every child under 18. I see a whole pile of little credits right down here in the front.


And then to get the economy moving — right now it's moving at the slowest rate in this century — but to get it moving again, we cut the capital gains rate in half, cut it in half.


And that is only phase one. Phase two is a flatter, fairer, simpler system and to end the IRS as we know it.


Now, what does that mean to somebody making $30,000, a family of four in Fresno? $1,261 — $105 a month. You can do what you want with it. It's your money. More child care, make a down payment on something, even take a vacation with your family. Why not?


I'd rather see you flying around the world than Hazel O'Leary. She flies all over the world at your expense. You're paying — there's enough waste in this administration to have to pay for most of the tax cut. There's enough waste in this administration.

Now, President Clinton, of course, being the great conservative, he said, oh, we can't afford it, it's going to blow a hole in my deficit.

Well, did he come out to California and ask you when he raised taxes $265 billion if you could afford it? No.


He told you — he looked right at you and said, well, it's going to be paid for by the rich. Seventy percent of that tax increase is paid for by small businessmen and small business women and farmers and ranchers across America. You paid the tax.

Then he threw in — if you know of any senior — I don't see any seniors here. But in case a senior citizen shows up — well, here's one all right.

I know there's one up here. I don't know about the rest of you, but in any event, he talks about Medicare. Oh, he scares people. It isn't two weeks to Halloween, [off-mike]. He's got people frightened.

I was in Florida about three weeks ago, and a lady was being wheeled around in a wheelchair and she said, "Don't take my Medicare, Senator." And she was serious about it.

DOLE: She had tears in her eyes, because all she saw all day long were negative ads paid for proudly by the Indonesian rich man over there.


Negative ads — negative ads saying Bob Dole's going to take you off Medicare.

Bob Dole's going to cut your benefits. Bob Dole's going to do this. I'm not going to do that. I used to go home and visit my mother. All she had, her only income was Social Security. She had Social Security and Medicare.

Do you think I would betray my mother's generation? Never. We're going to preserve and strengthen Medicare so you'll have it when you need it. And if we don't do it, it's going to be bankrupt in three years.


And we can do this. We can do this. I bet there are a lot of husbands and wives out there. But one of you that works for the government to pay the taxes. One works full time to pay the taxes. The other works to take care of the family.

Forty percent of what you earn, 40 percent, goes to pay the taxes. That's too much. That's too much. We ought to get [audio gap] money back. It's your money. It's your money. It's your money.


When we had our first little debate up in Hartford, I told the president — you know, he said, well, he'd like to have a tax cut. I said, well, if you leave your change-of-address card, we'll mail it to you.


Now, if he wants a tax cut making $200,000 a year, what about the rest of us? What about the rest of you making $25,000, $35,000, $45,000 or less? Don't you think you should have a tax cut? I do. I do.


He even made taxes retroactive in that tax increase. Even after you died, your state had to pay more taxes. You can't even leave people alone when they're gone.

I mean, I said one day on the Senate floor. I was making a speech, thought I was doing pretty well. And I said, now, gentlemen, let me tax your memories.

And Ted Kennedy jumped up and said why haven't we thought of that before?

They love taxes. They love taxes. Tax and spend. Tax and spend. This is a philosophy that we've had enough of. Four years is all I can take.


It's time the government apologizes to you for taking so much of your money. You should not have to apologize for wanting to keep more of what you earn. It is your money.

Well, let me just say, finally, that, you know, the president he says he's ahead in the polls.

And some of my friends in the media — it doesn't take long to count them up.

DOLE: But some of my friends in the media — no offense to any of those on our plane — they're all very nice people. And all the people here are exceptional. But, there's some in the media say, well, this — I think Newsweek last week already wrote a list — Clinton landslide, he's going to slide all the way to Arkansas as far as I'm concerned.


That's where the landslide is going to be.


AUDIENCE: Go Bob Dole! Go Bob Dole!

DOLE: Thank you. Thank you.

AUDIENCE: Go Bob Dole! Go Bob Dole! Go Bob Dole!

DOLE: Thank you. Don't forget there, Dole -Kemp, there are two. I'll give you 20 percent yet...


Dole-Kemp, two four letter words you can teach your kids. Right here, Dole -Kemp.


And I'm glad to my home page here — WWW.Dole-Kemp' And my dog has a page too. I can't remember his number.


And I got to answer all his mail. He gets more mail than I do — more friendly mail than I do.

But let me say what President Clinton did in California. If you haven't thought of anything lately, I haven't either.

He took about $10 billion out of the California economy. Then he cost you about 520,000 jobs. He's ignored the huge cost — and California is different than any state in the nation. It's not that we're not compassionate people. As the governor said, legal immigration is one thing. Illegal immigration is something else. We're a nation of immigrants. We're proud of immigrants. We're proud they're Americans. But where do you draw the line? Where do you close the border?

And my view is, the federal government cannot close the border. We shouldn't punish the taxpayers in California. The federal government ought to pick up the tab.


And I don't think we ought to put the election ahead of the proper naturalization service. I mean when Vice President Gore assigned some of his people and they went over there and played politics, with immigration, that's a big, big mistake. That's an outrage. It's an outrage.

So about 10 percent of that 1.3 million have criminal records. They have criminal records, but they want to rush them through so they'll be able to vote November 5. You know, maybe they'll vote for me. I don't know — maybe they won't vote for that guy.

But — maybe they want a pardon. I don't anything [audio gap] about that. And he'll probably give it to them. Anyway, it's an outrage. It's an outrage. And when he has 900 FBI files. He hires this guy — I got a sign — who hired Craig Livingstone? Well, I didn't hire Craig Livingstone.


Craig Livingstone was a bouncer in bar which qualified him for the Clinton White House. He became White House security chief and they put him in charge of all this secret information. A lot of you people in the audience may not know about there are FBI files. That doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. You have an FBI file.

What about the 900 people, innocent people, just because they're Republicans, had their files taken away [audio gap]. They tricked the FBI.

DOLE: They tricked the Secret Service. They took them to the White House, and then they said, oh, nobody ever looked at them. We just brought them down here, I guess, to look at the boxes.


Well, I know that Mrs. Yeutter's file was in that group. Here's one right here. Nice innocent person. Her only crime was being a Republican. Now, that will not happen in a Dole White House. That is an outrage. That is an outrage.


And we've got to say one other thing. If you can't vote in America, you can't contribute to a presidential campaign in America. Look at the influence bought by this rich Riady family in Indonesia. They got one of their best — well, one of their employees, the Lippo Group, went into the Commerce Department.

I don't know what all they did for Indonesia, but it must have been great. And they gave $425,000 and $250,000, and the L.A. Times got on to the $250,000. They had to give it back.

And then, Mr. Gandhi who claims he's related to the late Gandhi — he gave a $300,000, except he owed $10,000 in taxes. But he was able to put together this little nest egg at $300,000.

Somebody's got a laundromat working out here. Somebody's laundering money. We don't know who it is [audio gap].

Because John Huang, who was supposed to have raised all this money, says he's unavailable until after the election, even though there's a subpoena outstanding.

Mr. President, this is an outrage. How long do you think the American people are going to take it? Wake up, America. Wake up, America! Wake up, America!


America is not for sale. Right there. America is not for sale.


And the White House is not for sale. And the Lincoln bedroom is not for sale.

I want the American people to wake up, regardless of your party — now went through — we were punished in 1970s because of Watergate. We probably deserved it. Maybe we deserved it. But the American people — Republicans and Democrats and independents — said enough is enough, and they punished the Republican Party.

And now [audio gap] all this time to get back on our feet. What would happen if any Republican president would have done two of these things? Why, there'd be outrage all across America. There would be outrage.

Be putting out special editions of the New York Times, they would be so outraged. And now, it appears in Section D or later if they got a later section.

[audio gap] outrage.

Wake up, America. Wake up, Republicans and Democrats and independents.

Give this country back to the people. Give it back to the people.


AUDIENCE: Go, Bob Dole! Go, Bob Dole! Go, Bob Dole! Go, Bob Dole!

DOLE: Thank you.

Give America back to the people. That's it. Trust the people. Trust the people. That's another basic difference. You know, I carry around in my pocket — I've got it right here — a copy of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

It's only 28 words long. It's been around over 200 years.

[audio gap]... Article 10 of the Bill of Rights.

DOLE: Our Founding Fathers were so concerned about an all-powerful central government could confiscate your property through taxes or just take it from you, as the Clinton administration is doing now, or invade your privacy, as they're doing now with the FBI files, that they put this in the Constitution.

And what it says is this: unless the federal government gives the power to the federal government or denies it to the states, it belongs to the states and to the people.


And we will give it back to the people. Give America back to the people. Hold us accountable. Hold us accountable. And if we don't do it, kick us out, whether we're Democrats or Republicans. It doesn't make any difference.

And they haven't done it right. Have you read all the books on this White House? Yes, they'd fill a library. It'd fill the Russell [audio gap] my hometown.

All the books on this administration. I can't believe it. Nobody — I guess people say, oh, well, it happens every day. We'll get used to it. We all — that's not true. The American people believe in honesty, integrity and decency.

And they believe when you become the president of the United States, you're upholding a public trust — a public trust.


Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican in the White House, you have a higher responsibility than any other American to be honest and to tell the American people the truth, to keep your word and protect our government. Protect our government.

And protect people's right of privacy. Protect people's right of privacy. We don't want anybody snooping around in everybody's lives in America. Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this? Why?

It's an outrage. It's an outrage, and there is still time. There's still 10 days. There's still time for America to understand where this administration would take us in a second term.

Remember the takeover of the health care system? Spending $1.5 trillion, 17 new taxes, price controls. You couldn't pick your doctors.

Do you want to see that again in the next four years? No.


DOLE: This is serious business. This is serious business. And we're going to change it. I want to just say a few things that I think — you know, I stand here with all these medal of honor winners, and I'm proud to say I support a constitutional amendment to protect the flag of the United States of America.


And the president opposes it.

DOLE: I'm proud to support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Balance the budget. Make us do what you have to do. Makes Congress do what you have to do. Make the president do what you have to do. If you can't live within your means, you're in trouble. You may be in bankruptcy.

There are record bankrupts set this year under this administration, over one million personal bankruptcies. Credit card debt has never been higher. Wages have never been more stagnant. Women's wages have gone down 2 percent. The thing I say to the soccer moms and the baseball moms and all the other moms, what's happening?

That's what's happening in America. And I believe if we can get together as young people, have sports activities, we ought to be able to pray together. Voluntary prayer in school — not dictated.


I support it. He opposes it. Come on Mr. President, get with it. This is America. This is America.

I will appoint no-nonsense conservative judges who worry about the rights of the victims for a change.


And maybe you haven't thought about it, but you ought to. People think about Congress and they think about the president, but they never think about the judicial branch. You know what impact they have on your business and on your lives and on personal things — everything.

There could be three U.S. Supreme Court Justice vacancies in the next four years. Think about. Do you want [audio gap] putting three people on the U.S. Supreme Court? I don't,

That's one more reason to go to work, to go work. This election can be won.

I'm like Harry Truman who was asked when he ran — I never met President Dewey — I'll be like Harry Truman, plain spoken [audio gap]


And when I'm there I'll say to the farmers in this group, I'll listen to Ann Venonomen. I'll seek her advice and I'll seek the advice of Clayton Yeutter, former trade representative and secretary of agriculture, people who understand agriculture, people who want to make it grow, want to expand out exports, want to protect your private property rights in California. Private property, change the Endangered Species Act, do a lot of these things, common sense, common sense.

If everything else fails, try a little common sense in America.


They don't have it in this administration.


And I want to thank Governor Deukmejian for being here. He did a great job as governor.


And I got to believe there are at least one or two Armenians in this audience.


And Bo Derek thank you. I know nobody can get on [audio gap]. And I've been trying to get on her bus all day today, but they say no, it's filled. So...


But finally thank you. I want you to be proud of the vote you cast. You know, I was very proud when I cast my first vote for General Eisenhower. I'm proud of it now. I was proud of it then. And I want you to be proud on November 5.

And 10 years from now and 20 years from now and 30 years from now, I want you to say that I'm proud I listened to Bob Dole. I'm proud I changed my mind or kept my mind, or did the right thing.

I'm proud I voted for him and voted for America.

Thank you very much. God bless America.


Robert Dole, Remarks in Fresno, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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