Robert Dole photo

Remarks in Grand Blanc, Michigan

October 22, 1996

Thank you very much. Boy, there are a lot of people out here today, a lot of people out here today.

Dole, Kemp — two four-letter words you can teach your kids. Think about.

And they're going to be a lot better off if we get elected.

Dole-Kemp, Dole-Kemp, Dole-Kemp.

CROWD: Dole-Kemp! Dole-Kemp! Dole-Kemp!

DOLE: And the road to the White House runs through Michigan. We're going to carry this state on November 5th. You wait and see.

And I want to welcome all of you here today to the Bill Clinton retirement party. Thanks for coming out.


And obviously I'd be proud to be in the home of the Bobcats. Bobcat, keep that in mind.

We've never had a Bob — uh, oh, must be another precinct.

We've never had a Bob in the White House. Don't you think it's time. Yes, right.


We do have a cat in the White House, Socks. But we don't have a Bob in the White House.


Yes, come on up here close. It's all about your future. Get right close. Do you want to say a few words? All right.


I'm running for president of the United States because I believe that with strong leadership, America's days will always lie ahead of us, just as they lie ahead of us now — the opportunities.

You head Secretary Shultz who helped put together the 1981 tax cut, here to tell you about bankruptcies and credit card debt and stagnant wages.

In fact, women's wages have gone down — the hourly wages. Men's have just barely held on.

And President Clinton's in Detroit today where he's probably going to say we've never had a better economy.

Well, he's never had a better economy. He got a big pay raise, from governor to president of the United States. But your economy's not any better.

He's better off than he was four years ago, and we'll all be better off the next four years because he'll be back in Arkansas. And I'll be in the White House.


And I've referred to myself as the most optimistic man in America. And on the morning of November 6th, Bill Clinton will be the most surprised man in America.


I want to thank all of you for sending us Dick Chrysler and the great job he's done in Congress. And he's been given all these negative ads.

The labor bosses are after him. It's up to you. It's up to you to stop that. I know you will stop that. We've had about $91 million in negative ads spent against me in the campaign, trying to frighten senior citizens.

DOLE: I don't see any senior citizens here. But, if you know of one, let...


Oh, I found one. There are two. Let me assure you, we're not going to take away Medicare. We're going to save Medicare. We're not going to play politics with Medicare. We're going to save it. Just as we saved Social Security in 1983.

And I was on the commission that did that, appointed by President Regan. And Tip O'Neil, the House Speaker, a Democrat. I served with Claude Pepper on that commission.

We rescued Social Security in 1983. So every since then, about 40 million or more Americans have got their Social Security checks on time. We want to do the same with Medicare. Take it out of politics. Appoint a bipartisan commission.

Fix it before it goes broke.


If it goes broke, you're in trouble.

It's great to be in a state where Governor Engler's already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that you can come into office and you can surprise a lot of people by getting elected. And then you can turn the economy around and you can have a big, big surplus and you can cut taxes 21 different ways and create 500,000 new jobs. That's the Michigan story. I want to do for America what John Engler has done for Michigan. And with your help, we'll get it done.


And in case you forgot, Michigan companies are creating one out of five manufacturing jobs nationwide. One out of five jobs are being created right here. And we've lost about 357,000 good jobs in America in this administration.

Companies like the new Donnelly Electronics Plant planned for Grand Blanc Township. A factory that's going to employ 300 to 400 people. More jobs for Michigan. More opportunities for Michigan. All under the leadership of John Engler.

And over the past five years, Michigan families have seen their paychecks rise more than in any other state. Why? Because you cut taxes, stimulated the private sector, put people to work. You had growth in this state and the economy grew with it. And your paychecks mean a lot more. So, it's very, very important.


In that 21 times you've had tax cuts in Michigan, you've saved families and jobs and providers. You've added about 6.5 billion to the economy since 1991. Compare that with Bill Clinton who gave Michigan the largest tax increase in history.

He came here in 1992. Remember 1992 because he might have this same idea if he gets re-elected. He's not going to get re-elected. But, if he did, he promised you a tax cut in '92. He said the center piece of my first four years will be a middle-class tax cut.

Nobody has every seen the tax cut. Nobody got the tax cut. You got the biggest tax increase in the history of America. Seventy percent of that tax increase was paid by small businessmen and women.

They hiked your Social Security tax. Thirty-two billion dollars in gas taxes, not for roads or highways, but to go into the general fund of the Treasury to be spent on a lot of his pet ideas.

I say it's time for an across-the-board tax cut of 15 percent. A $500 per child tax credit.


Fifteen percent across the board phased in over three years.

Five hundred dollars for every child under 18.

DOLE: I see a lot of them up here. There are lot of tax credits up here...


... cutting the capital gains rate in half to create more jobs and more opportunities in this community and all across Michigan.

Now, Bill Clinton obviously says, well, the government can't spare the money. He needs it for all of his little programs. I don't think he came up here in 1993 and asked if you could stand a tax increase. But now he says we can't have a tax cut because he doesn't want to have a tax cut. He wants to have a "targeted tax cut," whatever that means.

It means if you, you know, do what he wants you to do you might get a little tax cut. Our view is it ought to be across the board. It ought to go to the American people. It ought to go to the American family, the working people. Ours is a main street tax cut, not a Wall Street tax cut. And it's going to make a difference in your lives.


So, if you make $30,000, an average family of four making $30,000 here, it's a $1,261 tax cut. That's an 86 percent cut in your taxes. That's about a $105 a month. That's child care; that's mortgage payments; that's taking a vacation with your family for a change. It is your money.

As Secretary Schultz said, there's one basic difference between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. I believe it's your money; he believes it's his money. The money belongs to you.


And that is just Phase I. Phase II is a flatter, fairer, simpler tax, and ending the IRS as we know it, ending the IRS as we know it.


And let me say, as a part of our economic package, it's a six-point program. We want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I'm for it; President Clinton's against it.

We want to balance the budget by the year 2002. He's been for balanced budgets in 10 years, eight years, seven years, six years, five years. Don't — I mean, he'll tell you. Just look at the ad running with his voice, not my voice. He's been all over the lot.

We want regulatory reform. We believe in a little common sense in regulations. It costs the average family about $7000 a year just for regulations. We want to protect the air and the water and the food and all those things. But we can do it for a lot less.

We believe we ought to have litigation reform, end some of these frivolous lawsuits that put small businessmen and small businesswomen out of business. And there ought to be some cap on punitive damages.


And we believe in education reform, which President Clinton can't do anything about. Because, again, the labor bosses, the NEA have got him tied up. He can't do anything.

We believe there ought to be opportunity scholarships for low-income and low middle-income families, so you have the same right to send your child or children to the school of your choice, the same right the president of the United States has.

DOLE: And we will do that in a Dole administration.


It'll be a four or five year demonstration program. It's not going to be new money, we're going to find the savings. About three to four billion dollars a year will go to Michigan, for example. The governor puts up so much, we put up so much.

We give it to the parents, we don't give it to the school. We give it to the parents. They decide which school, maybe another public school, maybe a private school. They want their child to have a good education. And the fact that you're poor shouldn't mean you can't have a good education for your children.

Competition, competition. Opportunity, opportunity. That's what the Dole -Kemp administration is all about.


And we're also going to try to restore confidence in the political system with campaign finance reform. And let me say right up front, all of us in politics have been guilty one way or another when it comes to campaign financing. I don't mean violating the law, but given the fact that there probably a better way to do it.

Everybody said, well, why don't you do it? It's very, very difficult — let me be very, very honest, I'm no longer in the Congress so I can speak out pretty forthrightly here. If the Democrats are in control, they want the plan that, you know, help Democrats. When we're in charge, we want a little better plan for Republicans.

The only way to have meaningful campaign finance reform is to appoint a commission of nonpartisan, bipartisan people who understand the problem, and then impose that solution and give the Congress an up or down vote for campaign finance reform.

And one thing we ought to make certain of, it's been brought to our attention just the last few days by the media, not by us, but by the media, of all this money coming in from foreign sources.

Finally in America, foreign aid is coming to America. After all these years, foreign aid is coming from Indonesia, from India, who knows what other countries before it's all unraveled — finally. But we don't believe — if you can't vote in America, you shouldn't be able to contribute in America. And that's one law that will be changed next year.


We're also going to curtail political action committees, and we'll let the commission decide how that should be done. Spence Abraham's got a great idea, make them a little more democratic. There are other ideas floating around.

And this so-called soft money where union money or corporate money can go into the party or in the candidate's campaign, that would be stopped, or at least that would be my recommendation to the commission.

So there are a whole host of things.

One more thing. If I'm a member of the AFL-CIO and I happen to be a Republican, I shouldn't be forced to put money in Bill Clinton's campaign. And that's what's happening now.


About 40 percent of union members will vote Republican. But they'd had extra money taken out of their check this year because John Sweeney wanted to give Bill Clinton $35 million more here about six months ago in Washington, D.C.

You shouldn't have to do that. If you're a member of a union, that's fine. But you shouldn't have to do something you don't want to do if you happen to be for some other candidate. So that's what we're going to change.

And let me conclude with this. I want to ask for your help. Michigan is a very, very important state. And I know what the polls say, and I know what the press says. I know what they said about the Dewey-Truman race true.

I never met, I didn't get a chance to meet President Dewey because he didn't make it. But I want to have a chance to meet ex-President Bill Clinton on November 6, if we have a meeting.

And he will be eligible for our tax cut — if he leaves the change of address forms so I know where to find him.

DOLE: He will get the tax cut.

All the Clinton-Gore people will get the tax cut. We believe, as Secretary Shultz has just said, and four Nobel Laureate economic prize-winners, and hundreds of economists, this is good, sound policy.

There has not been a federal tax cut for 10 years. It is your money. We believe you can make better decisions than any bureaucrat in either party in Washington, D.C.

And let me tell you how we're going to pay for it.


President Clinton wants to spend 20 percent more in the next six years. I want to spend 14 percent. The difference of 6 percent I want to give back to you. I want to give back to you.


I happen to think it's time the government starts pinching pennies instead of always asking you to pinch pennies.

Let the government pinch pennies for a change.



And finally, they're right up here. This is the future right behind me. This is it.


Whether it's drugs where President Clinton's — under his leadership, drug use has gone up ages 12 through 17 — 140 percent increase in marijuana, 160 percent increase in cocaine.

And he said — well, it's not my fault. It ought to be bipartisan.

We had cut drug use in half when he became president. Now it's doubled in the last 45 months. I promise you that in the first four years of our administration, we will cut drug use in half and protect some of the young people you see up here on the stand with me up here on the podium.



And I would say to them — please don't start. If you've started, stop — whether it's drugs or alcohol or cigarettes or whatever. This is an opportunity for young people.

You know, it's your life. It's your future. You're going to be the future of America. One of these days, somebody will be standing here running for public office — maybe right in the group up here.

And they want to be able to look you in the eye and say I didn't do it.

Just don't do it.

Just don't do it.

DOLE & CROWD: Just don't do it.

Just don't do it.

DOLE: And then we'll have a better future.

So this election is about the future. It's about leadership. And I want you to be proud of the votes you cast on November 5.

I was very proud of the vote I cast for Dwight Eisenhower. I was proud of that vote and I've been proud of that vote ever since. I want you to be proud of the vote you cast on November 5.

I want you to make a judgment. Take a look at my record. Take a look at his record. Take a look at my record of my service. Take a look at the record of his service — to his state, to his country, whatever.

Then you make the judgment. Will I be proud of my vote next year and the next year and the next year. I'll tell you this — if you vote for Bob Dole, you'll be proud of your vote from now on.

We're going to make changes in America...



... and we're going to go into the next century a better America because of your support and because of leadership from the Dole-Kemp administration.

Thank you very much and God bless America.


Robert Dole, Remarks in Grand Blanc, Michigan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives