Robert Dole photo

Remarks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

September 10, 1996

Thank you. First of all, Sam, thank you again for that great music and wish Joyce a happy birthday for me, all right?

[applause]

Thank you. It's great to be in Tennessee.

[applause]

Somebody asked me a while ago if I could think of any bill that ought to be vetoed. And I said, yes, Bill Clinton.

[applause]

And you're going to do that on November 5, and welcome to the Clinton retirement party here this afternoon. Thank you very much.

[applause]

And Governor, I thank you and Mayor, I thank you for being here. And Lamar has been with me on the road. Howard Baker has been out with me on the road. Secretary Bennett — I've got two former secretaries of education. I really feel smart today to have both of those guys up here with me.

[laughter]

And Senator Baker has been my friend and my mentor, and when he left the leadership, I took over the leadership.

Never did the job that Howard did, but I did the best I could. So I'm honored to have Howard Baker up here, symbolizing, demonstrating he's for Bob Dole because he knows me, he trusts me, he knows I can lead this nation. And Howard, thank you very much for being here. I appreciate it.

[applause]

Now this election is about two very different visions of our country's future. Our opponents — and I say that, they're not our enemies, they're our opponents — their vision is one that places government at the center of our lives. And if we just send more money to Washington, if we just transfer more authority to the federal government, if we just give up more of our freedom, then the government will take care of us. That's their vision. That's their philosophy.

[boos]

Now Jack Kemp and I — don't you think I made a great choice with Jack Kemp?

[applause]

Jack Kemp and I have a different vision. We say that too much money and too much authority and too much freedom has already been taken from the American people. And it's time...

[applause]

And it's time for the government to give it back, and that is the dividing line in this campaign. They trust the government, we trust the people. We trust the people here. We trust people all across America. That is the big difference.

[applause]

So we're going to restore, they say, the American dream, or the restoration of self-government; give the people their money back and give them their authority back, and their responsibility back. Federal control is not the way to the American dream. It's not the bridge to the American dream, I might say, Mr. President.

Freedom, self-government and personal responsibility, that's the way, and that is our way.

That is the Dole-Kemp way for the future and for your families and your children.

[applause]

And where — I know the president's down South. Where is he today?

DOLE: Where is the president today?

Oh, all right. He may drop in. He's been acting a lot like a Republican lately. He'll probably drop in here later on.

[laughter]

But sometimes it seems that our opponents have a million little plans. You know, he has one about every day. It costs a billion dollars — the one he had today — a billion or more, whatever, little plans on how to run your lives.

Jack Kemp and I have one big plan — give you back more of your hard-earned money and more of your freedom. That's the Dole-Kemp plan.

[applause]

You can run your lives better than any government agency or any government bureaucracy.

And that's what we're going to do when the naysayers believe it can't be done. We're going to balance the budget and cut taxes at the same time.

[applause]

Today in a lot of families, one parent works fulltime for the government. The other works fulltime for the family. And we don't think it ought to be that way. We think with tax cuts and balance the budget, if both parents want to work, it ought to be their choice, not because they have to work to pay higher taxes at the federal level.

[applause]

Now President Clinton said, Oh, we've had the best economy we've had in 30 years. Well, let me tell you about that economy.

The congressional Joint Economic Committee reports that last year — last year — 66 countries had better economic growth rates than ours. Now Bill Clinton may think that 67th is good enough, but I don't.

America ought to be number one, and America will be number one in growth in a Dole administration.

[applause]

We're going to start with a 15 percent across-the-board tax cut. Every taxpayer in this audience is going to get a 15 percent tax cut across the board when it's fully phased in — even...

[applause]

... even former President Clinton will get the advantage when he's living back in Arkansas.

[laughter]

He's got to get the tax cut.

[laughter]

Then we're going to have a $500 child credit for children under 18.

[applause]

Now let me figure that out for you. You've got two children — that's $1,000. You've got four — right there you get $1,000. Anybody with four, that's $2,000. If you have ten, you're probably too busy to worry about taxes, but that's $5,000.

And I believe you could spend the money better than any bureaucrat that I've ever met in Washington, D.C.

[cheers]

And then to create more jobs and more opportunities in the private sector in the fastest growing part of Tennessee and Rutherford County, we're going to cut the capital gains rate in half — 50 percent reductions.

[applause]

That's the way to create jobs. That's the way to create opportunities in the private sector.

And for those senior citizens — I look around, I see maybe one or two senior citizens in the audience. They say that your eyes are the first to go — but in any event...

[laughter]

Remember 1993, when President Clinton came down to Tennessee and said, I vow the centerpiece is going to be a tax cut in my first four years?

DOLE: Then he turned around and raised taxes on 6 million senior citizens. We're going to repeal that tax increase on those senior citizens.

[applause]

And President Clinton believes that if you're single, a widow, with $34,000 of income, you're rich. Well, I don't think that's the case. You're probably going to need that money later and later in life.

So we're going to give a little money back to those senior citizens. And when he's down there trying to scare you on Medicare and Medicaid and all these things — he really knows how to scare people. And it's weeks before Halloween, he's already started.

[laughter]

He's going to scare everybody in America. Today he's off somewhere saying we're not sensitive about families, that we don't care about families.

His idea of caring for the families has a long the arm of the government reach out and touch everybody who has less than 50 employees. We want families to grow, to prosper, to have opportunities.

We want your children to grow, to prosper, to have opportunities, but you can't do it if the government's going to dominate every aspect of your life. You've got to turn the people loose, give the people their freedom, give the power back to the people and back to states.

[applause]

And that's just phase one of our tax plan.

Tax cuts, child credits, reduce the capital gains rate, provide estate tax relief. You work all your life, six days a week. Your kids work. Your wife works, whatever. Something happens, you end up paying — having to sell off part of the property to pay the estate tax. That should not happen in America.

And we're going to start to correct it in the Dole-Kemp plan.

[applause]

And that's only phase one. Phase two, is a flatter, fairer, simpler tax and ending the IRS as we know it, ending the IRS as we know it.

[applause]

So what does that mean? What does that mean to you? It means a family of four making $35,000 a year will have their taxes cut by 56 percent. That's a big, big tax cut.

That'll pay a lot of bills.

Pay three for four months rent, 18 or 19 weeks child care credit — whatever — or child care expenses. We're going to make it possible for you to have more money in your paycheck for you to spend, not the government to spend.

[applause]

And I must say as I said in my acceptance speech in San Diego, you shouldn't have to apologize as Americans for wanting to keep more of the money you earn.

[applause]

The government ought to apologize for taking so much of it in the first place.

[applause]

So again, President Clinton said, well, we can't afford that because — he's going to have targeted tax cuts. The trouble is it never hits the target. Nobody I know has ever been the target.

[laughter]

You never get it.

In '92, he promised you a middle-class tax cut. What did you get? You got the biggest tax increase in the history of America.

[boos]

DOLE: I said that about a year ago on the Senate floor.

DOLE: And Senator Moynihan's a good Democratic friend of mine — he said, no, in the history of the world.

[laughter]

So I modified the largest tax increase in the history of the world by a man who promised you a tax cut. So he'll be back in Tennessee and he has a running mate from Tennessee. And it's all a smokescreen, don't believe a word of it. They're going to come back and tell you about tax cuts, don't be fooled twice. You may have been fooled once before, this is your chance to get even. This is your chance to do right. And we're going to carry the state of Tennessee on November 5, 1996.

[applause]

Thank you.

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

DOLE: Thank you.

Now, I'm not talking rocket science here today, I'm talking about Economics 101. If we cut taxes — somebody just reminded me before I left — it's going to create more revenue, more people will get jobs in the private sector. That's how you pay for part of it because more people will get jobs. It's called income growth. It's called feedback. That's the way it works and that's what the economists tell you. And we have four Nobel Prize winning economists on our team saying this is good for the country, good for the families, good for business and it will work. And we can balance the budget and cut taxes at the same time.

[applause]

It's a matter of presidential will. If you have it, you can do it. And I have it, and I'm going to do it.

[applause]

We also want to put parents back in control of their children's education.

[applause]

And Lamar was telling about some of the great innovative things you're doing here in public schools. And I'm all for public schools. I'm a product of public schools.

But there are some people in Tennessee, and some people in my state of Kansas, and lot of people across America — children of low-income parents and lower-middle income parents that sometimes don't have a choice because they don't have the money, they don't have the power, they don't have the prestige.

So I took an idea that Lamar Alexander developed when he was Secretary of Education. We call it "Opportunity Scholarships." We're going to reach out to low-income families and lower/middle-income families and give them money to be matched by the state so they can go to the school of their choice — maybe another public school, maybe a private school, maybe a religious school. Just as President Clinton sends his daughter to private schools and Al Gore sends his children to private schools, why shouldn't you have the same choice as anybody else in America?

[applause]

And that's what opportunity scholarships are all about. Put the parents and teachers back in control of education.

This is not about parents versus teachers because most of them are on the same side. It's about teachers unions controlled from Washington, D.C. who have a hammer lock on the education system. Put it back where it belongs.

DOLE: We're also going to do this: Let's put a bigger part of education dollar into the hands of teachers. Their share has dropped in the last 25 years, but the share for the education bureaucracy has skyrocketed. Let's turn that around and pay teachers more and give teachers more of their money back.

[applause]

And let me conclude here by dragging out this little card I carry around. If I get elected I can be able to afford a new one.

[laughter]

But it's only about 28 words in length. It's Article X of the Bill of Rights. It's part of the Constitution of the United States. And it's not very complicated. It says unless the Constitution gives the federal government the power, or unless our federal Constitution denies the state's the power, it belongs to the states and it belongs to the people. And we're going to give it back to the states and back to the people.

[applause]

We're going to give it to Governor Sundquist and we're going to give it to you. Our Founding Fathers were very concerned that the government become so powerful and so centralized that it can, in effect, confiscate your property, take away your rights. And that's why they put this 10th Amendment in the Constitution over 200 years ago.

We think it's time to dust it off, time to use it and time to follow it as president of the United States. And we will do that in a Dole-Kemp administration.

[applause]

I want to address just one more issue. The former drug czar is seated up here, Bill Bennett. We've been talking a lot about drug use on the plane, I've been flying around today. It's a crisis. It's a tragedy in America, to see our young children — Oh, yes, we believe in treatment. But I believe more strongly in prevention.

If they never get it, you don't have to worry about treatment. And we're going to have a war on drugs. Drug use has increased among 12-to 17-year-olds 105 percent in the last 44 months under President Clinton.

When Nancy Reagan was in the White House, when George Bush was in the White House, drug use went down all across the board. Nancy Reagan used to get up and say every time she had an opportunity, just say "no" to drugs. And she was ridiculed by the liberals, some in the media, oh, this doesn't mean anything.

You know what happened? Drug use went down because someone with moral authority in the White House was telling children, telling their parents and telling their grandchildren, drugs are harmful, drugs are no good. They can kill you. And it worked.

But along came Bill Clinton and he changed, "Just say no" to "Just say nothing." And drug use skyrocketed. It's doubled in the last forty-four months. Doubled in the last 44 months, Mr. President. Where have you been, Mr. President? Where's your administration been, Mr. President?

You appointed a surgeon general who suggests we ought to legalize marijuana.

[boos]

DOLE: That is not what we need. That is not what we need in America. And in a Dole administration the message is going to be the same from the White House to the schoolhouse. Drugs should not be used. If you use drugs, stop. And we're not going to tolerate drug use in America.

And if we have to we'll use the National Guard to shut off drugs at the border.

[applause]

DOLE: We're also going to appoint federal judges who will interpret the Constitution strictly and who worry about the rights of victims as they should worry about the rights of criminals. But how about somebody who worries about the rights of victims? And about the suffering of victims? And about the sacrifice of victims?

Those are the judges Bob Dole will appoint to the federal bench.

[applause]

If they want to be legislators, let them run for the assembly or Congress or the state legislature.

One final thing — I have a lot of respect for the military. I love people in uniform.

[applause]

Men and women.

[applause]

Seventeen thousand, I'm told, are now on food stamps. That should not happen. If you wear the uniform of the United States, you ought to get paid enough to feed your family, and we're going to see that it's done.

[applause]

And if we ever have to make a decision while I'm president of the United States to send somebody halfway around the world to protect our liberty and our freedom, I will make that decision and not Boutros Boutros-Ghali in the United Nations.

[applause]

So here's where we are.

CROWD: Dole-Kemp!

DOLE: Thank you.

CROWS: Dole-Kemp!

DOLE: Thank you very much.

I believe you deserve leadership that you can count on every day of the week and every hour of the day. And I might say I'm sorry Elizabeth is not here. She was in Tennessee a few days ago and Senator Baker was with here.

I've said before Elizabeth is so talented that Eleanor Roosevelt...

[applause]

... that Eleanor Roosevelt's trying to reach her. That's how talented she is.

[laughter]

[applause]

And it all boils down to one word. We can make all the speeches, make all the promises, talk about the agenda, but it's all one word — trust. Who do you trust? Who do you trust to lead America?

CROWD: Dole!

Dole-Kemp!

DOLE: Who do you trust to cut your taxes?

CROWD: Dole!

DOLE: Who do you trust to reduce regulation?

CROWD: Dole!

DOLE: Who do you trust to reduce drug use in America?

CROWD: Dole!

DOLE: Who do you trust to protect our liberty and our freedom and keep our defenses strong?

CROWD: Dole!

DOLE: That's what the election is all about: Trust. It's about leadership. It's about family. It's about business. It's about the next century.

And with your help — as the Governor said, with your help — and God willing, on November 5, 1996, I will become the president-elect of the United States and we will go into the next century with strong, positive leadership.

[applause]

I want to invite all the elected officials up here — Steve Gill , your next congressman. Steve, come on up here.

[applause]

And all the other Republican — thank you very much. God bless America. Thanks for coming.

[applause]

Robert Dole, Remarks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/285540

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