George Bush photo

Remarks to the Community in Strongsville, Ohio

October 28, 1992

The President. Thank you very, very much.

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

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you. May I just start off here today by thanking my great friends the Oak Ridge Boys and Bruce Willis for being with us. I'm delighted to be in Strongsville, the crossroads of America. Hey, look, look at it this way. If Bruce Willis can overcome all those terrorists and all those bad guys in those "Die Hard" movies, then we can overcome Clinton-Gore, we can annoy the media, and we can win the election.

May I pay my respects at the outset of this remarks and this fantastic rally to Governor George Voinovich at my side, a true and great leader of this State. I want to thank Mayor Ehrnfelt. I want to thank all the law enforcement people in this community that make a rally like this possible. I want to thank Miss Ohio, Robin Meade. That other beautiful one up here was my daughter-in-law Margaret Bush, and I'm proud to have her with us.

But now before we get into a few remarks about the campaign and why I believe I will win it, let me ask two things of you. I am a little tired of this gridlock Congress, and you all can do something about it. First, elect Mike DeWine to the United States Senate. And then get out a great big broom and help me clean House and elect Martin Hoke to the United States Congress. And for those from the other districts, Beryl Rothschild, Margaret Mueller, and Bob Gardner for the rest of Ohio. We've got to change that Congress.

But now down to what's going to take place on Tuesday of this coming week. The choice before the American people is a vast difference. A vast difference will be there on that ballot, a difference in experience, a difference in philosophy, and yes, a vast difference in character. I believe I am the one that measures up on all three categories.

You know, for months the Democrats have been tearing us down and telling us everything wrong with America. But let me tell you just a couple of things about Arkansas. Arkansas is the 50th in environmental initiatives; it is the 50th in the percentage of adults with college degrees; the 50th in per capita spending on criminal justice; 49th on police protection; 48th in percentage of adults with a high school diploma; 48th in spending on corrections; 46th in teachers' salaries -- moving up a little -- 46th in the whole Nation; 45th in the overall well-being of the children in that State. And this man got up in the debate the other night and he said, "I want to do for America what I've done for Arkansas." No way. We are not going to let him do that.

You know, you heard him talk in the debate. He said that, number one, they've had the number one growth in jobs in 1991. That might well be true. But ever since he's been Governor, they have 30 percent behind the average for the country. The only way the economy got moving in Arkansas was when it turned out Governor Clinton was out of the State for 85 percent of the time. So I wish the people well. But the only way to keep America moving is to send him back to Arkansas.

You know, I'll get on to the positive things in a minute. But there's a very interesting story in the Associated Press today detailing how Arkansas -- man says, "Give 'em hell." Let me tell you what Truman said: "You just tell the truth, and they think it's hell." You know what I mean? Even today, talked about an AP story detailing how the Arkansas Medicaid program has been mismanaged. They have a projected $120 million in the hole, a huge amount in that small State, and the story includes tales of secret meetings between Governor Clinton and the legislature to try and figure out whether to raise taxes after the election. It sounds like Governor Clinton better clean up his mess in Arkansas before he ever thinks about helping the United States.

I have gotten sick and tired of hearing them talk about change, Governor Clinton and the Ozone Man, his running mate. He talks about change, change, change, change. That's all you're going to have left in your pocket if you let this guy be President of the United States. Change? Last time we had a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, we changed things. Interest rates were 21 percent, inflation 15, and we lost respect around the world. We don't need that kind of change.

I will hold the line on taxes. I will get this deficit down by controlling Federal spending. That's what we need to do.

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

The President. Let me say a word about Ohio. Let me say a word about Ohio. Governor Clinton wants to say, "Well, I want to put taxes on foreign investment." That would threaten 4.5 million jobs, including 150,000 jobs right here in Ohio. He wants to impose CAFE standards, these are the fuel efficiency standards on the auto business, 40 to 45 miles per gallon. That would cost Ohio 20,000 jobs. We do not need this kind of change. We need our kind of change.

The only way they can try to win is by convincing everybody we're in a deep recession. Yesterday the news came out that our last quarter of the year has grown at 2.7 percent, personal income the highest in 9 months. We can do better, but that is progress. That is not recession. That is economic growth. And now we've got to keep it going so we can help every single American that is hurting, everyone that is afraid they might lose the job.

The way we're going to do that is not by raising taxes and raising Government spending, but my plan, the agenda for America's renewal, will get the job done. And here's how we're going to do it. We are going to open new markets. We are going to create more goods for Ohio agriculture and Ohio products all around the world.

[At this point, audience members interrupted the President's remarks.]

The President. Who are these guys? Desperation.

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

The President. You know what's happening? You know what's happening? These guys feel it slipping away from them. They know we're on the move. They know we're going forward. I feel sorry for them.

Here's the way we're going to do it: We're going to open new markets. Governor Clinton talks about investing, Government investing. Government never created a decent job in its life. Small business creates the jobs. Less regulation, less taxes, less lawsuits, and let's get small business moving.

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

The President. You know, in this country the biggest supporters for Governor Clinton are the trial lawyers. My view is, we sue each other too much and care for each other too little. Let's cap these crazy lawsuits.

Audience members. Hee, hee, haw, haw, Clinton, stay in Arkansas.

The President. We've got it. That's right.

These guys were asking about health care. We've got the best health care plan: provide health care insurance to the poorest of the poor through vouchers, give the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum a little break on tax credits, get after these crazy malpractice lawsuits, and keep health care private. Do not do what Clinton wants to do and get the Government further involved. We can't even run a post office. We'd better not try to run health care. Use incentives and markets making insurance available to all. Make it transportable so when you change jobs you've got it. Let's do better by health care by keeping the Government under control.

On education, we've got a tremendous difference on education. We've got a program called America 2000. We've got the best job retraining program to help those who need work as we move from a defense economy to a more private sector. I am very proud of our record. And I'll tell you one place where I really differ with Governor Clinton. I want to put the strength with the families. I want to give the parents the choice: public, private, or religious schools. Let the parents choose, and let's help them with their choice.

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

The President. Another point. I speak about family values. One family value is to help families live in a neighborhood free of crime. Make no mistake about it, I think we've been a little too lenient on the criminal, a little less caring about the victims of crime. I support our law enforcement officers. And guess what happened the other day: I had a visit from eight people from Little Rock, Arkansas. They came up to endorse me, and they were from the Fraternal Order of Police in Little Rock. I am proud to have their endorsement.

Governor Clinton talks about spending more and taxing more and having Government invest. Let me tell you what I think we need to do about this deficit. We need a balanced budget amendment. Many States have it. Give it to the Federal Government. Make the Congress and the President get this budget into balance. We need a taxpayer check-off so a taxpayer can check 10 percent of his income tax designated to one thing, reducing the Federal deficit. And we need a line-item veto to let the President cut out the pork out of this budget. And how about this fourth idea? Let's give the Congress back to the people. Presidents have term limits. Let's have term limits on Members of the Congress.

I'll tell you what's going to decide this election, though. It is going to be character and trust. And here's my point: I will continue to criticize because I don't believe as Commander in Chief or as President you can be all things to all people. You have to make tough decisions. And if you make a mistake, you do what you do: You say, "Hey, listen, I was wrong on that one." And you keep on leading, and you can make the tough calls.

You don't do what Governor Clinton does, waffle and vacillate. We cannot make the White House into the waffle house. In the South he'll talk right-to-work; he'll go to the unions and is against it. Some places he's for free trade; other places, well, he's for it, "but." You can't have a lot of "buts" in the White House. Remember that. Term limits, "Oh, term limits have some good ideas," and then it doesn't.

And here we are in the Persian Gulf war. I had to make a tough call. I had to have some of these men and women here today go in to fight for their country. Let me tell you something. That is not an easy decision. But when I made the decision, I did not waffle. I didn't do what Governor Clinton did, which says one day, "Well, I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority." The Commander in Chief cannot do that. You've got to make a decision and stay with it.

Some disagree with me on this one, but I'll tell you something. When your country is at war, I just happen to think that it is plain wrong to go to a foreign country and organize demonstrations against your own, no matter how strongly you feel. A lot of people differed on the Vietnam war, but you can't have it both ways, protect your viability and then fail to level. On April 17th, Governor Clinton said, "I'm going to make all my records available on the draft." Fine. We haven't heard it yet. You cannot waffle. You've got to tell the truth to the American people. And that is what I've been doing. I guess the bottom line is, you can't lead by misleading.

Let me tell you this: Sometimes in the White House in critical moments the phone rings at night, or over there in the Oval Office. You have to make a tough decision. And you cannot keep every single person happy. Barbara -- I wish she were here to see this. She is a great First Lady, and I wish she were here. But we have tried very hard. When we talk about family values or caring about people, I think she's done a first-class job in showing that we care. But my point is this: I have tried to be a decent custodian of the public trust.

We see now that our economy is moving. Let's not set it back. Governor Clinton -- the only way they can win is if they convince everybody that we're in an economic recession and things that are worse than we are. They say that we are less than Germany and a little better than Sri Lanka. Well, let me tell you something, Millie knows more about foreign policy than these guys do. They ought to open their eyes. They ought to open their eyes. Yes, we've had a tough time. And yes, some families in Ohio are hurting. But we are not a nation in decline. We are the most respected nation on Earth. Our economy is better than Japan, better than Germany, better than Western Europe, and better than Canada. I am sick and tired of hearing this Clinton and the Ozone Man saying -- the only way that they can win, the only way they can do it, is to convince us we are second rate. We are the United States of America. We are the most respected country on the face of the Earth.

Now I ask for your trust. I ask for your trust. I ask you to take this great Ohio enthusiasm to the polls on Tuesday. We are going to show these crazy media talking heads wrong. We are going to win the election. And then we will lead America and lift these kids up. I don't need the job, but I want to finish the job because I want to help every child here. They're living in a world now far less fearful of nuclear war. We've changed the world. Now let's help us strengthen every family in America and lift America up.

Thank you, and may God bless you on this beautiful day in Ohio. This is fantastic. Thank you. Great rally, Strongsville, fantastic. Thank you very much. Great day. Work now. Go to the polls. Get out and vote. We need you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:33 p.m. at Strongsville Commons. In his remarks, he referred to Walter F. Ehrnfelt, Mayor of Strongsville.

George Bush, Remarks to the Community in Strongsville, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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