Robert Dole photo

Remarks in Visalia, California

October 26, 1996

I'm very honored to be here. These are only Ken Kachigian's relatives. Wait until the other people show up.


It's good to be here today, and I want these five medal of honor winners to come up here and stand with me just for a moment. Come on up here, fellows.


Now, these are real American heroes.


They are what America is all about. We talk about courage. We talk about bravery. We talk about fortitude. It's exemplified right here, and I'm very proud they're with me today, and I thank them.

And let's give them a big round of applause for America.


Thank you, fellows. Thank you.


DOLE: Oh, six? Excuse, me. Six, not five.

Thank you. Thank you.

All right. Welcome to the retirement party for Bill Clinton. Glad to have you here.


You know if I had a dollar for every time Clinton leveled with the American people, I would keep one and give the other to Elizabeth.


I'm not sure I could think of two things, but I'd try. And I'm sorry Elizabeth left earlier for other places in California today, but...

[audience moans]

... I know. But she will be a great first lady.


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


And I want to say that I know everybody's excited about another very important event coming up in November — the big game between the Redwood Rangers and the Mount Whitney Pioneers — right here!


Now, I don't know who's going to win that game, but I know who's going to win the election on November 5. It's going to be Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.


Now, let me say, as I've said many times before, this campaign is a fight for America's future. A long time ago, like many in this audience — maybe a shorter time for some — I had the honor of wearing the American uniform in another fight for freedom.

And that was an important battle for the soul of America and the soul of the world, and we prevailed.

We prevailed.


We're in a fight again for the heart and soul of America in 1996. Make no mistake about it. You take a look what this president tried to do his first two years and ask yourselves, can I vote for that man again?

DOLE: Can I trust that man? The answer is no.


DOLE: So, this is about the future. It is about your children. It is about your grandchildren, your business, your community, your farm. And I would say this to everyone here.

Nothing has ever come to me except the hard way, like a lot of you. Nothing comes easy in life that's worthwhile. And it's worthwhile leading the fight to give America back to the people, back to the people.


I don't believe we can afford four more years of weak, weak leadership.


DOLE: I think we need a president who understands that the government is too big and takes too much of your money, your money, your money.


And I now that in a crowd this size — the New York Times will write that not many people showed up — but the other papers will get it right. That a crowd this size — there are probably a lot of husbands and wives here — both are working. One to pay the bills for the family, the other to pay the taxes, which are now the highest in history, about 40 percent of what you earn goes for taxes.

This should not happen in America.


DOLE: That's the reality of the Clinton economy. People find themselves working harder and harder and harder and they pay for in taxes than they pay for food, clothing and shelter combined.

The highest, as I said in history, now almost 40 percent. And we're having the slowest economic recovery in a century. He tells you never had it so good? Well, he never had it so good. He got a big pay raise when he became President of the United States.


And he will get out tax cut if he leaves his forwarding address when he leaves in January. So,...


Now he likes...


Now he likes to brag. I had a couple of debates with him. Well, they weren't really debates but he did show up. One was in California. And he said, well I created 11 million jobs. Well, I said, yeah, I met a guy the other day that's got three of them.


You got to work harder, you got to work longer, you got to find weekend jobs in some cases if you have a family. Twenty percent of wives have gone back to work just to pay the bills. Now if they want to work, both spouses, that's fine. But it ought to be their choice.

It shouldn't be forced by high taxes from the federal government and we have an answer.

We start with the basic premise that it's your money, it's your money.


It's called a tax cut. We haven't had one in ten years. You've probably forgotten about it. Plus, when candidate Clinton roared into California in 1992 and he told you everything you wanted to hear, in fact he'll tell you again this next week, anything you want, he's for it.

DOLE: I wish he'd get working on the Central Valley project improvement act. I'm ready to go to work and make some legislative changes.

He's stalling and stalling and stalling until after the election. Don't trust him. Don't trust him.


So, 15 percent across the board. Fifteen percent across the board. A $500 credit for every child under 18. I see several little credits right here today.

One child, $500. Two, $1,000. Ten, you're probably too busy to file your taxes, but that would be $5,000. All on the premise that it's your money. This is a working family's tax cut. This is not a Wall Street tax cut.

In fact, even President Clinton hasn't said it's a tax cut for the rich. In the first debate, in Hartford, he said, well, I could use it. Well, if he can use it making $200,000 a year, I think a lot of people here could use it making a lot, lot less.

And if you make $30,000 — a family of four — it's a $1,261 tax cut. It's $105 a month. What's that? That's more money for soccer moms, more money for day care, more money for whatever you want to use it for.


Maybe — maybe even take a little vacation. Come to a big resort area like Kansas and spend a couple of weeks.


You know, we can use the business. Visit my presidential library. It will be open in a few years, anyway.


So this tax cut's for real Americans. People are out there every day, working harder and harder and harder just to take care of their families. And that is just phase one.

In phase two, we're going to have a flatter, fairer, simpler system, and we're going to end the IRS as we know it.


Now, let's talk about Bill Clinton's war on California. You know, he comes out here a lot for haircuts and other things, but he — you know?

And he's going to get another hair cut on November 5 — ah!


Now, he entered office saying — when he entered office, he said, California, here we come.

But now, California is saying, Bill Clinton, it's time to go. It's time to go. It's time to go. It's time to go.

AUDIENCE: It's time to go. It's time to go. It's time to go. It's time to go.

DOLE: So, from raising taxes to raising the white flag on drugs and immigrations and in dozens of other ways, Bill Clinton's war on families have hurt California's farms and businesses from San Diego to the Oregon border. Make no mistake about it.

And let me tell you why.

He did pass the largest tax increase in history. He said, oh, only the rich paid it. Seventy percent of that tax is paid by small businessmen and small business women. Thirty-two billion dollars in a gas tax hike cost this state about $700 million a year.

Not for roads and highways — you might justify it. But to go into his little pork jar there where he passes out goodies all around when he's trying to get re-elected.

Now, even in Washington, that's big money — $265 billion, $700 million.

Plus, I don't see any senior citizens here. But if you know one...


Oh, there is one. I found one. All right. There's always one in a crowd in this size besides me.

DOLE: So...


Remember what Bill Clinton's doing now. He's out here trying to frighten everybody. It's not even Halloween. We've got to wait a couple weeks for that.

He's saying now, listen, if you vote for Bob Dole, he's going to push you off the Medicare rolls or he's going to cut your Medicare. Now, he knows better than that.

It was Mrs. Clinton who went before a congressional committee and suggested we ought to have zero growth in Medicare. In our plan, Medicare grows 7 percent a year, which is twice the rate of inflation, almost identical to what President Clinton suggests.

And he's out there every day saying Dole wants to cut, Kemp wants to cut — everybody wants to — every Republican wants to cut Medicare. Well, let me say this, he's the one who raised your taxes on Social Security. If you have $25,000 and a widow, he said you were rich, and you ought to pay taxes on 85 percent of your benefits.

Not a single Republican voted for that bill.


And we're going to repeal that tax hike when I'm elected. We're going to repeal that tax hike that affects six million to eight million seniors and many of those in California. He even made it retroactive as state tax.

Now, it's pretty hard to get somebody when they're gone. But he tried. It's like Ted Kennedy said, I said on the Senate floor one day, I said, now let me tax your memories. And Kennedy jumped up and said, why haven't we thought of that before?


These — they're thinking all the time on what — oh, there's something that we haven't taxed. And Bruce Babbitt, he's very favored out here I know.


Yes. We got this new Babbitt tax, and he said, well, it's win-win. People like taxes. They like all these things. You're going to tax bird seed, among other things. They can't catch the bird, but they'll tax the seed.

And then they're going to tax everything else that moves — your RVs, hiking boots, binoculars, everything. So I think it's time that tax — the big taxers take a hike and let the rest of us alone.

And they're going to take a hike on November 5.


Now, unemployment in California is more than a third higher than the national average, and in most communities in the Central Valley, unemployment remains in the double digits. But that's just the beginning.

His deep cuts in defense have cost this state about a half a million jobs. They've taken $10 billion out of the California economy. And I say he's gone too far. Just as he admitted in Texas he raised taxes too much, I've heard him say he's cut defense too much.

And it's time to stop. It's time to stop. We are the leader of the free world. We may have some responsibilities.


And he's ignored, in this state above all, the huge cost of illegal immigration.

DOLE: He opposed Proposition 187 and refused to reimburse the state for costs of jailing alien felons. It was not until Senator Hutchison and Senator Bob Dole pushed it and pushed it and pushed it, with the help of Governor Wilson and others, and the California delegation, George Radonovich, so that we made it happen.

And now he's got about a billion dollars they won't let you have. He won't release it. What's wrong with him?

So, and as Pete just said, he has now learned that he's granting citizenship to thousands with criminals histories. He doesn't care as long as they're going to vote on November 5.

Now, to me that's an outrage. As I said yesterday and I think I may — I didn't want to offend anybody in the media, but if I did, sorry too — but in any event, aren't you outraged that they, that Vice President Gore with his staff would push the INS to naturalize as many people as possible instead of half a million, 1.2 or 1.3 million, rush them through so they'll be ready for election, even if they had criminal records.

Don't do any background check. That is an outrage. That is an outrage.



And when the president sends a message on the Jim Lehrer PBS show to those who are locked up on Arkansas, well maybe I'll pardon you, maybe I won't. When he did business with these people and they might implicate him, that is an outrage. He ought to say no pardons, no pardons, no pardons.


When he gathers up or somebody gathers up 900 FBI files, a lot of us have FBI files, a lot of us out here in this audience have — doesn't mean you've done anything wrong, but just have an FBI file. So they gather up 900 of them, they take them to the White House. They hire a guy named Craig Livingstone...


DOLE: We don't know — he just happened to show up one day and went to work. Nobody knows how he got there.

He was bouncer in a bar so they made him — he had all the credentials for that White House...


They made him the White House security chief. But nobody knows how he got there. Now that's an outrage. It's an outrage that 900 FBI files are there for everybody to look over, including interns in the office. I understand they read mine and they went to sleep, so it sounds good to me.

But anyway, it's an outrage. And then when we have Vice President Gore going to the Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles. And they don't have any money there but he came out with $122,000.


DOLE: And then he said well, he thought of it as an outreach program. Well, it was. They reached way out.


And other people reach real deep. But we don't know the money got there unless there's a laundromat in the neighborhood and somehow the money got there and he got it. But of course when Al Gore says oh, I just, an innocent mistake. That's the end of it. You'll never hear it again in the media.

So, that's an outrage. It's an outrage. It's an outrage.


And when some fellow named Gandhi who's related to the other Gandhi says, former Mahatma Gandhi, he owes $10,000 in taxes.

DOLE: But he was just able to, you know, by scraping and saving and putting it all together to come up with $300,000 to give to the Clinton campaign. Now, that's nice of him.

But we can't find him. Gandhi is gone. Gone — he's gone.

And then there's another $425,000 from a rich Indonesian family and, of course, they've got their man in the Commerce Department. His name is John Huang. And now we can't find John Huang.

Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage in the media? Where is the outrage?


Can you imagine a Republican president doing one of those things? No.


DOLE: Go back to Watergate — wasn't very pleasant for Republicans.

I know somebody who went to jail for looking at one FBI file — one FBI file, not 900, one. So double standard? I don't know. We're going to find out.

But whatever happens is this. It's clear if we're going to stem all of these things, all these abuses of power, all the abuse of power taking place in the White House on a daily basis.

And some said, well, they do it every day so nobody pays any attention and nobody cares. I say the American people care — Republicans and Democrats and independents.


And let me ask you — wouldn't you like to have an administration that tells you the truth and lives up to high ethical standards?


We've had enough evasion and enough half-truths and double talk. That's the style of government in this administration. More than 30 officials have been investigated, fired or forced to resign due to ethical improprieties.

The FBI was tricked into handing over the files. Now, they're blaming the Secret Service. It's always somebody else's fault. It's never their fault.

These records just show up in the living quarters. Nobody knows. They just came in from somewhere. I don't know where they came from. They never made a mistake.

Does anybody believe the Clinton administration will be more honest or ethical in a second term? No!


DOLE: So we've had Filegate and Travelgate. We've had enough gates. It's time for us to show them the door and out they go, back to Arkansas.


So I'm going to take a page from another midwesterner named Harry Truman. They said — as somebody just said in the audience — give 'em hell. They said, give 'em hell, Harry. He said, I'm not giving them hell. I just tell them the truth, and they think it's hell.

And we're going to do that every day between now and November 5.


Because I want you to understand this is an important election. I want you to understand just how important it is. I want you to take a look at your child or your children or take a look at your business as you lock it up tonight or next Monday or whatever.

DOLE: And take a look at your community and your family and your hopes and your aspirations for the future and then you decide. I want you to be proud of your vote on November 5, just as I was proud when I cast my first vote for Dwight Eisenhower, my commander in chief. I was proud of that. I am still proud of that vote.


And I want you to be proud of your vote.


And I'll just give you — if you're still on the fence, let me give you just a few — I know, there's not many, but there are some up here on the fence. But in any event, I'll give you a few.

Balanced budget amendment of the Constitution. I'm for it. He's against it. Five hundred dollar child credit. I'm for it, He vetoed it.

I believe — see all these brave medal of honor winners — we ought to have a constitutional amendment to protect the flag of the United States of America.


I am for it and he's against it. I believe we ought to allow voluntary prayer in school. I'm for it and he's against it.


And I believe we ought to have choice and competition in education. Give education back to the teachers and back to the parents.


And I believe you can learn as many languages as you want but it ought to be English first. We ought to learn English.


If you don't learn English in America, you're going to be left behind. It's not fair to some one not to learn English. And I will continue to support bilingual education if the purpose is to learn English. Otherwise you're going to be lost in America.


Welfare reform — the governor tried, everybody tried. Everybody went to Washington D.C. and tried to persuade the president. He vetoed it twice; then he finally signed it. And then the vice president and the president both said, we're going to change it all back next year.

We're not going to do that — we want to get people off welfare. We want to restore their dignity and their self esteem and find jobs and find opportunity.


And I supported Prop 187 before it passed and he opposed it before it passed. And I support CCRR. There should be no discrimination in America, but there should be no preferences and no quotas in America. This is the United States of America.


So, in the final analysis, it's all up to you. But let me conclude by saying that I am a man of my word. And I give you my word that I will be a president you can be proud of and your children can be proud of and I do understand agriculture. I'm going to be looking to Ann Vennon for a lot of input when I'm elected. She's done an outstanding job in California and before that — and Clayton Yeutter has done an outstanding job in agriculture and trade. These are the people that I will look to, somebody with experience, somebody who understands, somebody who knows a little about America. And somebody who will be there serving because they believe in public service and they believe in the public trust.

They're not trying to make money, not trying to make deals. They're trying to make a better America and that's what this election is all about.


I want to thank you again for coming. Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless America. Let's go to work to win California, 54 electoral votes. Thank you.


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

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