[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George H. W. Bush (1992-1993, Book II)]
[October 22, 1992]
[Pages 1918-1921]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Rally in Ridgewood, New Jersey
October 22, 1992

    The President. Thank you. It's great to be here. Thank you. What a 
beautiful day in New Jersey. And let me tell you something: This 
marvelous crowd convinces me that I will be reelected for 4 more years 
in 12 days from now.
    I want to thank Bob Grant. I want to thank Bob Grant. He always 
brings people he's for some good luck. And I want to thank your 
Congressman, Marge Roukema. You've got a great Congressman in 
Washington, DC. Everywhere I go, people yell, ``Clean House!'' If we had 
more like Marge, you wouldn't be doing that. But we need a new Congress 
to work with her to change America.
    Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
    The President. This guy's fired up, up here.
    Let me also say that I still wish that Governor Tom Kean were 
Governor of the State of New Jersey, I'll tell you. May I thank Mayor 
Pat Mancuso. And may I say a belated congratulations to the Ridgewood 
Maroons, the State champions, football champions.
    And so, I come into this State feeling good. Something's happening 
out across this country. Something is happening. We're moving up on this 
guy. And remember, the vote is not over until November, when people vote 
on November 3d. And we are going to win the election because we are 
right for the American people.
    Here's what's going to decide it; here's what's going to decide it: 
When people go into that booth, they're going to have to ask themselves, 
who do you trust to lead America out of a global recession? Who do you 
trust to create new jobs? Who has the experience and the ideas to lead 
the United States of America?
    For a long time, for a long time, Governor Clinton and a handful of 
others running for President, for about a year, have been 
misrepresenting our record. And so today, I want to run the risk of 
ruining what is a lovely recession--a lovely reception--[laughter]--
wait'll you hear this, you'll know what I'm talking about. I've got to 
give you just a little bit on the Arkansas

[[Page 1919]]

record. We've got to get in perspective. Watch out, here it is.
    The 50th, Arkansas is the 50th in the quality of environmental 
initiatives; they are the 50th in the percentage of adults with a 
college degree; they are 50th in the per capita spending on criminal 
justice; they are 49th in per capita spending on police protection. When 
a kid gets out of high school, 75 percent of them in college need 
remedial learning. They are 48th in adults with a high school diploma; 
48th on support for corrections; 46th on teachers' salaries; 45th on the 
overall well-being of children. And the other night Governor Clinton 
says, ``I want to do for America what I've done for Arkansas.'' No way.
    Audience members. Boo-o-o!
    The President. No way. No way. No way. It's like taking a guy in the 
Little League, taking a manager of the Little League team that finished 
last, and say he ought to be managing the Braves. There's a big 
difference between failing in Arkansas and leading the United States of 
    I'll give you a little idea of what he has already said he wants: 
$150 billion in new taxes, $220 billion in new spending. He talks about 
trickle-down; that is trickle-down Government. Government's not yet to 
create a job that means anything; small business does that. Let's help 
small business, not big Government.
    Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
    The President. It's easy when the times are tough. And yes, we've 
got a tough economy. We happen to have one of the best in the world. 
It's not as good as I want it, but we're in a global slowdown, a global 
recession. And we've got to change things. But what we don't need to do 
is go back, what it was like when the Democrats controlled the White 
House and the Congress, which they've controlled for 38 years.
    I want to remind you of what it was like. Interest rates, some here 
are too young to remember, 21.5 percent. We don't want that for the 
United States. Inflation was 15 percent. The ``misery index'' was going 
through the ozone hole that Gore talks about all the time. And we cannot 
go back to the failed policies of the past.
    Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
    The President. Our idea is to get the Government under control and 
get Government spending and the taxation bill down. I saw a horrible 
sign here. It says ``Clinton equals Florio.'' No, we cannot do that to 
the United States. There it is. The guy's got it right there.
    In early October, the number of Americans filing new claims for 
jobless benefits--to a 2-year low. We just got this announcement today. 
It's a good sign. And I can't wait to turn on the evening TV tonight and 
hear good news for America; I'm sure they'll report it. So far I haven't 
heard too much about that. We've had unemployment down for the last 3 
months. I haven't heard too much about that. And my favorite bumper 
sticker, Tom, you got it? Here's my favorite bumper sticker of all, 
``Annoy the Media. Reelect Bush.'' What is it about these guys?
    Let me tell you what we've got to do, and New Jersey knows this, 
we've got to open up markets abroad. New Jersey can outproduce, 
outhustle--our workers can outproduce, outhustle any, anywhere in the 
world. But we've got to open up these markets. We've got to outcompete 
the rest of the world. We don't turn inward, we turn outward and sell 
New Jersey products in markets all around the world, and that's what I 
stand for.
    A lot of you people here today are small-business people. And that 
means they employ two-thirds of the people in this country, two-thirds. 
And they're not taxed too little. They're not regulated too little. 
They're taxed too much and regulated too much, and they're sued too 
much. Let's change all three.
    I'm not, hey look, I'm not against lawyers. What I'm against is 
malpractice lawsuits that keep doctors from practicing. I'm against 
lawsuits so if a person goes by and sees a person lying on the side of 
the road in a car accident and then they're afraid to pick them up and 
help them because somebody is going to sue them; or a Little League 
coach who's afraid to coach because some nutty trial lawyer 
is going to come in and sue the opposition. I'm sorry, we are suing each 
other too much in this country

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and caring for each other too little. And we've got to change it.
    And Governor Clinton owes his election to the trial lawyers in the 
past. And we've got to stand up against those people and put some caps 
on these ridiculous lawsuits that are costing health care alone $25 to 
$50 billion. Do something about it. Change it. That's the kind of change 
we need.
    We've got a good health care program that's going to get insurance 
available to the poorest of the poor; tax credit to the overworked 
middle class; get the insurance portable so it goes with you from job to 
job; change malpractice. But do not let the Government run the health 
care program. And don't let the Congress do it. Congress can't run a 
two-bit bank or a two-bit post office. Don't let them do anything except 
change; change them out. Give Marge some company up there that's 
sensible like she is.
    We've got a good education program--reform education, America 2000. 
Tom has been in the lead of it, taking our case for new American schools 
all across the country, saying to the parents, you ought to be able to 
choose. You ought to choose whether you want your kid to go to a public, 
private, or religious school. It worked for the GI bill; it will work 
for public education, too.
    Everyplace I go we are so well supported by the law enforcement 
community. And very candidly, we have been fighting hard to get decent, 
strong support for our law enforcement community in the Congress. And 
it's been frustrating. But my idea is we ought to have more support for 
the police and less support for the criminals. We need people in 
Congress that will stand up and support us.
    The other day, I think it was eight people came up to see me. And 
they were the salt of the Earth, strong family people, dedicated to the 
values of this country. They are supporting me for President. And they 
are the Fraternal Order of Police from Little Rock, Arkansas.
    And speaking of support from labor, I'm glad to see the guys from 
472 here. Heads are on right, strong workers, the best, the best.
    Now here's--let me, let me--I get wound up, too wound up here, but I 
want to tell you another approach. I'm concerned about the deficit. 
Marge is concerned about the deficit. Parents are concerned about the 
deficit because they don't want their kids having their future mortgaged 
anymore. So I'll give you four ideas: One of them, give me a balanced 
budget amendment to the Constitution and make us, make the Congress and 
the Executive do something about it.
    I like the idea also of giving the taxpayer a check-off on his 
income tax at the end of the year. And he or she can check a box, pay 
the tax. Ten percent of it would then go, and have to go to reducing the 
Federal deficit. And that would force the Congress to offset with 
spending cuts. We need to give the people the power to get this down.
    I think we ought to give the power of the Congress back to the 
people. The President's terms are limited. I favor term limits for the 
    And lastly, they send me bill after bill, and it's got 3 good things 
in it and 25 bad things. Or it will have 20 good things and 4 bad 
things. And I want that, you've got it, I want that line-item veto that 
43 Governors have.
    Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
    The President. I'll tell you why I really believe I'm going to win 
this election. I'll tell you why: I don't believe that the country is 
going to turn to a man who said in his debate it isn't the character of 
the President, it is ``the character of the Presidency.'' They are 
interlocked. You cannot separate the leadership of the President from 
the character of the Presidency.
    And you cannot be all things to all people. You've got to say, 
here's what I believe. And if you make a mistake, you do what you all 
do: you say, I was wrong about that; now I'm going to get on about the 
Nation's business. You can't be on all sides of all questions, whether 
it's term limits, where he is one day, someplace else the next. CAFE 
standards, one day he wants 45 miles per gallon--drive every auto worker 
out of business--the next day, oh, he's going to study it a little more. 
A furry owl out on the West Coast, oh, he's all for the owl, but then he 
sees the timber workers, ``Oh well,

[[Page 1921]]

I'll study that one a little more.''
    You can't do that as President of the United States. I had to make a 
tough decision. Some of you may have agreed with it; some of you didn't. 
But when Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait, I determined that we were 
going to kick him out of Kuwait, and we did.
    And where was Bill? He said, here's exactly what he said, he said, 
``I agreed with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the 
majority.'' What kind of leadership is that? Flip-flop, flip-flop, 
everything to all people. You can't do it. Look the American people in 
the eye and say, this is what I'm for. I'll call them as I see them. 
I'll be right, I'll be wrong, but I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm 
not going to be all things to all people. You can't do it.
    And so I think character is important. And I think trust is 
important. And Barbara and I have tried very hard as a family to uphold 
the public trust. The honor of living in this, the most fantastic 
``people's house'' in the entire world. We have changed the world. These 
kids go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war that their 
mothers and dads had. And that is significant challenge and significant 
    And now what we've got to do is take that same leadership, and 
working with the new Congress--and there will be one, there will be over 
100 new Members of the United States Congress--say, I want to sit down 
with you the minute this election is over and do the people's business. 
Get on with the business of lifting up every family in this country and 
telling them, not like Clinton does, that we're a Nation in decline, but 
we are the best, the fairest, most decent country in the entire world. 
And now let's make life better for every single American.
    Thank you all. Thank you very, very much, and may God bless the 
United States of America. May God bless our great country. Thank you.

                    Note: The President spoke at 3:35 p.m. at Veterans 
                        Memorial Park. In his remarks, he referred to 
                        Bob Grant, WABC radio talk show host.