[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[November 1, 1994]
[Pages 1925-1926]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Interview With Dominic Carter of New York 1 Television, New York City
November 1, 1994

    Mr. Carter. Thank you for appearing here on New York 1, sir.
    The President. Thank you. Glad to do it.

Midterm Elections

    Mr. Carter. Mr. President, this has been a bitter, nasty campaign 
season across the country in which Republicans have made you the issue 
of local races in commercials linking you directly to the local 
Democrats. While many Democrats have held open arms to campaign with 
you, some have kept their distance. How do you feel that you are the 
direct target, your administration?
    The President. Well, they've worked hard on this for a long time. 
The Republicans tend to be a Presidential party, and they are 
unfortunately now very extremist, very negative, and that's what they've 
tried to do. But you know, there is beginning to be a backlash.
    First of all, the American people see that I am keeping the 
commitments I made to them in 1992. In 21 months, we have moved the 
country forward. We're making the Government work for ordinary Americans 
with things like family leave and college loans. We've reduced the debt. 
We've reduced the size of the Federal Government. We've got more jobs 
coming into this economy. The world is safer and more prosperous than it 
was when I took office. People are feeling that, and I don't believe 
they're going to buy these Republican promises in this contract, this $1 
trillion worth of hot check promises to go back to the 1980's and 
trickle-down economics.
    I also would point out, Dominic, you know, there is beginning to be 
some division within the Republican ranks. People are recoiling; good 
Republicans are recoiling from this extremism and this negativism. 
That's why former First Lady Nancy Reagan hit Oliver North and, of 
course, Mayor Giuliani supporting Governor Cuomo--I think a very 
statesman-like decision--Mayor Riordan out in Los Angeles supporting 
Senator Feinstein, Mrs. Heinz in Pennsylvania attacking the Republican 
candidate for Senator up there.
    There are a lot of good Republicans who do not like what has been 
happening in our country, and they don't like seeing the Republican 
Party being so negative, so bitterly partisan, and so extremist. So I 
think we've got a chance in the last 8 days to get a real vote for the

[[Page 1926]]

future and not a vote for the past. And I'm very hopeful.
    Mr. Carter. Mr. President, you touched upon a couple of topics that 
I want to get to, but just yesterday you were campaigning for Democrats 
in Pittsburgh, and we're told that you're headed to New York once again 
to campaign Thursday for Mario Cuomo.
    The last time you were here, you said Mr. Cuomo is a national 
treasure, that he's New York's treasure. How do you explain him being in 
the tough battle against George Pataki?
    The President. Well, I think, first of all, he has been Governor. 
And after you've been Governor awhile, you'll pick up your fair share of 
enemies if you take on the tough decisions and you deal with the tough 
    Secondly, as we all know, Senator D'Amato and Mr. Pataki, their 
group, they're very good at attacking their opponents and they've done a 
good job of that. But I think Governor Cuomo is coming back. And I think 
if you look at the action that Mayor Giuliani took, he was a person who 
had to say, ``Look, never mind all this negative back-and-forth, how are 
the people of my city going to live, and are they going to be better off 
depending on who the Governor is?'' So he endorsed Governor Cuomo.
    When I said Governor Cuomo was a national treasure but is New York's 
treasure first, I would just remind the voters of New York who wonder 
whether he really wants to be Governor again that I offered him a chance 
to have a very different career in Washington, DC, and he rejected it to 
stay with New York, because he wanted to have a chance to be Governor 
while he has a partner in the White House, someone really committed to 
helping improve the fortunes of the people of New York.
    That was clear evidence to me that his heart was first, foremost, 
and forever with the people of New York, and I think that they'll be 
very well pleased with his performance in the next 4 years if they'll 
give him a chance to be Governor.
    Mr. Carter. Thank you very much, Mr. President. We'll see you in New 
York on Thursday.
    The President. Thank you.

Note: The interview began at 2:57 p.m. The President spoke by telephone 
from the Westin Hotel in Detroit, MI. A tape was not available for 
verification of the content of these remarks.