2000-11/4 President of the United States remarks to Bronx County Democratic Committee Rally
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                          November 4, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                           CELEBRATION AND RALLY

                              Marina Del Rey
                              Bronx, New York

4:12 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Wow.  Are you ready to win this election?

     AUDIENCE:  Yes!  (Applause.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  I want to begin with a set of thank yous.  I thank the
Bronx for being so good to me and Al Gore and Hillary and Tipper these last
eight years.  (Applause.)

     I thank Fernando Ferrer, who started with me in late 1991, when only
my mother thought I could be elected President.  (Laughter and applause.)
I thank Roberto Ramirez for his strong leadership here and his friendship.
(Applause.)  I thank your Congressman, Jose Serrano, who has been with me
for eight years in Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

     I want to thank your State Comptroller, Carl McCall, for his great
leadership and great -- (applause.)  I thank the members of the Senate, the
members of the assembly, the members of the council that are here.  I
understand Congressman Joe Crowley, from Queens, is here, to sing the
National Anthem and to make sure I'm not the only Irishman here today.  I
thank you.  (Laughter and applause.)

     Now, look, I'm tempted just to give you one applause line after
another, this is the best chanting crowd I've heard in a long time.
(Applause.)  But Roberto said, you know, you've just got four days, and
those four days will determine four years, maybe eight years, maybe the
next 20 years of our nation's life.  So I want to ask you to indulge me
just a couple of minutes while I talk about where we're going.  Because for
all of you here -- and it's a great crowd -- the truth is, you've all got a
lot of friends who have never been to an event like this.  Is that right?
(Applause.)  There's our state party chair, Judith Hope.  Thank you,
Judith, for being here.  Thank you. (Applause.)

     But you've got a lot of friends who have never been to hear the
President speak, right?  Never been to a Democratic meeting in the Bronx,
never heard Hillary or Vice President Gore or anybody.  But they'll vote.
Or they might vote if they know clearly what the choice is and what the
consequence is for their families and their community and their country.

     So I just want to say a few things to you from the heart.  You have
been very good to me.  And America is better off than it was eight years
ago.  (Applause.)  But what I believe is that this election is every bit as
important as the election we had in 1992.  And it is very important to
realize that we're not just voting for people, we're also voting for a set
of ideas about how our country should work.

     You know, Fernando Ferrer said this -- I want to say it again -- I
always wanted you to feel, even whether you agreed or disagreed with me,
that you had somebody in the White House who was on your side -- (applause)
-- somebody who understood what your lives were like, and your hopes and
your dreams, and was pulling for you and trying to help you make your lives

     Now, eight years ago, Al Gore and I promised that if you would give us
a chance to serve, we would put people first.  We tried to create
opportunity for every responsible citizen in a community in which every
American had a part.  This year, the American people have to decide to put
our country and our children first, at a time of unprecedented prosperity.
And the truth is, sometimes it's harder to make a good, clear decision when
times are good than when they're tough.

     I mean, I know New Yorkers took a chance on me in '92.  I know that.
I remember when the incumbent President kept referring to me as the
governor of a small, southern state.  (Laughter.)  Remember when he said
that?  And I was so naive, at the time I thought it was a compliment.
(Laughter.)  The truth is, I still do.  (Laughter.)

     But, hey, give me a break.  It wasn't that much of a chance.  The
country was in the ditch.  We had to change, right?  But now things are
going well.

     So there are three big questions that have to be asked and answered.
And what I'm going to ask you to do is to take every spare minute you've
got between now and the time the polls close to talk to all the people you
know who are not here today and have never come to one of these things but
could show up, because that could make the difference.

     I just got back from California.  I'm going back to Arkansas tomorrow.
All over the country, I've never seen an election like this.  There are 12
or 13 states where the election is within two points one way or the other.
There are congressional races and senate races that are just unbelievably
tight.  And I am convinced it's because in these good times people are not
absolutely clear about what the consequences are.

     So here are the three things I want you to say to your neighbors.
Number one, if you remember where we were eight years ago and you look at
where we are today, do you want to keep the prosperity going and give it to
people who haven't felt it yet?

     AUDIENCE:  Yes!  (Applause.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Now, if you do, there's a choice.  Al Gore and Joe
Lieberman and Hillary say, okay, you want to keep the prosperity going?
First, we've got to keep paying down the debt to keep interest rates low.
That's the biggest tax cut we can give anybody.  It means lower mortgage
rates, lower car payments, lower college loan payments, lower credit card
payments; lower business loans costs, which means more businesses, more
jobs, higher incomes and a better stock market.

     And then take what's left, once you figures out what you've got to do
to pay the debt down, and spend it on education and health care and the
environment and a tax cut we can afford -- (applause) -- for our family,
for child care, long-term care, college education and retirement.  Now,
that's their deal.  (Applause.)

     The Republicans' sounds good.  They say, hey -- wait, wait -- it
sounds good.  What's their line?  Their line is, hey, this is your money --
which, of course, it is -- so we'll just give it all to you now.  We'll
have a tax cut that's three times bigger than the Democrats'.  We'll
privatize Social Security and let young people take the money and run.  And
we'll spend some money, too.

     Now, here are the problems with that.  People ask me all the time, how
did you turn the economy around?  What great new idea did you bring to
Washington?  Do you know what my answer is?  Arithmetic.  We brought
arithmetic to Washington.  (Laughter and applause.)

     Now, look.  You know, I heard -- Governor Bush said there was an
education recession; there's really an education renaissance.  And I'm
telling you, everybody in the Bronx can figure this out.  Here's the deal:
the surplus is supposed to be $2 trillion, right?  Forget about all those
zeroes; that's hard.  But it's two -- the surplus, right?  (Laughter.)

     Okay.  Now, their tax cut and the interest associated with it cost
$1.6 trillion -- $1.6.  When they privatize Social Security, that costs a
trillion dollars.  Why?  Because if all you young folks take your payroll,
everybody like me that's 55 or over that's been guaranteed we will get what
we've got coming -- and as Al Gore keeps pointing out, you can't spend the
same money twice -- so if you take a trillion out, we've got to put a
trillion in, right?  So that's one point six plus one.  And then they
promise to spend a half a trillion dollars, that's point five.

     Now, one point six plus one plus point five is three point one --
three point one is bigger than two.  (Laughter and applause.)  That's the
whole deal.  Now, look, we tried it their way before.  Remember?  And we
ran 12 years of deficits and we quadrupled the national debt, and when I
took office, interest rates were high, inflation was bad, the economy was
in the tank.  We could go back there just by saying --

     AUDIENCE:  No!

     THE PRESIDENT:  But you've got to tell people, you can't have it all
now.  We've got to think about our country and our children and our
obligations to our seniors.  And our obligation to keep this economy going.
So tell people that:  three point one is bigger than two.  If you want to
keep this prosperity going, you've got one choice:  Al Gore, Joe Lieberman
and Hillary.  (Applause.)

     Now, the second issue.  The country is not just stronger economically,
it's stronger.  The crime rate is down to a 26-year low.  The environment
is cleaner.  We've cleaned up more toxic waste sites in eight years than
they did in 12.  Three times as many.  The air is cleaner.  The water is
cleaner.  More land preserved forever than any administration since Teddy
Roosevelt a hundred years ago.

     The health care system is getting better.  We added 26 years to the
life of Medicare.  It was supposed to go broke last year.  The number of
people without health insurance is going down for the first time in a dozen
years.  The schools are getting better.  Math scores, reading scores,
science scores up, the dropout rate down, the college-going rate at an
all-time high.  In no small measure because we passed the biggest expansion
of college aid in 50 years.

     Now, here's the deal.  Do you want to keep building on that progress
and doing better?

     AUDIENCE:  Yes!  (Applause.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  There is a difference; there is a choice.  Look at Al
Gore and Joe Lieberman and Hillary.  What do they say?  They say, keep
putting police on the streets, keep taking common sense measures that keep
guns out of the hands of criminals and children.  They say keep cleaning up
the environment and give us a clean energy future and one that's more
secure so you don't have to worry about what home heating oil is going to
cost every winter because we'll have more sources of energy and we'll use
it better.

     They say keep insuring children until all our kids are insured and
then get their working class parents health insurance, too.  (Applause.)
Pass the patients' bill of rights, pass Medicare prescription drugs for
every senior who needs it.  (Applause.)

     They say, give the states and the school districts money to rebuild
crumbling schools and build new ones, put 100,000 qualified teachers in the
early grades so these kids will have little classes -- (applause) -- have
universal pre-school and after-school for the kids who need it --
(applause) -- and give our families a tax deduction for the cost of college
tuition so everybody can afford to go to college.  Now, that's what they
say.  (Applause.)

     Now, you've got a choice.  What do the Republicans say?  This is what
they've committed to do.  They've committed to abolish the 100,000 police
program, breakdown the 100,000 teacher program.  They've committed to relax
the clean air standards and to reverse a lot of the land I've protected.
They are against the patients' bill of rights, they are against the
Medicare prescription drugs for all of our seniors.  And their answer to
education is block grants and vouchers.

     Now, it's not like you don't have a choice.  But if you look where we
were eight years and you look where we are now, and you want to build on
that progress, you just have one choice:  Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and
Hillary.  (Applause.)

     Here's the third big thing.  There are just three big questions in
this race.  The third big thing is, don't you want to keep building one
America, one community where we're all going forward together?  That's a
big issue.  This economy is the first recovery in 30 years where everybody
got to go along for the ride:  African American unemployment, cut in half;
Hispanic unemployment cut by more than half; the lowest minority
unemployment in the history of the country that we have ever registered --
(applause) -- average income up $5,000; child poverty down 30 percent;
poverty at a 20-year low; welfare rolls cut in half.  We're all going along
for the ride.

     Now, if you adopt their economic program, we'll keep growing together.
And it's more than economics.  We didn't end affirmative action -- as the
Republicans wanted to do -- we amended it.  We fought for fairness and
decency for our immigrants.  We fought for an end to prejudice and for
civil rights.

     Now, you've got a choice.  Look at Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Hillary.
They're for hate crimes legislation, employment nondiscrimination
legislation, stronger enforcement of equal pay for women, fairness for
immigrants, and a Supreme Court that will protect civil rights, human
rights, and a woman's right to choose.  (Applause.)

     Now, in every area, in every area from top to bottom, the Republicans
have the opposite position.  So it's not like there is a choice.  You've
got to go out and just tell people -- look, you don't think you're going to
go vote, you don't think it makes any difference?  If you want to keep the
prosperity going, if you want to build on the progress for the last eight
years, if you want to keep building one America so we all go along for the
ride, you've got one choice:  Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Hillary.

     Now, let me just say one thing else.  Let me say something personally.
I know both these people better than about everybody who is going to vote
in America.  (Laughter.)  And I know something about the presidency and
something about the Congress and something about the Senate.  And I would
like to say a couple of personal words.

     John Kennedy said the presidency was preeminently a place of
decision-making.  Al Gore has done more good for the American people as
Vice President than anybody in history.  He has more experience, he has
more ability to make those decisions, he is the hardest-working person I
have ever known, he has the capacity to keep learning and the curiosity to
do it.

     He understands the world, which is why, if you talk to the Albanian
Americans in New York City, of whom there is quite a good number in New
York, they were probably astonished when his opponent said we shouldn't be
in Kosovo.  We had to stand up against ethnic cleansing and slaughter
there; it was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

     And he understands the future.  I put him in charge of connecting all
our schools to the Internet.  When we started, only 3 percent of the
classrooms in the country were connected; now 65 percent are.  Ninety
percent of the poorest schools in America are connected to the Internet.

     He is a good man, who will make good decisions, who will be a great
President.  And I can tell you that based on my personal knowledge.  If you
want somebody you can bank on in a crisis and bank on to make the most of
these good times, you need to tell people that.  I know this.

     And I'll tell you something about Hillary.  She knows more --
(applause) -- she knows more about children and family, about education and
health care, about how to bring economic opportunity to distressed areas
than anybody I can imagine who could be running for President.  She has
worked on this stuff, some of these issues for 20 years, some of these
issues for 30 years.  She has been part of all the efforts we've made for
peace, from Northern Ireland to the Balkans to the Middle East.

     She has been part of our outreach to Africa, to Latin America, to
South Asia, to places that America used to ignore.  But we know that we
have Americans from those places and we know we should be their partners
for the future.  (Applause.)

     And I told her when she decided to do this that New York was a pretty
tough sell.  (Laughter.)  I said, you know, just remember the primary I
went through in New York in '92.  I said, they'll put you through your
paces there.  And so you have.  (Laughter.)

     And she has been subject to a campaign that has amazed even me, and
I've been through a lot -- (laughter) -- for its emphasis on trying to
build a wellspring of resentment and division among our state.  But, hey,
you know, that's part of the deal.  And she has met every test.  She has
worked her heart out for 16 months, she has come to every community, she's
been there for you.  (Applause.)

     So here is what I want to tell you.  Yes, we're right on the issues.
Yes, if you want to keep the prosperity going, build on the social progress
and bring everybody along together, you've got to be for Al Gore and Joe
Lieberman and Hillary, but they're also, by far and away, the best
qualified people to keep serving you.  So go out and talk to your neighbors
and win this election on Tuesday.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

                            END                 4:30 P.M. EST

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E