correction in 9/11 potus/weiner transcript, change is synagog to synagogue
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                        Office the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                        September 11, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                         AT RECEPTION IN HONOR OF
                        CONGRESSMAN ANTHONY WEINER

                             Private Residence
                            New York, New York

6:10 P.M. EDT

     THE  PRESIDENT:   Thank you very much.  First, I want to thank Richard
and  Maureen for their warm welcome here -- (laughter) -- for opening their
home,  this is a beautiful place and a beautiful gathering.  And the reason
we're  all  so  warm is that you came out here to support Anthony in record
numbers,  and  I'm  grateful to you.  (Laughter.)   So you should enjoy the
temperature, you generated it by your commitment and your support.

     I  want  to thank you for reminding me that you were in Little Rock on
election  night  in  '92.   Hard  to believe it was almost eight years ago.
It's  been  a  good eight years, and I thank you for being there.  I have a
particular  interest in this Congressional district, because in 1992 I came
to  Chuck Schumer's home in Brooklyn, and I drove around this Congressional
district  with him.  I mean, I know we're not in it now, but I drove around
the Congressional district.

     I  drove  to  the  synagogue  where a swastika had been painted on the
wall.   And  we  began  to  see the evidence of the kind of intolerance and
bigotry  that  we  still see manifested from time to time in these terrible
hate  crimes  around  our  country.   And I thought then that, you know, we
could  turn  the country around if we had the right ideas.  If we literally
changed  the economic policy, the education policy, the health care policy,
the  crime  policy,  the  environmental  policy  and  the foreign policy of
America.  And I believe that the results have been pretty good.

     Now,  what  I  want to say today is, I'm here because, number one, I'm
very  grateful  for the support that Anthony has given me over the last two
years,  and I appreciate it very much.  (Applause.)  Secondly, and far more
important,  I  think  he has enormous capacity to serve this district well,
and to continue to grow in stature and leadership and impact for the people
of this district, this city and this state, in the United States Congress.

     And that's very important.  You know, I've reached a point now where I
was  looking at him and thinking how young he was, and trying not to resent
it.   (Laughter).   I  realize,  you  know,  I spent most of my life as the
youngest  person  who  ever  did  anything, and now I'm the second youngest
person  ever  to  leave  the  office of the President, the youngest ever to
leave  after  two  full  terms.   Theodore  Roosevelt was a couple of years
younger than me, also of New York, so I decided I'd come to New York to see
if it was in the water and catch it.  (Laughter).

     But my concern now -- this is the first time since 1974 I haven't been
on  the  ballot  -- and most days I'm okay about it.  (Laughter.)  My party
has  a  new  leader,  whom  I  admire  and  support  strongly, and his Vice
Presidential  candidate  has  been  a  friend  of mine for 30 years.  I was
thrilled  about  Senator  Lieberman's  pick.   And  my  family  has  a  new
candidate.   So  I have become the Cheerleader-in-Chief of America, and I'm
very happy to do that.  (Applause.)

     I want to say one thing very, very seriously.  A great people are more
vulnerable  to  making  a  mistake  when  times are good, than when they're
difficult.  The American people and the people of New York took a chance on
me and Al Gore in 1992, but it wasn't much of a chance, because the country
was in the ditch.  We were in trouble.

     We  had  a  bad  economy,  worsening  social problems, an increasingly
divisive  political  climate.   Now, we have a good economy, all the social
indicators  are  going  in  the  right  direction.   We  are without severe
internal crisis or external threat.  And there is a new sense of harmony in
the  country,  at  least  among  the strong majority of American people, as
evidenced  by the different rhetoric that they have adopted in running this
campaign -- except in their mass mails.  (Laughter.)

     That's  the good news.  The bad news is it may be harder for people to
tell  the difference this year.  I think it's quite important, just to make
it  clear  -- Anthony mentioned a few things.  This is what you can do with
what we have done in the last eight years; and how these elections, whether
he  is  successful, whether Hillary wins, whether Al and Joe win, depend in
large  measure  on  what  the  American  people  and the people of New York
believe this election is about.  And I think you should believe it is about
making the most of a truly magic moment in the history of America.

     We can get this country out of debt for the first time since 1835.  We
can  take Social Security and Medicare out beyond the life of the baby boom
generation,  so  that  when those of us in the baby boom generation retire,
and  there  are  only  two people working for every one person eligible for
Social  Security, we won't bankrupt our children and their ability to raise
our grandchildren.

     We can get rid of child poverty in this country.  We can now afford to
give  working people a subsidy to buy health insurance, and get rid of most
of  the uninsured people in America who are working for a living, and their
little  kids.  We can grow the economy and improve the environment.  We can
continue  to  see improvements in our education system, and there have been
some substantial turnarounds in the last four years, nationwide.

     We  can  open  the  doors of four years of college to all Americans by
adopting  the  bill  that  Senator  Schumer  and  Hillary  have so strongly
endorsed  to  let  people  deduct  up  to  $10,000  a year in their college
tuition.   We  can do big, great things.  Yes -- the college students clap.

     We  can  pass hate crimes legislation and continue to grow together at
home, and we can continue to be a force for peace and reconciliation around
the  world.   But  it  won't  happen  by  accident.  As Anthony said, I get
tickled  --  you  know, when the other crowd were in, they took credit when
the sun rose in the morning.  (Laughter.)  And everything bad that happened
was  someone else's fault.  Now they say it's just all an accident, we just
stumbled  through  the last eight years.  I only stumbled when I was tired.

     So  I  want you to think about this.  I'm glad you came here, I'm glad
you  gave him your money.  I appreciate that.  But it's not enough.  Almost
all  of  you have more friends who are less interested in politics than you
are,  than  you  have friends who are as interested or more interested than
you are.

     Almost  all  of  you  have a lot of friends who would never come to an
event  like this, or who at least have never been.  And I just want to urge
you,  in  the  next  60  days,  to  try  to take a little time everyday for
citizenship.   Tell people, we may never get another chance like this, when
there's  so much progress at home, and the absence of so many threats to us
abroad,  and  so  much  opportunity  to  do  good  for our children and our
grandchildren,  to  build the future of our dreams for them.  And tell them
we can't blow it.

     Tell  them  there are real and significant differences between the two
parties,  and the candidates in every race.  In the U.S. Senate race in New
York  and  the House race here, and certainly in the race for President and
Vice President.

     And  there is evidence here.  We've tried it their way, we've tried it
our  way  --  you  have a track record here.  And I think it's really worth
some  of  your time and effort, if you went to the trouble to come here and
stand  in  this  hot  room because you believe you ought to be here and you
believe  you ought to support this fine young Congressman, then it is worth
some  time  in  the  next 60 days to talk to your friends and neighbors who
don't  come  to things like this, who don't normally take the same position
you  do  or  activity you do in politics, and try to convince them that you
came here for a reason, and they ought to vote with you in November.

     I'm telling you, if people believe this election is about building the
future  of  our  dreams for our children, he will win, Hillary will win, Al
Gore  and  Joe  Lieberman will win, and we will have a great celebration on
election night.

     Thank you.  (Applause.)

                          END                  6:20 P.M. EDT

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