Public Papers of George Bush, 1992-1993

Author: George Bush  | Date: October 27, 1992

Remarks at a Miami Valley Rally in Kettering, Ohio
October 27, 1992

The President. Thank you, Mac. Thank you very, very much. Thank you, Gerald McRaney. Thank you for that great Ohio welcome. Thank you very, very much. Thank you.

Audience members. Four more years! Font more years! Four more years!

The?resident. We are fired up. Thank you. If I ever needed convincing, you have convinced me that we are going to win 4 more years on November 3d. This is fantastic. Wall to wall people. And thank you for that great welcome.

May I salute Congressman John Boehner, who is here with us today. And may I say, you hear a lot of talk around the country, "Clean House!" Change the Congress. Send Mike DeWine to the United States Senate, and let’s get on with changing this country for the better. While we’re at it, send Pete Davis to the United States Congress. We need a good man there.

It’s great to be here at the birthplace of aviation. And the choice before the Americanpeople this year is a vast difference in experience, a difference in philosophy, and yes, character counts, a difference in character.

I think it is only fair that we look at the record of the man who wants to become President, because the other night in a debate, Governor Clinton said this: "I want to do for America what I have done for Arkansas." No way!

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Let me give you just a couple of statistics. Arkansas—and they’ve got wonderful people there—this mail has been Governor for 10 years, I believe. He talks about the fact that they did the most in job creation this year. True, but he was out of the State 85 percent of the time. For the 10 years he’s been Governor, they’re 30 percent below the national average. They are the 50th in environmental quality. They are 50th in the percentage of adults with college degrees, 50th in the per capita spending on criminal justice, 49th on police protection, 48th on adults with a high school diploma, 48th in spending on corrections, 48th on teachers’ salaries. We cannot let him do that to the United States of America.

You know, for months the Democrats have been going around this country telling everybody that we were in a deep recession and that they would change things. Let me tell you something. Today there was some good economic news for America. We have grown in this country for five consecutive quarters. And in the last quarters, growth was 2.7 percent, better than Japan, better than Germany, better than Europe.

So don’t let these guys come in there talking about change, and change things back to where they were the last time the Democrats had the White House and the Congress. Do you remember what it was like?

Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. Interest rates under the Carter and the Congress was 21 percent, inflation 15. Governor Clinton and Gore, the Ozone Man, want to go ahead—this guy’s out of it. Where is he’? I mean, come on. They say we’re in a deep recession. So what do they want to do? They want to raise your taxes by $150 billion trod increase $220 billion in spending, and we’re not going to let them do that to America.

Change, change, change, change, change—all you’re going to have left in your pocket if you listen to those guys. We’re not going to let it happen. They and their media talk-show people wouldn’t know’ it if good news hit them in the face.

Ninety-three percent of America is working. And, yes, we’ve got to be concerned about those who aren’t. We’ve got the program to do it. The program isn’t to have Government invest. The program is to have small business unleashed from regulation, unleashed from regulation, from taxation, and yes, from litigation. We are suing each other too much and caring for each other too little in this country.

Change, change—they forget that the last time they left office, inflation was wiping out every senior citizen at 15 percent, and we brought it under control. People say, are you better off?. Well, ask the homeowner who can refinance that mortgage and save a couple of thousand dollars a year. Ask a senior citizen who’s saved all his or her life, saw those savings wiped out by the cruel Democrat Congress inflation. We got that back in the box, and that’s saving millions for people.

But here’s the good news for America: Unemployment has been down for 3 straight months. And I said the country is growing at 2.7 percent. Let’s keep it growing by my plan, not by the Democrats’ plan.

Here’s the way we’re going to do it. Exports have led the recovery at very difficult times. We are going to create more American jobs by opening these foreign markets to the best made-in-America products, the best in the entire world. The free trade agreement will create jobs. Ohio agriculture is moving. It will move better when we complete the GATT round, we complete the fair trade agreement. We can outhustle and outproduce any country in the world. We’ve got the message of optimism for this country and real growth.

Governor Clinton wants to tax foreign investment, he says. That would threaten 4.5 million jobs, including 150,000 right here in Ohio. The people are investing here becausewe’ve got the best workers in the world. Let’s not run them off.

Audience members. We want Bush! We want Bush! We want Bush!

The President. We’ve got a good record on the environment. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to go to the extreme. The Ozone Man and Governor Clinton want, listen to this one, they want 40- to 45-miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standards. That would throw every auto worker in Ohio out of his job. And I’m not going to let that happen.

Audience members. Boo-o-o]

The President. Twenty thousand jobs are at stake if we listen to the extremists that are coming out of that environmental movement. I care about that little spotted owl, but I also care about 30,000 families whose jobs are at stake.

I mentioned the need for small business to have the burden of legal reform lifted, but it’s not just small business. People are afraid to coach Little League because of crazy lawsuits. Doctors are afraid to deliver babies because somebody’s going to come and sue them for malpractice, or the hospitals have to raise the cost and raise the tests for fear they’ll get some crazy lawsuit. A citizen going along the highway is afraid to stop and help his fellow American because he’s afraid somebody’s going to say, "Oh, you didn’t do it just right. We’re going to sue you." We’ve got to put some restrictions on these outrageous lawsuits. We’ve got to care for each other more.

Health care, health care, we have the best plan for health care. It makes insurance available to the poorest of the poor through vouchers. It gives tax relief to the next income group. It says make insurance available through pooling, bring the cost down, do something about malpractice, but do not get the Government further into the health care business.

On education, the answer in a struggling time is to educate people better, and we’ve got the best program. America 2000 says to the communities and to the teachers—not to that all-powerful teachers union that tries to dictate to these teachers—it says to them, look, we’re going to work with you. We have 1,700 America 2000 communities already in existence, many of them right here with Ohio in the lead. And we’ve got to revolutionize education. We’ve got to give these kids every opportunity. One big difference I have with Governor Clinton and Gore is this: I want to see the parents be able to choose public, private, or religious schools and give them a chance.

You know, Barbara and I talk about family values. One family value is that a family ought to be able to grow up in a neighborhood free of crime and drugs. And I back our police officers. I don’t want some left-wing judges appointed to the Supreme Court who don’t care about the victims of crime and spend all their time worrying about the criminals. Let’s turn it around. Let’s have more compassion for the victims and less for the criminals.

You know, the Arkansas—I hate to go back to that because we’re on a roll here-go back to Arkansas—a guy is sentenced, he spends 20 percent of that sentence under the—that’s not enough. Under the Federal prison program, 85 percent. We must support our police.

The other day from Arkansas eight people came to see me, and they endorsed me for President. They were the Fraternal Order of Police of Little Reek, Arkansas.

Here’s the big difference. Here’s the big difference. Clinton and Gore talk about Government investing in getting jobs. The Government takes your money and does not invest. It is the business sector. It is the mom-and-pop store. It is small business that needs relief. And here’s the way we’re going to give it to them. Here’s the way we’re going to get that deficit down and get the mortgage burden off the back of these kids:

One, give me a balanced budget amendment and force the Congress to get this deficit down.

Give us a cheek-off so the individual taxpayer can cheek his tax return, she can say—he or she can cheek it and say 10 percent of my tax must go to reducing the Federal deficit. Make the Congress do it.

Third, give me what 43 Governors have. Congress can’t do it. Give me that line-item veto, and let the President have a shot.

Four, the President has a limited number of terms, two terms for a President. Let’s limit the terms on the U.S. Congress andhand the power back to the people.

I have a big argument—I talk about trust and character, and I believe they are important. In the debate, Governor Clinton said it’s not the character of the President, it is "the character of the Presidency." He’s wrong. The two are interlocked. You’ve got to stand for something as President of the United States.

Let me tell you something. I have learned this as President. You can’t please everybody on everything. It’s like any normal human being. You make a mistake; you look the American people in the eye and say, "I did it." Then you go on and lead. But you cannot be all things to all people.

My argument with Governor Clinton is, he tries to be on all sides of all questions. On right to work, he’s for it in the South, against it when he talks to the labor unions. On free trade, he’s for it, and you heard this in the debate, "I’m for it, but." You can’t have any "buts" in the White House.

On term limits, he sees the merits of it, but he’s opposed to it. And on the Gulf war—how do you like this for leadership from the Commander in Chief—when the going got tough, here’s what he said: "I agree with the arguments of the minority"—that’s who wanted to stand pat—"I agree with the arguments of the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority." You cannot waffle when you’re Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Audience members. Boo-o-o!

The President. There is a pattern of deception. And we simply cannot

Audience members. Give ’em hell, George.

The President. I’m trying to. We cannot have—you know, the guy’s got a good point. Do you remember when Harry Truman was campaigning and a guy yells, "Give ’em hell, Harry." "I don’t give ’em hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it’s hell."

But seriously, you’ve got to call them as you see them, as the umpires do. You can’t just be out there, lead by misleading, and you cannot turn the White House into the waffle house. You’ve got to stand for something.

No, we now see, America sees clearly that we are not in the recession, as told by the Clinton-Gore ticket and repeated endlessly on that television. We have some difficult problems. But I have the best programs to solve these problems.

Let me tell you this. Here’s the cud of it, and here is the bottom line as you go to the polls on Tuesday. Barbara—and I think we’ve got a first-class First Lady, I might add. She and I—I told you I think character and trust matter because people all around the world look to the White House, look to the Oval Office, at least for integrity and honor. I served my country in war, hopefully with duty, honor, and country in the foremost. I had to make very difficult decisions as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And believe me, it is tough when you have to send someone else’s son, someone else’s daughter into harm’s way. But we did it, and the sons and daughters of Ohio kicked the aggressor out of Kuwait and restored the leadership of the United States to the entire world.

So I ask you to meditate and think on what Mac said. When that Oval Office phone rings or at night the phone at White House rings, my question to the American people is, who do you trust? Who do you trust for the security— [applause] —far more important than partisan politics is the honor of the United States of America.

I have tried to uphold the public trust. I believe we have the programs. I am absolutely convinced that Clinton-Gore are wrong when they say we’re a nation in decline. Good heavens, we are the leading nation in the entire world. We are not in decline.

Now I ask, on Tuesday, I ask you to go to the polls and get your friends to the polls. I ask for your support. I ask for your vote to let me finish the job of lifting up the young lives here and giving America a prosperous 4 more years.

May God bless the United States. Thank you all very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:10 p.m. at the Frazee Pavilion. In his remarks, he referred to actor Gerald McRaney.


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Chicago: George Bush, "Remarks at a Miami Valley Rally in Kettering, Ohio," Public Papers of George Bush, 1992-1993 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George Bush, 1989 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2275 2025–2027. Original Sources, accessed December 10, 2023,

MLA: Bush, George. "Remarks at a Miami Valley Rally in Kettering, Ohio." Public Papers of George Bush, 1992-1993, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George Bush, 1989 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2275, pp. 2025–2027. Original Sources. 10 Dec. 2023.

Harvard: Bush, G, 'Remarks at a Miami Valley Rally in Kettering, Ohio' in Public Papers of George Bush, 1992-1993. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George Bush, 1989 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2275, pp.2025–2027. Original Sources, retrieved 10 December 2023, from