THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(San Francisco, California)
______ For Immediate Release
November 3, 2000
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT GOTV RALLY
10:30 A.M. PST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good morning.
AUDIENCE: Good morning.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for the wonderful welcome. (Applause.)
We've got people all the way back here, two or three blocks. (Applause.)
People all the way down there, two blocks. (Applause.) Even people who
are separated from the rest of us, way back in the back -- hello back
I first came to Oakland in 1971. I liked it then, but it is amazing
the progress that has been made and I want to thank all of you for making
this a magnificent city. (Applause.) I also want to thank my good friend,
Governor Gray Davis, who has done a wonderful job leading this state and
been a great partner to me and such a strong supporter of Vice President
Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. Thank you, Attorney
General Lockyer. Thank you, Senator Barbara Boxer, for what you do in
Washington. (Applause.) And Congressman George Miller, thank you for the
work you've done, especially for the environment. (Applause.) Thank you,
Secretary Norm Mineta, former California Congressman, the first Asian
American ever to serve in the President's Cabinet and a great, great friend
of mine. (Applause.) Thank you, Mayor Jerry Brown, my friend of now over
20 years. (Applause.) He's made me think about my next career. Maybe
somebody will let me be a mayor somewhere; I like him. (Applause.) I like
I must say, too, I want to thank one person who is not here, Barbara's
predecessor, Ron Dellums, a great friend of mine. Look at this building
here. (Applause.) If I had known retired public officials could get
buildings like this I might have retired years ago, look at that.
(Laughter.) It's a beautiful, beautiful building and a fitting tribute to
Ron, who did such a good job for you and for our country.
I want to thank the Speaker, Bob Hertzberg, who is here; and the State
Board of Equalization member, John Chung; your California State Party
Chair, Art Torres, and all the other officials who are here.
But let me say a special word of thanks to Barbara Lee, what a job she
has done in the Congress. (Applause.) We've worked together on so many
projects affecting Oakland, from the harbor to housing to education to
health care to base closure and renewal. And, boy, she's done a good job.
And I really am impressed with the fact that she has also shown an interest
in dealing with the AIDS crisis, not only here, but in Africa and
throughout the world. The United States needs to be a leader in dealing
with that, and so I thank her for that. (Applause.)
I also want to say more than anything else a simple thank you to the
people of Oakland and northern California and this entire state. You have
been so good to me and Hillary and Al and Tipper Gore these last eight
years. I couldn't have become President without you; I couldn't have
succeeded without you; I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You know, one of the things that concerns me about this election is,
especially for younger voters, I'm afraid a lot of people will go to the
polls or maybe even not go because they now can't remember what it was like
eight years ago. The unemployment rate in California was 9.7 percent.
Today, it's about half that. It's a different country than it was eight
years ago. (Applause.) The society was divided, there were riots in L.A.,
the crime rate was going up, the environment was deteriorating, the number
of people without health insurance was going up, people were giving up on
our schools. And the political system in Washington seemed tone deaf to
you and to ordinary Americans all across this country, from all walks of
Well, we've worked hard to change that. Today we got some more good
economic news. For the second month in a row, the nation's unemployment
rate was 3.9 percent, the lowest in 50 years -- 30 years. (Applause.)
Wages and incomes continue to rise across the board. I want to say more
about that in a minute, but listen to this. The most important thing about
our recovery is that for the first time in 30 years, everybody's been part
of it -- everybody. Yes, the rich got richer, but so did the middle class,
so did working families.
The poverty rate is the lowest in 20 years. Child poverty dropped 30
percent. We're moving forward together. (Applause.) Listen to this.
Eight years ago, the Hispanic unemployment rate was 11.8 percent. This
morning, we learned that it dropped last month to 5 percent, the lowest on
African American unemployment is half what it was eight years ago, also the
lowest on record. (Applause.)
But America is always about tomorrow -- always. And in just a few
days we're going to have another election and another choice. And it is so
important for the success of the direction of this country and our
candidate that we do well here, and that everybody who can vote, does vote.
What I would like to say to you all today, I know I could just give
you one applause line after another, and we could have a great time. But I
believe that this election is every bit as important as the one in 1992.
And I know that every one of you who is here today has a lot of friends,
some of whom live here in Oakland, some live in Barbara's congressional
district, others may live in the districts that we're fighting hard to win.
We have a chance to win five in California, if we work hard at it
And so you've got a lot of friends who will never come to an event
like this, don't you? Most of you have tons of friends who have never been
to hear a President speak or a governor or maybe even never been to a city
council meeting, they don't do this. But they love our country and they
care about your community. And if they believe it matters, they will show
up and vote. And if they understand the choice and the consequences, they
will vote for our side.
So what I want you to do is just let me take a couple of minutes to
tell you what I would tell you if each of us were alone in a room together
and you said to me, what's this election about anyway? Now, listen to
this. You heard what Gray Davis said. Are you better off than you were
eight years ago? That's the first question. But the most important
question is this: do you want to keep this prosperity going?
THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to extend it to the people, to the
neighborhoods that have still been left behind?
THE PRESIDENT: Then you only have one choice: Al Gore, Joe Lieberman
and the Democrats. (Applause.) Why? Because they want to build on what
is working. They want to keep paying down the debt. They want to invest
in education and health care and the environment. They want to give
families a tax cut we can afford, for child care, for long-term care, for
the elderly and disabled, for college tuition and for retirement.
Now, why is that important? Why in the world would a President come
to Oakland, with the reputation of being a liberal Democratic city and say
we ought to pay the debt down? I'll tell you why. Because in the modern
world, where money can run all across the globe in the click of a mouse, a
trillion dollars crosses national borders every day; to have conservative
budget policies makes it possible to have liberal progressive social
policies. Why? Because the best thing we can do for you is guarantee that
you've got a job and to have low interest rates for car loans, for college
loans, for home loans, for credit card loans, for business loans.
Now, here's the issue. Look, this is simple math. Al Gore has come
before you and said, look, I'd like to give you a bigger tax cut, but this
is all we can afford. But it will take care of college tuition, long-term
care, child care and retirement savings. I can't do more because we've got
to have some money to invest in education, health care, the environment and
the national security of the country, and because we've got to keep paying
the debt down.
Now, the surplus is supposed to be $2 trillion. I doubt if it will be
that much, but let's just give our Republican friends that. And forget
about the zero, let's just say $2 trillion; that's the surplus, okay? Now,
they want to spend over three-quarters of that on a tax cut and the
interest costs. It's $1.6 trillion -- that's their tax cut. And most of
you would actually get more under Al Gore's tax cut than theirs, and when I
get out of office, I get more under theirs, but it's not right.
So $1.6 trillion. Now, listen, arithmetic, okay. So we start with $2
trillion. Then, they want to give $1.6 trillion for the tax cut. Then,
they want to privatize Social Security. And that's real expensive. It
costs $1 trillion. Why is that? Because if all you young people take your
payroll out of Social Security and put it in the stock market, and all of
us who are older retire, they've still got to pay us our benefits. You
can't just make this money up; I mean, you've got to come up. So, $1.6
trillion and $1 trillion.
And then they have promised some spending -- about $500 billion. So
you add it up: $1.6 trillion, plus $1 trillion, plus $.5 trillion equals
$3.1 trillion. That's the problem with their economics: $3.1 trillion is
bigger than $2 trillion. (Applause.) Now, what does that mean in Oakland?
I mean, look at all these buildings here. Somebody had to borrow the money
to build these buildings. Somebody's got to make the mortgage payment on
these buildings. Somebody's got to make enough profit to pay the payroll
for the people working in Starbuck's and McDonald's and all these other
stores up and down here. (Applause.)
If you vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, interest rates will be
lower -- for you on your home mortgage, on your car payment, on your
college loan payment, on your credit card payment, for the business loans;
it means more jobs, higher incomes, higher incomes, a better stock market.
We'll all keep doing better together.
You don't have any choice. If you want to build on the prosperity,
you've got to vote for Gore and Lieberman and the Democrats. (Applause.)
Now, question number two. We're not just a better-off country, we're
a better country. The crime rate is down. Drug abuse among young people
is down. The number of people without health insurance in this country is
down for the first time in 12 years, thanks to the Children's Health
Insurance Program. The environment is cleaner -- much cleaner.
Forty-three million more Americans breathing clean air; cleaner water,
safer drinking water, safer food; three times as many toxic waste dumps
cleaned up as in the previous 12 years under the two Republican
administrations, and more land set aside in perpetuity than any
administration since Teddy Roosevelt almost a hundred years ago. It's a
cleaner environment. (Applause.)
And the schools are better. You know, I hear people talking about an
education recession. Here are the facts. In America, in the last seven
years, for our children across all races, math scores are up, science
scores are up, reading scores are up, the dropout rate is down, the
college-going rate is at an all-time high. (Applause.) Thanks to Al Gore
and the e-rate program, six years ago, there were only 3 percent of our
classrooms hooked up to the Internet; today, 65 percent are. Ninety
percent of the poorest schools in America have at least one Internet
connection today. We're moving in the right direction. (Applause.)
Now, here's the issue. You want to keep building on the progress of
the last eight years?
THE PRESIDENT: Then you just have one choice: Al Gore and Joe
Lieberman and the Democrats. Why? Because they want to build on health
care progress, a patients' bill of rights, Medicare drugs for all of our
seniors, health care for all America's children, more neighborhood police
force, cleaner energy future, funds to help you with school construction,
100,000 teachers, universal preschool and after-school for all the kids who
need it, and a way of identifying failing schools and giving them the money
to turn every single school in America around that's not teaching our
children as they should be, every single one. (Applause.) That's why Bob
Chase, the president of the National Education Association, is here with us
So if you want to build on that, you only have one choice. Why?
Because the Republicans, from top to bottom, have committed to repeal the
100,000 police program. I had two chiefs meet me at the airport today to
tell me how much they have benefitted from this program. They are going to
get rid of it.
They promised to repeal the program to put 100,000 teachers in our
classes. They are against federal funds for school construction to build
or repair schools. They are against the real patients' bill of rights,
against Medicare drug programs to serve all of our seniors, against higher
environmental standards. They promise to reverse a lot of what we have
done in the environment.
So you've got to go out and tell people, if you really want to build
on the progress of the last eight years, you just have one choice.
AUDIENCE: Al Gore!
THE PRESIDENT: And let me tell you the last thing that matters, and
to me it's the most important of all. We've got to keep coming together as
one national community, as one America. Look around this crowd today.
We're growing more and more diverse in every way, and it's good for
In a global society, it positions us well to do well with all other
nations and regions of the world. It also makes life more interesting,
don't you think? We're all different. We can appreciate and celebrate our
differences, as long as we affirm our common humanity.
How have we done that? Well, we supported affirmative action, hate
crimes legislation, employment nondiscrimination legislation -- (applause)
-- raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, civil rights, and a court
that supports civil rights, human rights and a woman's right to choose.
That's what we have done. (Applause.)
Now, on all these issues bringing us together, our friends in the
Republican Party have a different view. They disagree with us on every
issue I just mentioned. So if you want to keep building one America, you
only have one choice.
AUDIENCE: Al Gore!
THE PRESIDENT: So I want you to go out the next four days, call
people you know, if you have friends or relatives in these battleground
states, call people you know who live in all these congressional districts,
talk to everybody you know in Oakland -- and say, look, there are three
things you need to think about. Do you want to keep this prosperity going
or do you want to risk reversing it? Do you want to build on the social
progress of the last eight years or do you want to take it down? Do you
want to keep building one America or go back to the politics of division?
Look, just look at what happened in the last week of Congress, where
the Republican leadership walked away with no education bill, no hate
crimes legislation. They took down the education bill because one lobby
group didn't want us to put into effect a worker safety rule. And they
took the whole thing down.
Now, when people talk about bipartisanship, let me just tell you
something. Al Gore and I have worked for bipartisanship. We have a
bipartisan majority today for a minimum wage increase, for campaign finance
reform, for an education bill that every American can be proud of, for the
hate crimes legislation. We can't pass it, not because we don't have
bipartisanship, but because the Republican congressional leadership is too
far to the right and too tied to special interests.
And that's another reason to vote for Al Gore. I think we're going to
win the House and the Senate. But if we don't, someone needs to be doing
what I've done for the last six years, which is to stop extremism in
Washington, D.C., and you certainly only have one choice: Al Gore.
You know, I got a good laugh in Los Angeles at the Democratic
Convention when I reminded people what Harry Truman said, which is that if
you want to live like a Republican, you've got to vote Democratic.
(Laughter.) But you just think about -- go out and talk to the young
people who have the largest stake in the future. Remember where we were
eight years ago. Think where we are today. If you want to build on the
prosperity, if you want to build on the progress, if you want to keep
building one America, there's only one choice.
AUDIENCE: Al Gore!
THE PRESIDENT: He's been the most effective Vice President in our
history. He is a good man. He makes good decisions. He will be a great
President. And he needs your help in the President's race and in all these
races for Congress and the Senate. You can do this.
Look at this crowd. There are thousands and thousands of people here.
You could contact easily over 100,000 people in the next four days if every
one of you just took 10 people, 15 people, everybody you see -- (applause)
-- go out and tell them we want to keep the prosperity going, keep the
progress going, keep building on America.
Thank you, Oakland. God bless you. Bring it home. (Applause.)
END 10:48 A.M. PST