remarks at reception for Rush Holt
                                THE WHITE HOUSE

                            Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Monmouth Junction, New Jersey)
                 For Immediate Release    August 23, 2000

                            REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                                  Private Residence
                             Princeton, New Jersey

7:10 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  You know, if I had any sense of fairness
at all, I'd tell them to turn this off.  (Laughter.)  But I'm not going to.

     I want to thank Robert and Lisa Stockman for having us here at this
truly beautiful, beautiful home and for getting us all together and for
supporting Rush.  I want to thank all of you for coming here tonight, the
officials, the union and teacher leaders and other leaders, and just the
citizens who believe in this good man.  (Applause.)

     I know you've been here a long time and I won't keep you long, but I
want to say two or three things.  First of all, I really like Jon Corzine,
a lot.  (Applause.)  You know, when he was running in the primary and they
kept carping about how much money he was spending, I thought, well, at
least he's not spending all this money to give himself a tax cut.
(Laughter and applause.)

     The reason I really like him is that he thinks that these young people
that served you tonight ought to have the same chance to send their
children to college he has.  That's what makes him a Democrat.  (Applause.)
And I think he will be a terrific United States senator -- (applause) --
he's got good ideas and he's not afraid to tell you what he thinks, and he
doesn't care if he disagrees with you, me or anybody else -- he's just out
there telling you exactly what he thinks.  And we need people like that in
the United States Senate.  I admire him.  (Applause.)

     Also, I want to tell you, I've got a lot of interest in these Senate
races -- one in particular, near here.  (Laughter.)  I hope you'll help
her, too.

     I like Rush Holt.  And I was in Princeton earlier this afternoon and I
was walking up and down the town and I was shaking hands with people, and
when I came out of the hotel after I went in and took about an hour to do a
little rest and get some work done, I came out and there was a couple
hundred people out there.  So I went over and shook hands with them and we
started talking about Rush Holt and a couple people.  I said, I really want
you to help him, and why are you here and all that kind of stuff.

     And I just started talking and it occurred to me that I ought to say
to you one of the things I said about him.  But I want to talk in a moment
briefly about the big issues of the campaign, but I spent a lot of time
thinking about the future, about what America will be like 10 or 20 years
from now.  If we had any success in the last eight years, it was largely
the credit of the American people.  But the role we were able to play --
we, the whole administration and our allies in Congress -- I think it was
in no small measure because before I asked the people to vote for me for
President I actually thought about why I wanted the job.

     And that may seem -- don't laugh, because a lot of people run without
thinking about it.  (Laughter.)  The White House is a nice place to live,
Air Force One, you don't have all this airport congestion the rest of you
are going through.  (Laughter.)  But you're all laughing -- Rush, that joke
you told was really funny.  (Laughter.)  But really, I think it ought to be
told by somebody like me who is not running again.  (Laughter and
applause.)  It was funny.  (Laughter.)

     Anyway, so I actually -- I thought about it.  So I spent a lot of time
thinking about the future.  And when we -- my whole goal was when I ran in
1992, was to have an America at the dawn of a new century where opportunity
was genuinely alive for every responsible citizen, where we were more like
a community coming together across all the lines that divide us -- race,
gender, sexual orientation, religion, even party.

     You know, if you think about it, as the world grows more and more
interdependent, we have to find ways to work together.  And we'll be more
and more rewarded when we can find ways to work together where everybody
wins, where we have honorable compromise, or we come up with heretofore
unthought of solutions that allow us to both live with our convictions and
our interests and recognize the legitimacy of other people.

     And if you look around this whole world today, a lot of the problems
that exist out there are existing because people are still bedeviled by the
oldest problem of human society, the fear of the other -- people who are
different from them -- and the sense that we can only matter in life if
somehow we've got somebody we can look down on, you know.  I may not be the
smartest star on the planet, but at least I don't have a double-digit IQ
like that guy.  And how many times have you been guilty of that?  I have.
Well, I did something I'm not particularly proud of, but at least I'm not
that guy, you know?  (Laughter.)  Or, at least I'm not a Republican, or I'm
not a Democrat.  (Laughter and applause.)  How many times have you done

     But the truth is, the world is growing more interdependent, so we have
to find a way both to fight for what we believe in and not give up what we
believe in, and still find a way to respect the common humanity that makes
all this worth doing.

     So, against that background, what I tried to do when I came in was to
get America to that point where we were once again leading the world for
peace and freedom and prosperity and security, so that we could then take
on the big challenges of this new era.

     And the last two State of the Union addresses I devoted to those big
challenges, knowing that we could make some progress now, but for a lot of
the greatest things that America could achieve, because we've turned the
country around it would have to be done by others after I was gone.

     But if you think about it, I want us to stay on the far frontiers of
science and technology, but I want us to protect our values.  I want us to
bridge the digital divide, but I want to  protect our values.  I want
everybody to have access to the Internet, but I think you ought to have to
get permission before that means they have access to your medical or your
financial records.  (Applause.)

     I want with all my heart for the Human Genome Project to give every
young mother a little card that had their child's genetic map so that -- I
predict to you within 20 years, newborns in America that don't die of
accidents or violence will have a life expectancy of 90 years -- maybe
before then -- because of the miraculous advances.  And I want that.  But I
don't want anybody to be able to get a hold of your little gene card and
use it to deny you a job or health insurance.

     I want to maximize the development of all these scientific
developments, but I know, in addition to all the good things that happen,
the organized forces of destruction will take advantage of these same

     I was thinking the other day -- I went to the show that they have in
Chicago every year, the information technology people do, and they're
showing all the new products.  And the people from Motorola gave me a
little hand-held computer that had a keyboard and a screen and I could get
the news and I could send e-mail -- my hands were too big to work the
keyboard.  And it was plastic, no metal in it, so it would go through an
airport metal detector.  Same thing may mean that terrorists will be able
to have plastic bombs with chemical and biological weapons.  I want someone
who understands that.

     What's the point of all this?  What I was telling those people in
Princeton today, in the town, is that Rush Holt is the only physicist in
the Congress.  (Laughter and applause.)  And even Republicans who may not
agree with every vote he cast ought to think long and hard before they
replace him.  Most people who get elected to the United States Congress are
like me, they're lawyers.  But we need somebody that really understands
this stuff.  You need someone who really understands all these big future
issues, because I promise you, in spite of all the good things that have
happened the last eight years, the greatest benefits to America of the work
we have done are still out there if we make the right choices, both to
seize the opportunities and deal with the challenges. (Applause.)   And he
has a unique contribution to make to you and to America.  That's a big
reason you ought to go out and fight for his reelection.  (Applause.)

     Let me make just one other point.  I'm glad you came here and I thank
you for giving him your money.  (Laughter.)  But it's not enough.  Here's
why.  The great challenge in this election that will determine whether Jon
Corzine is your senator, whether Rush Holt is your congressman, whether Al
Gore and Joe Lieberman are elected, is really what the American people
believe the election is about and whether they understand the differences
on both subjects, between the choices they have.

     So I say to all of you, every one of you has friends who aren't as
into politics as you are, both here in this congressional district or in
the state, or even beyond the borders of the state.  Every one of you has
friends who aren't die-hard Democrats.  Every one of you has friends who
really haven't started thinking about this much yet, or have just kind of a
vague notion of where these candidates are.  You work with them, you go out
to dinner with them on the weekends, you worship with them, maybe you play
golf or you bowl with them, or you go to your kids' soccer games with them.
Every one of you has friends like this.  And I am telling you, the election
will turn on what the people think it's about.

     That's why Rush said this election is about the issues.  Why did Vice
President Gore do so well in his speech?  Because he got up and he gave a
version of a State of the Union address.  Yes, it was beautifully
delivered, and yes, all the other things he said about his family, his
values, and his role for the last eight years, and all that was very well
done.  But the reason it worked is he said, if you vote for me, here's what
I'm going to try to do for and with you.

     Now, there are just a few things I want to say to you tonight to
hammer this home.  There are huge differences between our nominees for
President, Vice President, our candidates federal the Senate and the House,
and our parties on a number of critical issues.  And let me just mention
three or four.

     Safety -- public safety.  The crime rate is at a 25-year low.  Gun
crime has dropped 35 percent since we passed the Brady Bill and the assault
weapons ban.  The leaders of the other party and most of their members
opposed them both.  The previous administration vetoed the Brady Bill.  We
lost a lot of members of Congress in '94 -- we lost a dozen because they
stood up and voted with me on these gun safety issues, and because the gun
owners, the sportsmen, the hunters, they hadn't had time to see that all
these scare tactics were wrong.

     Now, this is a huge issue.  We also put 100,000 police on the street,
which helps us to catch criminals, but, more importantly, helps us to
prevent crime in the first place.  And now we're putting another 50,000
police on the street.  Now, the leaders of the other party oppose that,
too.  The nominee of the other party said the other day he'd get rid of the
100,000 police program.  That presumably means he certainly won't continue
the 50,000 extra.  (Laughter.)

     We want to close the gun show loophole where -- and do background
checks there.  (Applause.)  We want handguns to be sold with child trigger
locks.  We want to ban the import of these big ammunition clips that can
then be put on guns here to get around our assault weapons ban.  That's
what we believe.  That's what we believe.  (Applause.)  And we think more
police in community policing situations will help lower the crime rate

     I'm glad crime is at a 25-year low, but I doubt if there is a person
in this room that thinks America is safe enough.  And I won't be satisfied
until this is the safest big country in the entire world.  This is a huge
difference.  There are massive consequences to public safety.  Their answer
is, punish people more -- which we've been doing pretty steadily for 25
years, but until we did what we did, the crime rate wasn't going down --
punish people more and have more people carrying concealed weapons, even in
houses of worship.  That's their position.

     Now, this is different.  This will have real consequences to you.  And
every person you know ought to know what the difference is.  If they agree
with them, they should vote for them.  But they ought to know.  And we
shouldn't pretend now that both parties are talking about inclusion and
reaching out to everybody -- that's good.  You know, the Democrats made fun
of the Republicans at Philadelphia because they had to go gather up people
off the street to look like we do normally -- (laughter and applause) --
but I didn't do that.  You may think I just did, but -- (laughter) -- look,
I think that's progress.  And I think we should thank them for it, that
they no longer think that the way to get elected is to demonize all of us.
I think that's good -- and to divide us.  But there are still differences
-- so that's one.

     Education.  You heard Rush talking about a big part of our program.
We want to hire 100,000 more teachers for smaller classes in the early
grades.  And we want to train teachers better.  And we just announced a
program to basically let teachers teach off a lot of their student loans if
they go into fields where there's a shortage, or areas where there's a

     We want to help school districts like those in New Jersey with all of
these house trailers, like the ones I saw today, get a discount so they can
build 6,000 more schools and then repair 5,000 a year over and above that
over the next five years.  They don't think that's a national
responsibility; they're not for that.

     We believe that we ought to give more aid, but we're for higher
standards.  We say you ought to identify these failing schools and turn
them around or shut them down, and have a public school choice-charter
school program.  And we have lots of evidence.  In Kentucky, where they've
had this same system I'm trying to go national with -- we did start
requiring schools -- states to identify failing schools four years ago.
But Kentucky went all the way, and now -- I was at a school the other day
where over half the kids were on the school lunch program.  It was a total
failure three and a half years ago; today it's one of the 20 best grade
schools in Kentucky.  I've seen this all over the country.

     I was in Harlem the other day in a school that two years ago had 80
percent of the kids reading and doing math below grade level.  Today, two
years later, 74 percent of the kids reading and doing math at or above
grade level.  You can turn this around.

     Their view is we're all wet about this and we should just cut a check
to the state and let them do whatever they want to with the money.  This is
a big difference here.  This is not an idle difference, whether we have
more money for teacher training, more money to get math and science
teachers, whether we say, okay, we'll give you more money, but we want
after-school programs, summer school programs, mentoring programs, every
eligible kid in Head Start -- turn the failing schools around or shut them

     This is not idle, this is a significant thing.  If you believe, with
the largest and most diverse school population we've ever had, that giving
all our kids a world-class education is a very big issue for America, we
have different views of this, and that will have consequences to what kind
of America you live in.  (Applause.)

     You already gave Rush his applause line on the patients' bill of
rights, but I'll just mention this again.  The reason I feel so
passionately about it is I support managed care.  Hardly anybody will say
that anymore.  But let me remind you what it was like in 1993.  When I took
office, for the previous 10 years medical costs had been going up at 3
times the rate of inflation.  It was about to bankrupt the country.  So to
say we should manage our resources better -- that's all managed care really

     The problem is that we've gotten to the point where there's more
managed and less care.  Because the companies have already picked what you
might call the low-hanging fruit in the management system -- that is, the
easy decisions have been made.  And so now, if you want to keep controlling
costs, somebody comes up and they need to see a specialist, or you want
them to go to only the approved emergency room or something, even if
they've got to go past two or three other hospitals -- which happens all
the time in America -- or they have to apply for a certain procedure that
may or may not be covered, the people that work in the lower levels of the
managed care companies know that they will never get in trouble for saying

     If you're 30 years old and you've got a college degree, and you're
making a modest salary and you're a first-level reviewer, you know that
nobody will ever fire you for saying no.  Don't you?  And you just hope
that somewhere up the line, someday, somebody will say yes if that's the
right decision.  And so the practice of medicine has basically been subject
to reverse plastic surgery here in a lot of these cases.

     So that's why we're for this.  This is not complicated.  So if you
vote for Jon and Rush and Al and Joe and Hillary -- (laughter and applause)
-- you get -- you don't get people that want these managed care companies
to go broke.  You don't get people that say, throw all the money you want
to, don't oversee doctors and whether they're wasting your money -- you
don't get all that.  What you get is people who say, any institution, if
left without any limits, is capable of forgetting its fundamental mission.
The fundamental mission is the health care of America.  That's what this
whole thing is about.

     But it's a huge difference here.  They think the ultimate nth decision
should be left with the companies; we think it should be left with the
physicians and the patients.  And even when they change, they say, okay,
we'll agree with you as long as the companies can't be held responsible for
what they do.  Well, that's not a patients' bill of rights, that's a
patients' bill of possibilities.  (Laughter.)

     This is a huge thing.  This will affect the way millions of people
live.  We're not talking about something idle here, we're talking about
millions of lives.

     Last issue -- the economy.  It concerns me that basically -- as Rush
said, in '93 they all said my economic plan was going to wreck the country
and they wouldn't be held responsible for the results -- absolutely not.
And I hope the American people will take them at their word, as I said the
other night.  (Laughter.)  But now they say, oh, this whole thing happened
by accident, you couldn't mess it up if you tried and there are no
consequences; vote for me -- vote for them.  What difference does it make?
They say what really matters is what are you going to do with the surplus,
and they say the surplus is your money and we're going to give it back to
you.  And that sounds good, and doesn't take long to say.  (Laughter.)
It's a good line -- it's your money and I'm going to give it back to you.

     Now, here's the problem with that.  What do we say?  What do they say?
You heard Rush talking about it.  We say, well, first of all, we've got to
take care of Social Security and Medicare, because when all these baby
boomers retire there's only going to be two people working for every one
person drawing -- (laughter) -- and we don't want it to bankrupt our kids
and their ability to raise our grandchildren.

     So before you just go plum off the handle here, what are you going to
do when the baby boomers retire?  Make sure you're not going to have Social
Security and Medicare in a fix so that their retirement doesn't burden
their children and their grandchildren.  And we say, and, by the way, if
you do that we'll also pay the debt off, which will keep interest rates
low.  And we say, we ought to save some money to invest in education and
health care and the environment and science and technology.  We're for a
tax cut, for marriage penalty relief.  We're for changes in the estate tax.
We're for things the Republicans said they want.  We're for some changes
there.  We're for also helping people like the folks that served us here
tonight with college tuition tax deductions, child care increases,
long-term care tax credit, savings for retirement.

     But all of ours cost way less than half theirs because we've got to
have some money to invest, because there might be emergencies we can't
foresee and, oh, by the way, this is all a projected surplus, it has not
come in yet.  Their argument reminds me of those letters I used to get in
the mail, back when I opened my own mail -- (laughter) -- those sweepstakes
letters from the Publishers' Clearinghouse -- Ed McMahon writes you a
letter saying, you may have won $10 million.  (Laughter.)  You ever get one
of those letters?  (Laughter.)  Now, if you went out the next day and spent
the $10 million, you should support their economic program, because that's
what it is.  You should do that.  (Laugher and applause.)

     Ask Corzine, he knows more about the market than I do.  I'm glad that
the market has more than tripled.  I'm glad that we've made more
millionaires and more billionaires than ever in history, together, as a
people -- I'm glad of that.  I hope it keeps on going.  But this is
projected income.

     You think about how much money you think you're going to get over the
next 10 years.  Would you give it all away today, saving nothing for
education, for health care needs, for family emergencies?  What happens if
you don't get the raise you anticipate or if your stocks don't get the
return you think?  You wouldn't do that.

     That's their position.  Spend it all now.  It's your money, take it
back.  (Laughter.)  Now, our plan costs less than half theirs, and will
keep -- the Council of Economic Advisors says it will keep interest rates
at least a point lower for a decade.  Do you know what that's worth -- $250
billion in home mortgages, $30 billion in car payments, $15 billion in
college loan payments.  In other words, it's worth another $300 billion in
tax cuts to keep interest rates low.

     Now, you've got to explain this to people who haven't been thinking
about it.  We cannot give the entire projected surplus away in a tax cut.
It's not there yet, it may not all be there.  You can't know what the
emergencies are, and it's wrong not to invest in education.  It's wrong not
to invest in health care and the environment, and it is certainly wrong not
to prepare for the retirement of the baby boomers and keep getting this
country out of debt.  And people have to understand that.  (Applause.)

     We've all had a good time tonight.  But if you don't remember anything
else I've said, remember this:  Every day, you find one or two people,
every day between now and November -- if you have to call them on the phone
halfway across the country -- you find one or two people, and you ask them
to support Rush and Jon and Al and Joe.  And you tell them, look --

     AUDIENCE MEMBER:   And Hillary.  (Laughter.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- and Hillary -- if they live in New York.  If they
live in New York, you tell them that, too.  (Laughter.)  And you tell them
-- and they say why -- say, here's the difference in economic policy,
here's the difference in health care policy, here's the difference in
education policy, here's the difference in crime policy.  If we had another
30 minutes, I could go through 10 other things.  But those things matter.

     People have to understand.  This will affect your life.  This will
affect your children.  This will affect whether we make the most of a magic
moment in our country's history.  It will even affect whether we have the
resources to continue to lead the world to a more peaceful place.  I plead
with you.

     I'm coming back to where you are.  This is the first time in 26 years
I haven't been running for anything.  (Laughter.)  I'm going to be a
citizen activist.  But I know one thing.  We may not have another chance in
our lifetimes to build the future of our dreams for our children.  And if
we make the right decisions, that's exactly what we're going to do.  You've
got to be committed personally to leaving here and making sure that every
one you know understands exactly what the choices are.  If you do, they
will make the right decision and it will be great for them, and even more
important, great for America.

     Thank you and God bless you.  (Applause.)

END                                            7:35 P.M. EDT

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