10/14/00 Remarks By The President at Reception For Governor Gary Locke
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Seattle, Washington)
For Immediate Release                                   October 14, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                               Westin Hotel
                            Seattle, Washington

6:30 P.M. PDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  I am really glad Gary decided to
have the event in this Washington.  (Applause.)

     I want to say first of all thanks to your wonderful attorney general.
Christine, you have been a great attorney general.  You have been a leader
for the whole nation and I could have listened to you give that
cheerleading speech all night long.

     I think you have a limitless future and I wish you well and I thank
you for being here and for all you've done.  (Applause.)

     I want to thank Gary and Mona Locke for being such good friends to
Hillary and me and for the example they set by their leadership.  I also
think they've set a good family values example by having those two
beautiful children since they've been in politics.  I think that's a very
good thing.  (Applause.)

     Mayor Schell, it's great to be back in Seattle and I want to thank
your state party chair, Paul Berendt, and I want to introduce one person I
think has not been introduced tonight, maybe.  And maybe before I got here,
he was.  But our national democratic chair, Ed Rendell, from Philadelphia
is here.  Thank you, Ed.  (Applause.)

     And I believe one of our candidates for Congress, Rick Larson, is
here.  If he is, let's give him a big hand.  (Applause.)  And I want to say
a special word of appreciation and gratitude and I want to say a little
more about her later, but I want to say a special word of appreciation to
Maria Cantwell.  I am grateful that she has run for the Senate and I hope
you will make sure she wins.  (Applause.)

     Now, as perhaps most of you know, after I finish my rounds in
Washington tonight, I'm going to red-eye back to the other Washington and
give my crew a little rest.  I had intended to spend the night here and go
to Portland in the morning and on down to California but I am going to fly
to the Middle East tomorrow.

     Last week was an amazing week for our crowd.  It was heartbreaking
when we lost those sailors on the USS Cole.  I talked to the Captain of the
ship and others in the chain of command and thank them on behalf of the
American people and say that our prayers are with the families and
Wednesday we will have a memorial service for them on the East Coast.
Those who were killed and those who are wounded are being brought home
starting today.

     And we've had these terrible turn of events in the Middle East which
has been heartbreaking for me.  I was at the airport earlier and a man came
up to me and asked me to sign the remarks I made on September 19, 1993,
when Mr. Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin signed the peace accord, committing
themselves to a process that would lead to peace.  I have seen so much
progress in the last seven-and-a-half years so it's been a very difficult
and painful experience.

     But I also want to say last week when the number two leader in North
Korea came to see me after the president of South Korea had gone to North
Korea and justifiably won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing so and for a
lifetime of courageous standing up for democracy and freedom -- (applause)
-- I was thinking that when I took the oath of office in January of 1993
and I got all my security briefings starting from the time I was elected,
everybody said the most dangerous place in the whole world is North Korea.
You've got to really worry about this, you know, they've got a nuclear
program, it's going to be terrible, you've got to do something about it.

     So first we got the nuclear program shut down and then we began to
deal with them and insist that they had to deal with the South.  And then
our former Defense Secretary, Bill Perry, went to see them and said, look,
you know, you're still making all these missiles.  Our relationship has got
to get better or worse.  It can't just stay the same.  And Kim Dae-Jung got
elected President, and he said, it's time we bury the hatchet and try to
find ways to live in peace.  And the rest is history.

     So what I thought would be the most dangerous problem for our children
and grandchildren eight years ago may not be now, if, God willing, we can
keep it going.

     And then the people of Serbia elected a new President.  (Applause.)
And I knew if the United States had not stood against ethnic cleansing in
Bosnia and Kosovo, and kept those economic sanctions on, that the moment
would not have arrived for the people to do right.  And so I was very
grateful last week, too.

     And it's a sober reminder that we have to keep plugging away at the
things we believe in.  And I wanted to come out here today because I've
missed three or four days of work already traveling the country in this
season.  And I wanted to come here, if for no other reason, to just have
one more chance to say thank you to the people of Washington for being so
very good to me and Hillary and Al and Tipper Gore these last eight years,
for giving us your electoral votes twice -- and I hope you're about to make
it three in a row.  (Applause.)

     And I also wanted to say why it is so important that you spend every
minute you can in your very busy lives talking to other people about this
election between now and Election Day.  Because every one of you has a lot
of friends who have never been to an event like this.  Isn't that right?
You have a lot of friends.  You work with them, you worship with them, you
socialize with them.  They never go to things like this.

     But they'll vote, because they love their country.  And it's important
that they understand what the issues are.

     In an amazing way, in this election I can tell you that there is such
clarity of difference -- even though the other side often tries to muddy it
up.  And I don't blame them, because if everybody figures it out, they'll
lose and we'll win.  (Laughter and applause.)

     But I've learned -- you know, I was a governor for a dozen years
before I became President.  I loved it.  I don't think I would have ever
gotten tired of it.  And I know that no matter how good the economic policy
of the country is, no matter how good our educational policy is, our health
care policy, our environmental policy -- the way America works, the people
of this state cannot fully benefit from it unless you have a good governor
and good leadership.  And if you do, you can do better, even, than the rest
of us are doing.

     And I've really had the opportunity over the last several years to get
to know Gary and Mona.  I'm crazy about them, personally.  I think they're
wonderful people.  They embody my idea of where we're going as a country.

     Indeed, all Washington state does.  You are today and you are
tomorrow.  You are the most connected state to the global economy and one
of the most wired states in America.  (Laughter and applause.)  And you are
one of the most diverse states in America.  And part of your diversity is
you also have a lot of people of European heritage who still live in
little, rural towns and make a living on the farm.

     And so you represent today and tomorrow.  You're doing so well.  Part
of the reason you're doing so well is you've got a great governor and you
need to keep him.  (Applause.)

     Now, I also would say that no one in America understands any more
clearly than I do how important every single Senate seat and every single
House seat is.  And I said something about Maria Cantwell before.  I was
thrilled when I met her when I became President.  Here is a person who
really is a new democrat, a person who understands the economy but wants it
to work for everybody.  A person that believes in fiscal responsibility and
is actually, unlike most politicians, actually willing to do something
about it, not just talk about it.

     And I want to say one of the amazing things to me is that her opponent
is still trying to attack her for voting for the '93 economic plan by
picking out one little piece of it that he can make look unpopular now,
without pointing out that we cut taxes for 10 times as many people as paid
taxes and higher taxes.  And that most of the people that paid higher taxes
were in Maria's income bracket.  (Laughter and applause.)  And she voted
for it anyway.

     And, you know, her opponent and all those Republicans, they voted
against it, every last one of them.  And they said if my economic plan
passed, the world would come to an end, we would have a recession, people
would lose their jobs, the deficit would get bigger.  Time has not been
kind to their predictions.  (Applause.)

     I'll say this.  You've got to give it to the Republicans, they are
never deterred by the facts and the evidence.  (Laughter and applause.)
They are shameless, you know, they'll just go right on just like nothing
ever happened.  (Laughter.)  And I say that because if she hadn't been
willing to put her entire political career on the line, one vote, we
wouldn't have passed that plan.  And if you think Washington state is in
better shape today than it was eight years ago, then you have an obligation
to tell every person you know between now and November 7th to vote for Gary
Locke and for this great candidate for the United States Senate, Maria
Cantwell.  (Applause.)

     In the parlance of my home region, I know I'm preaching to the saved
tonight, but I want to say a few things.  (Laughter.)  First of all, I want
to say, congratulations to the Mariners.  (Applause.)  But I hope you'll
understand, since I have more than a passing interest in the Senate race in
New York -- (laughter) -- why this may be the only issue in eight years I
don't side with you on.  (Laughter.)

     Look, I want you to listen a minute.  I want you to think about this.
I want you to think about all the people who you'll see between now and the
election.  And if they ask you, why should I vote for Maria Cantwell?  Why
should I vote for Gary Locke?  Why should I vote for Al Gore and Joe
Lieberman?  Can you give them an answer?

     Here is what I want you to understand.  Clarity is our friend.  And
there are big differences with real consequences to the American people, to
every single family in Washington state.  We have a different philosophy.
We believe that everybody who is responsible ought to have an opportunity
to be a part of the American Dream.  We believe we ought to all be part of
the same community and that we should go forward together.  We believe in
government that gives people the tools and the conditions to make the most
of their own lives.  We believe that you can, as Gary said, and as
Christine said, be pro-economic growth and pro-environment, pro-business
and pro-labor.  That's what we believe.

     We believe that in order for people to succeed at work, you have to
help them succeed in raising their kids and balancing work and family.  And
we think all this diversity of ours is the greatest thing in the world.
That it's a more interesting country if we respect our differences and if
we reaffirm our common humanity.  That's what we believe.  And, so far, it
has worked out pretty well.  (Applause.)

     What does that mean in practical terms?  It means if you want to keep
the prosperity going, you've got a clear choice here.  Now, Gary wants to
be effective, as well as re-elected.  And he wants Washington to keep on
having a great economy.  You've got a big choice here.  And you heard it in
these two debates.  It was sort of buried in the weeds.  And for reasons
I'll never understand, not very well publicized.

     But in the first presidential debate the Republican candidate admitted
that he had a tax cut of about a trillion and a half bucks; and that it
would cost another trillion to partially privatize Social Security.  And
then there are hundreds of billions of dollars in spending promises.
So you're already back to deficits.But if you're in a high-income group,
you can get a bunch of money out of it right now.

     Our leader Al Gore says, look, I'd like to tell you the same thing,
but it's not responsible.  So I want to pay off the debt, keep interest
rates coming down, save some money to invest in education, health care and
the environment, and defense, and give you a tax cut we can afford.

     Now, you've got a choice.  You know, we've tried it our way for eight
years, and we tried it their way for twelve years.  And you ought to go out
and tell people, if they want to go back to deficits and higher interest
rates and a weaker economy, they've got a clear choice.

     But it's not like -- we can't pretend there's no choice here.  We
can't pretend there's no difference here.  There is a record.  There is
evidence.  There is a difference.

     And let me say, a lot of the things I've heard are just flat bogus on
the economy.  You know, they say, we trust you with your money; they want
government to run your lives.  You know?  That's their new shtick, you
know?  That's basically a sort of modernized, more -- a kinder, gentler
version of what they've been saying since 1980.

     Now, here are the facts, okay?  Fact number one: under the leadership
of Al Gore, we have reduced the size of the federal government to its
lowest point since 1960, when Eisenhower was President.  Fact number one.

     Fact number two: government spending as a percentage of our national
income is the lowest it's been since 1966.  Fact number three -- here's the
biggest one -- fact number three: if Al Gore wins the Presidency, in four
years government spending will be a smaller percentage of national income
under a Gore presidency than under the alternative, even though we're going
to spend more on education and health care.

     How can that be?  You need to think about it.  You need to talk to
people about this.  How can that be?  Because he's going to keep paying off
the debt.  And that will make interest rates lower.  That will make the
stock market higher -- making all of you that own Microsoft happy, and
everything else -- (laughter) -- it will make the stock market higher, it
will mean lower costs for business loans, and it will mean everybody will
pay lower mortgage rates, lower credit card rates, lower college loan
rates, lower car payment rates.  In other words, everybody will get that
tax cut in lower interest rates.  And because the third-biggest item in the
federal budget is interest on the debt -- after Social Security and
defense, interest on the debt is the third-biggest item in the budget -- as
we pay it down, even though the Democrats will spend more on education and
health care and send it to Governor Locke so he can be more effective for
you, government will actually be a smaller percentage of the economy than
will if you pass this big tax cut, privatize Social Security, and run a
deficit again.

     You need to explain that to people.  I think people like it our way,
and they want to keep changing in that way.  (Applause.)

     Now, but you only get it if you vote for Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, Maria
Cantwell, your candidates for Congress, and Gary Locke.  You'll only get it
-- you know, you do have a choice.  You don't have to have this good
future.  (Laughter.)  You know, you can vote with them, and go back to the
way it was.  But don't let your friends pretend there's not a choice, and
there are no consequences.

     Look at health care.  Washington passed a patients' bill of rights.
Good for Washington.  Good for Washington.  (Applause.)  But he'll be the
first to tell you that because of the way federal law works, if all the
states passed a good patients' bill of rights there would still be a lot of
Americans who weren't covered.  So if you want every American, including
every person in Washington State, covered with the protections of the
patients' bill of rights you have, you've got to vote for Al Gore, Joe
Lieberman and Maria Cantwell.

     Why?  Why?  Because we're for it and they're not.  (Laughter.)  And --
now, they've got something that they say is a patients' bill of rights, but
300 health care organizations are for ours and not for theirs.  Why?
Because the health insurers don't want our patients' bill of rights,
because they don't want to be sued, and they don't want to cover everybody,
and they say it's going to run your health costs up.

     Well, if you've checked lately, your insurance premiums are going up
anyway.  But let me just tell you what the facts are.
I put the patients bill of rights in, by executive order, for everybody the
federal government pays health care on, Medicare, Medicaid, military
personnel, retirees, federal employees.  Do you know how much it increased
premiums?  About a dollar a month.  A dollar a month to see a specialist
when your doctor recommends it.  A dollar a month to be able to keep the
same doctor if you change health care providers in the middle of a
pregnancy or a chemotherapy treatment.  A dollar a month to go to the
nearest emergency room if, God forbid, you get hit by a car when you walk
out of this room tonight, instead of being carried past three or four
hospitals to one your plan covers.  A dollar a month to be able to file
suit and get redress if you're really harmed by the failure to observe
these rights.

     Now, even the Congressional Budget Office says it's less than $2 a
month.  I'd pay $1.80 a month to make sure you got those rights and I think
most Americans would.  It's a clear choice.  But if you want it, you've got
to vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and Maria.  You've got to.  There's
no other option.  You've got to do it.  (Applause.)

     You take this Medicare drug thing.  The governor and Mona, they care a
lot about children having health care.  The children's health insurance
program was one of the major initiatives of this administration.  It's part
of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.  It led -- last year, for the first
time since 1987, we had a reduction in the number of people without health
insurance in America.

     Now, what we'd like to do, the Democrats, is give them some more funds
to cover the parents of those kids in the children's health ins program who
are low in working people.  And we think Medicare ought to provide a
prescription drug benefit that's voluntary to every senior that needs it.

     Now, they don't feel that way.  Why?  Because the drug companies won't
let them.  Now, that's a fact.  And originally the drug companies wanted to
be for nothing and the Republicans went to them and said, you don't
understand, we can't win this issue, they're going to beat our brains out,
we need to muddy this up so give us a bill we can be for.

     And that's why they say, okay, we'll give it to people up to 150 or
175 percent of the poverty line, but everybody else gets to buy insurance.
Now, I will say this about the health insurance companies, they have told
us, they said, hey, there is no insurance policy you can write for this
problem.  We can't write you an insurance policy that you can afford that
has decent coverage.  Nevada passed the Republican plan and not a single,
solitary health insurance company has offered insurance to people who need
this medicine.  And over half of the seniors who need affordable medicine
are above 150 percent of the poverty line -- over half of them.

     Now, what is the deal here?  (Laughter.)  Did you ever meet anybody in
a business that didn't want more customers?  Have you ever asked yourself
why are the drug companies against this thing, they get more customers,
they sell more medicine.  Did you ever meet a politician that didn't want
more votes?  (Laughter.)  You never hear this -- I just want you to know,
you've got to talk to people about this.

     The reason is -- and you don't have to demonize the drug companies.
We're fortunate to have these drug companies in our country.  They provide
wonderful jobs for tens of thousands of people.  They find life-saving
drugs every day.  But here is the issue.  It costs a bunch of money to
develop the drugs.  They spend a lot of money to advertise them.  And they
want to sell them all over the world, but they can't recover the
development or the advertising cost any place but America, because
everybody else fixes prices.

     Once they get us to pay the development and the advertising costs,
then it just costs a pittance to make another pill or two, so they can sell
them and make a killing in Canada or Europe or anywhere else, even with
price controls, because you've already paid for all the advertising and
development.  And to be fair to them, they know that is Medicare is the
buyer for millions of people, they'll have enough market power to get lower
prices so that Americans will buy drugs made in America almost as cheap as
they can buy them in Canada.  And they're worried that their profits will
go down and they won't be able to spend enough money to develop drugs or to
advertise them.  Now, that's a legitimate problem.  Nobody ever talks about
this.  You haven't heard any of this in the debate, have you?  That's what
the real deal is.

     Now, here's my issue.  Surely to goodness the answer to their problem
is not continuing to deny the elderly people of America the right to have
the medicine they need to stay alive and improve the quality of their
lives.  (Applause.)

     Now, so let's fix the people's problem.  If you live to be 65 in
America today, your life expectancy is 82 years and it's going to go up.
And with the human genome project, there are young women in this audience
who have yet to have their first children.  Within the next 10 years,
they'll start having babies with a life expectancy of 90 years.  You mark
it down; it's going to happen.

     Now, if that's going to happen, we've got to think about what life's
going to be like.  The answer to the drug companies' problem is not to
deprive our seniors of the ability to buy affordable prescription drugs.
This is crazy.  This is wrong.  (Applause.)

     So what I say is, vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and Maria and our
crowd and take care of the seniors.  And those folks have a lot of money
and influence, in case you hadn't noticed.  And even though we don't let
them tell us how to vote, we're not against them and we'll figure out how
to solve their problem.  There's got to be a solution to their problem that
does not require us to punish the seniors of America by depriving them of
the medicine they need.  (Applause.)

     I could give you the same arguments on education.  We're for 100,000
teachers, smaller classes, modernizing our schools, preschool and after
school for every kid who needs it, and accountability and choice through
charter schools, which the Democrats brought to America.  We had one
charter school in the whole country when I was elected.  We got 1700 now
and Al Gore wants to triple the number of them.  That was our initiative.

     They're for accountability but they don't want to invest in the
specific things that the educators and the research tells us works.  And
let me tell you, it's a big myth that you can't turn these public schools
around.  In the last eight years, the drop-out rate is down, the graduation
rate is up, there has been a two-thirds increase in the number of our kids
taking advance placement tests, 300 percent increase in Hispanic kids
taking advance placement courses, 500 percent increase in African American
kids taking advance placement courses, all time high college going rate --
(applause) -- you can turn these schools around.

     I think our plan is better than theirs.  And I think Gary Locke can do
more with what the Democrats will do, plus which we'll invest more.  So if
you want the education for your children that is most likely to really
work, you've got to vote for Gary Locke and for Maria and for Al Gore and
Joe Lieberman.  There is a difference.  There is a difference.  (Applause.)

     Now, I could give you a lot of other examples.  Just listen to this.
We're for a real hate crimes bill and they're not, if you heard the second
debate, you know that.  (Applause.)  Oh, there was a little shoveling
around.  And I want to put it on the table.  It wasn't clear from the
debate what was going on.  The reason the Republicans are not for our hate
crimes bill and the reason that James Byrd's family in Texas was shut out
of getting the hate crimes bill they wanted in Texas is that they don't
want to make their right wing mad by including gays in protection against
hate crimes.  Now, that's what is going on.  (Applause.)
     We had an event in Washington with the police commissioner from
Wyoming, who had to supervise the investigation in the Matthew Shepard
case.  And he said that it changed his whole life.  He met that young man's
family and his friends.  And he realized how badly he needed federal hate
crimes legislation so the federal government could come in and help him
work that case and develop it.  There is a difference.

     We're for the employment and nondiscrimination law, and they're not.
We're for a minimum wage increase, and they're not.  We think we ought to
keep a woman's right to choose, and they don't.  There's a difference.

     And the environment, there's been a commitment -- I will say that the
other side has been clearer on the environment.  The Republican nominee has
said if he's elected, he will reverse my order setting aside 43 million
roadless acres in the national forests.  The Audubon Society said it was
the most significant conservation move in 40 years.  (Applause.)

     He says they will review all the national monuments we have
established.  And they will relax some of the air standards, because
they're too hard on business.

     Look, anybody who thinks you can't -- we got cleaner air, cleaner
water, safer food.  We've cleaned up three times as many toxic waste dumps
in eight years as they did in twelve.  And the economy's doing reasonably
well under this enormous environmental burden I have imposed.  (Applause.)

     You know?  But you've got to choose.  You've got to choose.

     We've got a different crime policy.  They said that -- you know, we
believe that we should finish putting our 150,000 police on the street.
And their party is committed to repealing that.  It's not just a gun issue.
They don't believe that we were right to put -- we've already put over
100,000, and we're on our way to 150,000 police on the street.  And we've
got the lowest crime rate nationally in 26 years and the lowest murder rate
in 33 years.

     They don't believe in the three-day waiting period, even though the
Brady law -- which led to the defeat of some of the Congressmen that we
lost in Washington State in 1994, because they stirred up all the hunters
and sportsmen, you know?  Told them we were coming after their guns?  You
remember all that.  They're doing it again now.

     Well, let's just look at the facts here.  We passed the Brady bill;
half a million felons, fugitives and stalkers couldn't get handguns,
because we did the background checks.  And there hasn't been a single
hunter, law-abiding hunter or sportsman in Washington state that's missed
five minutes in the woods in hunting season or five minutes at any shooting
contest because we said criminals should not have guns.  Not one.

     So this is bogus.  Now look, these are the things you need to talk to
people about.  It will shape the future of our children and grandchildren.
And you cannot make an easy distinction anymore between national and state

     We can't succeed if Gary Locke is not committed to enrolling children
in the children's health insurance program.  We can't succeed if the state
of Washington is not committed to moving people from welfare to work and
giving them the support they need to stay in the work place.  We can't
succeed if Washington state doesn't have a good education program.  America
can't succeed in Washington if you don't do it.

     On the other hand, what he can do will be severely limited or enhanced
by who gets elected president and who gets elected to the Senate and who
gets elected to the House.  So I want to say to you again, these elections
are tight.  They're tight because the other guys have figured out they
can't really do what they did in '95 and '96 and '97 and '98 so they've got
to blur the differences instead of clarify them and they've got a bunch of
money to do it.

     What you have to do is clarify the differences.  You know the American
people nearly always get it right.  We wouldn't be around here after 224
years if the American people didn't nearly always get it right, if they
have enough information, they understand what it means and they have time
enough to digest it.

     And I am telling you -- you just think about this tomorrow when you
get up -- every one of you come in contact with people who are friends of
yours who trust you, every day, who will never come to an event like this,
never hear this kind of discussion.  You need to tell them why you were
here.  You need to tell them what you believe they ought to do, what the
differences are, what the consequences are.

     And let me just close with this.  You know, my party has a new leader.
My family has a new candidate.  I'm not running for anything.  (Laughter.)

     I am profoundly grateful for the chance I have had to serve.
(Applause.)  And I have done everything I know to do to turn the country
around, to pull us together and move us forward.  But in America, our
public life is always about tomorrow.

     Maybe once in every 50 years a country gets a chance like we have now,
where the economy's doing well, the social indicators are improving,
there's a lot of national self-confidence, there's no overwhelming threat
to our security abroad or crisis within.

     The world will never be free of problems.  But once in 50 years you
get in shape like this, where you can really imagine what you want the
future to be like for your children and grandchildren, and then go out and
build it.

     We ought to be elated to have this election.  It should have nothing
to do with personal attacks.  We should posit that our opponents are good
people who love their families and love their country, and will do what
they believe.  But we have to make sure people know that what we believe
and what they believe on critical things are different, and the
consequences are profound.

     When Al Gore says in his speeches that you ain't seen nothing yet, I
know it may sound like a political slogan.  But I'm not running for
anything, and I believe that.  I believe the best is still out there.  I
believe that you have no idea where the information revolution, where the
biotechnology revolution, and where the globalization of not just commerce,
but societies, are going to lead us.

     And the children in this audience can live in the most peaceful,
prosperous, exciting time the world has ever known.  But we have to make
the right decisions.  And now, for America and for Washington State, the
right decisions are Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, Maria Cantwell, Gary Locke, and
our candidates for the Congress.

     Thank you, and God bless you.  (Applause.)

     END  7:05 P.M. PDT

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