2000-10/22 President of the United States remarks to NY Senate 2000 Reception, Alexandria Bay, New York
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Hempstead, New York)

Immediate Release                          October 22, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                   TO THE NEW YORK SENATE 2000 RECEPTION

                           Bonnie Castle Resort
                         Alexandria Bay, New York

3:52 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Wow.  (Applause.)  First of all,
I want to thank Mike Schell and all the Democratic chairs and the
candidates who are here.  I want to thank the people of northern New York
for voting for me and Al Gore in 1996.  (Applause.)  I must say, I was in
the Lake Placid area a few weeks ago -- Stuart and I played golf -- and I
was looking at the voting records of the counties in northern New York in
the '96 election, and it just took my breath away.

     But I'll tell you this -- and you ought to think about this two weeks
from now and talk to your friends about it -- people say, well, is Hillary
really interested in rural New York, does she really know anything about
it?  Let me tell you, I was governor of a state for 12 years where half the
people lived in communities of less than 5,000.  And Al Gore grew up in
Carthage, Tennessee, as well as Washington, D.C., and Carthage, Tennessee
is about the same size as the community where we're having this meeting in
Alexandria Bay today.  Don't forget who cares about the people of upstate
New York.  (Applause.)

     Now, someone told me when I pulled up today that the last President to
visit here was Franklin Roosevelt in 1938.  And all I can say is, just from
looking around, the others didn't know what they were missing.  I'm glad to
be here.  (Applause.)
     AUDIENCE MEMBER:  The fishing is good, too.  (Laughter.)
     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, the fishing may be good, but we've got to reel
in some votes, first, then I'll come back and fish.  (Laughter and

     You know, this is an interesting time for me.  It's the first time
since 1974 they've had an election when I haven't been on the ballot
somewhere.  My party has a new leader, my family has a new candidate, and
I'm sort of the surrogate-in-chief.  (Laughter.)  And I'm glad to be here.

     I want to talk to you for a moment -- you know, we're all cheering and
we're happy.  But I want to say something serious today, just for a moment,
because in just a little more than two weeks we're going to have the first
national election of the 21st century.  And New York will pick a senator to
hold the seat held by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Robert Kennedy.  And it
will have, this election, a profound impact on how the people of northern
New York, this entire state and our whole country live for quite a long

     I want to talk to you about it seriously and from the heart, because
I'm so grateful to the people of New York for being so good to me for these
last eight years, because I've done everything I know to turn the country
around, pull it together and move it forward.  But everything is on the
line here.  And what I want to say to you -- and I want you all to think
about this -- every one of you knows scores and scores of people who are
your friends, your family members, your coworkers, who will vote on
election day because they love their country, but who will never come to an
event like this.  Isn't that right?

     AUDIENCE:  Yes.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Not for a Democrat, not for a Republican.  They've
never been to an event like this of any kind.  But they're inclined to vote
because they're good citizens.  And, yet, we see story after story after
story which says that people aren't really sure what the differences are
and does it make a difference.

     What I want to do is talk to you for a few moments about what I,
personally, believe about my wife, first of all, and about this election.
I'd like for you to know a few things.

     From the moment I met Hillary nearly 30 years ago, she was consumed
with public interest, to advance the cause of children and families, child
care, health care and education.  From the time we began our married life
together and we were working in public policy, she also became very
interested in bringing economic opportunity -- starting businesses,
creating jobs in areas which had been left out or left behind.

     So a lot of what we did together before I became President is highly
relevant to the needs of all of New York, but especially the people of
upstate New York, where the economic prosperity has not fully reached.  We
have spent years working together on the things that you need someone in
the United States Senate to concentrate on today.  She understands what has
to be done.  (Applause.)

     In the last eight years, since we've been in Washington and in the
White House, she has been certainly the most active First Lady since
Eleanor Roosevelt.  She started by lobbying hard for the first bill I
signed, the Family and Medical Leave law, which has allowed over 20 million
Americans to take some time off from work when a baby is born or a parent
is sick without losing their job.  (Applause.)

     And she's worked constantly on a whole breathtaking range of issues:
early childhood development, more pre-school and after-school programs;
dealing with health care issues, allowing people to keep their health
insurance when someone in their family gets sick or they change jobs; more
breast cancer preventive work, mammographies for people on Medicare; more
work to try to help Gulf War veterans who have undiagnosed illnesses.
She's worked so hard on so many things it's hard to remember.

     But one I think is interesting, worth mentioning, and that is that
when we decided how we wanted to celebrate the millennium, she conceived of
this idea that we should celebrate and honor the past and imagine the
future.  And to honor the past, she developed what's called the Millennium
Treasures Program, which is now the largest single historic preservation
effort in the history of the United States.  And a lot of the sites which
have been preserved, with $100 million of public and private money, are in
New York:  George Washington's first revolutionary headquarters, Harriet
Tubman's home, the underground railroad sites.  (Applause.)

     Over and over again I've seen this.  And all these things are going to
help tourism and areas that are kind of not doing so well economically --
they make a big difference.  And it just came out of her head to do this.
And it is literally the biggest historic preservation movement in the
history of the country.  That's the kind of thing she does, she thinks
about what to do and then she goes and does it.

     And I have to tell you, in all the years I've been in public life --
first of all, I have a much higher opinion of politics and public service
than is conventional.  I will leave the White House more idealistic,
optimistic and hopeful about America than I entered the White House eight
years ago.  (Applause.)  And I'll say this, I think, on balance, the people
in public life are more honest, more committed and work harder, and try
harder to do what they believe in -- people in both parties -- than they
get credit for today.

     But I'm telling you, in all the years I've been in public life, I've
never known anybody that had the same combination of intelligence and
compassion and constant drive and the capacity to imagine, lead and
organize than Hillary has.  She will be a worthy successor to the state and
to Moynihan, and a good partner for Senator Schumer if you elect her two
weeks from now.  (Applause.)

     There is something else I want to say to you, and I hope you'll listen
carefully to this.  This election is being played out against the national
election.  And it is very much a part of the national debate.  And the
national issues are things you have to consider here.  Because the
decisions that will be made on the things that are being debated at the
presidential levels, on which the next senator will have to vote, will also
affect you here.

     And again I want to say, the reason I'm saying this in some detail is,
you get a chance to talk to other people between now and the election.  And
you should promise yourself that every day you're going to talk to somebody
who will never come to an event like this, but who will vote if they
understand what's at stake and what the differences are.  So I want to talk
to you about that.

     In my opinion -- and I've listened to it all, I've read very
carefully, obviously, what the Vice President and Senator Lieberman have
said -- but I've carefully studied what their adversaries have said, their
opponents.  I listened very carefully to all the debates.  And what I want
you to know is that I'm kind of concerned when I read in the press that
people can't quite understand what the differences are and maybe they're
not clear.  And so I want you to know what I think the three big questions
of this election are.

     First, let's start with what they aren't, because I've heard that in
these debates, too.  There is the argument that this is an election about
change versus the status quo.  I disagree with that.  If somebody said,
vote for me, I'll do just what Bill Clinton did, I wouldn't be for him.
Why?  Because America is changing.  The world is changing.  The way we work
and live and relate to each other and the rest of the world is changing.
Change will speed up in the next few years.  But don't be fooled.  The
issue is not that.  The issue is not whether we're going to change, it is
how we're going to change.  Are we going to build on the progress of the
last eight years or reverse it?  That is the issue.  (Applause.)

     Secondly, there was all this talk about whether the issue is do you
trust government or the American people.  I heard that -- you heard that.
Let's just look at the facts here.  Here are the facts.  The government of
the United States, the civilian government, is smaller by 300,000 than it
was when I took office.  It's the smallest federal government we've had
since 1960, when John Kennedy was running for President.  It's a fact.

     The second fact:  this Democratic administration got rid of 16,000
pages of government regulations, and changed dramatically the way a lot of
these agencies work.  For example, if you apply for a small business loan
in upstate New York, eight years ago you had to fill out a form that was
one-inch thick and wait for months to get an answer.  Today, you fill out a
form that's one page on either side and you get an answer within 72 hours.
There is a big difference here.  That's not what this is about.

     You heard them talking about -- the other side talking about how the
federal government is so burdensome on our local schools and all their
paperwork.  Let me just tell you something.  Fact:  the paperwork,
regulatory burdens, the number of regulations imposed by the federal
government on states and local school districts has been reduced by
two-thirds under this Democratic administration, below what it was in the
previous Republican administration.  (Applause.)  That's what it is not

     So that's what the election is not about.  It's not about that.  It's
about, number one, big issue, do you want to keep the longest economic
expansion in history going and build on it, until it reaches the people and
places who have not reached their full prosperity potential?  Huge issue.
What are the differences?  One, our side -- Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and
Hillary -- we favor a tax cut we can afford, that focuses on what middle
class people need most:  long-term care tax credit, when they're taking
care of a sick or disabled family member, college tuition tax deduction,
child care help, help for saving for retirement, and we propose extra tax
incentives to get people to invest in the places which aren't yet
prospering economically.

     And we propose a tax cut that we admit is only one-third as big as
theirs -- actually, less than one-third, just barely over a fourth as big
as theirs.  Why?  Because we've got to have some money to invest in
education, in health care and the environment, in science and technology.
And because we have to keep paying down the national debt until we make
America debt-free for the first time since 1835.  (Applause.)

     What's their proposal?  Their proposal is a tax cut that's more than
three times as big as ours, when you add all the interest costs; a partial
privatization of Social Security, which costs another trillion dollars, by
their own admission; and several hundred billion dollars of their own
spending.  And what's the problem with that?  It doesn't add up.  When you
add it all up, you're back into deficits again.  And if you have deficits,
what does that mean?  It means you have higher interest rates and lower
economic growth and upstate New York never catches up.  You've got to have
tight labor markets to get investment into the areas that have not
participated in this recovery.  Now think about that.  (Applause.)

     I had an analysis done which indicates that if the Vice President's
program is enacted, and the one Hillary supports, interest rates would be
about a percent a year lower for a decade, than if you go back to deficits
under the other program.  Plus which, nearly everybody in this room would
be better off under our proposal anyway.

     But think about this.  One percent a year in lower interest rates.  Do
you know what that means to America?  Just listen:  $390 billion in lower
home mortgages; $30 billion in lower car payments; $15 billion in lower
college loan payments; lower credit card payments; lower business loans,
which means more businesses, more jobs, higher incomes, a bigger stock
market.  Our tax cut does go to everybody because there is lower interest
rates and everybody in America will benefit from that.  (Applause.)

     That's real reason number one.  You want to keep the prosperity going
until it reaches up here.  (Applause.)  And you can't get it done if you go
back to deficits.  Their numbers don't add up.  Number two.  You should be
for our crowd because we want to build on the other progress of the last
eight years.  And what is that other progress?  Welfare rolls cut in half;
lowest crime rate in 26 years; lowest poverty rate in 20 years; cleaner
air, cleaner water, safer food; the first reduction in the number of
uninsured people without health insurance in 12 years; 90 percent of our
kids immunized against serious childhood diseases for the first time in the
history of the country.  We're doing better in all these areas.

     And they want to reverse them.  And let's just take education.  We
have a lower drop-out rate, a higher graduation rate, higher test scores, a
record college-going rate, a huge increase in the number of kids taking
advance placement classes; and systematically, for the first time ever all
over the country, people are proving they can turn around failing schools
and do it in no time.  Now that is what is going on.  It's not an education
recession, it's an education revival.

     Now, do we still have a lot to do?  We do.  The question is, how do
you want to change?

     They have a different crime policy.  They would get rid of our
commitment to 150,000 police on the street and abolish that program.  They
have a different education policy.  They would abolish our commitment to
100,000 teachers.  And they don't support putting funds in to help school
construction, to help build or modernize schools where we've got too many
old schools and too many over-crowded schools.  They have a different
environmental program.  They would relax some of our environmental
standards and get rid of some of the land that I have protected in
perpetuity, and stop doing that.

     So there is a different crime program, a different education program,
a different environmental program.  There is a very different health
program.  We're for a strong patients' bill of rights, but they're not
because the HMOs aren't.  We're for all seniors who need it being able to
buy drugs under a Medicare program; they're not, because the drug companies
aren't.  And you know up here you can go to Canada and get them cheaper.
And we think everybody ought to have access to them.  And if it's
uncomfortable for the drug companies, then they can come to Washington and
we'll fix their problem -- but, first, we ought to fix the health care
problems of the seniors of the United States.  (Applause.)

     So reason number two, you want to keep going in the right direction,
you want a lower crime rate, you want higher education performance, you
want more people with health insurance and seniors with access to medicine.
You want to continue to make progress in all these areas.  You want to
build on the progress.

     Now, if you look at the economy, we tried it our way for eight years.
Before that, we tried it their way for 12 years, the deficit way.  Our way
works better, you know?  (Applause.)  You just need to say that.  If you
look at crime, education, health care and environmental policy -- we tried
it our way for eight years.  We tried it their way before.  In every area,
we made more progress.  Our way works better.  That is the issue.

     The third thing I would like to say -- maybe even most important of
all to me -- we have to continue to build one America, to build one
American community where no one is discriminated against because of who
they are, where everybody has a chance who is willing to work, where
everybody counts, where we recognize we should help each other by creating
the conditions and giving people the tools to make the most of their own
lives.  And in all these areas there is a big difference.  And I'll just
give you a few.

     We're for hate crimes legislation -- (applause) -- that protects
everybody, and they're not.  We believe if immigrants come here legally to
this country, and they work and they have to pay taxes if they work, they
should be treated like everybody else, they should be treated fairly.  We
feel that way.  (Applause.)  We believe there ought to be stronger equal
pay laws for women, because there are still too many women doing work that
aren't getting equally paid.  (Applause.)  These are some of the things
that define one America.  And we're different.

     So if someone says to you, does this election make a difference?  You
say, you bet it does, it makes a huge difference.  If you want to keep the
prosperity going and extend it to every place in upstate New York that
hasn't felt it yet, you better keep paying down the debt, investing in our
future, to keep interest rates down, and you can't do it if you do what
they want because it doesn't add up.

     Number two, if you want to keep making progress with better schools,
more people with health insurance, a lower crime rate and a cleaner
environment, you better keep changing in this direction, because what they
want to do is to reverse the policies we've had which are making a

     And, number three, if you want us all to go forward together, if you
believe in hate crimes legislation, equal pay for equal work, if you think
that all of us count and nobody should be left out or left behind, you
better stick with the Democrats.  Those are the three big issues in this
election and don't you mistake it.  (Applause.)

     And just tell people -- you know, this is not rocket science.  We
tried it both ways.  Our way works better.  We did try it both ways.  We've
had a test run here.

     Now, let me just close with this.  When Al Gore says, you ain't seen
nothing yet -- when a person running for office says that, it may sound
like a campaign slogan.  I'm not running for anything, and I believe that.
I believe that.  (Applause.)

     I believe with all my heart -- I believe we can bring economic
opportunity to the people and places that have been left behind.  I believe
we can give every child in this country excellence in education.  I believe
we can create a system in which there is affordable access to health care
for every working family.  I believe we can open the doors to college --
four years of it, like we have already for two -- for a hundred percent of
the people who are willing to work hard enough to go.  I believe we can do
this.  (Applause.)

     And I know we can do this and get this country out of debt.  And I
know we can do it and still continue to be involved in the world, as a
leading source of peace and freedom.  And I'm thinking of that today, you
know, because we have a lot to celebrate -- the dictator in Belgrade has
finally been deposed, who caused so much trouble in Bosnia and Kosovo.
(Applause.)  We've made a lot of progress towards peace in Northern
Ireland.  (Applause.)  And we have worked hard in Latin America, to turn
back the drug warriors that want to overtake democracy in Colombia.  We've
worked hard in Africa.

     And today, of course, we're keeping our fingers crossed that we can
restore calm and end violence in the Middle East and resume the process
towards peace there.  And I hope you'll all pray for that.  (Applause.)

     That's the last thing I'd like to tell you.  My wife has been to more
countries and touched more people around the world, sticking up for the
rights of children and women; talking about the need of America not only to
have a strong defense, but to be a strong partner in educating people and
giving them a better future; and working on challenges together -- than any
person, clearly, since Eleanor Roosevelt, who has been in the White House
as First Lady.

     So I will say again, I just want you to use every day between now and
the election -- not only here, but if you have any friends in other states,
to try to get them to understand why it's so important not only for Hillary
to win, but for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman to win.  (Applause.)  Keep the
prosperity going.  Keep the progress going.  Build one America.  We'll have
a good celebration on election night.

     Thank you and God bless you.  (Applause.)

                            END                  4:15 P.M. EDT

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