2000-10/22 President of the United States REMARKS AT LAST NY SENATE 2000 RECEPTION
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                 October 22, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                      NEW YORK SENATE 2000 RECEPTION

                              Hudson Theater
                            New York, New York

10:36 p.m. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I want to thank Suzie who has
been such a wonderful friend to Hillary and me for so many years now.  And
I want to thank Amy and Jeffrey and Harvey and all the others who
spearheaded this event tonight.  It's a beautiful testimonial to Hillary
and I'm delighted that it could be in this wonderful old theater.

     I want to thank Sir Elton John for being good enough to come and be
with us tonight, and congratulate him on his smashing success in the last
few days.  This will be the second time he has performed during the Clinton
administration; the first was at the state dinner for his Prime Minister,
Tony Blair, where he and Stevie Wonder commemorated a truly historic night
of Anglo-American partnership.

     I want to say, too, very briefly, because we are all here basically to
have a good time and see each other -- and I hope that Hillary and I can
visit with all the rest of you before you leave -- because there are so
many of you here who have been not only important political supporters of
ours, but very good friends over the last eight years and, in some cases,
from long before.

     Hillary and I are delighted that her mother and Chelsea could be here
tonight.  This is sort of a family day we've had in New York -- (applause)
-- and I have been to Binghamton and Watertown and Alex Bay today in my
capacity as Cheerleader-in-Chief in this election.  (Laughter.)

     And I just want to tell you a couple of things very briefly.  First of
all, I believe on November the 7th, Hillary will be elected and I believe
Al Gore and Joe Lieberman will be elected.  (Applause.)  And I think a lot
of you are asking me what you're supposed to say and I think you should say
three things about the national election.

     First of all, if you want to keep the prosperity going, you only have
one choice.  Because our team wants to give the folks a tax cut they can
afford, keep investing in education and health care and get rid of the
national debt, which will get interest rates down.  Their side is promising
everybody the moon:  a huge tax cut, a huge privatization of Social
Security and a lot of spending and it doesn't add up, the numbers don't add
up. And if we go back into debt, we tried it their way for 12 years.  You
remember that?  We quadrupled the national debt.  That's why I got elected
President.  (Applause.)

     So if we give them one more chance, they might give us a whole
generation of Democratic presidents, but it's not worth it to do to the
country.  And you need to tell people this.  We tried it our way for eight
years, we tried it their way for 12 years.  Our way works better.  If you
want to keep it going, you better vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and

     The second thing you ought to say is if you want to build on the
social progress of the last eight years, you've got to vote for Al Gore and
Joe Lieberman and Hillary.  What do I mean by that?  The crime rate is at a
26-year low, the murder rate is at a 33-year low, the gun violence rate is
down by 35 percent because of the Brady Bill, the assault weapons ban,
putting 100,000 police on the street.

     Now, you all know where they are on the Brady Bill and the waiting
period.  That's why Charlton Heston has a starring role in this election.
Did you hear what he said yesterday?  The most important election for gun
owners since the Civil War.  Some guy said they ought to lynch Gore.  He
said he's supply the rope. Look, this is serious.  It isn't true that Al
Gore and Joe Lieberman want to take anybody's guns away, but they don't
want kids and criminals to have guns.  That's what this is about.
It's also about they want to get rid of 100,000 police.  We're trying to
put 100,000 teachers in the classrooms.  They want to get rid of them.

     We have given the American people cleaner air, cleaner water, safer
food, more land set aside than in any administration except for Theodore
Roosevelt.  They want to weaken the air rules and relax the protections
I've given to public lands.  See, it's not like you don't have a clear
choice here.  We proved you can clean up the environment and improve the
economy; they want to reverse that policy.

     Same thing in health care, and Hillary will talk a little more about
that.  We've got a decline in the number of people without health insurance
for the first time in a dozen years because of our Children's Health
Insurance Program.  But all the things that we want to do to build on that,
they're not for.

     So if you want to build on the progress of the last eight years, if
you like the fact that we're a safer country, that we're an environmentally
cleaner country, that education is improving, that health care is getting
better, you don't have any choice:  You've got to vote for Gore, Lieberman
and Hillary.

     And the third thing, and the most important thing to me, is if you
believe as I do that the most important mission of any society is to build
a unity, an affirmation of our common humanity, beneath all the lines that
divide us, all the diversity in this society that makes it an interesting
place to live, you really have to vote for Gore, Lieberman and Hillary.
Whether it's equal pay for women or the hate crimes bill or the employment
nondiscrimination bill or preserving a woman's right to choose, or just
preserving a philosophy on the Supreme Court that the national government
ought to be able to protect the basic health and welfare of the American

     The next president is going to get two appointments.  Rowe v. Wade is
hanging by one vote.  And a majority on this court has already voted to
invalidate the ability of Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act
if it requires the states to do anything.  That's a theory that prevailed
70 years ago in the 1930s.

     Now, you've got to go out and talk to people and make sure they
understand this.  If you want the economy to keep growing, if you want this
society to keep making progress and if you want America to keep coming
together instead of being driven apart, you only have one choice.

     And this should be a very happy election.  The country's in good shape
and the best stuff is still out there.  Yes, we have problems.  There will
never be a time on earth when people are around that we don't have
problems, because we all have imperfections, so there will be problems.
But we will never have another chance in our lifetime like this.

     Which brings me to my appointed duty.  When Hillary was approached --
when Senator Moynihan said he would not seek reelection and Hillary was
approached by a number of members of the New York Congressional Delegation
over a year ago now to think about running for the Senate seat, once held
not only by Senator Moynihan, but by Robert Kennedy, and then a lot of
other people in New York started to call her, she said, do you think we
ought to consider doing this?

     And so first I gave -- we went through the same drill that I go
through when a young person comes to me and says, I want to run for state
legislature, or something.  I said, can you stand losing?  Are you prepared
to win, to do what it takes to win?  And, do you know why you want the job,
for some reason or another bigger than yourself.

     And she had good answers to that.  And then I said, well, are you
prepared to give up what could be our last -- what will be our last year in
the White House, when we could have a good time, we could take all these
trips together, we could do all these things together.  Memories of a
lifetime.  And get up to Upstate New York and find out what's wrong with
the economy.  Get out to Long Island and find out why they're worried about
some of their health care problems.

     And we debated it and I said, I think you should not think about how
you'll feel the day we leave the White House; you ought to think about how
you'll feel a year after we're gone, because public service has been her

     And one other point I would like to make, a lot of you who have known
her a long time will identify with this.  I don't get -- you know, I feel
nothing anymore when somebody attacks me; I'm sort of callused over.
(Applause.)  I can even stand it normally when somebody attacks Hillary
now.  But I am enraged when I hear somebody say that she wouldn't be up
here running for senator for New York if she weren't First Lady.

     If she hadn't spent the last 30 years of her life working for children
and families and charitable causes and other candidates, mostly me, she
could have been doing this 20 years ago.  (Applause.)

     And what I want to say to you is, I am very proud of the race she has
run.  I am proud what she has done in the White House, to advocate for
children, for families, for women's health, to build the largest historic
preservation movement in our country's history around the Millennium
Celebration, to visit more countries, to work for peace in the Middle East,
peace in Northern Ireland, to support our troops in the Balkans when they
stood up against ethnic cleansing and took the first critical steps that
were pivotal to the eventual elimination of Mr. Milosevic from the
political scene over there.  I am very proud of all that.

     Of all the people I have known, the hundreds and hundreds of people I
have known in public life, she has the best combination of brains and heart
and consistent dedication and the ability to get things done of any person
I have ever known, anywhere in public life.  She will be a worthy successor
to Senator Moynihan, Senator Kennedy, and a great partner for Chuck

     Come on up, Hillary, and give them a speech.  Thank you very much.

                     END         10:47 P.M. EDT

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