tv 1996 Presidential Candidates First Debate CSPAN August 26, 2016 11:18am-12:54pm EDT
at president harry truman's leadership and how he interacted with three prominent national politicians. then former secretary of state madeleine albright speaks with historian michael beschloss about harry truman's commitment to public service as vice president and president. >> in his life, this is someone who should have gone to college, a great college. should have gone to graduate school. deeply wanted to. couldn't do it, mainly because of his family's economic circumstances. and if there's one thing i think he felt strongly, it was when he became president, he wanted to help others. one of the ways he did that was to strengthen the community college system. >> for our complete "american history tv" schedule, go to cspan.org. >> each week during the 2016 election, road to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. next, the 1996 debate between incumbent president bill clinton and former kansas senator bob dole. in hartford, connecticut, the
candidates discuss national security, government spending, medicare, and their personal philosophies. president clinton defeated bob dole with 49% of the popular vote to senator dole's 41%. this is just over 90 minutes. >> good evening from the bushell theater in hartford, connecticut. welcome to the first of the 1996 presidential debates between president bill clinton, the democratic nominee, and senator bob dole, the republican nominee. this event is sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. i it will last 90 minutes following a format and ruled worked out by the two campaigns. there will be two-minute opening and closing statements. in between, a series of questions, each having three parts. a 90-second answer, a 60-second rebuttal and a 30-second response. i will assist the candidates in
adhering to the time limits with a help of series of lights visible to both. under their rules, the candidates are not allowed to question each other directly. i will ask the questions. there are no limitations on the subjects. the order for everything tonight was determined by coin toss. now, to the opening statements and the president clinton. mr. president. >> thank you, jim. and thank you to the people of hartford, our host. i want to begin by saying again how much i respect senator dole and his record of public service. and how hard i will try to make this campaign and this debate one of ideas, not insults. four years ago, i ran for president at a time of high unemployment and rising frustration. i wanted to turn this country around with a program of opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and an american community where everybody has a role to play. i wanted a government that was smaller and less bureaucratic.
to help people have the tools to make the most of their own lives. four years ago, you took me on faith. now, there's a record. 10.5 million more jobs, rising incomes, falling crime rates and welfare roles. a strong america at peace. we are better off than we were four years ago. let's keep it going. we cut the deficit by 60%. now, let's balance the budget and protect education, and the environment. we cut taxes for 15 million working americans. now let's pass the tax cuts for education and child rearing, help with medical emergency and buying a home. we passed family and medical leave. now let's expand it so more people can succeed as parents in the workforce. we passed 100,000 police, the assault weapons ban, the brady bill. now let's keep going by finishing the work and putting the police on the street and tackling juvenile gangs. we passed welfare reform. now let's move a million people
from welfare to work, and most importantly, let's make education our highest priority so that every 8-year-old will be able to read, every 12-year-old can logon to the internet, every 18-year-old can go to liegcolle. we can build that bridge to the 21st century and i look forward to discussing exactly how we're going to do it. >> senator dole, two minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. president for those kind words. i thank the people of hartford, the commission, and all those out here who have made the listening or watching. it's a great honor for me to be here standing here as a republican nominee. i'm very proud to be the republican nominee reaching out to democrats and independents. i have three very special people, my wife elizabeth, my daughter robin who has never let me down, and a fellow named fra frank, from new york, along with dolly maninan, helped me out in
the mountains of italy a few years back. i learned from them that people do have tough times. and sometimes you can't go it alone. and that's what america is all about. i remember getting my future back from doctors and nurses, a doctor in chicago, and ever since that time, i tried to give something back to my country, to the people who are watching us tonight. america is the greatest place on the face of the earth. now, i know millions of you still have anxieties. you work harder and harder to make ends meet and put food on the table. you worry about the quality and the safety of your children, the quality of education. but even more importantly, you worry about the future and will they have the same opportunities that you and i have had.
and jack kemp and i want to share with you some ideas tonight. jack kemp is my running mate, doing an outstanding job. i'm a plain speaking man, and i learned long ago that your word was your bond. and i promise you tonight that i'll try to address your concerns and not try to exploit them. it's a tall order, but i have been running against the odds for a long time, and again, i'm honored to be here this evening. >> mr. president, first question. there's a major difference in your view of the role of the federal government and that of senator dole. how would you define the difference? >> well, jim, i believe that the federal government should give people the tools and try to establish the conditions in which they can make the most of their own lives. that, to me, is the key. and that leads me to some different conclusions from senator dole. for example, we have reduced the size of the federal government
to the smallest size in 30 years. we have reduced more regulations, eliminated more programs than my two republican predecessors, but i have worked hard for things like the family and medical leave law, the brady bill, the assault weapons ban, the program to put 100,000 police on the streets. all of these are programs that senator dole opposed that i supported because i felt they were a legitimate effort to help people make the most of their own lives. i worked hard to help families impart values to their own children. i supported the v-chip so parents can control what their kids watch on television when they're young, along with rating systems for television. i supported strong action against the tobacco companies to stop the marketing, advertising, and sale of tobacco to young people. i supported a big increase in the safe and drug-free schools program. these were areas on which senator dole and i differed, but i believe they were the right areas for america to be acting together as one country to help
individuals and families make the most of their own lives and raise their kids with good values and a good future. >> senator dole, one minute. >> i think the basic difference is, and i had some experience in this. i think the basic difference, i trust the people. the president trusts the government. think back and look at the health care plan he wanted to impose on the american people. one seventh the total economy. 17 new taxes, price control, 35 to 50 new bureaucracies that cost $1.5 trillion. don't forget, that happened in 1993. a tax increase, the tax everybody in america, not just the rich. if you made $25,000, you got your social security taxes increased. we had a btu tax turned into a $35 billion gas tax, a $265 billion tax increase. i guess i rely more on the individual. i carry a card around in my
pocket called the tenth amendment, where possible, i want to give power back to the states and back to the people. that's my difference than the president. we'll have specific differences later. he noted a few, but there are others. >> mr. president, 30 seconds. >> i trust the people. we have done a lot to give the people more powers to make their own decisions over they own lives, but i do think we are right when we try to, for example, give mothers and newborns 48 hours before they can be kicked out of a hospital, ending these drive-by deliveries. i think we were right to pass the kennedy bill that says you can't lose your health insurance just because you change jobs or because someone in your family has been sick. our government is smaller and less bureaucratic and has given more authority to the states than its two predhaves under republican presidents, but i believe we have to help our people get ready to succeed in the 21st century. >> senator dole, the president said in his opening statement, we are better off today than we were four years ago.
do you agree? >> well, he's better off than he was four years ago. >> i agree with that. that's right. >> i may be better off four years from now. but i don't know. i looked at the slowest growth in the century. he inherited a growth of 4.7% to fig 4.8%. now it's down to 2%. we're going to pass a million bankruptcies this year for the first time in history. we have stagnant wages. in fact, women's wages have dropped 2.2%. men's wages haven't gone up or gone down. we have stagnation. we have the highest foreign debt in history. and it seems to me that if you take a look, are you better off? well, i guess some may be better off. saddam hussein is probably better off than he was four years ago. are the american people?
they're working harder and harder and paying more taxes. for the first time in history, you pay about 40% of what you earn. more than you spend for food, clothing, and shelter combined for taxes under this administration. so some might be better off. they talk about family income being up. that's not true in connecticut. family income is down. it's up in some cases because both parents are working. one works for the family and one works to pay taxes for the government. we're going to give them a tax cut so they can spend more time with their children, maybe even take a vacation. that's what america is all about. >> mr. president, one minute. >> well, let me say first of all, in february, senator dole acknowledged that the american economy was in the best shape it's been in in 30 years. we have 10.5 million more jobs. a faster job growth rate than any republican administration since 1920. wages are going up for the first time in a decade. record numbers of new small
businesses. we have the biggest drop in the number of people in poverty in 27 years. all groups of people are growing. we had the biggest drop in income inequality in 27 years in 1995. the average family's income has gone up over $1,600 just since our economic plan passed. so i think it's clear that we're better off than we were four years ago. now we need to focus on what we need to do to be better off still. how can we help people as we are to get their retirements when they work for small businesses, to be able to afford health insurance, to be able to educate their comihildren. that's what i want to focus on, but we're clearly better off than four years ago as senator dole acknowledged this year. >> senator dole. >> i doubt i acknowledged that this year, but in any event, we just look at the facts. we asked the people who are viewing tonight, are you better off than you were four years ago? not whether we're better off. are you worker harder to get food on the table, drug use has
doubled the past 44 month all across america. crime has gone down, but it's because the mayors like rudy giuliani where one third of the drop happened in one city, in new york city. so yes, some may be better off. but to the people listening tonight, the working families who would benefit from an economic package, they will be better off when bob dole is president and jack kemp is vice president. >> mr. president, snoenator dol has come close in the last few days accusing you of lying on his position on medicare reform. have you done so? >> absolutely not. let's look at the position. first of all, remember in this campaign season, since senator dole has been a candidate, he has bragged about the fact that he voted against medicare in the beginning, in 1965. one of only 12 members, he said he did the right thing. he knew it wouldn't work at the time. that's what he said. in his budget he passed along with speaker gingrich cut medicare $270 billion. more than was necessary to
repair the medicare trust fund. it would have cost seniors more for out of pocket costs as well as premiums because doctors could have charged more. the american hospital association, nurses association, the catholic hospital association said hundreds of hospitals could close and people would be hurt badly under the dole/gingrich medicare plan i vetoed. and now, with this risky $550 billion tax screheme of senator dole's even his co-chair said they can't possibly pay for it without cutting medicare more and cutting social security as well. according to him. now, my balanced budget plan adds ten years to the life of the medicare trust fund. ten years. and we'll have time to deal with the long-term problems of the baby boomers. but it was simply wrong to finance their last scheme to cut medicare $270 billion to run the risk of it withering on the vine. we always have to reform it over the years, but we need someone
who believes in it to reform it. >> senator dole? >> well, i must say i look back at the vote on medicare in 1965, we had a program called elder care that also provided drugs and means tests for people who needed medical care and rsked it. i thought it was a good program. i supported medicare ever since. in fact, i used to go home, my mother would tell me, bob, all i've got is my social security and my medicare. don't cut it. i wouldn't violate anything my mother said, in fact, we had a conversation about our mothers one day. a very poignant conversation in the white house. i am concerned about health care. i have had the best health care, government hospitals, army hospitals, and i know its importance. but we have to fix it. it's his trustees, the president's trustees. not mine who say it's going to go broke. he doesn't fix it for ten years. we ought to appoint a commission just like we did for social security in 1983 when we rescued social security, and i was proud to be on that commission.
along with bob picker, the champion of senior citizens in florida. we can do it again if we take politics out of it. stop scaring the seniors, mr. president. you have already spent $45 million scaring seniors and tearing me apart. i think it's time to have a truce. >> mr. president. >> well, let me say, first of all, i would be happy to have a commission deal with this. i appreciate what senator dole did on the '83 security commission, but it won't be possible to do if his tax scheme passes because even his own campaign co-chair says he'll have to cut medicare even more than was cut in the bill that i vetoed. i vetoed that bill because it cut more medicare and basically ran the risk of breaking up the system. my balance budget plan puts ten years on medicare. we ought to do that, then we can have a commission. senator dole's plans are not good for the country. >> senator dole, speaking of your tax plan, do you still think that's a good idea, the
15% across the board tax cut? >> oh, yes, and you'll be eligible. >> me, too? >> so will the former president. >> i need it. >> the people need it. that's the point. this is not a wall street tax cut. this is a family tax cut. this is a main street tax cut. 15% across. we'll take a family making $35,000 a year. that's $1261. maybe some in this bushnell memorial, a couple kids, a working family, that's four or five months of day care, maybe a personal computer. may be three or four months of mortgage payments. this economic package is about families, but it's a six-point package. first, a balanced budget amendment of the constitution, which president clinton defeated. he twists arms and got democrats to vote the other way. it's balancing the budget by the year 2002. it's a tax cut cutting capital
gains 50% so you can create more jobs and more opportunities. it's estate tax relief. a $500 per child tax credit. about litigation reform. the president gets millions of dollar from trial lawyers, he probably doesn't like that provision. before i hit the ground, i had a call on my cell phone from a trial lawyer saying i think we have a case here. it's also a regulatory reform. these are good taxes and we would like your support. >> here's the problem. it sounds very good, but there's a reason that 500 economists including seven nobel prize winners and business periodicals like business week and even senator dole's friend senator warren rudman from new hampshire says it's not a practical program. it's a $550 billion tax scheme that will cause a big hole in the deficit. which will raise interest rates and slow down the economy and cause people to pay more for
home mortgages, car payments, credit card payments, college loans and small business loans. it's not good to raise the deficit. we worked too hard to lower it. it will actually raise taxes on 9 million people, and nirshz in addition to that, it will force bigger cuts than the ones that he and mr. gingrich passed that i vetoed last year. it sounds great, but our targeted tax cut for education, child rearing, health care and home buying which is paid for in my balanced budget plan, something he has not done, certified by the congressional budget office, that's the right way to go. >> senator dole? >> the president wants to increase spending 20%. i want to increase spending 14%. that's how simple it is. i want the government to pinch pennies for a change instead of american families. we're talking about six percentage points over six years. with that money, you give it back to the working people. you also provide studenopportun scholarships for lower income
parents who have a better choice in sending their children to school. it will work. when it does, i know you'll congratulate me. >> mr. president, the senator mentioned trial lawyers and that means campaign financing. how do you personally avoid being unduly influenced by people who give you money or services in your campaigns? >> well, i try to articulate my positions as clearly as possible. tell people what i stand for and let them decide whether they're going to support me or not. the senator mentioned trial lawyers. in the case of the product liability bill, which they passed and i vetoed, i think that's what he's talking about. i wanted to sign that bill and i told the people exactly what the congress exactly what kind of bill i would sign. now, a lot of trial lawyers didn't want me to sign any bill at all, but i thought we should do what we could to cut frivolous lawsuits, but they wouldn't make the changes i thought should be may. i had a person in the oval office who lost a child in a school bus accident where a
drunk driver caused the accident directly but there were problems with the school bus. the drunk driver had no money. under the new bill, if i had signed it, a person like that could never have had any recovery. i thought that was wrong. so i gave four or five specific examples to the congress, and i said, prove to me that these people could recover but we're going to eliminate frivolous lawsuits, i'll sign the bill. but generally, i believe that a president has to be willing to do what he thinks is right. i have done a lot of things that were controversial. my economic plan, my trade position, bosnia, haiti. taking on the nra for the first time, taking on the tobacco companies for the first time. sometimes you just have to do that because you know it's right for the country over the long run. that's what i tried to do and what i will continue to do as pred. >> senator dole? >> how does he avoid conflict? well, i don't know in the case of the trial lawyers. i look at the trial lawyers and you run out to hollywood and pick up $2 million to $4 million and organized labor comes to
washington, d.c. and puts $35 million in at a pop. if these aren't special interests, i have a lot to learn. i was there for a while before i left on june 11th. the trial lawyers, i don't -- you know, my wife is a lawyer. we're the only two lawyers in washington who trust each other, but we're lawyers. i like lawyers. i don't dislike trial lawyers. but it seems to me there has to be some end to frivolous lawsuits and some camp on punitive damage. you're putting a lot of business people out of business. small business men and women who pay 70% of your $265 billion tax increase, the largest tax increase in the history of america. i said that one day and one of the democrats said no, on the history of the world. so i modified it. the largest tax increase in the history of the world. it seems to me that there's a problem there, mr. president. and i will address you as mr. president. you didn't do that with president bush in 1992. >> mr. president? >> let me say, first of all, i
signed a tort reform bill that dealt with civilian aviation a couple years ago. i proved i will sign reasonable tort reform. secondly, senator dole had some pretty harsh comments about special interest money, fwut wasn't me who opposed what we tried to do to save the lives of children who are subject to tobacco, and then went to the tobacco growers and bragged about standing up for the federal government when we tried to stop the advertising, marketing, and sales of tobacco to children, and it wasn't me who let the polluters come into the halls of congress, into the rooms and rewrite the environmental laws. that's what speaker gingrich and senator dole did, not me. >> that's not true. >> i believe we should take a different approach to this and talk about how we stand on the issues instead of trying to characterize each other's motivations. i think senator dole and i just honestly disagree. >> senator dole, let me ask you the same question. how do you avoid being influenced by people who contribute money and services to your campaign? >> it's very difficult.
let's be honest about it. that's why we need campaign finance reform. that's why i reach out to the u perot voters. they're looking at the republican record. whatever it is, whatever the check list was in '92, it's all done with campaign finance reform. i worked with senator mitchell who played me in the debate warmup. we tried six or eight years agoads he appointed three people, i appointed three people to try to get campaign finance reform. we couldn't get it done because it wasn't enforceable. you suggested a commission, newt gingrich did, i did at least three our four years ago. we sent it to congress to vote it up or down. that's how it works. we're never going to fix it by the problems because the democrats want a better veg, we want a better republicans, and that's not how it's going to work. i want to touch on the tobacco thing. i want to go back to 1965. that is my first vote against
tobacco companies. i said we ought to label cigarettes. i had a consistent record since 1965. we passed a bill in 1992 to encourage the states to adopt programs to stop kids from smoking. all 50 states did it. it took three and a half years. it wasn't an election year, you wouldn't have thought about stopping smoking. what about drugs that increased double in the last 44 months. cocaine up 141%, marijuana. cocaine up 176%. it seems to me nat you have a selective memory. mine doesn't work that way, so i'm going to try to correct it as we go along. >> mr. lehrer, i hope we'll have a chance to discuss drugs later in the program, but let me respond to what he said. i agree too many incumbent politicians in washington in both parties have consistently opposed campaign fnls reform. that was certainly the case from the minute i got there. after speaker gingrich and senator dole took over the
congress, i went to new hampshire and a man suggested, a gentleman who passed away a few day said ago, suggested we appoint a commission. i shook hands on it, appointed my members, and the commission never met. then senator dole's ardent supporters, senator mccain along with senator feingold supported -- sponsored a campaign finance reform proposal. i strongly supported it, and members of senator dole's own party in the senate killed it. he was not out there urging them to vote for the mccain/feingold bill. i think the american people, including the perot supporters know i have had a consistent record in favor of campaign fnls reform and i will continue to have, and i hope we get it in the next session of congress because we need it badly. >> nsenator dole, 30 second. >> on campaign reform itself, we'll get it when we have a bipartisan commission, take it out of politics, people who don't have interest in politics but understand the issue. we're noting anybody, mr. president. these sophisticated people
watching, millions and millions of americans. they know the republican party hasn't done it. they know the democratic party won't do it. somebody else has to do it and we'll vote the up or down. >> the senator mentioned drugs. he suggested in the past that you bear some responsibility for the rise in drug use of teenagers in the united states. is he right? >> well, jim, i think every american in any position of responsibility should be concerned about what's happened. i am. but let's look at the overall record. overall in america, cocaine use has dropped 30% in the last four years. casual drug use down 13%. the tragedy is that our young people are still increasing their use of drugs. up to about 11% total with marijuana. and i regret it. let me tell you what i tried to do about it. i appointed a four-star general who led our efforts south of the border to keep drugs coming into
our country, the most heavily decorated soldier in uniform. we have dramatically increased control and enforcement at the border. we supported a crime bill that had 60 death penalties including the death penalty for drug kingpins and i supported a big expansion of the safe and drug-free schools program to support things like the d.a.r.e. program because i thought all those things were very important. do i think that i bear some responsibility for the fact that too many of our children still don't understand drugs are wrong, drugs can kill you, even though i have consistently opposed the legalization of drugs my public life and worked hard against them? i think we all do and i think we can do better. i don't think this issue should be politicized because my record is clear. i don't think senator dole supports using drugs. i think we have to continue to work on this until those who think it isn't dangerous and won't kill them and won't destroy their lives get the message and change. >> senator? >> well, again, you're very selective, mr. president.
you don't want to plioliticize drugs, but it's all right to politicize medicare and scare senior citizens and other vulnerable groups, veterans and people who get pell grants. it seems to me that the record is clear. the record is pretty clear in arkansas when you were governor, drug use doubled. you resisted the appointment of a drug czar there because you thought it might interfere with treatment. here, you cut the drug zaczar's office 83%. i want to stop it from coming across the border. in my administration, we're going to train the national guard to stop it from coming across the border. this is an invasion of drugs from all over the world. and we have a responsibility. you had a surgeon or before general mccafferty, you had a general who said we ought to legalize drugs. i won't comment on other things that happened in your administration or yourdrugs, bu
if they start it, they ought to stop, and just don't do it. >> mr. president? >> let me say again, we did have a drug czar in arkansas, but he answered to the governor just like this one answers to the president. that's what i thought we ought to do. secondly, senator dole, you voted against the drug bill, and you voted to cut services to 23 million school children in the safe and drug-free schools act. i don't think that means you're soft on drugs. we just have a different approach. but let me remind you my family has suffered from drug abuse. i know what it's like to see somebody you like nearly lose their lives and i hate drugs, senator. we need to do this together, and we can. >> senator dole, on the government continuing to talk about the government's role, if elected president, would you seek to repeal the brady bill and the ban on assault weapons?
>> not if i didn't have a better idea, but i have a better idea. it's something i worked on for 15 years. it's called the automated check or the instant check. it's being used in 17 states right now, states like florida, colorado, virginia, and other states. you don't buy any guns, you don't get any guns. we have 20 million names on a computer in washington, d.c. of people who should not have guns. we ought to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and there are eight other categories that should not have guns. i have been working on this for a long, long time. you walk in, you put your little card in there. if it says tilt, you don't get any guns. you don't get a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun. you get zippo. if we're going to protect america's children and american families and people who live as prisoners in their own home, we have to stop guns from being dumped on the streets. the administration says they support the instant check.
they appropriated about $200 million, only spent about $3 million to get it under way. in our administration, in my administration, we will expedite this. expedite this, keeps up with technology, it keeps guns out of the hands of people who should not have guns. that is the bottom line. and i believe it is a good idea, has strong bipartisan support. and perhaps that's another thing we can depoliticize. you talk about the brady bill. there's only been one prosecution under the assault weapon ban and only seven under the brady bill that you talk about all the time. on the assault weapon bans, out of 17 weapons that were banned, only six banned now because 11 have been modified and are back on the street. let's get together on this instant check because that will really make a difference. >> let me say first of all, senator dole has gone back and forth about whether he'd be for repealing the brady bill or repealing the assault weapons ban. i think his present position is that he would not do so.
if that's true, i'm grateful for it. but let's look at the facts here. the brady bill has kept at least 60,000 felons, fugitives and stalkers from getting handguns. senator dole led the fight against the brady bill. he tried to keep it from coming to my desk. he didn't succeed and i signed it and i'm glad i did. then when we had the assault weapons ban in the senate, senator dole fought it bitterly and opposed the entire crime bill and almost brought the entire crime bill down because the national rifle association didn't want the you a sault weapons ban. just like they didn't want the brady bill. but two years later nobody's lost their handguns -- i mean their rifles. we've expanded the brady bill to cover people who beat up their spouses and their kids. and this is a safer country. so i'm glad i took on that fight and i believe with all respect i was right and he was wrong. >> the president doesn't have it quite right. it seemed to me at the time that
the assault weapon ban was not effective, that's history. i told the nra that's history. i'm not going to worry about it anymore. let's do something better. let's stop playing the political game, mr. president, talking about in and this. you add up all the states that have used the instant check and hou how many weapons they've kept out of the hands of criminals would far surpass the number you mentioned. in my view if you want to be protected you ought to vote for bob dole and we'll get the instant check passed and we'll keep guns out of the hands of criminals. >> mr. president, senator dole said the other day that you practiced a photo-op foreign policy that has lessened the credibility of the united states throughout the world. is he wrong about that? >> if that's what he said, he's not right about that. look at where we are today. the united states is still the indispensable nation in the aftermath of cold war and on the brink of the 21st century. i have worked to support our country as the world's strongest force for peace and freedom,
prosperity and security. we have done the following things. number one, we've managed the aftermath of the cold war, supporting a big drop in nuclear weapons in russia. the removal of russian troops from the baltics. the integration of central and eastern european democracies into the new partnership with nato, and i might add, with the democratic russia. there are no nuclear missiles pointed at the children of the united states tonight, and have not been in our administration for the first time since the dawn of the nuclear age. we have worked hard for peace and freedom. when i took office, haiti was governed by a dictator that had defied the united states. when i took office, the worst war in europe was waging in bosnia. now there is a democratically elected president in haiti. peace in bosnia. we've just had elections there. we made progress in northern ireland, in the middle east. we've also stood up to the new
threats of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. organized crime. and, we have worked hard to expand america's economic presence around the world with the biggest increase in trade with the largettes number of new trade agreements in history. that's one of the reason america's number one in auto production again. >> well, i have a different. again, i supported the president on bosnia. i think we were told troops would be out in a year. now i understand it has been extended until some time next year. but let's start with somalia where they dragged americans through the streets and 18 americans were killed one day because they didn't have -- they were pinned down for eight hours, rangers, they didn't have the weapons, they didn't have the tanks. they asked for tanks but they didn't get the tanks from this sfrags because we were nation building. it is called mission creep. we turned it over at the united nations. president didn't have much to do about it. haiti we spent about $3 billion. we got an alarm call there two weeks ago, you got to send down
more people because the president found out there are death squads on his own property so we need more protection from america. bosnia, northern ireland, there's no cease-fire. in bosnia i still there's still lots of problems in bosnia. we agreed to train and arm the muslims so they could defend themselves pcht poli themselves. the policy you had when you ran in 1992 you haven't done that. we're behind which means americans can't come home. >> first of all, i take full responsibility for what happened at somalia. but the american people must remember that those soldiers were under an american commander when that happened. i believe they did the best they could under the circumstances, and let's not forget that hundreds of thousands of lives were saved there. secondly, in haiti political violence is much, much smaller than it was. thirdly, in bosnia, it is a
virtual miracle that there has been no return to war and at least there has now been an election and the institutions are beginning to function. in northern ireland and the middle east, we are better off than we were four years ago. there will always be problems in this old world, but if we're moving in the right direction and america is leading, we're better off. >> senator dole, if elected president, what criteria would you use to decide when to send u.s. troops into harm's way? >> well, after world war i, we had a policy of disengagement. world war ii we had sort of a compulsory engagement policy. now i think we have to have a selective engagement policy. we have it to determine when our interests are involved, not the united nations' interests. many of the things the president talked about he'd turn over to the united nations. they decided. he's deployed more troops than any president in history around the world. it's cost us billions and billions of dollars for
peacekeeping operations. these are facts. it seems to me that when you make a decision, the decision is made by the president of the united states, by the commander in chief. he makes that decision when he commits young men or young women who are going to go out and defend our liberty and our freedom. that would be my position. then i'm going to have a top-down review at the pentagon. not a bottom-up review where we all fight over how much money is there. i want a top-down review to determine where our priorities are and what we should do in defense, and then follow that policy instead of this bottom-up review with all of the services fighting for the money. you know, the president said he was going to cut defense $60 billion. he cut defense $112 billion, devastated states like california and others. i think now we've got a problem. we've got to go back and look. it is just like you said in texas one day, you raise taxes too much, and you did, and you cut defense too much, mr. president, and you did. you may have said that, too. but the bottom line is, we are the strongest nation in the
world. we provide the leadership, and we're going to have to continue to provide the leadership. but let's do it on our terms when our interests are involved. and not when somebody blows the whistle at the united nations. >> our military is the strongest military in the world. it is the strongest, best prepared, best equipped it has ever been. there is very little difference in the budget that i proposed and the republican budget over the next six-year period. we are spending a lot of money to modernize our weapons system. i have proposed a lot of new investments to improve the quality of life for our soldiers. for our men and women in uniform, for their families, for their training. that is my solemn obligation. you ask when do you decide to deploy them? the interest of the american people must be at stake. our values must be at stake. we have to be able to make a difference. frankly, we have to consider what the risks are to our young men and women in uniform. but i believe the evidence is that our deployments have been successful in haiti, in bosnia,
when we moved to kuwait to repel saddam hussein's threatened invasion of kuwait, when i have sent the fleet into the taiwan straits, when we've worked hard to end the north korean nuclear threat. i believe the united states is at peace tonight, in part, because of the discipline, careful, effective deployment of our military resources. >> senator dole? >> i failed to mention north korea and cuba a while ago. you look at north korea where they have enough plutonium to build six nuclear bombs, where we've sort of distanced ourself from our allies, they lost about a million people in the korean war, the forgotten war. we he lost 53,000 americans. we shouldn't be doing any favors for north korea. it is closed society. we don't have any inspection, don't know whether it is going to work or not. but we keep giving them incentives. someone calls them something else. here we have cuba 90 piles fr 9 our shores and it seemed to me
if you want to send a signal, you've got to send a signal, mr. president. the sooner the better. put tougher sanctions on castro, not try to make it easier for him. >> whmr. president, what is you attitude toward cuba and how cuba should be treated? >> first of all, for the last four years we have worked hard to bring about more pressure on castro. in 1992 before i became president congress passed the cuba democracy act and i enforced it vigorously. we made the embargo tougher but we increased contacts, people to people, with the cubans, including direct telephone service which was largely supported by the cuban-american community. then, cuba shot down two of our planes and murdered four people in international airspace. they were completely beyond the pale of the law, and i signed the legislation.
senator dole is correct -- i did give about six months before the effective date of the act before lawsuits can actually be filed, even though they're effective now, and can be legally binding. because i want to change cuba. and the united states needs help from other countries. nobody in the world agrees with our policy on cuba now, but this law can be used as leverage to get other countries to help us to move cuba to democracy. every single country in latin america, central america, and the caribbean is a democracy tonight but cuba. and if we stay firm and strong, we will be able to bring cuba around as well. >> that's the point i made. we have to be firm and strong, and i hope that will happen. will happen starting next january and maybe can happen the balance of this year. we have not been firm and strong. you look at the poor people who still live in cuba, it is a haven for drug smugglers and we don't have a firm policy when it
comes to fidel castro. in my view, the policy is failed. so congress passes a law, the president signs it like he does a lot of things, like welfare reform. well, i'm going to sign it but i'm going to try to change it next year. a lot of these election year conversions -- president talked about all the drug money and all this anti-smoking campaign, all happened in 1996. i think the people viewing that ought to go back and take a look at the record. when he fought a balanced budget amendment. when he gave you that biggest tax increase in history. when he tried to take over your health care system. when he fought regulatory reform that cost the average family $6,000 to $7,000 a year. this is serious business. it is about your family. it is about your business. and in this case, it is about a firmer policy with cuba. >> there were several off-the-subject items in that litany. senator dole voted for $900 billion in tax increases. his running mate, jack kemp,
once said bob dole never met a tax he didn't hike. [ laughter ] and everybody knows, including the "wall street journal," hardly a friend of this democratic administration, that the '82 tax increase he sponsored was the biggest tax increase in american history. we ought to at least get the facts out here on the table so we can know where to go from here. >> senator dole, you mentioned health reform several times. what do you think should be done about the health care system? >> let me first answer that question about the 1982 tax cut. we were closing loopholes. we were going after big corporations. i know you probably would oppose it, mr. president, but i think we should have a fair system and flatter system and we'll have a fairer, flatter system and we're going to make the economic package work. health care, we finally passed the bill that wanted to give us this big system that took over one-seventh of the economy, put on price controls, created all these state alliances.
would cost $1.5 trillion and force people into managed care, whether they want it or not. most people want to see their own doctor. they're going to see their own doctor when bob dole is president. we won't threaten anybody. so we passed the bill that will cover 20 million to $25 million people. we've been for that for five or six years. the president held it up. when it got closer to passage senator kennedy held it up because it didn't satisfy one provision. if you change your job you're going to be covered. a lot of good things in this bill that we should have done. instead of trying to massive, massive takeover by the federal government. but then of course you had a democratic congress and they didn't want to do that. until we got a republican congress we finally got action and i'm very proud of my colleagues in the republican party for getting that done. it means a lot to a lot of people watching us tonight. >> well, that sounds very good, but it's very wrong.
senator dole remembers well that we actually offered not to even put in a health care bill in 1994, '93, but instead to work with the senate republicans and write a joint bill. and they said, no, because they got a memo from one of their political advisors saying that, instead, they should characterize whatever we did as big government and make sure nothing was done to aid health care before the '94 elections so they could make that claim. well, maybe we bit off more than we could chew, but we're pursuing the step by step reform now. bill that i signed will make possible for 25 million people to keep their health insurance when they change jobs or somebody in their family's been sick. i signed a bill to stop these drive-by deliveries where insurance companies can force people out of the hospital after 24 hours. i vetoed senator dole's medicare plan that would have forced a lot of seniors into managed care and taken a lot more money out of their pockets and led to
medicare withering on the vine. >> well, many cprovisions in tht bill were my provisions, like deductions for long-term care, making certain that self-employed people can deduct about 30%, but 80% you pay for premiums. you can also deduct long-term care now so it is a good start. we're even looking at our tax cut proposal, our economic package. it may be a way to reach out to the uninsured, particularly children should be covered. another way you can do is expand medicaid. in america no one will go without health care. no one will go without food. senator, sorry. finish your sentence. sorry. >> food. >> food. [ laughter ] >> back to foreign affairs for a moment, mr. president. were you satisfied with the way that you handled this last iraq
crisis and the end result? >> well, i believe that we did the appropriate thing under the circumstances. saddam hussein is under a u.n. resolution not to threaten his neighbors or repress his own citizens. unfortunately, a lot of people have never been as concerned about the kurds as the united states has tried to be. we've been flying an operation to protect them out of tof turk for many years now. what happened is one of the kurdish leaders invited him to go up north, but we felt, since the whole world community had told him not to do it, that once he did it, we had to do something. we did not feel that i could commit -- i certainly didn't feel i should commit american troops to throw him out of where he had gone, and that was the only way to do that. so the appropriate thing strategically to do was to reduce his and the to threaten his neighbors. we did that by expanding what's called a no-fly zone by
increasing our allies' control of the airspace from the border to the suburbs of baghdad. was it the right thing to do? i believe it was. is it fully effective? did it make him withdraw from the north? well, he has a little bit, and i hope he will continue. we have learned that if you give him an inch, he'll take a mile. we had to do something, and even though not all of our allies supported it at first, i think most of them now believe that what we did was an appropriate thing to do. >> senator dole? >> well, the president's own cia director says that saddam is stronger now than he was. and i don't understand extending the no-fly zone in the south when the trouble was in the north. what we've done during the bush administration, the kurds were at the state department negotiating trying to work their differences out. now we've got all thousands and thousands of refugees, we're even shipping i guess 3,000 kurds to guam. it involves turkey. it's a real problem and saddam is probably stronger than he ever was. we shot what? 44 cruise missiles, they're
worth about $1,200,000 a piece. hit some radar that repaired in a couple three days. did we inflict any damage? no. did we have any allies helping? well, we have great britain. they are always very loyal to us and i appreciate that. and of course, kuwait, even though though had to find out, they had 5,000 troops coming, they didn't understand that. we had to get their permission. brat tomorrow line is we went in there alone. we were supposed to be operating under u.n. resolution. we did it without any of our allies that helped us in the gulf. >> senator dole has two or three times before tonight criticized me for working with the u.n. now i'm being criticized for not working with the u.n. sometimes the united states has to act alone, or at least has to act first. sometimes we cannot let other countries have the veto on our foreign policy. i could not send soldiers in to the north of iraq. that would have been wrong. i could reduce saddam hussein's ability to threaten kuwait and his other neighbors again.
that's what i did. i still believe it was the right thing to do. >> senator dole, on your photo-op foreign policy charge against the president -- >> not mine. >> no, no, i mean your charge against the president that he has a photo-op foreign policy. does the middle east summit last week fall into that category? >> well, there were some good pictures. but does it fall into that category? i don't know. i want to be very serious. i supported the president when i thought he was right on bosnia. i supported him on nafta and gap. so it is not that we always disagree. others disagreed with us. the mideast is very difficult. but it seemed to me just as an observer that before you'd call somebody to america, you'd have some notion what the end result might be. maybe it is better just tho go together and sit down and talk. maybe that was the purpose.
i know talks have continued, started again today. but again, it is almost like an ad hoc foreign policy. it is ad hoc. sort of we get up in the morning and read the papers. what country's in trouble, we'll have a meeting. to me, that's not the strategy i think people expect from america. i think we have lost credibility. i say this very honestly. without any partisanship. we've lost credibility around the world. our allies are not certain we're going to do, what our reaction, what our response is going to be. nobody suggested sending troops to iraq if that was the hint there from the president. but i do think that saddam hussein is stronger than he was. and i do believe that he didn't gain a great deal in the middle east by bringing 3 of the 4 leaders. one refused to come to washington, d.c. >> we have a very consistent policy in the middle east. it is to support the peace process, to support the security of israel, and to support those who are prepared to take risks for peace.
it is a very difficult environment. the feelings are very strong. th there are extremists in all parts of the middle east who want to kill that peace process. prime minister rabin gave his life because someone in his own country literally hated him for trying to bring peace. i would like to have had a big organized summit, but those people were killing each other. rapidly. innocent arab children. innocent israeli people. they were dying. and there is -- so much trust is broken down in the aftermath of the change of government. i felt that if i could just get the parties together to say, let's stop the violence, start talking, commit to the negotiations, that would be a plus. now today the secretary of state is in the middle east and they've started negotiations, and all those leaders promised me they would not quit until they resolved the issues between them and got the peace process going forward again. >> senator dole? >> well, i was disappointed the
president did not call for an unconditional end to the violence. seemed to me the violence had stopped when these leaders came to america. the killing and the tragedies had taken place and it is unfortunate. and it is a difficult area, no doubt about it. it shouldn't be politicized in any way by the president or by his opponent. i don't intend to politicize it. i hope that they'll talk and i hope they reach some result and that the killing will end. >> mr. president, in your acceptance speech in chicago, you said the real choice in this race is "whether we build a bridge to the future or bridge to the past, about whether we believe our best days are still out there, or our best days are behind us, about whether we want a country of people all working together, or one where you're on your own." are you saying that you believe senator dole is a man of the past, and if elected president, he would lead the country backwards? >> well, i'm saying that senator
dole said in his fine speech in san diego that he wanted to build a bridge to the past. and i think i know what he meant by that. he's troubled, as i am, by some of the things that go on today. but i believe america is the greatest country in human history because we have maintained freedom and increasing prosperity by relentlessly pushing the barriers of knowledge, the barriers of the present always moving into the future. that's why when i became president i was determined to kind of move beyond this old stale debate that had gone on in washington for too long to get this country moving again. that's why we've got a country with 10.5 million more jobs and record numbers of new businesses, rising incomes, falling crime rates and welfare roll rates. why we're moving in the right direction. i'm trying to emphasize that what i want to do is to continue to do that. that's why my balanced budget plan will still invest and grow this economy. that's why i want a tax cut for
education and childrearing but it's got to be paid for. that's why i want to continue the work we have done over partisan opposition to work with communities to bring that crime rate down until our streets are all safe again. these are my commitments. i am very oriented toward the future. i think this election has to be geared toward the future. i think america's best days are still ahead. but we got to build the right bridge. >> senator dole? >> you know, the president reminds me sometimes of my brother kenny who's no longer alive. but kenny was a great talker. and he used to tell me things that i knew were not quite accurate so he alwawe always ha rule. we divided by six. maybe in your case, maybe just two. but 11 million new jobs and -- i mean the president can't credit for everything governors are doing, whether it is happening in new york city when it comes to the murder rate, and then not be responsible for the bad things that happen, whether it is drug use or something else in america. so it seems to me that we can talk about -- we called kenny
the great exaggerator. he just liked to make it sound better. made him feel better. when we talk about bridges, i want a bridge to the future, we also want a bridge to the truth. we need to tell the truth. we have people watching and listening tonight trying to find the truth and the truth is there is a lot wrong with america. we need a strong economic package. we need a tax cut. we need $500 child credit and we'll have that soon. >> mr. president? >> i do not for a moment think i am entitled to all the credit for the good things that have happened in america. but where i have moved to work with the american people to help them have the tools to make the most of their own lives i think i should get some credit for that. i also personally took responsibility tonight when senator dole asked me about the drug problem. but you know, i think my ideas are better for the future. senator dole voted against student loans, against head start, against creating the department of education.
if he gets elected president we'll start the new century without anyone in the cabinet of the president representing education and our children. i personally don't thinks thi t the right kind of future for america and i think we ought to take a different tack. >> do yit was a tribute to prest carter and the national education association. we sent a lot of delegates to the democratic convention who give 99.5% of their money to democrats and the president. lot of the teachers send their kids to private schools or better public schools. so what we want to do is call opportunity scholarships. some say, oh, are you republican, you can't be reaching out to tease people. ive i've reached out to people all my life. i work on the foot stamp program and the wick program with some
of my democratic friends. i'm not some extremist. i care about people. i have my own little foundation that's raised $10 million for the disabled. i don't advertise it. just did. haven't before. i try to do a lot of things that i think might be helpful to people. it seems to me that we ought to take that money we can save from the department of education, put it in opportunity scholarships and tell little shakespeare out in cleveland, ohio and tell your mother and father you're going to get to go to school because we're going to match what the state puts up and you're going to get to go to the school of your choice. i don't fault the president or vice president for sending their children to private or better schools. i applaud them for it. i don't criticize them. but why shouldn't everybody have that choice? why shouldn't low-income americans an low middle income americans. i many a excited about it. it is going to be a big, big opportunity for a lot of people. >> let me say first of all, i'm all for students having more choices. we've worked hard to expand public school choice and my
balanced budget bill there's funds for 3,000 new schools created by teachers and parents, sometimes by business people called charter schools, that have no rules. they're free of bureaucracy and can only staytenseexics existene if they perform. senator dole wants to take away all federal funds and help fewer. a private voucher plan ought to be done at the state or local level but senator dole voted against student loans, he voted against my improved student loan plan. he voted against the national service bill, against the head start bill. he voted against our efforts in safe and drug-free schools. he has voted against these programs. he does in the believe it. that's the issue. 790% of our kids are out in there those public schools an we need to lift their standards and move them forward with the programs like those i've outlined in this campaign. >> i better correct the president. i don't know what time it is but
it is probably getting late but i want to correct the president. all these things i videoed against. any were probably part of some big package that had a lot of pork in it or a lot things we shouldn't have had and we probably voted no. i've supported all the education programs. i supported head start. i don't want anybody out there to think we've just been voting no, no, no. let's give low-income parents the same right as people of power and prestige have in america and lhelp them go to better schools. let's take power back from the national teacher association. >> i support school choice. i support school choice. i have soaked expansions of public school choice alternatives and the creation of 3,000 new schools that we are going to help the states to finance. but if you're going to have a private voucher plan, that ought to be determined by states and localities where they're raising and spending most of the money. i simply think it is wrong to take money away from programs that are helping build basic
skills for kids, 90% of them are in the public schools, to take money away from programs that are helping fund the school lunch program, that are helping to fund the other programs that are helping our schools to improve their standards. our schools are getting better and our schools can be made to be even better still with the right kind of community leadership and partnership at the school level. i have been a strong force for reform. senator, i remind you that a few years ago when i supported teacher testing law in my home state, i was pretty well lambasted by the teachers association. i just don't believe we ought to be out there running down teachers and attacking them the way you did at the republican convention. i think we ought to be lifting them up and moving our children forward. and let me just say, that budget you passed that i vetoed would have cut 50,000 kids out of head start. it would have eliminated the americorps plan and it would have cut back on student loans and scholarships. now it would have. that's a fact. that's one of the big reasons i
vetoed it. we need to be doing more in education, not less. >> well, the americorps program, i must say, if that's one of your successes, i wouldn't speak about it too loudly. it's cost $27,000 to pay people who volunteer. we've got 4 million young people volunteering every year. number hasn't gone down. you pick out 20,000 whether they need the money or not and they get paid for volunteering. i like young people. py like teachers. i am a product of public schools. you attended a private school for some time in your life. i like teachers. but you're not for school choice. you can't be for school choice because this is that special interest money again. when you get 99.5% of the money, we don't know what happened to the other .5%. we are looking for it. somebody got it. but it all went to democrats. and this is part of that liberal establishment, one of those liberal things that you just can't do. you're for school uniforms an curfews and you're opposed to truancy. now that's not reform, mr. president. why can't landale shakespeare in
cleveland give their opportunity to go to a better school? some schools aren't even safe. your choice is nothing. let's give them a real choice, the kind of choice you have and the kind of choice a lot of people have in america. if we want to stop crime and teenage pregnancy, let's start with education. >> first of all, senator dole, let's set the record straight. i was able for two years when i was in a very young boy to go to a catholic school but i basically went to public schools all my life. and i've worked hard for a long time to make them better. 90% of our kids are there. it's amazing to me, you are all for having more responsibility at the local level for everything except schools. where we don't have very much money at the federal level to spend on education. we ought to spend it helping the 90% of the kids that we can help. if a local school district in cleveland or any place else wants to have a private school choice plan like milwaukee did, let them have at it. i might say the results are highly ambiguous. but i want to get out there and
give a better education opportunity to all of our children and that's why i vetoed the budget that you passed with $30 billion in education cuts. it was wrong and my plan for the future is better. >> senator dole, at the republican convention, you said the following, and i quote. "it is demeaning to the nation that within the clinton administration, a core of the elite who never grew up, never did anything real, never sacrificed, never suffered and never learned, should have the power to fund with your earnings their dubious and self-serving schemes." whom precisely and what precisely did you have in mind? >> i had precisely in mind a lot of the people that were in the white house and other agencies who have never been -- had any experience, who came to washington without any experience, they all are very liberal, of course, or they wouldn't be in the administration. their idea was that they knew what was best for the american people. now i feel very strongly about a lot of things. i feel strongly about education.
i want to help young people have an education. just as i had an education after world war ii with the gi bill of rights. we've had millions of young men and women in subsequent wars change the face of the nation because the government helped with their education. now the reason they don't have -- the reason the president can't support this is pretty obvious. it's not taking anything away from schools. it is new money, it is not going to be taken away from anybody else except it will downside the department of education. but this is a very liberal administration that gave you a big tax cut, it tried too take over health care and impose a governmental system. this is the administration that fought regulatory reform that's putting a lot of small businessmen and business women out of business. this is the administration that fought the balanced budget amendment and vetoed a balanced budget and vetoed welfare reform twice and the list goes on and on and on. that's what i had in mind. i want people in my administration and will have people in my administration who
understand america. there won't be ten millionaires and 14 lawyers in the cabinet. there will be people with experience and people who understand america and people who have made it and know hard knocks in life. >> when senator dole made that remark with all the elitists, young elitists in in the administration, one the young men who works for me, grew up in a house trailer, looked at me and said, mr. president, i knew how you grew up with be who is he talking about? this liberal charge, that's what their party always drags out when they get in a tight race. it is their golden oldie. it is a record they think they can play that everybody loves to hear. [ laughter ] i just don't think that dog will hunt this time. the american people should make up their own mind. here's the record. we cut the deficit four years in a row for the first time since before the civil war. i mean before world war ii, and maybe before the civil war, too. [ laughter ]
we've got 10 1/2 million new jobs. we have record number of small businesses, every one of them eligible for a tax cut. declining welfare rolls and a 50% increase in child support and a crime bill with 60 death penalties, 1 00,000 police and the assault weapons ban. the american people can make up their mind about whether that's a liberal record or a record that's good for america. liberal, conservative, you put whatever label you want on it. >> i think it is pretty liberal. i'll put that label on it. you take a look at all the programs you've advocated, mr. president, thank goodness we had a republican congress there. the first thing you did when you came into office was send up a stimulus package. say we got a little pork we want to scatter around america. $16 billion. even some in your own party couldn't buy that. i remember talking to them on the telephone. i'm not even certain you were too excited about it. i never repeat what i talk with the president about. any event, we saved the taxpayers $16 billion. then came some other programs, then came health care, then came the tax increase.
a lot of these things just stopped in 1994 because then the congress changed. i think we've done a good job. >> mr. president, if you're not a liberal, describe your political philosophy. >> i believe that the purpose of politics is to give people the tools to make the most of their own lives, to reinforce the values of opportunity and responsibility, and to build a sense of community so we're all working together. i don't believe in discrimination. i believe you can protect the environment and grow the economy. i believe that we have to do these things with a government that's smaller and less bureaucratic but that we have to do them, nonetheless. it is inconvenient for senator dole, but the truth is i've reduced the size of government more than my republican predecessors. and i did stop them -- i admit that, i sure stopped their budget. their budget cut enforcement for the environmental protection agency by one-third. it cut funds to clean out toxic waste dumps with 10 our kids
still living within four miles of a toxic waste dump by one-third. it ended the principles polluters should pay for those tax dumps unless it was very recent. their budget weakened our support for education $30 billion and even cut funds f scholarships. finally, their budget withdrew the national guarantee of health care to poor children, families with children with handicaps, the elderly and nursing homes, poor pregnant women. it was wrong for country, and calling it conservative won't make it right. it was a bad decision for america and would have been bad for our future if i hadn't stopped it. >> well, the president can define himself in any way he wants but i think we have to look at the record. you go back to the time he was texas director for george mcgovern. george mcgovern is a friend of mine but he was a liberal, proud
liberal. i just finish reading a book, i think it is called -- talking about all the liberal influences in the administration, whether organized labor or hollywood elite or whether some of the media elite or whether it is the labor unions or whatever. so i think you take a look at it. bottom line is this. i think the american people want to know what's going to happen to them. they've all got a lot of anxieties out there. did anybody complain when you raised taxes? anybody go out and ask the people how you going to pay the extra money? that's why we want an economic package, we want the government to pinch their pennies for a change instead of people pinching their pennies. that's what our message is to people watching. not this back and forth, you voted this way, you voted that way. we want a better america as we go into the next century. >> the way to get a better america is to balance the budget and protect medicare, medicaid, education and the environment, to get a targeted tax cut -- let
me talk about the education tax cut. to let people have a $10,000 deduction for the cost of college tuition in any year, any kind of college tuition. to give families a tax credit, a dollar for dollar reduction in their taxes for the cost of a typical community college so we can open that to everybody. then to let people save in an i.r.a. and withdraw from it without a tax penalty for education, home buying, or medical expenses. that's the right way to go into the 21st century, balance the budget and cut taxes. not balloon with this $550 billion tax scheme. >> senator dole, we've talked mostly now about differences between the two of you that relate to policy issues and that sort of thing. are there also significant differences in the more personal area that are relevant to this election? >> let me say first on the president's promise for another tax cut. i tell people, you got the tax
cut you promised in '92, vote for him in '96. would you buy a used election promise from my opponent? the people want economic reform. they are having a lard time making ends meet. you got one parent working for the government, the other parent working for the family. and this is important business. this is about getting the economy moving again. this is about american jobs and opportunities. it's about the government as i said before pinching its pennies for a change instead of the poor taxpayer. when they raise your taxes, nobody runs around asking people where you going to get the extra money? i think the government can do better. are there personal differences? >> that are relevant. >> well, my blood pressure's lower and my weight. my cholesterol. but i will not make health an issue in this campaign. [ laughter ] i think he's a bit taller than i am. but i think there are personal differences. i don't like to get into personal matters.
far as i'm concerned, this is a campaign about issues. it's about my vision for america and about his liberal vision for america. and not about personal things. i think his liberal vision is a thing of the past. i know he wants to disown it. i wouldn't want to be a liberal either, mr. president. you're stuck with it because that's your record. it's your record in arkansas. biggest tax increase in history. biggest crime increase in history. biggest drug increase in history in arkansas. >> mr. president? >> well, just for the record, when i was governor, we had the lowest -- second-lowest tax burden of any state in the country. highest job growth rate in any state when i ran for president. and we're widely recognized for a lot of other advances. but the important thing is what are we going to do now? i think a targeted tax cut is better for our future, targeted to education and child rearing, with the rest of the education plan hooking up all of our classrooms to the internet by
the year 2000, make being sure we ha we have an army of reading volunteers working with parents and teachers who our 8 year-olds can learn to read. investing in our environment, cleaning up two-3thirds of the toxic waste dumps. remember, folks, even senator dole's campaign co-chair says he has to cut medicare to pay for this. 500 economists have looked at this and say it is bad for the economy. blowing a hole in the deficit, raise taxes it on 9 million people and require bigger cuts than the one i vetoed. our plan is better. it will take us into the future with a growing economy. and healthier families. >>cy am really encouraged to know your renewed friendship with al de motto and i know he appreciates it. you didn't even have tax cuts in your budget, mr. president, first two years you were president. wasn't until we had a republican
congress. you talked about tax cuts. getting back to personal differences, jim, if you are a little more specific, but i think the president could clarify one thing tonight and that's the question pardons. i know you talked about it generally on a pbs show. i never discussed white water as i told you personally. i am not discussing whitewater now but i am discussing the power a president has to grant pardons and hopefully in the next segment you could lay that to rest. >> mr. president? >> well, first of all, he made that remark with senator de motto. he's arranged for me a spend more time with senator de motto in the last few years so i am a little more familiar with his comments than i used to be. i am -- let me say what i said already about this pardon issue. this is an issue they brought up. there has been no consideration of it, no discussion of it. i'll tell you this. i will not give anyone special
treatment and i will strictly adhere to the law and that is what every president has done as far as i know in the past. but what every other president has done, this is something i take seriously and that's my position. >> but it seemed to me the president shouldn't have any comment at all. particularly when it is someone you've had business dealings. you may be sending a signal. i don't know. i'm not questioning anybody. but as the president of the united states, when somebody asked you about pardons, you say no comment, period. and i think he made a mistake. and i think when you make a mistake, you say i made a mistake. but apparently his position hasn't changed. if there are other specific areas. but beyond that, i haven't gotten into any of these things, as the president knows. we've had that discussion and i have, again, i know senator de motto may have had a hearing or two on whitewater. i can't remember. but he's not my general chairman. he's a friend of mine.
so is senator kennedy a friend of yours. >> you bet. >> i remember one day on the floor i said now, gentlemen, let me tax your memories. kennedy jumped up and said, why haven't we thought of that before? [ laughter ] one of your liberal friends. >> mr. president, 30 seconds. >> no comment. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> what's the subject matter? >> senator dole, if you could single out one thing that you would like for the voters to have in their mind about president clinton on a policy matter or a personal matter, what would it be be? something to know about him, understand it and appreciate it. se s >> see, if i say anything, it is going to be misconstrued.
i don't even think there is a race between the two. it is about the vision for america. i happen to like president clinton. i addressed him as mr. president. in 1992 he didn't extend that to president bush. but i respect the presidency. i've served under a lot of presidents. they all have their strengths and their weaknesses. i'd rather talk about my strengths. i think i have my strengths. i think the best thing going for bob dole is that bob dole keeps his word. it is a question between trust and fear. i think, mr. president, about all you've got going in this campaign is fear. you're spending millions and millions of dollars in negative ads, frightening senior citizens. i know this to be a fact because i had one tell me last week, senator, don't cut my medicare. " i'm trying to save your medicare just as i rescued social security with a bipartisan commission. i have relatives on medicare. i used to sign welfare checks for my grandparents. i know all about poverty and all
about need and all about taking care of people and that's been my career in the united states senate. i'll keep my word on the economic package. if i couldn't cut taxes and balance the budget the same time, i wouldn't look you in the eye tonight in your living room or wherever you may be and say that this is good for america. people will tell you, bob dole, agree or disagree, he kept his word. that's what this race is all about. >> i'd like the american people to know that i have worked very hard to be on their side and to move this country forward and we're better off than we were four years ago. but the most important thing is, my plan for the 21st century is a better plan. a targeted tax cut. a real commitment to educational reform. a deep commitment to making welfare reform work with incentives to the private sector to move people from welfare to
work. and how we have to create those jobs now that we're requiring people to go to work. a commitment to continuing step by step health care reform with the next step helping people who are between jobs to access health care and not lose it just because they're out of work for a while. a commitment to grow the economy while protecting the environment. that's what i'd like them to know about me, that i've gotten up every day and worked for the american people and worked so that their children could have their dreams come true. and i believe we've got the results to show we're on the right track. most important thing is i believe we've got the right ideas for the future and like senator dole -- i like senator dole. you can probably tell we like each other. we just see world in different ways. you folks out there are going to have to choose who you think is right. >> i'd say that the first homeless bill in the senate was dole-bird bill, or bird-dole bill. can't remember who was in control there. i remember working on the
hospice program. we now have 2,500 hospices. i left congress on june 11th because i wanted the american people to know i was willing to give up something. president clinton ran for governor in 1990 and said he was going to fill out his term. he didn't. he's president so i guess it is a little better deal. but i wanted the american people to know i was willing to give up something. not just getting more power and more power. so i rolled the dice. i put my career on the line because i really believe the future of america is on the line. we can give you all these numbers. they don't mean a thing. if you are out of work, you have nothing to eat or you can't have medical care, or you're holding a crack baby in your arms right now, what do you do next? america's best days are ahead of us. i've seen the tough times. i know they can be better. and i'll lead america to a brighter future. >> mr. president, what do you say to senator dole's point that
this election is be keeping one's word? >> let's look at that. when i ran for president, i said we'd cut the deficit in half in four years. we cut it by 60%. i said that our economic plan would produce 8 million jobs. we have 10.5 million new jobs. we're number one in autos again, record numbers of new small businesses. i said we'd pass a crime bill that would put 100,000 police on the street, ban assault weapons, and deal with the problems that ought to be dealt with capital punishment, including capital punishment for kingpins. and we did that. i said we would change the way welfare worked and even before the bill passed we moved nearly 2 million people from welfare to work working with states and communities. i said we'd get tougher on child support and child support enforcement is up 50%. i said i would work for tax relief for middle class americans. the deficit was bigger than i thought it was going to be. i think they are all better off that we got those interest rates and deficit down.
republicans talk about it but we're the first administration in anybody's lifetime looking at this program to bring that deficit down four years in a row. we still gave tax cuts to 15 million working americans and now i've got a plan that's been out there for two years. it could have been passed already. but instead the republicans shut the government down to try to force their budget and their plan on me and i couldn't take that. but we'll get the rest of that tax relief. and so i think when you can look at those results, you know that the plan i've laid out for the future has a very good chance of being enacted if if you'll give me a chance to build that bridge to the 21st century. >> senator? >> well, there he goes again on a line that's been used before, but exaggerating all the things that he did. he didn't do all these things. let's take all these four years in a row. he came in with a high growth rate. the 1990 budget agreement which some didn't like had some very tough cost controls, put a lot of pressure on congress. the s and l crisis was over.
they're starting to sell assets. that you'll money was coming in and he cut defense an extra $60 billion. threw a lot of people out of work. he talks about a smaller government, there are actually more people in government except for people in defense related jobs. they're gone. government's bigger than it was when president kennedy was around. though he says it is not. in addition, republican congress cut $53 billion. let's give credit where credit is due. governor engler of michigan cut taxes. a lot of people out there deserve credit. when i'm president of the united states we're going to have a governor's council and work directly with the governors, republicans and democrats, to give power back to the people and to the states. >> i think a lot of people deserve credit and i've tried to give it to them. but i believe that my plan is better than senator dole's ill-advised $550 billion scheme which i'll say again will blow a hole in the deficit. our plan will balance the
budget, grow the economy, preserve the environment and invest in education. we have the right approach for the future and look at the results. it is not midnight in america, senator. we are better off than we were four years ago. >> all right. that's the last question, the last answer. let's go now to the closing statements. mr. president, you're first. two minutes. >> well, first, jim, let me thank you and thank you, senator dole, and thank you, ladies and gentlemen, all of you listening tonight for the chance you've given us to appear. i want to say in the beginning that i am profoundly grateful for the chance that you have given me to serve as president for the last four years. i never could have dreamed that anything like this would come my way in life, and i've done my best to be faithful to the charge you've given me. i'm proud of the fact that america is stronger and more prosperous and more secure than we were four years ago. and i'm glad we're going in the
right direction. i've done my best tonight to lay out my plans for going forward to an even better future in the next century. i'd like to leave you with the thought that the things i do as president are basically driven by the people whose lives i have seen affected by what does or doesn't happen in this country. the auto worker in toledo who was unemployed when i was elected and now has a great job because we're number one in auto production again. all the people i've met who used to be on welfare who are now working and raising their children. i think what others could do for our country and for themselves if we did the welfare reform thing in the proper way. i think of the man who grabbed me by. shoulder once with tears in his eyes and said his daughter was dying of cancer and he thanked me for giving a chance to spend some time with her without losing his job because of the family and medical leave act. i think of all the people that i grew up with and went to school with and i stay in touch with and who never let me forget how
what we do in washington affects all of you out there in america. folks, we can build that bridge to the 21st century. big enough and strong enough for all of us to walk across, and i hope that you will help me build it. >> senator dole, your closing statement, sir. . >> thank you, jim. thank you, mr. president. thank you everyone for watching and listening. i want to address my remarks to the young people of america. because they're the ones who are going to spend most of their life in the 21st century. they are the ones who have the challenges. there are people out there making predictions that it is not going to be the same. you're not going to have the opportunity. it is going to be more deficits, more drugs, more crime. and less confidence in the american people. that's what you're faced with, the parents are faced with and the grandparents are faced with. it is posimportant. it's their future.
i would say to them -- i know there are more young people experimenting with drugs today than ever before. drug use has gone up. and if you care about the future of america, if you care about your future, just don't do it. and i know that tim's someone older than you, but i've had nye arran my anxious moments in my life. i've learned to feed myself and to walk and to dress. i'm standing here as proof that in america, the possibilities are unlimited. i know who i am and i know where i'm from. and i know where i want to take america. we are the greatest country on the face of the earth. we do more good things for more people in our communities, our neighborhoods, than anywhere that i know of.
we have more presidential debates tonight on american history tv here on c-span3. beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the first debate of the 2000 general election between texas governor george w. bush and vice president al gore. then we'll show you the town hall debate from the 2000 presidential election. and later a 1996 debate between president clinton and the republican nominee former senator bob dole. coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, the abraham lincoln presidential library foundation published a book of musings by public figures and ordinary americans celebrating or responding to lincoln's gettysburg address. kohl the editor of gettysburg replies, the world responds to abraham