Clinton at Louisiana Superdome on Bush +quot;Taking Responsibility+quot; NEW ORLEANS, July

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Clinton at Louisiana Superdome on Bush "Taking Responsibility" NEW ORLEANS, July 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following are remarks of Gov. Bill Clinton at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans today: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to be here today. I wanted to get a small crowd in this vast arena to make a statement, and as I think you know, we're going over to U.N.O. at 5 to have a large rally and I hope you will join us there, but I didn't want to pass the opportunity of being in New Orleans today, and not make a statement that I think capsulizes for me at least much of what this election is all about. Two weeks ago, I stood in Madison Square Garden in New York before the Democratic National Party and accepted my party's nomination. I promised to put the American people first, challenged us to make a new choice based on old values, and agreed to do my best to assume the awesome responsibility of the presidency. Over the last two weeks, Al Gore and I, in our bus, and in our individual travels, have seen the faces and heard the voices of an America yearning to hope and dream and believe again. Across this country, astonishing crowds have come out to see us, not just to see us, but in search of something far more important -- their chance to trust in democracy again, and to give their children a better tomorrow. People who get up early and work all day to give their kids a better tomorrow. People eager to roll up their sleeves and build a better America. People who want to believe again, to begin again, to be proud again. People who feel their government has broken its promises and violated their trust. Today I have come here to the Superdome to the spot where that trail of broken promises and violated trust began. George Bush has talked a great deal about trust lately. Today I was going to talk to you about that very famous phrase that George Bush made in this stadium four years ago, "Read my lips". I was going to talk to you about his promise of 15 million new jobs in the first four years, a promise that is 14 and a half million jobs short. A promise of a kinder, gentler nation, a promise that has been savaged by the political tactics and the division of this own administration. About the only thing we can really trust this administration to do is to give us four more years of the same failed economic policies. But yesterday, something happened that goes beyond even the trust issue, and the gall of this administration to hurl the word "trust" at its opponents. It's beyond broken promises and it's about the acceptance of responsibility by the president. For yesterday on the day when consumer confidence plunged to all-time lows, when home buying is going down and unemployment is going up, Mr. Bush sent his leading economic advisor to Capitol Hill to deliver a message to an anxious people. Speaking on behalf of the president, Richard Darman denied that the president bears any responsibility whatever for the sluggish, stagnant economy. Mr. Darman pointed the finger of blame everywhere but at the Oval Office. Listen to this. The president's chief economic advisor, when asked for an explanation of why we have the three slowest years of economic performance in 50 years since the Great Depression, did the following things: He blamed the Federal Reserve for the slow growth of the money supply. He blamed the nation's lenders for the credit crunch. He blamed Saddam Hussein for the invasion of Kuwait, which is good blame but hardly the cause of our economic problems here at home. And he blamed Congress for refusing to enact Mr. Bush's economic program, a limited version of trickle-down, which was cooked up for election year after three years of no action at all. Yesterday, the chairman of the House Budget Committee asked the president's chief spokesperson on the economy, "Does the president accept any responsibility whatsoever?" And the spokesman wouldn't accept any, not any. Even though, six different times, Mr. Bush and his advisors have tried to take credit when they thought the economy was moving up. Four years ago, this president promised 15 million new jobs, no new taxes, and a kinder, gentler nation. But most important, he promised to be president, to accept responsibility. He said that he saw his life in terms of "missions, missions defined, and missions completed." The mission was an America "moving forward, always forward." And four years later, we're moving backward. Most Americans are working harder for less money than they were making ten years ago. Unemployment now numbers 10 million Americans. Ten percent of our people are on food stamps. Other countries' economies are growing faster than ours. Since 1980 and the beginning of trickle-down, we've gone from first to 13th in the world in wages. We are not moving forward, always forward. And all Mr. Bush has to offer is the politics of blame, and more of the same. He is still in the grip of a failed idea, still believing the only way to make an economy grow in a tough global environment is to cut taxes on the wealthiest one percent, raise them on the middle class, let the deficit explode, reduce investment in our future, and stay out of the economic battleground with other nations. Every major economy in the world has a national economic strategy but the United States of America. He still believes that, when it comes to offering opportunity for ordinary Americans, the best policy for the government is to do nothing. He still believes that our top economic priority ought to be an across-the-board, short-term capital gains tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. A tax cut that gives millionaires an average benefit of $100,000, and gives folks earning $50,000 a year or less an average of $30. A tax cut that isn't targeted to long-term investment in activities that create jobs and emphasize new technologies. A tax cut just like the past 12 years of windfalls for the wealthy without jobs for ordinary Americans. Let's face it, when Mr. Bush stood here four years ago and said, "Read my lips, no new taxes," what he meant to say was, "No new taxes for the rich." This president actually vetoed an economic package passed by Congress this year, and fashioned, among others, by Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, a pro-business Democrat, that included much of what Mr. Bush says he wanted and even more -- an investment tax credit for new plant and equipment, research and development tax credits to keep us ahead in the race for new technologies, and other investments to get this economy going. Why did he veto the bill? Because it paid for those tax incentives by raising taxes on the top one percent of Americans, whose taxes have gone down for the last 10 years, and because it didn't include the short-term, across-the-board, capital gains tax cuts. We have disagreements about the economy, but the main point I want to make to you today is that beyond the trust issue, beyond the broken promises, beyond the bad economic policies, there is, underneath all this, an even more fundamental issue, and that is the failure of the president to assume responsibility for the future of this country. The great presidents of our time have gone beyond pointing the finger of blame to assume the burden of responsibility. President Franklin Roosevelt, who assumed office in 1933, and lifted us up from the confines of his wheelchair, did not tell us that the only the fear was the Federal Reserve. He said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." President Truman had to make the awesome decision about atomic weapons to end World War II, and to begin the post-World War II era in the Cold War. He didn't blame everyone else for his problems. He didn't try to pass the buck, he had a sign on his desk that said, "The buck stops here." He would have fired Darman for that statement yesterday. President Eisenhower didn't complain the Korean problem was a problem he inherited. He said, "Vote for me. I will go to Korea." And President Kennedy, even though he might have done so, did not blame his predecessor for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. He stood up there and said, "It is my responsibility. And I will assume it." Mr. Bush has gone from voodoo economics to can't-do economics. But the American people are a can-do people. And we need a president who can get the economy moving again and assume the responsibilities of the office. My adversaries have 100 days to rehearse and repeat their excuses and their blame and their argument for why America shouldn't change. They'll say the Democrats are tax-and-spend, in spite of the fact that our program calls for a more aggressive, but leaner, and more efficient government that reduces spending in many areas that this president has refused to address. They'll say that the Democrats are liberals, whatever that means, in spite of the fact that our platform is tough on crime, pro-growth, and innovative in the most modern and best sense, and emphasizes the personal responsibility of every American. And you know what they'll say. They'll say the other guy, that's me, is a bum. They'll say, you know, they've got a sign up in Houston, he's the failed governor of a small state. It's amazing they don't want George Bush to take responsibility for anything that happened in America, but they want to hold their opponents responsible for everything that happened in their charge. Well, I'll take responsibility, if he will. I think the American people are tired of blame placing and excuses. I think they want to move to responsibility. And what I want to say to you today in this great cavernous stadium is that if this president won't use the power of his presidency to help the ordinary American people, I will. He has demonstrated that he doesn't have a plan to get the economy moving again, but I do. Put the American people first. Invest in their potential, in their jobs, their education, their health care. Make government a partner with business and labor and education. Help America compete and win in the global economy. Don't read my lips, read my plan. Give up the idea of a capital gains tax cut that doesn't distinguish between short-term investments in speculation and long-term investments in new technologies and new jobs. Make America the best educated, best trained, best paid work force in the world, linked by the world's best systems of transportation and communications. Invest in civilian research and development. Turn American innovation in the laboratories into American jobs in the factories. Open the doors of college opportunity to all Americans. Take on health care cost increases, control health care costs, and provide a basic package of affordable health care to every family in this country. Reinvest every last dollar of defense cuts in retraining defense workers, retooling plants, and reinvesting in an American economy for the 21st century. Rebuild our cities, our suburbs, our rural areas. Ask the wealthiest one percent of Americans to pay their fair share of taxes again, not to soak the rich, but to keep from drowning the middle class, so that we can all go forward together. My fellow Americans, we didn't get into this mess overnight. We won't get out of it overnight. But we won't get out of it at all, unless we change, unless we abandon trickle-down economics, not in favor of old tax-and-spend and divide-the-pie economics, but in favor of putting our people first and helping America to compete and win in the world economy. We know that investment economics works. We know that when business and labor and education and government are on the same side working for opportunity in the world, it works. The people of the United States are hurting, they need a President who will do what George Bush once promised he would do, use the power of the presidency to help people. If he won't do it, I know someone who will. Thank you very much. -30-


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