THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TELEPHONE REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE JULIA CARSON FOR CONGRESS RECEPTION Private Residence Indianapolis, Indiana
8:05 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I want to thank Jeff for hosting this event tonight and for the many years of friendship I've enjoyed with him. I've been told that Evan and Susan Bayh are there and Frank and Judy O'Bannon, and your other state officials. I heard you talking about Mayor Peterson. And Joe Andrew, I want to say again what I said this afternoon, he's really done Indiana proud here at the DNC, I'm really proud of him. (Applause.)
I know if you've been following the news today you know why I couldn't come. I've been up for virtually two days now trying to stop the violence in the Middle East and get the peace process back on track. It's a difficult situation. We're down to all the hard issues now and it's just something I couldn't leave. I can't get away from the phone because of what's going on there and in the U.N. and in other countries. I have to be available here a hundred percent of the time.
I'm really, really sorry to miss this because I had looked forward coming back to Indiana and I wanted to do anything I could to help Julia Carson. She's one of my favorite people in American politics. She's a real treasure for you; she's done a great job and she is so effective. (Applause.)
You know, she's got a style that reminds me of all these big, white country judges I used to deal with in Arkansas. (Laughter.) She kind of eases up to you and talks to you and then, before you know it, your billfold is gone. (Laughter.) We have learned in the White House just to go on and give her what she wants the first time she asks, because we know we're going to give in sooner or later. (Laughter.)
Seriously, she's acquired an unusual amount of influence here in a short time because she is so good at what she does and because everybody likes and respects her, and I'm at the head of that list. So I'm very grateful to you for helping her.
The only other thing I'd like to say tonight is that perhaps more than anyone in America, after these last eight years, I know how important every Senate seat, every House seat is; and I know how important this election is. The resurgence of the Democratic Party in Indiana is perhaps the best example anywhere in America of what can happen if you take good Democratic values and common sense and get things done and produce results. And that's what we've tried to do. I just hope that all of you will take every opportunity you can between now and the election to remind people of where we were eight years ago and where we are now, and why we ought to keep changing in the same direction and not turn around and go back.
The consequences of this election are very profound, and sometimes I get a little concerned that people may not believe that because times are so good. But it's often more difficult to make a good decision in good times than it is in hard times. We have a clear difference here between the two parties, between the candidates for Congress and for the Senate and certainly for the White House.
We've worked hard nationally to do what Evan Bayh and Frank O'Bannon have done in Indiana, to prove that you can be fiscally responsible, balance your budgets and still take care of people. And that is, in some ways, maybe the biggest difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches today. If Al Gore's plan is adopted, tax cuts will be smaller and some of you will get less money, but we'll pay the debt off and interest rates will be lower. And over the next 10 years, the estimates are that under his plan interest rates will be a percent lower, and that's $390 billion in home mortgages, $30 billion in lower car loans, $15 billion in lower student loans; lower credit card payments, lower business loans, more jobs, higher incomes and a better stock market. It's not very complicated.
You simply cannot get this country back into deficit, which is what would happen if the Republican plans for the huge tax cut, the privatization of Social Security and their spending promises go into effect. We'll be right back where we were and we can't afford to do it. It's a big difference.
And I just want to ask all of you to make sure that people understand that the choice is real and the consequences will be real, too. And I think the choice is clear. We have a different economic policy, a different health care policy, a different education policy, a different environmental policy and a different foreign policy. And I think the results speak for themselves.
You can cite Indiana as an example and you can cite the record of our administration in the last eight years. Nothing I have done, however, would have been possible without people in Congress like Senator Bayh and Representative Carson. I am just profoundly grateful.
And I want to say a special word of thanks -- because it's still hard for a Democrat running for national office in Indiana -- and for those of you who stood up for me, you deserve some sort of Purple Heart and I want to thank you for that, as well. (Laughter and applause.)
But now you have something you didn't have so much of, you didn't have any of in '92 and not so much of in '96 -- you have evidence. Some of our Republican friends, I've got to hand it to them, when it comes to the budget or how we ought to pay for prescription drugs, evidence doesn't faze them, they don't care about the evidence, they just know what they think.
But most people, I think, in Indiana and the states bordering Indiana, a lot of you have friends there, in states that could go either way, really care about whether what we're doing is consistent with our values and will actually work. That's one of the reasons that I wanted so badly to be there for Julia today, because she works and she gets things done. Again, I just can't thank you enough for helping her.
And thank you, Jeff, for indirectly having me in your home. I hope I can have a rain check, I've been trying to visit you for a lot longer than I've been President. So maybe some day we'll get it done.
Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)
END 8:10 P.M. EDT