DOLE ON THE GENDER GAP
MAY 14, 1996
Bob Dole addresses the so-called "gender gap." Polls show women tend to support President Clinton over the Senate Majority Leader. Last week, Sen. Dole reached out to female voters in a speech to Republican women at a Washington hotel. He began by explaining why his wife, who is president of the American Red Cross, wasn't with him.
SEN. ROBERT DOLE, Republican Presidential Candidate: I'm sorry Elizabeth cannot be here, but I know she's somewhere working. But she's very fond of quoting Frances Perkins, who was, as you know, Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor and was the first female cabinet officer. And she was once asked if being a women posed a disadvantage in public life and said, "Only when I'm climbing trees."
Now one thing clear in today's world of politics, thanks to organizations like Renew, if you're looking for a place where no branches are out, no branches are out of reach of women, then you ought to look at the Republican Party because every branch is out there waiting for Republican women to come on board.
I used to say as I was running for Congress even, it's all right to go out, you know, if I wanted to get elected, I went to meetings where a lot of women were present. I like men too but don't misunderstand me, they always showed up for the head table, but they never showed up for work, and if I wanted to get elected, I went to the women.
And I don't want to offend any men here. I once thought we ought to have an equal rights amendment for men after I married Elizabeth. But, in any event, I've been a long-time supporter for the right reason. And as far as I can see, when I look at the Senate and I look at the House and I look at state legislators and we're very proud in the state of Kansas to have 11 Republican women in the state senate in Kansas, and they're all doing a good job, and the bottom line is that America's women are making America a better place. They're helping us make changes in America, and we need to take that message back to every community in America. And I spent my life fighting for a better future for women, men, and their families. And I've seen some poll numbers and you've seen the poll numbers and say, well, there's a gender gap. Does this bother me? You bet it does. I don't believe there should be a gender gap. I think that gap will close. Do I have a plan to eliminate it? Yes, I do.
First, I will proudly discuss my record on issues of concern to America's women. It's a record that includes authoring the Women's Equal Opportunity Act, which is part of the 1994 crime bill, change the law to make it easier to convict repeat rapists. It's a record that includes leading the Senate to fully fund for the first time in history the Violence Against Women's Act. It's a record that includes fighting for a balanced budget, for lower taxes, for better schools, and for a strong national defense and for building a brighter future for all of our citizens. These are all your issues. They're my issues. They're American issues.
And I'll also be very busy point out a credibility gap that President Clinton has. When he was a candidate, he said on the "Larry King" show we can balance a budget in five years. And then he was all over the lot. Then it was eight, and then it was ten, then it was nine, then it was six. And he finally got down to seven years. But when it came time to match his words with actions, I said he vetoed the first balanced budget in a generation--first balanced budget in a generation. His veto means that every one of your daughters and granddaughters are still facing a future of debt and women and men alike should also be concerned about the President's credibility gap when it comes to taxes.
And by the way, until midnight tonight, it is tax freedom day. And tomorrow you start working for yourself. For 128 days you've been working for state, local, and the federal government, so tomorrow you're on your own. And what you make tomorrow you may be able to keep. So I can tell you this--we've gained one full week. It takes 128 days now and Clinton's been in office about three years. He's already added seven days, the fastest growth we've had in moving up Tax Freedom Day. And if he stays another four years, who knows, it may be July 4 when we have tax freedom. He's not going to be around four more years but he'll have a chance to celebrate Tax Freedom Day. And they love taxes. I'm reminded from time to time when I was debating with Sen. Kennedy a few years ago on a tax issue and I was making a statement and I got all wound up there in the Senate floor as you do from time to time and I said, "Now gentlemen, let me tax your memories," and Kennedy jumped up and said, "Why haven't we thought of that before?". So there's nothing they didn't like to tax. We also had a state tax relief for small businessmen and women, farmers, ranchers. We thought it was a good idea. We thought it was a very good idea. In fact, the President told us, he thought it was a pretty good idea. Everything we're for is a good idea as far as the President is concerned. One reason to elect me in November '96 is to keep the promises he made to you in 1992. He promised you all these things in 1992.
Spousal IRA's, we had 'em. Estate tax relief where you had a bigger exemption, we had 'em, so if your husband died or so the breadwinner died, you didn't have to sell off the family farm or the family business to pay the estate tax. A tax credit for expenses I said associated with adoption, we had 'em. Long-term care and seriously ill, we had tax credits. Tax credits to help care for elderly parents and grandparents, it was in our bill. Reduction in some cases, elimination of the marriage penalty tax which I think many of you are familiar with, repeal of the 1993 Clinton increase in the amount of Social Security benefits that are taxable, so it seems to me that under a Dole administration, in my administration, women would be benefiting from those tax reductions today, because I would have signed the bill, I would have signed it with great pride and said, let's help America, let's move America forward, and we can do it. We've got to provide incentive. We've got to provide tax relief.