TOPICS > Politics

Where They Stand: Hillary Clinton

October 2, 1996 at 12:00 AM EDT


HILLARY CLINTON: There’s a lot of reasons why people should vote in this election, and there are many, many reasons why people should vote to reelect the President and the Vice President in this election. (applause) And many of those reasons are not partisan, they’re not political in a traditional sense, they’re not ideological. You know, when you think about all of the issues that we face in our lives, they don’t come with a label that says a Democratic problem or a Republican problem or an independent problem. They’re the problems that affect people. How do we create more good jobs? How do we keep kids in school?

How do we help that stress that so many families feel today between work and their other responsibilities at home? How do we fight crime? How do we keep our environment as good as it was when we came along so we can pass it on to the next generation? Those are problems that we have to look at one by one and search for solutions and that’s where politics comes in. And that’s what I’d like you to think about, that what my husband has tried to do for the last four years goes beyond politics as usual.

Was reducing the deficit by more than 60 percent a Democratic or Republican, or was it an American answer to a problem that we had to confront finally? (applause)

When we look at the statistics today and we see that unemployment and inflation are at a 28-year low, that’s good news for Americans, regardless of political party. (applause)

And so much of what the President has done with the economy is part of his strategy to make it possible for all Americans to be able to meet their obligations to themselves, to their families, and to the rest of us by keeping good jobs, by growing the economy. He understands when he talks about building that bridge to the 21st century that that bridge has to be built on a very firm economic foundation. And I think he has shown that he is “the” man to lead the economy of this country for the next four years. (applause)

You know, some of you may remember that at the convention my husband said that he wanted to expand family leave because he wanted to give parents a chance to be able to go to parent-teacher conferences or to take their children or their parents to the doctor. And, you know, I had somebody say to me after the convention, what’s the President of the United States talking about parent-teacher conferences, and that he wants parents to go and be involved in their children’s education, is that really something a President should talk about? And I thought back to when I was in elementary school.

I remember so clearly after Sputnik went up–and this will sound like ancient history to some of the young people who are here–I remember that in my classroom my teacher told me that President Eisenhower wanted us to do more math. Now, that was very impressive to those of us who were in the fifth or sixth grade. And I thought to myself, well, I’m not interested in math but if the President wants me to do it, I guess I should pay more attention to it. I want our young people, I want our students, I want our parents to know that they have a President who really does expect them to do well in school and expects parents to be part of their children’s education. (applause)

In addition to the economy and education, talk with your friends about what this President has done on behalf of health care.

And he’s done several important things. The passage and signing of the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill assures 25 million Americans they will be able to take their health insurance with them if they lose jobs or change jobs or have someone in the family who’s been sick before. (applause)

So this election in five weeks is not only about the opportunities that the President wants to provide, it’s not even just about the responsibilities he’s asking from all of us because no President or Vice President can make any of us do what we ought to do for ourselves and our families and our communities. It is also about what he believes is possible in this next century for America. And as I travel around the country, I believe he is right because I see people solving problems and coming together all over. And I sense the optimism and the energy and the hopefulness and the confidence. That’s what brought many of you here this evening, because you believe, like the President, that the best days of America, if we do our part, are still ahead.

And it’s more important now–(applause)–than ever before to vote our values, our hopes, our optimism. And if that’s what happens in November, then there isn’t any doubt at all. The President and the Vice President will be reelected to lead us into the 21st century. Thank you all very much. (applause)