KWAME HOLMAN: Neither candidate ventured very far from last night's San Diego debate site. President Clinton traveled North to the Republican stronghold of Orange County near Los Angeles. At a rally in Santa Ana, the President briefly contended with hecklers.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Now I'm glad we've got some of our friends in opposition over there, and I understand why they have to try to shout us down every now and then because for them the evidence hurts. But let's talk about the evidence and welcome them here.
KWAME HOLMAN: The President praised the citizen questioners who participated in last night's debate.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: A lot of people ask me what I thought about the debate, and what I thought was that everybody in California should be very proud of those 123 citizens from San Diego and the surrounding area. They did a fine job, and they spoke for all of America, and I was very proud of them, and I know you were too. Look at the difference four years can make. (applause) Four years ago, we had high unemployment and rising frustration. We still have a lot of challenges, but compared to four years ago, we have lower unemployment, ten and a half million new jobs, a fifteen-year high in home ownership, the biggest drop in childhood poverty in 20 years, the biggest drop in inequality among working Americans in 27 years, the lowest rates combined of unemployment, inflation, and home mortgage interest rates in 27 years. We are on the right track to the 21st century. (applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: President Clinton said the final debate offered voters a clear choice.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I think you saw two very different visions of the future last night, two honestly different visions. We need not say bad things about our opponents to say we just have different views. We just have different views. (applause) I believe the most important things in all of our lives are the personal things, that your individual life, your family life, is clearly the most important thing. I believe many things have to be done at the grassroots level by people in the private sector, by religious and community organizations and civic organizations by local governments, but I believe the national government is not your enemy; it is your servant, your partner, I believe it does take a village to raise our children and build our future. (applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: Forty miles away in Riverside, Bob Dole vowed to step up his offensive on the integrity of the President and his administration.
SEN. BOB DOLE: We're going to get tough in this campaign. You haven't seen anything yet. Last night was a warm-up. (applause) He didn't want to talk about those 900 FBI files that this bartender's rummaging through. Nobody knows how Craig Livingstone got in there, but he's a White House security chief. Makes you feel good that you're not inside. So I do drive by every morning. Looks good. Looked nice, nice address, nice place to live. And we're going to move in in January. (applause) He thinks this great record deserves a vote of confidence from the people of California. Now perhaps average Americans need a politician who brags so freely about promises he never kept, votes he hasn't earned, and goals he's never accomplished, or virtues he's never displayed. It is a charming act, but it's wearing thin; it's wearing thin for the American voters. Americans are beginning to see through it. And we still got 19 days to lift the curtain.
KWAME HOLMAN: Despite widespread indications last night's performance did nothing to elevate him in the polls, Dole said he still concedes nothing in the race. Dole promised not to write off California's 54 electoral votes.
SEN. BOB DOLE: We have Bill Clinton's lead in half in just the last few weeks. We're gaining on him every day in California. (applause) And I'm going to fight with everything I have, sparing no effort. I am going to fight for California, and I will win California on November 5, 1996. (applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: As he did last night, Dole today suggested a third debate, an idea rejected by Clinton. So it appears the remaining 19 days of campaign will be consumed with events like this.