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tv   The Presidency Bill Clinton 1996 Democratic National Convention  CSPAN  October 28, 2020 11:06pm-12:27am EDT

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with six
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now in american history tv, bill clinton's speech accepting the 1996 democratic nomination for president. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, bill clinton! >>
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[applause] >> thank you.
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thank you. thank you very much. thank you.
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thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you. mister chairman.
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mr. chairman, mr. vice president, my fellow democrats and my fellow americans. thank you for your nomination. [applause] i don't know if i can find a fancy way to say this, but i accept.
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[applause] thank you. so many have contributed to the record we have made for the american people, but one above all, my partner, my friend, and the best vice president in our history, al gore. [applause] >> tonight i think the city of chicago, it's great mayor and it's wonderful people for this magnificent
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convention. i love chicago for many reasons. for your powerful spirit, your sports teams, you are lively politics, but most of all for the love and light of my life, chicago's daughter, hillary. you and i set forth on a journey four years ago to bring forth our vision for the country. to keep the american dream alive for all who are willing to work for it. to make our american community stronger. to keep america the world's strongest force for peace and
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freedom and prosperity. four years ago, with high unemployment, stagnant wages, crime, welfare, and the deficit on the rise, with a host of unmet challenges and a rising tide of cynicism, i told you about a place i was born. and i told you that i still believed in a place called hope. well, for four years now, to realize our vision, we have pursued a simple but profound strategy. opportunity little -- opportunity for all, responsibility from all, a strong united american community. four days ago, as you were making your way here, i began a
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train ride to make my way to chicago through america's heartland. i wanted to see the faces. i wanted to hear the voices of the people for whom i have worked and fought these last four years. and did i i ever see them. met an ingenious business woman, who was once on when phil -- welfare and was virginia. break police officer, shot and paralyzed, now a civic leader, in kentucky. and autoworker, in ohio, once unemployed, now proud to be working in the oldest auto plant in america, to help make america number one in ottawa diction again, for the first time in 20 years. i met a grandmother fighting for her grandsons environment,
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in michigan. and i stood with two wonderful little children, proudly reading from their favorite book, the little engine that could. at every stop, large and exuberant crowds greeted me, and maybe more important, when we just rolled through little towns, there were always schoolchildren their, waving their american flags. all of them believing in america and its future. i would not have missed a trip, for all the world. for the trip showed me that hope is back in america. we are around that dry track to the 24 century.
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look at the facts. just look at the facts. 4.4 million americans now living in a home of their, own for the first time. hundreds of thousands of women have started their own new businesses, more minorities owned businesses than ever before. record numbers of new small businesses and experts. look at what's happened. we have the lowest combined rates of unemployment, inflation, and homework edges in 28 years. look at what happened, 10 million new jobs, over half of the them highways. jobs 10 million workers, getting raise they deserve with a minimum wage law. 25 million people now having protection in their health insurance, because to kennedy kassebaum bill says you can't lose your insurance anymore, when you change jobs, even if somebody in your family has been sick. 40 million americans with more
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pension security, a tax cut for 15 million over hardest working. hardest pressed americans, and all small businesses. 12 million americans, 12 million of them, taking advantage of the family and medical leave law, so they can be good parents and good workers. 10 million students have saved money on their college loans we are making our democracy work. we have also passed political reform, the line item veto, the motor voter bills, tougher registration for laws for lobbyists. making congress live under the laws they impose on the private sector. stopping unfunded mandates, to the state and local government. we've gone a long way, we've got one more thing to do. will you help me get campaign finance reform in the next four years?
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[applause] we have increased our investments in research and technology. we have increased investments in breast cancer research dramatically. we are developing a supercomputer, a supercomputer that will do more calculating in a second, then a person with a hand calculator can do in 30,000 years. more rapid development of drugs to deal with hiv and aides and moving them to the market quicker, have almost doubled life expectancy in only four years. and we are looking at no limit in sight for that. will keep going until normal life is returned, to people who deal with this. our country is still the strongest for -- force for peace and freedom on earth. on issues that once before,
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tore us apart. we have changed the whole politics of washington. for too long, leaders in washington asked who's to blame what. we asked, what are we going to do? cylinder [applause] on >> prime, for putting 100,000 police on the streets. we made three strikes in your out, the law of the land. we stopped 60,000 felons, fugitives and stalkers from getting handguns under the brady bill. we banned assault rifles, which supported tougher punishment and prevention programs, to keep our children from drugs and gangs and violence. for years now, for four years now, the crime rate in america has gone down.
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on welfare, we worked with states to launch a quiet revolution. today there are 1.8 million fewer people on welfare, then there were the day i took the oath of office. we are moving people from welfare to work. we have increased child support collections by 40%. the federal workforce is the smallest it has been since john kennedy. and the deficit has come down for four years in a row, for the first time since before the civil war, down 60% on the way to zero. we will do it. we are, on the right track to the 21st century. we are on the right track, but our work is not finished.
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what should we do? first, let us consider how to proceed again. i say, the question is no longer who's to blame, but what to do. i believe that bob dole and jack camp, and ross perot, love our country. and they have worked hard to save it. it is legitimate, even necessary, to compare our records with players. our proposals for the future, with there's. and i expect them to make a vigorous effort to do the same. but i will not attack. i will not attack them personally, or permit others to do it, in his party if i can prevent it.
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my fellow americans, this must be a campaign of ideas, not a campaign of insults. the american people deserve it. now, here's the main idea. i love and for here the rich and proud history of america. and i am determined to take our best traditions into the future. but with all respect, we do not need to build a bridge to the past. we need to build a bridge to the future. and that is what i commit to you to do. so tonight, tonight let us resolve to build that bridge to
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the 21st century. to meet our challenges and protect our values. let us build a bridge to help our parents raise their children, to help young people and adults to get the education and training they need. to make our streets safer, to help americans succeed at home in that work. to break the cycle of poverty and dependence. to protect our environment for generations to come. and to maintain our world leadership, for peace and freedom. let us resolve to build that bridge. tonight, my fellow americans, i ask all of our fellow citizens to join me and to join you, in building that bridge to the 24 century. from years from now, just four years for now, think of it,, we begin in a century, full of enormous possibilities. we have to give the american
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people the tools they need, to make the most of their god given potential. we must make the basic bargain of opportunity, and responsibility available to all americans, not just a few. that is the promise of the democratic party, but is a promise of america. i want to build a bridge to the 21st century, in a way to expand opportunity through education. work and theaters are as much a part of the classroom, as blackboards. where highly trained teachers demand peak performance from our students. where every eight year old can point to a book and say, i can read it myself. by the year 2000, the single
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most critical thing we can do, is to give every single american who wants it, the chance to go to college. we must make two years of college, just as universal in four years, as a high school education is, today. and we can do it. we can do it. and we should cut taxes to do it. i propose a 1500 a year to a shun tax credit for americans, a hope scholarship for the first two years of college, to make the typical community college education available to every american.
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i believe every working family ought also to be able to deduct up to 10,000 dollars in college tuition costs per year, for education after that. i believe the families of this country ought to be able to save money for college in a tax free ira. save it year in and year out, with dried for college education without penalty. we should not tax middle income americans for the money they spend on college. we'll get the money back down the road, many times over. i want to say here, before i go further, that these tax cuts,
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and every other one i mentioned tonight, are all fully paid for in my balanced budget plan. line by line, dime by dime, and they focus on education. law now, one thing, so many of our fellow americans are learning, is that education no longer stops on graduation day. i have proposed our new gi bill for american workers, a 2600 dollar grant for unemployment and underemployed americans, so that they can get the training and the skills they need to go back to work at better paying jobs, good high skilled jobs for a good future. but we must demand excellence
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at every level of education. we must insist that our students learn the old basics we learned, and then you basics they have to know, for the next century. tonight let us set a clear national goal, all children should be able to read on their own by their third grade. when 40% of our eight year olds cannot read as well as they should, we have to do something. i want to send 30,000 reading specialists, and national service corpse members, to mobilize a volunteer army of 1 million reading tutors for third graders all across america. they will teach our young children to read.
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let me say to our parents, you have to lead the way. every tired night you spend reading a book to your child will be worth many times over. i know that, hillary and i, so talk about the book spirit to chelsea when we were so tired record hardly stay awake. we still remember them, and more importantly, so does she. but we are going to help the parents of this country make every child able to read for himself or herself by the age of eight like third grade. do you believe we can do that? will you help us do that? [applause] thank you. we must give all parents the rights to choose which public school their children will attend and to let teachers for
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new charter schools where the charter they can keep only if they do a good job. we must keep our schools open late so that young people have someplace to go and something to say yes to and stay off the street. [applause] >> we must require that our students passed tough tests to keep moving up in school. a diploma has to mean something when they get out. we should reward teachers that are doing a good job and remove those who don't measure up. but in every case, never forget that none of us would be here tonight if it weren't for our teachers. i know i wouldn't. we ought to lift them up, not tear them down. we need schools that will take our children into the next
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century. we need schools that are rebuilt and modernized in an unprecedented commitment from the national government to increase school construction. and with every single library and classroom in america connected to the information super highway by the year 2000. now folks, if we do these things, every eight year old will be a victory. every 12-year-old will be able to logging on to the internet. every 18 year old will be able to go to college and all americans will have the knowledge they need to cross that bridge to the 21st century. i want to build a bridge to the 21st century in which we build a strong and growing economy.
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to preserve the legacy of opportunity for the next generation. by balancing our budget in a way that protects our values and ensuring that every family will be able to own and protect the value of their most important asset, their home. tonight lettuce proclaim to the american people we will balance the budget. let us also proclaim that we will do it in a way that preserves medicare, medicaid, education, the environment, the integrity of our people. the strength of our people. last year, when the a public and -- republican congress sent me a budget that violated those values and principles, i vetoed
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it, and i would do it again tomorrow. [applause] i could never allow cuts the devastate education for our children. that pollute our environment. the guarantee of health care for those who are served under medicaid. that in our duty, but in the guarantee of health care to those who are served under medicare. that and our duty or violate our duty to our parents through medicare. i just could not do that. as long as i'm president, i will never let it happen. and it doesn't matter if they try again, as they did before, to use the blackmail threat of a shutdown of the federal government to force these things on the american people. we did not let it happen before and we will not let it happen again. [applause] of course, there is
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a better answer to this dilemma. we could have the right kind of a balanced budget with a new congress, a democratic congress. i want to balance the budget with real cuts in government, in waste. i want a plan that invests in education, as mind us, in technology, and yes, in research, as christopher relieve so powerfully reminded us we must do. and my plan gives americans tax cuts that will help our economy
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to grow. i want to expand i.r.a.s so that young people can save tax free to buy a first home. tonight, i propose a new tax cut for homeownership that says to every middle income working family in this country, if you sell your home, you will not have to pay a capital gains tax on it ever, not ever. i want every american to be able to hear those beautiful words, welcome home. [applause] let me say again that every tax cut i call for tonight is targeted, it's responsible and it is paid for it within my balance budget plan. my tax cuts will not undermine our economy, they will speed economic growth. we should cut taxes for the family sending a child to college, for the work or returning to college, for the
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family saving to buy a home or for long term health care, and a 500 dollar per child credit for middle income families raising their children who need help with childcare and what the children will do after school. that is the right way to cut taxes, pro family, pro education, pro economic growth. now ... [applause] now, our opponents have put forward a very different plan. a risky 550 billion dollar tax scheme that will force them to ask for even bigger cuts in medicare, medicaid, education, and the environment, then they passed and i vetoed last year. but even then, they will not cover the costs of their steam,
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so that even then this plan will explode the deficit, which will increase interest rates by 2% according to their own estimates last year. it will require huge cuts in the very investments we need to grow and to grow together and, at the same time, slow down the economy. you know what higher interest rates mean? to you in means a higher mortgage payment, a higher car payment, a higher credit card payment. to our economy it means business people will not borrow as much money, invest as much money, create as many new jobs, create as much wealth, raise as many wages. do we really want to make that same mistake all over again? >> no! >> do we really want to stop economic growth again? no! >> do we really want to start piling up another mountain of debt? >> no! >> do we want to bring back the recession of 1991 and 92?
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>> no! >> do we want to weaken our bridge to the 21st century >> no! >> of course we don't. we have an obligation, you and i, to leave our children a legacy of opportunity, not a legacy of debt. our budget would be balanced today. we would have a surplus today if we did not have to make the interest payments on the debt run up in the 12 years before the clinton gore administration took office. >> [applause] so let me say ...
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let me say this is one of those areas in which i respectfully disagree with my opponent. i don't believe we should bet the farm, and i certainly don't believe we should bet the country. we should stay on the right track to the 21st century. [applause] opportunity alone is not enough. i want to build in america in the 21st century and which all americans take personal responsibility for themselves, their families, their communities and their country. i want my nation to take responsibility to make sure that every single child can look at the window in the morning and see a whole community getting up and go into work. we want these young people to know the thrill of their first
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paycheck. the challenge of starting that first business. the pride in following in a parents footsteps. the welfare reform law i signed last week gives america a chance, but not a guarantee. to have that kind of new beginning. to have a kite -- a new social bargain with the poor, guaranteeing health care, child care, and nutrition for the children, but requiring able bodied parents to work for the income. now i say to all of you, whether you supported the law or opposed it, but especially to those who supported it, we have a responsibility, we have a moral obligation to make sure the people who are being required to work have the opportunity to work. we must make sure the jobs are there! [applause] >> there should be 1
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million new jobs for welfare recipients by the year 2000. states under this law can outtake the money that was spent on the welfare check and use it to help businesses provide paychecks. i challenge every state to do it soon. i propose also to give businesses a tax credit for every person hired off welfare and keep employed. a proposed to offer profit job placement firms a bonus for every welfare recipient that place in a job who stays in it. and more importantly, i want to help communities put welfare recipients to work right now, without delay, repairing schools, mike in their neighborhoods clean and safe, making them shine again. there's lots of work to be done out there. our cities can find ways to put
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people to work and bring dignity and strength back to these families. [applause] my fellow americans ... [applause] >> i have spent an enormous amount of time with our dear friend, the light wrong brown, and with secretary cantor and others, opening markets for america around the world. i'm proud of everyone we open. but let us never forget, the greatest untapped market for american enterprise is right here in america. in the inner cities in the rural areas, you will help this recovery. with investment and business and jobs, they can become our partners in the future and it's a great opportunity we ought not to pass up. i propose more empowerment's --
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empowerment zones like the one we have right here in chicago to draw business into pointed hoods. i proportion more community development banks, like the south shore bank right here in chicago, to help people in those neighborhoods start their own small businesses. more jobs, more incomes, new markets for america right here at home, making welfare reform a reality. [applause] folks, you cheered and i thank you. but the government can only do so much. the private sector has to provide most of these jobs so i want to say again tonight i challenged every business person in america who has ever complained about the failure of the welfare system to try to hire somebody off welfare and try hard. [applause] thank you.
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after all,, after all the welfare, system used to complain about is not here anymore. there is no more who is to blame on welfare. now the only question is what to do, and we all have a responsibility, especially those, who have criticized what was passed, and who have asked for a change. and now we have the ability to give board people a chance to grow and support their families. i want to build a bridge to the 24 century that ants the permanent underclass. that lifts us before and ends the isolation they are not forgotten anymore.
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thank you. i want to build a bridge to the 21st century, where our children are not killing other children anymore. where children's lives, are not shattered by violence at home, or in the school yard, where a generation of young people are not left to raise themselves, on the streets. with more police and punishment and prevention, the crime rate has dropped for four years in a row, now. but we cannot rest because we know it's still too high. we cannot rest until crime is a shocking exception, to our
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daily lives, not news, as usual. will you stay with me, until we reach that good day? my fellow americans we all owe a great debt to sara and jim brady, and i'm glad they took their wrong turn and wound up in chicago. i was glad to see that. it is to them we owe the good news, that 60,000 felons, fugitives, and stalkers couldn't get handguns, because of the brady bill. but not a single hunter in arkansas or new hampshire, or illinois, or any place else, missed a hunting season. but now, i say we should extend the brady bill. because anyone who has committed an act of domestic violence against a spouse or a child, should not buy a gun.
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and we must ban those cop killer bullets. they are designed for one reason only, to kill police officers. we asked the police to keep us safe, we owe it to them, to help keep them safe, while they do their job for us. we should pass a victims rights constitutional amendment because victims deserve to be heard, they need to know when an assailant is released they need to know these things, and the only way to guarantee them is through a constitutional amendment. we have made a great deal of progress even the crime rate
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among young people is finally coming down. so it is very painful to me, that drug use among young people is up. drugs nearly kill my brother when he was a young man. and i hate them he fought back, he is here tonight with his wife his little boy is here and i'm really proud of him. but i learned something, i learn something in going through that long nightmare with our family. and i can tell you, something has happened to some of our young people, they simply don't think these drugs are dangerous anymore. or they think the risk is acceptable. so beginning with our parents, and without regard to our party,
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we have to bring you our energy to teach this generation of young people the hard, cold truth. drugs are deadly. drugs are wrong. drugs can cost you your life. general barry mccaffrey, the four star general who later fight against drugs and light america, now leads our crusade against drugs at home. stopping more drugs at our borders, cracking down on those who sell them, and most important of all, pursuing a national untie drug strategy, whose primary aim is to turn our children away from drugs. i call on congress to give him every cent of funding we have requested for this strategy, and to do it now.
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there is more we will do. we should say to parolees, we will test you for drugs, if you go back on them, we will send you back to jail. we will say to games, we will break you with the same anti racketeering law we used to put mob bosses in jail. you're not going to kill our kids anymore, or turn them into murderers, before they are teenagers. my fellow americans, if we're going to build that bridge to the 24 century, we have to make our children free. free of the vice grip of guns and gangs, and drugs. free to build lives of hope. i want to build a bridge to the 24 century with a strong american community. beginning with strong families. an america where all children
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are cherished, and protected, from destructive forces. where parents can succeed at home, and outwork. everywhere i've gone in america, people come up and talk to me about their struggle with their demands of work in their desire to do a better job with their children. the very first person i ever saw fight that battle, was here with me four years ago. and tonight, i miss her very, very much. might a repressive will, hardworking, always optimistic mother did the best she could for her brother and me, often against a very stiff odds. i learned from her just how much love and determination can overcome. but from her and from our live,
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i also learned that no baron can do it alone. and no parent should have to. she had the kind of help every parent deserves. from our neighbors, our friends, our teachers, our pastors, our doctors, and so many more. you know when i started out in public life, with a lot of my friends from the arkansas delegations on here. there used to be a saying we hear from time to time, that every man who runs for public office, will claim that he was born in a lot cabin he built with his own hands. well, my mother knew better. and she made sure i did, to. long before she even met hillary, my mother knew it takes a village. and she was grateful for the support she got.
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as tipper gore and hillary said on tuesday, we have, all of us, in our administration, worked hard to support families in raising their children and succeeding at work. but we must do more. we should extend the family and medical leave a lot to give parents some time off, to take their children to regular doctors appointments, or attend that was wearing teacher conferences at school. that is a key determination of their success. we should pass a flextime law, that allows employees to take their overtime pay, in money or in time off, depending on what's better for their family. the fda has adopted new measures to reduce advertising
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and sales of cigarettes to children. the vice president spoke so movingly of it, last night. but let me remind you, my fellow americans, that is very much an issue in this election. because that battle is far from over, and the two candidates have different views. i pledge to america's parents, that i will see this effort all the way through. working with the entertainment industry, where giving parents the v. chip. tv shows are being raided for content so parents will be able to make a judgment about whether they are small children should see them. and three hours of quality children's programming, every
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week, on every network, are on the way. the kennedy-kassebaum law says every american can keep his or her health insurance if they have to change jobs, even if someone in their family has been sick. that is a very important thing. but tonight, we should spell out the next step. the first thing we ought to do, is to extend the benefits of health care to people who are unemployed. i propose, in my balanced budget plan, paid for, to help unemployed families keep their health insurance for up to six months. apparent maybe without a job,
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but no child should be without a doctor. and let me say again, as to first lady did on tuesday, we should protect mothers and newborn babies, from being forced out of the hospital in less than 48 hours. we respect the individual conscious of every america, on the painful issue of abortion. but believe is a matter of law, that this decision should be life to a woman, her conscious, her doctor, and her guide. but abortion should not only be
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safe and legal, it should be rare. that's why i highly helped to establish a and support a national effort to reduce out of wedlock teen pregnancy, and that is why we must promote adoption. last week, the minimum wage bill i signed contained a 5000-dollar credit to families who adopt children. even more, if the children have disabilities. it put an end to racial discrimination in the adoption process. it was a good thing for america. my fellow americans, already, there are tens of thousands of children out there, who need a good home with loving parents.
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i hope more of them will find it now. i want to build a bridge to the 24 century with a clean and safe environment. we are making our food safer from pesticides. we're protecting our drinking water and our air from poisonous. we saved yellowstone from my name, we establish a largest national park south of alaska in the desert in california. we are working to save the precious florida everglades. and when the leaders of this congress invited the polluters into the back room to roll back 25 years of environmental protections, that both parties had always supported i said no.
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but we must do more. today, 10 million children live with just four miles of the toxic waste dump. we have cleaned up
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