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Special Event

McCain and Bush on Campaign Trail in California

Aired March 6, 2000 - 11:42 a.m. ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I am Kyra Phillips back in Atlanta. We are going to leave Greenspan right now and turn to John McCain. We are going live to Santa Clara, California, where he is there for a campaign rally.

We are going to listen in.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... that we will reform this government and we will give this government back to you and take it out of the hands of the special interests, so that you...


MCCAIN: So that you, once again, once again will have a voice in your government, you will be inspired, and you will indeed have the confidence that this iron triangle of big money and special interests and legislation is broken, and sent back to wherever it is they came from. But what you need, what you need, again, is to be represented in Washington, because your hopes and your dreams and aspirations are not there.

I'm taking on the establishment. The establishment is taking me on and I'm Luke Skywalker, coming out of the Deathstar, my friends, and we are going to get them.


PHILLIPS: We are going to go to Bush.

MCCAIN: Let me tell you -- I will be glad how I feel about closing down the School of the Americas so that the people behind you can see, is that OK? And then I will answer the question, OK, because I know you wouldn't want to be rude to anybody. Thank you.

I feel that the School of the Americas should never teach the things they taught and the curriculum that they had, and I'm committed to making sure that that never happens again. OK, is that...

PHILLIPS: There is also a George W. Bush event taking place live in San Diego, California. We are going to take you there pretty soon, but we are going to stay with John McCain at this moment, where he is rallying back in Santa Clara.

MCCAIN: We will not allow people to spend millions of dollars, and run negative ads, and destroy political campaigns. We are going to send a message to two sleazy Texans who put two and a half -- who put at least -- who put at least two and a half million dollars running attack ads against me, which nobody can account for -- could account for for a while, who are running attack ads two and a half million dollars out of Texas into California, Ohio and New York, that is running for president in the worst way, and we reject that kind of politics in America.

And we ask Governor Bush to do what he refused to do all day yesterday on nationwide television and tell his sleazy Texas buddies to stop these negative ads, take your money back to Texas where it belongs, and don't try and corrupt -- and don't try to corrupt American politics with your money because American politics is far better than that and deserves better than what they are getting.

My friends, we can send a message tomorrow, not about John McCain, but really what reform is all about, and that is we will get these people out of American politics, and we'll let the people of California decide who they want to be next president of the United States, not some people from billionaires from Texas. So that's what I want to do.

My friends, I noticed some great Americans here with a copy of my book. Please don't hold up that book too high, if you would not, there it is, yes. Thank you very much. I'm not trying to hype that sale of that book, please don't think that I am. It's $24.95 available at Random House. It is number three on the bestseller list of the "New York Times" this week, but don't think that I...

PHILLIPS: All right, we are going to pull away from John McCain in Santa Clara, and move over to presidential hopeful George W. Bush, where he is live in San Diego.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... who has got a vision that speaks to children, a vision that is willing to challenge the status quo, when we find our children trapped in failure; a vision that understand if we don't get it right, if we don't make sure every child gets educated, the great hope and promise of America won't extend its reach. I've got record of accomplishment in the state of Texas.

I proudly stand before you as someone who has reformed education, and I can say and our party must have a nominee who can say that our test scores are up in the state of Texas, a result of the vision and the ability to lead and bring people together. Our test scores are up, particularly amongst African-American and Latino youngsters, because in Texas we have started to ask the question: What do you know? And if you don't know what you are supposed to know, we will make sure you do early before it is too late. I'm proud of my record. I want to take that record to Washington, D.C. You will hear the apologists for education, the voices are already starting to apologize for a system that oftentimes trapped people in the failure. I laid out a plan here in Southern California that said, if you receive any federal money, you must show us, you must show us whether or not the children can read and write and add and subtract. You must show us, you must show us results, and if there are satisfactory results, there will be rewards. But if there are nonsatisfactory results, if the children are trapped in failure, we will no longer accept that in society. See, every person counts. Every individual matters, I don't care what your background is, everybody counts in America.

I look forward to taking this debate to the people in the fall. We will listen to Al Gore talk about buildings, bricks and mortars. In this campaign, we will talk about saving people's lives, and that's what is important.

I've got a plan to make sure we continue to grow the economy so people can find high paying, high quality jobs in America. Part of that plan says, the surplus, meaning government's got more money than it needs, that's what a surplus is, part of that plan understands that the surplus does not belong to government. That's not the government's money. The surplus is the people's money.

It is important for this party to hear voices who are working hard, people that understand that the tax burden on the working people in America, the highest it has been since World War II, it is the highest it's been. I'm oftentimes heard the poll say, people don't want tax relief. Well, first of all, I really don't care what the polls say. The way I campaign -- See I campaign on what I think is right.

What I think is right, and I am going to make it clear to the American people all across the country, what I think is right, is that when we have a surplus, we ought to put some aside for social security, some aside for debt repayment, some aside for just in case there's a need in the future, but we need to also pass some of it back to the people who pay the bills.

This is a plan that says everybody who pays taxes in the state of California needs a cut, not one of those Washington, D.C. visions that talks about a few or a favored, a targeted plan, no this is a plan that says if you pay taxes in this state, you ought to get some relief. It is a plan that says a family of four in the state of California, which makes $50,000 a year, gets a 50 percent cut in the taxes you pay.

This is a plan that recognizes that the tax code is unfair, it simplifies the code, it makes it easier to understand. The death tax is unfair, and we need to get rid of the death tax in America. The marriage penalty is unfair. The earnings test on Social Security recipients, that is unfair.

Let me tell you what else is unfair, the code is unfair to the people who live on the outskirts of poverty. The code is unfair to the single moms in America who are working the hardest job in our country. The code is unfair, say, to a mother of two, single mom of two who is making $22,000 a year, it is unfair because for every additional dollar she earns she pays a higher marginal rate on that dollar than someone making $200,000 a year. It is unfair to make it harder to access the middle-class. It is unfair, and it is important for our party not only to hear the voices of the entrepreneurs, we need to have somebody who hears the voices of those on the outskirts of poverty. I can't wait to challenge the status quo.

I can't wait to challenge the status quo. I can't wait to remind people it is conservative to cut taxes. And it is compassionate to give people their own money back so they can save and they can dream and they can build.

I want to thank the veterans who are here. And I want to thank all of the veterans that are on my team.

I'm honored to have such an outpouring of support from the men and women who have served our country. I'm honored to have you on my team. The reason I bring that up is that I am going to work hard to keep the peace. I want my legacy -- one of my legacies to be the George W. Bush administration kept the peace.

I will be a cold-eyed realist when it comes to the world. I see the world the way it is, not the way folks hope it is. This is a world of uncertainty. But we are certain of some things. We are certain that even though the evil empire may have passed, evil still remains. People who cannot stand what America stands for, they resent our freedoms, they resent our successes. I'm certain that there are madmen and missiles in this world. And I am certain of this, a dangerous and uncertain world requires America to have a sharpened sword. So I will rebuild the military power of the United States of America.

PHILLIPS: President hopeful George W. Bush talking to supporters live in San Diego, California, talking about his record of accomplishments in Texas, and how he has been very successful in reforming education. He talked about Social Security and wanting to continue a legacy of keeping the peace.

We are going to go back to John McCain, who is live in Santa Clara. He is now talking about education.


MCCAIN: Unfortunately, that's not the case today. And we need to make sure that we can take advantage of the Internet, which is wiring every school and library in America. And if we can complete the equation of the Internet, classrooms that have discipline and teachers can control -- teachers that are highly qualified and computers, then we have the greatest opportunity in history to provide every child in America with a quality education.

There's a growing gap, my friends, between the have and the haves not in America, as we experience this great prosperity. That has implications for all of us that we do not want to see. The answer to that is to provide every young American with the training and education so they can take part in this incredible technological marvel, which has led to such unprecedented prosperity.

I want the reform the tax code. The tax code is 44,000 pages long. Every time we pass a tax bill, we put in a good deal for a special interest because they are ruling Washington. And every time that there's a good deal and a special interest put in, you pay more and you can't understand your tax code, and I'm going to take that 44,000 page tax code, tear it up, give you one about that thick, and one that you can understand and trust, and get the special interests and their good deals out of the tax code in America.

I can't do all these things, my friends, unless we carry out one fundamental reform, and that is that I've got to break this iron triangle. I've got to take on the establishment. You've got to join me and we have got to take the government out of the hands of the special interests and give it back to you and that's what campaign finance reform is all about.

My friends, in 1998, we had the lowest voter turnout in history of the 18-26-year-old vote. Why? Because these -- we did focus groups, Bill Jones, our secretary of state, we did focus groups all over America. You know that these young people said? I would never run for public office. They said, I would never vote. Why should I vote, when none of the politicians reflect my hopes and dreams and aspiration. And they said that we were corrupt. They said they believed we were corrupt.

My friends, that shames me because I believe that public service is the most honorable of all professions. I believed it at 17, when I entered the Naval Academy, and I believe it today.

My friends, terrible things have happened recently. There were many scandals in Washington, but the real scandal, the real scandal was the basement of the institutions of government by the Clinton and Gore campaign in 1996.

My friends, are you proud, are you proud of what they did? Are you proud when the president of the United States rents out the Lincoln Bedroom for $10,000 a night? Are you proud when the president of the United States takes the Lincoln...

PHILLIPS: You've been listening to presidential hopefuls John McCain and George W. Bush, both in California on the campaign trail on this final day before the all-important Super Tuesday.


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