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Special Event

Gore Pushes Farm Aid, Estate Tax Reform in Iowa

Aired September 27, 2000 - 1:36 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: And the battleground today for Vice President Gore: Iowa. The subject: prescription drugs. The vice president has just taken the podium; he's live; let's see what he has to say.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for taking care of our families and loved ones. We appreciate what you all do every day.

I want to thank Governor Tom Vilsack and I want to thank the first lady of Iowa, Christie Vilsack for being here. Tom Vilsack is a hero to working families in Iowa and to those who know of his battles to help on prescription drugs and to run this state so well.

I want to thank Mayor Preston Daniels, my longtime friend, who is also here.

Thank you, Preston.

My friends, I came here to Iowa today to talk about one of the issues that is going to be decided by the election just 40 days and 8 hours and 20 minutes from now. That's when the polls close here in Iowa. And incidentally, Iowa played the crucial role in the caucuses this year. And this election is so close, Iowa can play the decisive role in the general election this year, and I need your help on November seventh.

But this election is not about me, it's not about my opponent. It's not really about politics or personalities. It is about priorities. It is about what kind of country we want to have in the years ahead. We have some successes to celebrate in America today. Just yesterday, the new statistics showed the poverty rate has gone down again and the median income for families has gone up above $40,000 for the first time.

And, you know, you look back over the last eight years and there has been some progress. I think our opponents are wrong when they say we were a whole lot better off eight years ago than we are today. They are forgetting about $300 billion annual budget deficits. The debt that was quadrupled in just over a decade, the high unemployment rate. And thanks to Iowa, you gave Bill Clinton and me a chance to bring some changes that have resulted in -- instead of the biggest deficits, now, we have the biggest surpluses. Instead of a triple-dip recession, we've had a tripling of the stock market. And instead of high unemployment, we have the lowest African-American and Latino unemployment ever measured. Twenty-two million new jobs, the lowest poverty rate in 20 years, the strongest economy in the 224-year history of the United States of America.

But I am not satisfied. You ain't seen nothing yet. We are going to make it better still. This election is not an award for past performance. This election is not one about the past. I am not asking anybody to vote for me on the basis of the economy we have. I am asking for your support on the basis of the better, fairer, stronger economy that we are going to create together over the next four years. With your help, we are going to do much better.

I think it is time, for example, to end the so-called Freedom to Farm law, which is hurting farmers all across Iowa and America. We need a safety net that works for farmers and enables them earn a good income, to keep the farms in the families. We need reform of the estate tax for farmers and small business people. And we need to keep creating jobs. We need a prosperity that enriches not just the few, but all of our families. It's time to fight for the middle class families.

And you know, when I say this is a question of priorities, the priorities on the other side are very different from ours. They would squander the surpluses on a giant tax cut for the wealthy that would come at the expense of the middle class, that would end our prosperity and progress. Almost half of all the benefits in their tax cut plan on the other side go to the wealthiest one percent. I will never support a tax plan like that. I am for middle class tax cuts. I think the tax cuts ought to go to the people who have the hardest time paying taxes, the people who have car payments, and mortgage payments and are making ends meet and have been doing right by their kids. You are the ones that deserve tax cuts.

And, you know, we have also got to recognize that health care is now a great challenge for millions of families across America.

WATERS: Health care, one of Al Gore's major priorities, and he says this election is about priorities. Al Gore, on the stump, in Iowa today, fighting for a safety net for farmers and reform of the estate tax. His -- what he calls a fight for the middle class.

He's 40 days eight hours and 20 minutes from the election in Iowa.

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