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Special Event

Gore Speaks to Voters in Little Rock, Arkansas

Aired October 24, 2000 - 11:46 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to take you live now to Little Rock, Arkansas. That is where Al Gore is holding his campaign event. And of course, that is his wife, Tipper Gore, introducing her husband.

Let's go ahead and listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TIPPER GORE, WIFE OF V.P. AL GORE: And I salute those who wear our country's uniform. And we all, of course, continue to pray for the recovery of those that are on the USS Cole. It's very important that people are taught to answer the call to duty in this country. It's patriotic and it's right. In Al Gore, we have a man of conviction, courage and character, who does the right thing, who we can be very proud of, and that we need to tell our neighbors and our friends about, because their vote matters.

I also want to close with this before I introduce him, and that's something that I think is very important, and I want you to tell people, because this is a very close election, and you can make the difference. And what you do in the next few days, literally, can make the difference in this election.

When John Kennedy ran in 1960, he won by one vote per precinct, when all was said and done. Your vote and the votes you get counts. If somebody feels cynical, if somebody feels like they're not being heard, tell them they are. Tell them this election is important. Tell them it's in their interests. Tell them there is a very stark and clear-cut choice in Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and the opponents that would take us backwards into the dark ages on so many issues.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I'm going to introduce a man that's always been there for our family. And that means he'll always be there for your family. I'm going to leave you with this thought. It's not a political policy, it's just a fact: As he has campaigned for president this year, he has also made all of our son's football games. I think that says a lot about what kind of a man he is.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to introduce to you, with your help, the person that will be the next president of the United States, who will work hard for you. And I'm proud to introduce my husband, Al Gore.

(APPLAUSE)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. I'm going to take my coat off here. Does this microphone work?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

A. GORE: All right. I want to thank Tipper for that beautiful introduction. You know, Tipper and I have been married 30 years this year.

(APPLAUSE)

We've got four children, and as of 15 months ago, we became grandparents for the first time. Any other grandparents here? Anybody got as many as 10 grandchildren, 15, 20?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fourteen.

A. GORE: Fourteen. Anybody beat that?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thirty-one.

A. GORE: Thirty-one?

(LAUGHTER)

Give me some advice afterwards. I'm just a rookie. I've just got one. But what I've learned so far is that evidently the best technique is just to give that grandchild whatever he wants, and then if that causes any problems, give him back to his parents.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said: If I'd known how much fun grandchildren are, I would have had them first.

It's great to be here with so many of my friends from Arkansas and actually so many -- I've really and truly got a bunch of cousins in this state. I ran into two of them, who claimed to be, anyway, at the Thomas Jefferson School this morning. And I think Art and Nancy Monroe (ph) are here. Art's (ph) my second cousin, and we had the same great grandfather.

Anyway, my mother's mother was born and raised in Arkansas, and we have many, many ties here.

And, of course, there are two of my colleagues in the Clinton- Gore Cabinet here: Secretary Rodney Slater of the Transportation Department...

(APPLAUSE)

And I want to say a special welcome to FEMA Director James Lee Witt, because he and I travel almost everywhere together.

(APPLAUSE) (LAUGHTER)

Almost everywhere.

And, my friends, I know that you are intensely proud of a woman who has been fighting for the working families of Arkansas, for the farmers, for the small-business people, for the women and men and children, Senator Blanche Lincoln. We appreciate her.

(APPLAUSE)

And I'll tell you, I can't tell you how good I feel to be standing on this stage with my former seat-mate on the floor of the United States Senate, probably, with the possible exception of my dad, the finest speaker that I ever heard on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Dale Bumpers.

(APPLAUSE)

A truly great man.

Now, Congressman Vic Snyder and Congressman Marion Barry were both here, but the Congress is in session today, as you know, because the Republican leadership has not been able to finish up their business and they had to go back to try to get them headed in the right direction again.

I want to say a special word of thanks to a young man with a bright future, a young man who is heading up my campaign efforts in this state. He is actually the youngest attorney general in the entire United States of America, Attorney General Mark Pryor.

And I appreciate all that you're doing, Mark.

(APPLAUSE)

I feel like Mark and I have some things in common, because his grandmother was the first woman candidate for public office in the state of Arkansas.

And my mother was one of the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt law school back in the 1930s. And she came here to Arkansas, but she could not get a job with a law firm in the giant metropolis of Nashville. And so, she found work in Texarkana. And put up her shingle and practiced oil and gas law there. So we've come from families where women have been pioneers, and we are proud of that.

And speaking of great women, I want to acknowledge Arkansas' own Olympic medalist, Germaine Taylor (ph).

Congratulations, Germaine (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

I appreciate your being here with us today. Later this morning, I'm going to give a major policy speech, here in Little Rock, on the second round of streamlining and reinventing government, how we can have a smaller, smarter. But I'm not going to focus on that topic here in this speech, because I want to tell you what is at stake in this election for you.

We have an opportunity to make an important and, indeed, crucial choice on November the 7th. And Arkansas is in many ways right in the catbird seat.

You know, this is the only state that borders Tennessee and Texas. You are right in the middle.

And this state is fiercely competitive.

And I have been here on so many occasions. I'm claiming more cousins with each trip. You may have noticed that already this morning.

But seriously, this is an opportunity for Arkansas to shape the decision of the entire nation. And you have to ask yourselves whether or not you want to keep the prosperity going or not, whether or not you want to extend it to all Americans, whether or not you are tired of the strongest economy in the 224 year history of the United States of America, whether or not you want to go back to the days eight years ago. Because Governor Bush, after all, says -- well, let's hear his argument. He says that we were a whole lot better off eight years ago than we are today.

AUDIENCE: No.

A. GORE: That's a real coincidence because that's my feeling also.

(LAUGHTER)

He says that we ought to go back to the policies like the ones we were following eight years ago.

AUDIENCE: No.

A. GORE: Once again, we are right in sync here.

Now, what we had eight years ago were giant deficits -- by far the biggest in history. We multiplied the national debt four times over. We had high unemployment, repeated recessions. I remember Dale Bumpers leading the charge on the floor of the United States Senate when a small group of Democratic senators started laying out the facts of why that old trickle down, Reagan-Bush-Quayle policy was such a catastrophe for this country. And it really laid the groundwork for the Clinton-Gore policies that were put into effect in the summer of 1993, thanks to Arkansas and Tennessee and the majority of the voters in the United States of America.

I had the privilege and honor of casting the tie-breaking vote to put that new plan into effect. It also passed by a one-vote margin in the House of Representatives. And not a single Republican voted for it.

Now, the Republican rank and file wanted change, and, incidentally, they appreciate the change. And I want to say a special word of thanks to the Republicans who are here supporting my candidacy.

I especially appreciate that sign "Republicans for Gore." We appreciate you. You are welcome. Republicans, independents, Democrats all are interested in seeing the right choices made.

Now, eight years ago, to continue my narrative here, we brought about some changes.

And every Republican-elected official in the Congress voted against it, and they predicted catastrophe, disaster, even depression. Well, they turned out to be a little bit wrong on that because, after eight years, we have changed the biggest deficits into the biggest surpluses. Instead of repeated recessions, we've seen a tripling of the stock market. Instead of high unemployment, we now have the lowest African-American unemployment ever measured, the lowest Latino unemployment ever measured, 22 million new jobs and the strongest economy in the entire history of the United States of America. That is progress.

KAGAN: We have been listening to Vice President Al Gore today on a campaign swing -- actually, at this moment, he is Little Rock, Arkansas. Just one of the many stops he makes. Fourteen days before voters will go to booth and pick the next president of the United States.

Of course, earlier in the hour, we heard from George W. Bush, as he was campaigning in the state of Illinois.

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