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Special Event

Vice President Gore Holds Campaign Rally in Chicago

Aired November 2, 2000 - 1:40 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: Vice President Gore has just taken the stage. He's shed his suit coat. He is among friends in Chicago. And he's about to speak.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me tell you what I'm hearing. What I'm hearing is that on Tuesday we're going to carry Illinois big.

(APPLAUSE)

And I'm hearing from your enthusiasm that we're going to win this country's future on Tuesday and take the presidency.

(APPLAUSE)

This great city gave me an opportunity to serve my country. Eight years ago we started, and then four years ago I came here. This great city rolled up the vote and gave Bill Clinton and me a chance to bring change to the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

And I've had a great partner in your great mayor, Rich Daley.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

And you've got a great United States senator in Dick Durbin, who has been a part of this all along the way.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank the Reverend Jesse Jackson for campaigning for me all over the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

Congresswoman Jane Schakowsky, thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

John Stroger, thank you, my friend, for being such a great leader.

(APPLAUSE)

And I want to thank Stevie Wonder. Isn't he great?

(APPLAUSE)

And John Cusack. Thank you, my friend, thank you for coming to do this.

(APPLAUSE)

And Chris Tucker. Is Chris here? He's over there. OK. Very good.

Listen, my friends, here is what is at stake.

We have a big choice facing us. My choice is to continue the prosperity, keep it going, fight for the people, include everyone in our prosperity, and don't turn back.

(APPLAUSE)

My opponent, Governor Bush, likes to say we were a lot better off eight years ago than we are today.

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: That was my reaction also.

He recommends that we go back to the kinds of policies that we had eight years ago.

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: That was my reaction also.

My message and yours to George Bush is: We are not going back. We're going forward and onward and upward to better times.

(APPLAUSE)

The last eight years have seen progress. We've turned the biggest deficits into the biggest surpluses. Instead of a triple-dip recession, we've got a tripling of the markets. Instead of high unemployment, we've got the lowest African-American and lowest Latino unemployment in history, lowest unemployment in 30 years, 22 million new jobs, and the strongest economy in the history of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

But I'm not satisfied. It's not good enough. You ain't seen nothing yet. We're going to have better days still.

(APPLAUSE) Now, we are at a fork in the road. We can go in one of two directions. Governor Bush recommends that we take this surplus that's been hard-earned by the hard work of all of you and squander it in a giant tax cut for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

He wants to give almost half of that tax cut to the wealthiest 1 percent, those who average a million dollars a year or more.

Now, wait a minute. I know that some of you make a million dollars a year or more, and you may want to consider -- I mean people besides Stevie Wonder.

(LAUGHTER)

But thank goodness even some of them know that it's better to lift up everyone. We're all better off when the economy is going up.

(APPLAUSE)

My recommendation is very different. I think we need to safeguard the surplus and use it for everyone. I think we need to balance the budget and pay down the debt, so the debt is eventually paid off in 12 years so these children will graduate from college at a time when they can be debt-free.

(APPLAUSE)

And then I wan to invest in our priorities. I think it's time to treat teachers like the professionals they are and reduce the class size.

(APPLAUSE)

We need new accountability. We need the kinds of new reforms that Mayor Rich Daley has innovated here in the city of Chicago. And then we need to make it the number one national priority to bring dramatic, major improvements to all of our schools.

And I want to make college tuition tax deductible for middle class families, $10,000 a year.

(APPLAUSE)

You're for that, aren't you?

You bet. All families ought to be able to send their kids on to college.

And we need job training, because we need new skills for the future.

And I believe it's time to raise the minimum wage $1 an hour for those who most need help.

(APPLAUSE)

And it's time to get rid of the permanent striker replacement and have fairness in our country.

(APPLAUSE)

I think it's wrong that women, who are working just as hard and sometimes a double shift when they get home, I think it's wrong that women are still earning on average 76 cents to every dollar a man is earning. We need an equal day's pay for an equal day's work.

Are you with me?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Are you with me?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Are you ready to win?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: I believe it's time that we have a prescription drug benefit for all seniors under the Medicare program.

(APPLAUSE)

I think it's time to take the medical decisions away from the HMOs and insurance companies, and give them back to the doctors and the nurses and the health care professionals.

I believe it's time to have clean air and clean water, and take on the challenges of the global environment, and create millions of good new jobs by providing leadership here in the United States. We are at a fork in the road.

And when it comes to the environment, the difference is very clear. Governor Bush appointed a chemical industry lobbyist to oversee the environmental laws in Texas. They made some of those laws voluntary.

And it won't surprise you to find out that then they sank to the worse position, 50 out of 50. They've got the worse industrial air pollution in America. Houston is the smoggiest city. As someone once said, "Houston, we've got a problem."

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

You don't want to see the Chicago skyline look like Houston's skyline.

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: We want a clean environment.

Aren't you proud that you can swim in the lake and that you've got a clean environment?

(APPLAUSE)

Aren't you proud the river is coming back?

(APPLAUSE)

I understand you've even got gondolas on the river now.

(APPLAUSE)

I understand you've even got concrete flower pots on the streets around here.

(APPLAUSE)

Man, oh man.

We need a commitment to a clean environment. On health care, I mention those two issues.

In the state of Texas, they have a record that has them 50th out of 50 in health insurance for families. Couple of years ago, they had the biggest budget surplus in the history of Texas, because of our national economic recovery.

Governor Bush fought against the legislators who wanted to use that surplus to get health insurance for children. One out of every 10 uninsured children in America is in Texas.

Instead, he fought for tax cuts to the special interests, and called it an emergency that they need a new tax cut for oil companies.

Now, let me ask you a question. If you were governor of a large state, and you had the worst record of all in health insurance for families, and you suddenly came into possession of the biggest budget surplus ever, don't you think it might occur to you to use some of it to lift your ranking from 50 to maybe 49 or 48 or 47 or higher? But no. They went for the emergency tax cut for the oil companies.

Now, here is why that's relevant. The president you elect on November the 7th will come into office on January 20 of this coming year with the biggest budget surplus our country has ever had. I'm recommending that we balance the budget, have middle class tax cuts, pay down the debt, invest in our schools and give high-quality health insurance to every single child in America within the next four years.

(APPLAUSE)

Are you with me?

(APPLAUSE)

Governor Bush is recommending instead that we squander that surplus and use it in ways that enrich the already rich. But worse than that, what will happen is that it would put us back into deficits again and stop the prosperity, drive interest rates up.

So you need to know that in this fork-in-the-road election, prosperity itself is on the ballot.

Vote for prosperity. Vote for your family. Vote for your community. Vote for a bright future in this country.

WATERS: Al Gore on the balls of his feet in Daley Plaza, named for the Daleys of Chicago, giving his stump speech to the folks there, and telling them that he's hearing we're going to win in Illinois, even though the latest tracking poll from Gallup shows Bush with 48 percent, Gore with 43 percent. Of course, those polls have been jumping around all the while.

Illinois voters usually go with the winner, voting for the loser only twice in the last century.

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