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Special Event

Gore Holds Campaign Rally in Kansas City, Missouri

Aired November 3, 2000 - 10:41 a.m. ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore on the stump once again this morning: Kansas City, Missouri, 11 Electoral votes up for grabs in Missouri. The Al Gore now speaking on the stump. We will listen in live now.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Are you with me?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Are you ready to win?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Are you ready to fight?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Well, this is a "fork in the road" election. There's a big choice at stake. Will we continue the prosperity and extend it to everyone?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: Or will we go back to the old ways of the old days...

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: Now, my opponent, Governor Bush, likes to say we're a whole lot better off eight years ago than we are today.

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: And he recommends that we go back to the kinds of policies we had eight years ago.

AUDIENCE: No.

GORE: Yes, that's my feeling exactly, because I remember what it was like back then, with the high unemployment and the higher inflation and higher crime rate, and the biggest deficits in history, and quadrupled national debt. Do you realize the third largest expenditure in our government's budget today is interest on the debt that was run up in the 1980s, mostly? And we're still paying that money every single year.

We ought to be able to use those resources to build a future for these children and grandchildren.

(APPLAUSE)

And that's why we need to balance the budget every year and pay down the debt and pay off the debt, so it's not a burden on these children.

(APPLAUSE)

Are you with me?

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Karen McCarthy for her great leadership in the United States Congress. Let's re-elect Karen McCarthy and let's make Dick Gephardt the speaker of the House of Representatives.

And my friends, I am so deeply moved by the courage and grace of Jean Carnahan in making sure that the fire does not go out. Let's pull that lever for Mel Carnahan on Tuesday and send Jean Carnahan to make sure that fire never goes out.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm proud that my friend, Emanuel Cleaver is here...

(APPLAUSE)

... and he's been such a great help to me.

And I thank Mayor Kay Barnes for also being here, and county executive Katheryn Shields. And two long-time friends of mine, Jim Slattery and Alan Weed (ph), who served in the United States Congress...

(APPLAUSE)

... with great distinction and we appreciate that.

Now, let me get right down to business, here.

(CROSSTALK)

"Give them hell," she yelled.

(LAUGHTER)

And you know what the man from Missouri -- the man from this part of Missouri...

(APPLAUSE)

... said when he was urged to give them hell. Harry Truman said in that election of 1948, the year I was born, the closet election of this century -- the closet election. And, in fact, old Tom Dewey was ahead in the polls going into the final weekend. And the famous headline was published, because the national media believed what Dewey was saying about it.

And when somebody yelled to Harry Truman, "Give 'em hell," he said, and I repeat, in this context, "I'm going to tell the truth and they'll think it's hell."

(APPLAUSE)

So here is the truth: The policies that Governor Bush is proposing would put us deeply into deficits. He is proposing a plan that would put our prosperity immediately at risk by pushing interest rates up.

And why? It's because he wants to squander this surplus that's been built up by the hard work of the American people, on a giant tax cut for the very wealthy, with almost half of all the tax benefits going to the wealthiest 1 percent.

Now, these figures are taken from his own plan. He cannot dispute them. Forty-one percent, and maybe a little more than that, of all of his tax cut proposal goes to a group that average $1 million per year.

Now, how many of you here make $1 million per year?

(LAUGHTER)

Your momma's glad to hear that.

(LAUGHTER)

I think we need middle class tax cuts for the people who have the hardest time paying the bills.

(APPLAUSE)

I think we need a balanced budget, because it helps to keep the prosperity going. And I think we need to invest in our schools and treat teachers like the professionals they are and reduce the class size and give more one-on-one time.

(APPLAUSE)

I think we need universal preschool for all of the children in this country, and expand Head Start.

(APPLAUSE)

And I'll make college tuition tax deductible for middle class families, up to $10,000 a year. (APPLAUSE)

And I am not in favor of the approach that he's recommending, to drain taxpayer money away from the public schools, leave them with less when they're challenged with more to do, in the form of private school vouchers that go to schools that play a great role but should not get taxpayer money. They're not accountable for it; they don't accept all students.

We need to build up our schools, and we need to give local communities help in doing that.

We also need to fight for the kind of health care policies that will make families strong and will parents.

(APPLAUSE)

We need to ensure every single child in America within the next four years and make sure that families have that available.

And for goodness' sake, contrary to what my opponent is recommending at the behest of HMOs and the insurance companies, we need to take the medical decisions away from the HMOs and give them back to the doctors and nurses and health care professionals. Are you with me?

(APPLAUSE)

And we need to understand that these seniors are having trouble with their prescription medicine. I'm for a prescription drug benefit under Medicare for all seniors.

(APPLAUSE)

My opponent is supported by the HMOs and the insurance companies and the big drug companies, and he has taken their position, opposing these measures. I've taken the position I have, because it is what is -- because it's the right thing for the middle class families and working men and women.

Listen, for 24 years, as Tipper said, for 24 years, I have worked for the working people and the middle class families of America. And along the way, I have had many occasions to take on the powerful special interests, and they know where my heart is. My heart is with you. And they know that with that experience, I'm going to be taking them on anytime they stand in the way of what's right for you and your family.

(APPLAUSE)

And we're going to do it in a way that makes your lives better.

(APPLAUSE)

The big polluters support my opponent. I support clean air and clean water and a clean environment... (APPLAUSE)

... for all of the families of Missouri.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I want to spend just a movement this morning talking about one issue in particular. Yesterday, Governor Bush said that Social Security was not a federal program. I'm not sure what he meant...

(LAUGHTER)

... but if you read the transcript, he was attempting to defend his proposal to take a trillion dollars out of Social Security, and he's promised it to two different groups of people.

Now, Social Security has always operated in the following way: The people that pay into it earn an entitlement to get benefits when they retire, but the money that's paid in this year goes mostly to pay the benefits this year to those who are retired and drawing Social Security.

He's proposing to take 16 percent, a huge amount of the money that flows into the trust fund, and divert it. And then he's promising seniors there'll be absolutely no cuts. It's a trillion dollars worth.

Now, he's been put on the defensive about this, because the people who understand how Social Security operates, and the families that know why it's so important to ensure the dignity of life for those who are in their later years, have tried to add the numbers up and the numbers do not add up.

I know that 1 plus 1 equals 2, but $1 trillion promised to two different groups of people doesn't add up, unless you're using what kind of math?

AUDIENCE: Fuzzy math.

GORE: Well, if you want fuzzy math, then he's your guy. But if you want somebody who will fight to defend Social Security, who will give a new incentive for savings to young workers on top of Social Security, not at the expense of Social Security, then that's what I'm proposing.

I'll put Social Security in a lockbox, and I'll veto anything that takes the money out of Social Security for anything other than Social Security.

(APPLAUSE)

But here is the point that I'm making: Governor Bush is on the defensive about Social Security, and so when he was trying to explain it, he got carried away in one of his rallies and he said, "They're scared of my plan. What do they think Social Security is? Some kind of federal program?" (LAUGHTER)

Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

And a damn good one, too.

(APPLAUSE)

So if Governor Bush doesn't know that it's a federal program, maybe that explains why he thinks it's all right -- why he thinks it's all right to take a trillion dollars out of the trust fund and play around with it by promising it to two different groups of people.

But, my friends, look, the special interests that would be perfectly happy to see Social Security wrecked, that are opposing the Patients' Bill of Rights and a prescription drug benefit, and environmental protections -- these special interests have been funneling huge amounts of money into the other side, with which they put up these smokescreen advertisements to try to fool you.

And I'll tell you, what they don't fully take into account is that in this day and time, it's much harder to fool all the people even some of the time, because you've got access to the information.

(APPLAUSE)

And because of our founders' genius and their gift to us of a Constitution that protects our freedoms, there's one day that comes around every four years when you have more power than all the special interests combined. There's one day that comes around every four years when you have the opportunity to strike a blow for your own families, for your loved ones, and guide the destiny of the United States of America, even if the special interests don't like what you're doing and saying. They tremble at the thought that you're going to see through the smokescreen, that you're going to penetrate the veil, that you're going to do what's best for your families.

That day is November the 7th, and I ask for your help.

(APPLAUSE)

Tuesday. Are you with me?

(APPLAUSE)

I believe we ought to raise the minimum wage $1 an hour for those who most need help. I think we ought to get rid of permanent striker replacement and protect the right to organize.

I think that the time has come to say loudly and clearly, that women who work just as hard as men in jobs today, and come home often and do a second shift, should not be given on average only 76 cents of every dollar a man earns. I'm for an equal days pay for an equal days work.

(APPLAUSE)

Are you with me?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

GORE: My friends, so much is at stake: the Congress, the White House and the next president will appoint three or four, maybe even five, justices of the Supreme Court. Civil rights are very much at stake. I'm for a hate crimes law. I believe we need to enforce our civil rights laws.

(APPLAUSE)

The dignity and inclusion of the disability community is at stake; a 5-4 decision now pending. Women's rights, civil rights, these are choices on the ballot in the one race that I am asking you to pay particular attention to.

Now, let me close by saying this: I know very well, as I've told you before, that I won't always be the most exciting politician.

(APPLAUSE)

But I will work hard for you everyday. And I will never let you down. And I'll fight for you with all my heart. And I'll win for you the battles that we need to win together. So I ask you to go and win this election in Missouri where the balance lies. I need your help.

Let's vote on Tuesday for the kind of change we need.

God bless you. Thank you very much. Let's win.

HEMMER: Vice President Al Gore again on the stump today, Kansas City, Missouri, a key state. Missouri has shown a lot of success in picking presidents in the past; 11 electoral votes up for grabs there.

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