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Gore Addresses Rally in Dearborn, Michigan

Aired November 4, 2000 - 10:24 a.m. ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Miles O'Brien, CNN Washington.

We're going to break into "SHOWBIZ THIS WEEKEND" to take you once again back out to the campaign trail. Dearborn, Michigan's the location, Republican rally, retired General Colin Powell about to introduce the candidate, George W. Bush.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: ... great team that is on this platform with me this morning: Governor George Bush and Secretary Dick Cheney.


What you'll be doing on Tuesday will be exercising your democratic right to vote for a new leader, a new leader, a new leader who will perform many roles as your president. That president will serve as a commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States, the head of government, the head of state.

Perhaps no responsibility is greater than to be the commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States. It takes a leader of principle; it takes a leader who is willing to look those young men and women in the eyes and let them know that if we ever send them into harm's way, we will send them into harm's way with a clear sense of what they're supposed to accomplish, with all the resources necessary to win and to be successful.


For the last eight years we've seen a degradation in the capability of our armed forces. Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney have had the guts to talk about it. Their opponents have said, "Don't talk about that. You're talking down the military." Far from it: We believe in our military, we love our military, and the greatest truth is to speak the truth about the condition of our military.


And I'm telling you -- I'm saying to you right now, we have problems in the military. Officers are leaving, colonels are not accepting command, readiness is going down. We owe the American people more than that, we owe our GIs more than that. And I can tell you from personal experience, these two gentlemen will give them more than that.


You are also voting for a leader next Tuesday who will restore dignity to our government, who will bring a fresh breath of air throughout the White House and throughout Washington, D.C., a man of character, a man of principle, a man who will come in with the predilection to give power back to the people, to give taxes back to the people, to give you greater control over education, to try new ideas to educate our children, to undertake those programs that will make our families stronger, make our communities safer, and make us proud once again to be Americans and to look to Washington and see principled leadership in the White House of the United States of America.


Governor Bush trusts people, not government. He will rule and govern by that principle, and with him will be Vice President Cheney, who believes in the same principles.

I've worked for Mr. Cheney. We went through some tough times together. And I'm telling you, you're getting a vice president who is totally committed to America, totally committed to the American people and will always do that which is right for the American people. He is going to be a great vice president.


And so, there are just a few days left. Don't be distracted by the little sniping that comes in from the flanks. We know what we're going to do. We know where we're heading. On Tuesday, we're going to have a new president, a president we can be proud of.

And I am now proud to introduce him to you, the next president of the United States, Governor George W. Bush.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you all. Thank you very much. Thank you all for coming this morning.

There's nothing like starting the home stretch of this important campaign than being in front of a huge crowd of my fellow Americans here in the great state of Michigan.


Thank you all for coming.

First, I'm so honored to be on the stage with your good governor, my good friend, John and Michelle Engler.


We need to send Spence Abraham back to the United States Senate.

(APPLAUSE) He's a good man; he's a good man.

There's another United States senator here today and that is Ben Nighthorse Campbell from the state of Colorado.


Here's my advice to the senators, the congressmen: Be patient, folks, in three short days help is on the way.


In three short days, we'll have new leadership in the nation's capital.

I'm so proud of the endorsement I received from Larry Brennan (ph).


I've got some fellow Texans here that have campaigned on my behalf.


They probably don't know how important it is to have the endorsement of Larry Brennan. This man has been a long-time leader in the labor movement here in Michigan. He's the head of the Teamsters for this state. And to have him standing by my side is not only a strong plus, it must be sending a chilling signal to our opponents.


The message is loud and clear, when you get Larry's support, that not only is our Republican Party united, but we've got working people in the Democrat Party who are going to be supporting this candidacy as well.


The role of a leader is to pick good people to serve the country. The role of a leader is to find the best and ask them to serve. I found the best when I asked Dick Cheney to be my running mate.


Laura and I are proud to call Dick and Lynne our friends. You'll be proud to call him, "Mr Vice President."


I'm not looking right now for anybody else. We've got three days to go to turn out the vote. But should it all go well, who knows -- let me put it this way: I'm honored to be introduced by Colin Powell.

(APPLAUSE) What a good man, what a great American.


You can judge the nature of man by the company he keeps.


I'm not only keeping really good political company, I keep great company when it comes to the next first lady of the United States. She's going to make a fabulous first lady. America will love her as much as I do.


We're coming down the stretch. I learned a pretty good lesson in Texas politics out of West Texas. One time I ran for Congress and came in second place in a two-man race.


A lady walked up in my hometown of Midland -- I know there's some folks from Midland here...


That's a pretty good sign when your home folks come all the way from Midland, Texas, to Michigan to campaign.


Anyway, she walked up and said, "I didn't vote for you."

I said, "Why not?"

She said, "Because you didn't bother to ask for my vote."

You tell them when you get back to your neighborhoods: "George W. came to Michigan to ask for the vote." I want your help.


As we're coming down the stretch, I need your help. I want you to man those phones, I want you calling not only Republicans but open- minded Democrats and independents to turn out that vote on next Tuesday so we can send a clear message: America is ready for a fresh start after a season of cynicism.


The role of a leader -- the role of a leader is to stand on principle, not to rely upon nightly polls and focus groups. The role of a leader is to have principles which become the bedrock of decision-making.

I believe in family. I believe in local control of schools and communities and cities.


I believe the role of government ought to be limited. Government ought to do a few things and do them well.

And I think all of us ought to be held accountable for the decisions we make in life. The role of a leader is to set clear priorities, not trying to be all things to all people, but clear priorities that will matter in the lives of our citizens.

During the course of this campaign, I've outlined my priorities. One priority that the two gentlemen who preceded me talked about was to rebuild our military to keep the peace, and we will do that.


A priority is to make sure the people's retirement system not only fulfills the promise today, but that there's a Social Security system for the younger workers tomorrow.

It's time to have a president who will bring Republicans and Democrats together, to bring people together, to reform Social Security once and for all, to be able to say to our seniors, "A promise we have made is a promise we have kept." But to say to younger workers as well, "We trust you. We trust you with your own money to manage your money in the private markets to get a better rate of return."


A priority will be to make sure every child is educated, and not one child is left behind. But I want to assure the good folks of Michigan, I don't want to be the federal superintendent of schools. I'm not trying to be your national principal. As a matter of fact, I think we ought to pass power out of Washington, to trust the local folks, to trust parents and teachers and principals to chart the path for excellence for every child in the state of Michigan.


A priority of ours will be to bring Republicans and Democrats together to make sure the promise of Medicare is fulfilled, to make sure our seniors can retire in dignity with a health care system for which we can all be proud. We must have a Medicare plan with prescription drugs for all seniors, a prescription drug plan that helps the poorest seniors. But all seniors will get help, and a prescription and a Medicare plan that will trust seniors to make choices if they're unhappy with the federal program.

It's a priority of ours. These are priorities.


Perhaps you've heard my opponent's -- one my opponent's favorite phrases when he says, "You ain't seen nothing yet." This country, for eight years, has been hoping for Medicare reform, but we "ain't seen nothing yet."


There's an achievement gap in public education; the nation cries for reforms that will not leave children behind, but for eight years, we "ain't seen nothing yet."


We've got a military, a military that's over-committed, a commander in chief who's lost focus for what the military ought to be about. The nation wants a military that's strong, of high morale, but after eight years, we "ain't seen nothing yet."

AUDIENCE: Ain't seen nothing yet.

BUSH: We've got veterans all around America who are wondering what went wrong with the Veterans Administration. The lines are too long. The bureaucracy is too confusing. For eight years we've needed reform at the VA, but we "ain't seen nothing yet."

AUDIENCE: Ain't seen nothing yet.

BUSH: We've got uninsured workers around America. The nation needs a plan to trust uninsured to be able to purchase their own health care. For eight years, we've been wondering, but we "ain't seen nothing yet."

AUDIENCE: Ain't seen nothing yet.

BUSH: We've seen too much, folks. It's time for leadership in Washington, D.C.


The role of a leader -- the role of a leader is to focus on results, not words. The role of a leader is to put the people's business ahead of politics. The role of a leader is not to use these important issues for short-term political gain, like they've been doing in Washington. The role of a leader is to go Washington with a clear agenda and the will of the people behind that agenda to do the people's business, and that is exactly what I'm going to do, should I earn your trust.


The role of a leader is to trust the American people. And there's no greater issue to point out the difference between me and Al Gore than to talk about your money and the surplus.

First of all, our budget's grown in Washington over a 10-year period, and there's still money left over. That's why it's called a surplus. If you listen to them in Washington, D.C., if you listen carefully, it sounds like he thinks that the surplus exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of your federal government.


BUSH: No, no, no. The surplus exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of the American people.


Folks, the surplus is not the government's money. It's your money. It's the hard-working people's money.


And after we meet our priorities, you get some of your own money back.


And people say, "Why? Why?"

Well, here's the reason why: The average family pays more in federal, state and local taxes than they do in housing, clothing and food. You think about that. You think about how high we're taxing the working people.

Or how about this for an idea as to why you deserve some of your own money back? Because energy prices are high, because this administration has failed to lead. There is no energy policy in America.


No, it's time to hear voices other than those who think Washington is the answer. It's time to trust people. It's time to reform this tax code. It's time to send money back to the people who pay the bills.

You've heard the debate, I know. I know you've heard the debate. I'm running against a man who said we're standing on the side of the rich and he's standing on the side of everybody else. But here are the facts, folks: He's campaigning for what's called "targeted tax relief." It's so targeted that 50 million Americans receive not one dime of relief.

I want to remind you all, as you go out and help us turn out the vote, what he said at the Democrat convention, when he said, "If you elect me, I'll make sure the right people get tax relief." I want people to listen to that for just a second. You've got a man running for president of the United States who says, "Vote for me, because I get to decide who the right people are." That's not our vision of America. Everybody's the right person in America.

O'BRIEN: We've been listening to candidate George W. Bush at location Dearborn, Michigan, specifically Ford Field, addressing a group of very enthusiatic partisans there. The governor joined by Michigan Governor John Engler and retired General Colin Powell and his running mate, Dick Cheney, in these the waning days of the election 2000, hitting on familiar themes, rebuilding the military, bipartisanship, revamping Social Security improving education, enhancing Medicare coverage for seniors among other things addressing that partisan crowd.

CNN's comprehensive coverage of the road to the Oval Office continues all throughout this weekend and up to the election on this Tuesday. Please stay with us. We will bring you the latest from the campaign trail on both sides of this heated and most contested race in recent memory.

I'm Miles O'Brien, CNN Washington. We now join "STYLE."



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