THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Raleigh, North Carolina) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release July 30, 1998
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO OVERFLOW CROWD
North Carolina State Fairgrounds Raleigh, North Carolina
8:15 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. We wanted to come by and thank you. I know that you had to come here, you didn't get in the other room, you had to listen, you couldn't see. But if it's any consolation, you are much, much cooler than anybody in that other room is right now. (Applause.)
And I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being so good to me and the First Lady and the Vice President over the last five and a half years, for the support that I've gotten from people from North Carolina, especially from my number one North Carolinian, Erskine Bowles, who has been a wonderful Chief of Staff. (Applause.)
I want to thank you for your commitment to John Edwards. And I want to ask you -- you know, you heard us talking in the speeches about his proposal today to Senator Faircloth that they give up the ads and just spend all their money paying for honest conversations with the people of North Carolina. (Applause.) I think that's a good idea.
You just think about how it would change politics in America forever if North Carolina had an election in which there were no 30-second attack ads and the two candidates sat down around a table or maybe had 20 or 30 or 50 citizens sitting with them, and honestly discussed the issues on television where everybody could be a part of it, write them, tell them what they thought, decide what they agree with, what they disagree with. Think about it. It would recreate old-fashioned citizenship again. (Applause.)
Now, if you like that, don't let it be one letter in one statement in one day. Go out tomorrow and talk about it, and the next day, and talk to your friends and neighbors about it, and get a little ground swell built up about it, because I can tell you that I think that this candidate will be much more eager to do this than his opponent. (Applause.) But it's the right thing to do for the folks.
So stay with us, keep working. We're going to keep moving this country forward. Remember the last thing I said in there -- times are good now and I'm grateful for that. But that's not a time to sit on your laurels and sit back and congratulate yourself. When America is going into a new century and things are changing as they are, we should use the confidence of these good times to take on those big long-term challenges. And that's what you have to think about with these elections coming up.
Who do you really want to be dealing with the challenges of saving Social Security and Medicare for the 21st century? Who do you really trust to do more to build the best public schools in America for all of our children, without regard to their income, their race, or their region of the country? Who do you believe is more likely -- (applause) -- to get quality, affordable health care for all Americans, and say to the HMOs and to the managed care people, we want managed care, but we don't want accountants making decisions doctors should make. We want people to get in the emergency room to see the specialists, to have quality health care when they need it. (Applause.)
The answer is John Edwards. And I'm honored to be in North Carolina with him tonight. Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 8:18 P.M. EDT