[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[November 1, 1994]
[Pages 1931-1932]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



Interview With Thera Martin Connelly of WDAS Radio, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania
November 1, 1994

    Ms. Connelly. Hello, Mr. President.
    The President. Hello.

Midterm Elections

    Ms. Connelly. It is our delight and honor to have this opportunity 
to interview you, sir. And we were particularly pleased to see you in 
Philadelphia yesterday campaigning for the Democrats. As we look at this 
election year, general election day, November the 8th, certainly there's 
a lot of shopping for votes across the Nation and here in Pennsylvania. 
What would you say to our listening audience to encourage them to 
participate on election day?
    The President. I'd say first of all, you have a lot at stake in this 
election. The issue is whether we're going to continue to go forward to 
build the economy and to make the Government work for ordinary citizens 
or whether we're going to go back to the approach that the Republicans 
gave us in the 1980's where they cut taxes for the wealthy, increased 
defense spending, and promised to balance the budget, giving us the 
possibility of either big cuts in Social Security and Medicare or a big 
increase in the deficit and the loss of jobs.
    I saw an article in one of the newspapers about a gentleman from 
Philadelphia who said he didn't know if he would vote because he voted 
for me in 1992; he had a part-time job; he wanted a full-time job, and 
he hadn't found a full-time job yet. I sympathize with that gentleman. 
But what I want to say to him and to all your listeners is that in the 4 
years before I took office, Pennsylvania lost 8,300 jobs, no job gain, a 
loss. In the 21 months since I've been here, Pennsylvania's gained 
86,000 jobs and we're working on building more. And we're working on 
bringing new investments to the inner cities, which have been too long 
ignored.
    I know there are a lot of people who still feel uncertain about 
their own economic situation, who are worried about crime and violence 
and the breakdown of their communities. But we are facing these issues. 
We are dealing with the problems with the crime bill, with the family 
leave law, with immunizing kids and expanding Head Start and providing 
college loans at more affordable rates and building the job base of the 
country. And we don't need to turn back.
    So I would urge the people who are listening to me to get out there 
and vote, because we need to keep going in this direction. After all, 
the other approach was tried for 12 years without very good results. 
We've just had 21 months, and the country's in better shape than it was 
when I took office. We need to keep going. That's my message.
    Ms. Connelly. Suddenly we have seen defections, if you will, where 
Republicans have come over and endorsed Democrats for upcoming general 
elections. In New York, it was the mayor of New York, Giuliani, coming 
out in support of Cuomo. And here in Pennsylvania, former U.S. Senator 
John Heinz's wife, Teresa Heinz, says that she could not see a Santorum 
in the

[[Page 1932]]

U.S. Senate. Do you see more Americans perhaps who are Republicans, on 
the books, jumping over to the Democratic side on election day?
    The President. Well, I hope so. You know, I think a lot of 
Republican leaders out in the country who are not part of the 
congressional leadership, they always wanted to work in a bipartisan 
fashion. And they wanted to debate Democrats in a civilized way that 
would build up our country, not tear it down. And I think Teresa Heinz--
well, I read her speech. She'd been very upset by some of the things 
that Mr. Santorum has said that have been irresponsible, divisive, 
negative, and inaccurate. And it took a lot of courage for her to say 
what she did. Mayor Giuliani in New York, just by the same token, was 
trying to be supportive of his people, and being a citizen first and a 
Republican second, when he endorsed Governor Cuomo.
    The same thing happened with the mayor of Los Angeles endorsing the 
Democratic Senator; Mrs. Reagan, our former First Lady, attacking Oliver 
North in Virginia. There are a lot of good Republicans who are upset by 
this extremism and negativism and sort of power grab mentality that has 
taken over the congressional Republican Party. They do not like it, and 
they want to stand against it.
    And the people of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are going to have a 
chance to stand against it by reelecting Senator Wofford and voting in 
these other elections on Tuesday. And I certainly hope they'll do so.
    Ms. Connelly. We're talking with President Clinton, and we've only 
got another minute or two with him. I understand that your schedule is 
very busy, sir. In closing, I wanted to get some thoughts from you, if 
you would, some food for thought that you could send out to our 
listening audience, why they should go Democrat as opposed to 
Republican, because there's been a lot of legislation blocked by 
Republicans.
    The President. You should vote for the Democrats instead of the 
Republicans because of what we have done, because of what they stopped 
us from doing, and because of what they propose to do.
    What have we done? We've made the Government work for ordinary 
citizens. We passed the family leave law so people can take some time 
off when their babies are sick without losing their jobs. We're going to 
immunize all children in the country under 2 by 1996. We expanded Head 
Start. We expanded college loans. You should vote for the Democrats 
because we've got the economy coming back. There's a lower deficit, a 
smaller Federal Government, and more job growth. You should vote for the 
Democrats because the world is more peaceful and prosperous, and that's 
good for Americans. We've got more trade. We've got a more peaceful 
world from Haiti to Northern Ireland to the Middle East. You should vote 
for the Democrats because we've taken the time to develop some special 
incentives to get investment into our inner cities to create jobs there, 
empowerment zones and community development banks and other things.
    You should vote for the Democrats because of what we tried to do 
with political reform, campaign finance reform, and lobby reform. What 
we tried to do to clean up toxic waste dumps was stopped by Republican 
delaying tactics. And if you reward them, they'll just do it again.
    You should vote for the Democrats because this Republican contract 
is a way to take us back to the trickle-down Reaganomics of the 
eighties: give the rich a tax cut, spend more on defense, promise to 
balance the budget. You're either going to have them cutting Social 
Security and Medicare or exploding the deficit and sending jobs 
overseas. There's no other alternative.
    And we offer a path to the future. They want to take us back. So I 
hope the people in Philadelphia will vote for the future on Tuesday.
    Ms. Connelly. Mr. President, I can never thank you enough for this 
opportunity and this honor to chat with you for a few moments. And I'm 
sure our listeners here at WDAS AM and FM appreciate it as well.
    God bless you, sir.
    The President. Thank you. Goodbye.

Note: The interview was recorded at 4:52 p.m. for broadcast and release 
at 6 p.m. The President spoke by telephone from the Westin Hotel in 
Detroit, MI.