The Second Presidential Debate
This is the transcript of the Richmond debate. The October 15th "town hall" format debate was hosted by Carole Simpson. She explains the format in her opening remarks. The length of this transcript is approximately 37 pages.
CAROLE SIMPSON: Good evening and welcome to this 2nd of 3presidential debates between the major candidates for president of theUS. The candidates are the Republican nominee, President George Bush,the independent Ross Perot and Governor Bill Clinton, the Democraticnominee. My name is Carole Simpson, and I will be the moderator for tonight's90-minute debate, which is coming to you from the campus of theUniversity of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Now, tonight's program is unlike any other presidential debate inhistory. We're making history now and it's pretty exciting. Anindependent polling firm has selected an audience of 209 uncommittedvoters from this area. The candidates will be asked questions bythese voters on a topic of their choosing--anything they want to askabout. My job as moderator is to, you know, take care of thequestioning, ask questions myself if I think there needs to becontinuity and balance, and sometimes I might ask the candidates torespond to what another candidate may have said. Now, the format has been agreed to by representatives of both theRepublican and Democratic campaigns, and there is no subject matterthat is restricted. Anything goes. We can ask anything. After the debate, the candidates will have an opportunity to make aclosing statement. So, President Bush, I think you said it earlier--let's get it on. PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Let's go. SIMPSON: And I think the first question is over here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes. I'd like to direct my question to Mr.Perot. What will you do as president to open foreign markets to faircompetition from American business and to stop unfair competition hereat home from foreign countries so that we can bring jobs back to theUS? ROSS PEROT: That's right at the top of my agenda. We've shippedmillions of jobs overseas and we have a strange situation because wehave a process in Washington where after you've served for a while youcash in, become a foreign lobbyist, make $30,000 a month, then take aleave, work on presidential campaigns, make sure you've got goodcontacts and then go back out. Now, if you just want to get down to brass tacks, first thing youought to do is get all these folks who've got these 1-way tradeagreements that we've negotiated over the years and say fellas, we'lltake the same deal we gave you. And they'll gridlock right at thatpoint because for example, we've got international competitors whosimply could not unload their cars off the ships if they had tocomply--you see, if it was a 2-way street, just couldn't do it. Wehave got to stop sending jobs overseas. To those of you in the audience who are business people: prettysimple. If you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for a factory worker,and you can move your factory south of the border, pay $1 an hour forlabor, hire a young--let's assume you've been in business for a longtime. You've got a mature workforce. Pay $1 an hour for your labor,have no health care--that's the most expensive single element inmaking the car. Have no environmental controls, no pollution controlsand no retirement. And you don't care about anything but makingmoney. There will be a job-sucking sound going south. If the people send me to Washington the first thing I'll do is studythat 2000-page agreement and make sure it's a 2-way street. One last point here. I decided I was dumb and didn't understand itso I called a "Who's Who" of the folks that have been around it, and Isaid why won't everybody go south; they said it will be disruptive; Isaid for how long. I finally got 'em for 12 to 15 years. And I said,well, how does it stop being disruptive? And that is when their jobscome up from a dollar an hour to $6 an hour, and ours go down to $6 anhour; then it's levelled again, but in the meantime you've wrecked thecountry with these kind of deals. We got to cut it out. SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Perot. I see that the president has stoodup, so he must have something to say about this. BUSH: Carole, the thing that saved us in this global economicslowdown has been our exports, and what I'm trying to do is increaseour exports. And if indeed all the jobs were going to move southbecause there are lower wages, there are lower wages now and theyhaven't done that. And so I have just negotiated with the presidentof Mexico the North American Free Trade Agreement--and the primeminister of Canada, I might add--and I want to have more of these freetrade agreements, because export jobs are increasing far faster thanany jobs that may have moved overseas. That's a scare tactic, becauseit's not that many. But any one that's here, we want to have morejobs here. And the way to do that is to increase our exports. Some believe in protection. I don't; I believe in free and fairtrade, and that's the thing that saved us. So I will keep on aspresident trying to get a successful conclusion to the GATT Round, thebig Uruguay Round of trade which will really open up markets for ouragriculture particularly. I want to continue to work after we getthis NAFTA agreement ratified this coming year. I want to get onewith Eastern Europe; I want to get one with Chile. And free and fairtrade is the answer, not protection. And, as I say, we've had tough economic times, and it's exports thathave saved us, exports that have built. SIMPSON: Governor Clinton. GOVERNOR CLINTON: I'd like to answer the question, because I'veactually been a governor for 12 years, so I've known a lot of peoplewho have lost their jobs because of jobs moving overseas, and I know alot of people whose plants have been strengthened by increasingexports. The trick is to expand our export base and to expand trade on termsthat are fair to us. It is true that our exports to Mexico, forexample, have gone up and our trade deficit has gone down; it's alsotrue that just today a record high trade deficit was announced withJapan. So what is the answer? Let me just mention 3 things very quickly.Number one, make sure that other countries are as open to our marketsas our markets are to them, and, if they're not, have measures on thebooks that don't take forever and a day to implement. Number two, change the tax code. There are more deductions in thetax code for shutting plants down and moving overseas than there arefor modernizing plant and equipment here. Our competitors don't dothat. Emphasize and subsidize modernizing plant and equipment here,not moving plants overseas. Number three, stop the federal government's program that now giveslow-interest loans and job training funds to companies that willactually shut down and move to other countries, but we won't do thesame thing for plants that stay here. So more trade but on fair terms--and favor investment in America. SIMPSON: Thank you. I think we have a question over here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: This is for Governor Clinton. In the realworld, that is, outside of Washington, DC, compensation andachievement are based on goals defined and achieved. My question isabout the deficit. Would you define in specific dollar goals how muchyou would reduce the deficit in each of the 4 years of a Clintonadministration and then enter into a legally binding contract with theAmerican people, that if you did not achieve those goals that youwould not seek a 2nd term? Answer yes or no and then comment on youranswer, please. CLINTON: No, and here's why. And I'll tell you exactly why.Because the deficit now has been building up for 12 years. I'll tellyou exactly what I think can be done. I think we can bring it down by50% in 4 years and grow the economy. Now, I could get rid of it in 4years in theory on the books now, but to do it you'd have to raisetaxes too much and cut benefits too much to people who need them andit would even make the economy worse. Mr. Perot will tell you, for example, that the expert he hired toanalyze his plan says that it will bring the deficit down in 5 yearsbut it will make unemployment bad for 4 more years. So my view is,sir, you have to increase investment, grow the economy and reduce thedeficit by controlling health care costs, prudent reductions indefense, cuts in domestic programs and asking the wealthiest Americansand foreign corporations to pay their fair share of taxes andinvesting and growing this economy. I ask everybody to look at my economic ideas and 9 Nobel prizewinners and over 500 economists and hundreds of business people,including a lot of Republicans said, this is the way you've got to go.If you don't grow the economy you can't get it done. But I can'tforesee all the things that will happen, and I don't think a presidentshould be judged solely on the deficit. Let me also say, we're having an election today. You'll have a shotat me in 4 years and you can vote me right out if you think I've donea lousy job and I would welcome you to do that. SIMPSON: Mr. President. BUSH: Well, I'm a little confused here, because I don't see how youcan grow the deficit down by raising people's taxes. You see, I don'tthink the American people are taxed too little. I think they're taxedtoo much. I went for one tax increase and when I make a mistake Iadmit it. I said that wasn't the right thing to do. Governor Clinton's program wants to tax more and spend more--$150billion in new taxes, spend another $220. I don't believe that's theway to do it. Here's some thing that'll help. Give us a balanced budgetamendment. He always talks about Arkansas having a balanced budgetand they do, but he has a balanced budget amendment. Have to do it.I'd like the government to have that. And I think it would disciplinenot only the Congress, which needs it, but also the executive branch. I'd like to have what 43 governors have--the line item veto, so ifthe Congress can't cut, and we've got a reckless spending Congress,let the president have a shot at it by wiping out things that are porkbarrel or something of that nature. I've proposed another one. Some sophisticates think it may be alittle gimmicky. I think it's good. It's a check- off. It says toyou as a taxpayer--say you're going to pay a tax of 1000 bucks orsomething. You can check 10% of that if you want to, in the 1 box,and that 10%, $100, or if you're paying $10,000, whatever it is,$1000, check it off and make the government, make it lower the deficitby that amount. And if the Congress won't do it, if they can't get together andnegotiate how to do that, then you'd have a sequester across theboard. You'd exempt Social Security--I don't want to tax or touchSocial Security. I'm the president that said hey, don't mess withSocial Security, and we haven't. So I believe that we need to control the growth of mandatoryspending, back to this gentleman's question. That's the main growingthing in the budget. The program that the president--two-thirds ofthe budget, I as president never get to look at, never get to touch.We've got to control that growth to inflation and population increase,but not raise taxes on the American people now. I just don't believethat would stimulate any kind of growth at all. SIMPSON: How about you, Mr. Perot? PEROT: Well, we're $4 trillion in debt. We're going into debt anadditional $1 billion, little more than $1 billion every working dayof the year. Now, the thing I love about it--I'm just a businessman. I was downin Texas taking care of business, tending to my family. Thissituation got so bad that I decided I'd better get into it. TheAmerican people asked me to get into it. But I just find itfascinating that while we sit here tonight we will go into debt anadditional $50 million in an hour and a half. Now, it's not the Republicans' fault, of course, and it's not theDemocrats' fault. And what I'm looking for is who did it? Now,they're the 2 folks involved so maybe if you put them together, theydid it. Now, the facts are we have to fix it. I'm here tonight for theseyoung people up here in the balcony from this college. When I was ayoung man, when I got out of the Navy I had multiple job offers.Young people with high grades can't get a job. People--the 18- to24-year-old high school graduates 10 years ago were making more thanthey are now. In other words, we were down to 18% of them weremaking-- 18- to 24-year- olds were making less than $12,000. Nowthat's up to 40%. And what's happened in the meantime? The dollar'sgone through the floor. Now, whose fault is that? Not the Democrats. Not the Republicans.Somewhere out there there's an extraterrestrial that's doing this tous, I guess. And everybody says they take responsibility. Somebodysomewhere has to take responsibility for this. Put it to you bluntly, American people. If you want me to be yourpresident, we're going to face our problems. We'll down our debt.We'll pass on the American dream to our children, and I will not leaveour children a situation that they have today. When I was a boy it took 2 generations to double the standard ofliving. Today it will take 12 generations. Our children will not seethe American dream because of this debt that somebody somewheredropped on us. SIMPSON: You're all wonderful speakers, and I know you have lotsmore to add, but I've talked to this audience, and they have lots ofquestions on other topics. Can we move to another topic, please? Wehave one up here, I think. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes, I'd like to address all the candidates withthis question. The amount of time the candidates have spent in thiscampaign trashing their opponents' character and their programs isdepressingly large. Why can't your discussions and proposals reflectthe genuine complexity and the difficulty of the issues to try tobuild a consensus around the best aspects of all proposals? SIMPSON: Who wants to take that one? Mr. Perot, you have ananswer for everything, don't you? Go right ahead, sir. PEROT: No, I don't have an answer for everything. As you all know,I've been buying 30-minute segments to talk about issues. Andtomorrow night on NBC, from 10:30 to 11 Eastern, we're going to talkabout how you pay the debt down, so we're going to come right down tothat one. We'll be on again Saturday night, 8 to 9 o'clock on ABC.So the point is-- BUSH: Like Jerry Brown, the 800 number. PEROT: --I couldn't agree with you more, couldn't agree with youmore. And I have said again and again and again let's get off mudwrestling, let's get off personalities and let's talk about jobs,health care, crime, the things that concern the American people. I'mspending my money--not PAC money, not foreign money, my money--to takethis message to the people. SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Perot. So that seems directed; he wouldsay it's you gentlemen that have been doing that. Mr. Clinton,Governor Clinton--oh, President Bush, how would you like to respond? BUSH: Well, in the first place, I believe that character is a partof being president. I think you have to look at it. I think that hasto be a part of a candidate for president or being president. Interms of programs, I've submitted, what, 4 different budgets to the USCongress in great detail. It's so heavy they'd give you a brokenback. And everything in there says what I am for. Now I've come out with a new agenda for America's renewal, a planthat I believe really will help stimulate the growth of this economy.My record on world affairs is pretty well known because I've beenpresident for 4 years, so I feel I've been talking issues. You know, nobody likes who shot John, but I think the first negativecampaign run in this election was by Governor Clinton, and I'm notgoing to sit there and be a punching bag; I'm going to stand up andsay, hey, listen, here's my side of it. But character is an important part of the equation. The other nightGovernor Clinton raised my--I don't know if you saw the debate theother night. You did--suffered through that? Well, he raised thequestion of my father--it was a good line, well rehearsed and welldelivered. But he raised the question of my father and said, well,your father, Prescott Bush, was against McCarthy, you should beashamed of yourself, McCarthyism. I remember something my dad toldme--I was 18 years old going to Penn Station to go on into the Navy,and he said write your mother--which I faithfully did; he said serveyour country--my father was an honor, duty and country man; and hesaid tell the truth. And I've tried to do that in public life, allthrough it. That says something about character. My argument with Governor Clinton--you can call it mud wrestling,but I think it's fair to put in focus is--I am deeply troubled bysomeone who demonstrates and organizes demonstration in a foreign landwhen his country's at war. Probably a lot of kids here disagree withme. But that's what I feel. That's what I feel passionately about.I'm thinking of Ross Perot's running mate sitting in the jail. Howwould he feel about it? But maybe that's generational. I don't know. But the big argument I have with the governor on this is this takingdifferent positions on different issues--trying to be one thing to oneperson here that's opposing the NAFTA agreement and then for it--whatwe call waffling. And I do think that you can't turn the White Houseinto the Waffle House. You've got to say what you're for and you'vegot to-- SIMPSON: Mr. President, I'm getting time cues and with all duerespect-- BUSH: Excuse me. I don't want to-- SIMPSON: I'm sorry. BUSH: I don't want to-- SIMPSON: Governor Clinton. BUSH: I get wound up because I feel strongly-- SIMPSON: Yes, you do. (Laughter) CLINTON: Let me say first of all to you that I believe so stronglyin the question you asked that I suggested this format tonight. Istarted doing these formats a year ago in New Hampshire and I foundthat we had huge crowds because all I did was let people ask questionsand I tried to give very specific answers. I also had a programstarting last year. I've been disturbed by the tone and the tenor ofthis campaign. Thank goodness the networks have a fact check so Idon't have to just go blue in the face anymore. Mr. Bush said onceagain I was going to have $150 billion tax increase. When Mr. Quaylesaid that all the networks said, that's not true. He's got over $100billion of tax cuts and incentives. So I'm not going to take up your time tonight, but let me just saythis. We'll have a debate in 4 days and we can talk about thischaracter thing again. But the Washington Post ran a long editorialtoday saying they couldn't believe Mr. Bush was making character anissue and they said he was the greatest quote "political chameleon"for changing has positions of all times. Now, I don't want to getinto that-- BUSH: Please don't get into the Washington Post. CLINTON: Wait a minute. Let's don't--you don't have to believe it.Here's my point. I'm not interested in his character. I want tochange the character of the presidency. And I'm interested in what wecan trust him to do and what you can trust me to do and what you cantrust Mr. Perot to do for the next 4 years. So I think you're rightand I hope the rest of the night belongs to you. SIMPSON: May I--I talked to this audience before you gentlemen cameand I asked them about how they felt about the tenor of the campaign.Would you like to let them know what you thought about that, when Isaid are you pleased with how the campaign's been going? (Audience: "No.") SIMPSON: Who wants to say why you don't like the way the campaignis going? We have a gentleman back here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: And forgive the notes here but I'm shy oncamera. The focus of my work as a domestic mediator is meeting the needs ofthe children that I work with, by way of their parents, and not thewants of their parents. And I ask the 3 of you, how can we, assymbolically the children of the future president, expect the 2 ofyou, the 3 of you to meet our needs, the needs in housing and in crimeand you name it, as opposed to the wants of your political spindoctors and your political parties? SIMPSON: So your question is? AUDIENCE QUESTION: Can we focus on the issues and not thepersonalities and the mud? I think there's a need, if we could take apoll here with the folks from Gallup perhaps, I think there's a realneed here to focus at this point on the needs. SIMPSON: How do you respond? How do you gentlemen respond to-- CLINTON: I agree with him. BUSH: Let's do it. SIMPSON: President Bush? BUSH: Let's do it. Let's talk about programs for children. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Could we cross our hearts? It sounds silly herebut could we make a commitment? You know, we're not under oath atthis point but could you make a commitment to the citizens of the USto meet our needs, and we have many, and not yours again? I repeatthat. It's a real need, I think, that we all have. BUSH: I think it depends how you define it. I mean, I think ingeneral, let's talk about these issues. Let's talk about theprograms. But in the presidency, a lot goes into it. Caring goesinto it. That's not particularly specific. Strength goes into it.That's not specific. Standing up against aggression. That's notspecific in terms of a program. This is what a president has to do. So in principle, though, I'll take your point and think we ought todiscuss child care or whatever else it is. SIMPSON: And you, too? CLINTON: Ross had his hand up. SIMPSON: Yes. PEROT: Just no hedges, no ifs, ands and buts. I'll take the pledgebecause I know the American people want to talk about issues and nottabloid journalism. So I'll take the pledge and will stay on theissues. Now, just for the record, I don't have any spin doctors. I don'thave any speechwriters. Probably shows. I make those charts you seeon television. But you don't have to wonder if it's me talking. See, what you seeis what you get and if you don't like it, you got two other choices,right? CLINTON: Wait a minute. I want to say just one thing now, Ross, infairness. The ideas I express are mine. I've worked on these thingsfor 12 years and I'm the only person up here who hasn't been part ofWashington in any way for the last 20 years. So I don't want theimplication to be that somehow everything we say is just cooked up andput in our head by somebody else. I worked 12 years very hard as agovernor on the real problems of real people. I'm just as sick as youare by having to wake up and figure out how to defend myself everyday. I never thought I'd ever be involved in anything like this. PEROT: May I finish? SIMPSON: Yes, you may finish. PEROT: Very briefly? SIMPSON: Yes, very briefly. PEROT: And I don't have any foreign money in my campaign. I don'thave any foreign lobbyists on leave in my campaign. I don't have anyPAC money in my campaign. I've got 5.5 million hard-working peoplewho put me on the ballot, and I belong to them. And they'reinterested in what you're interested in. I take the pledge. I've already taken the pledge on cutting thedeficit in half. I never got to say that. There's a great younggroup, Lead or Leave, college students, young people, who don't wantus to spend their money. I took the pledge we'd cut it out. SIMPSON: Thank you. We have a question here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes. I would like to get a response from all 3gentlemen. And the question is, what are your plans to improve thephysical infrastructure of this nation, which includes the watersystem, the sewer system, our transportation systems, etcetera. Thankyou. SIMPSON: The cities. Who's going to fix the cities and how? BUSH: I'll be glad to take a shot at it. SIMPSON: Please. BUSH: I'm not sure that--and I can understand if you haven't seenthis, because there's been a lot of hue and cry. We passed the mostfurthest looking transportation bill in the history of this countrysince Eisenhower started the interstate highways--$150 billion forimproving the infrastructure. That happened when I was president.And so I'm very proud of the way that came about and I think it's avery, very good beginning. Like Mr. Perot, I am concerned about the deficits and $150 billionis a lot of money, but it's awful hard to say we're going to out andspend more money when we're trying to get the deficit down. But Iwould cite that as a major accomplishment. We hear all the negatives.When you're president you expect this. Everybody's running againstthe incumbent. They can do better. Everyone knows that. But here's something that we can take great pride in because itreally does get to what you're talking about. Our homeinitiative--our home ownership initiative--HOPE--that passed theCongress is a good start for having people own their own homes insteadof living in these deadly tenements. Our enterprise zones, that we hear a lot of lip service about inCongress, would bring jobs into the inner city. There's a goodprogram. And I need the help of everybody across this country to getit passed in a substantial way by the Congress. When we went out to south central in Los Angeles--some of you mayremember the riots there. I went out there. I went to a boys' club.And everyone of them--the boys' club leaders, the ministers--all ofthem were saying pass enterprise zones. We go back to Washington andvery difficult to get it through the Congress. But there's going tobe a new Congress. No one likes gridlock. There's going to be a newCongress because the old one--I don't want to get this man made atme--but there was a post office scandal and a bank scandal. You'regoing to have a lot of new members of Congress. And then you can sitdown and say, help me do what we should for the cities. Help me passthese programs. SIMPSON: Mr. President, aren't you threatening to veto thebill--the urban aid bill--that included enterprise zones? BUSH: Sure, but the problem is, you get so many things included ina great big bill that you have to look at the overall good. That'sthe problem with our system. If you had a line item veto you couldknock out the pork. You could knock out the tax increases and youcould do what the people want, and that's create enterprise zones. SIMPSON: Governor Clinton, you're chomping at the bit. CLINTON: That bill pays for these urban enterprise zones by askingthe wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. And that's why hewants to veto it, just like he vetoed an earlier bill this year. Thisis not mud slinging. This is fact slinging--a bill earlier this year.This is facts--that would have given investment tax credits and otherincentives to reinvest in our cities, in our country. But it askedthe wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. Mr. Perot wants to dothe same thing. I agree with him. I mean, we agree with that. But let me tell you specifically what my plan does. My plan woulddedicate $20 billion a year in each of the next 4 years forinvestments in new transportation, communications, environmentalclean-ups and new technologies for the 21st century. And we wouldtarget it especially in areas that have been either depressed or whichhave lost a lot of defense related jobs. There are 200,000 people inCalifornia, for example, who have lost their defense related jobs.They ought to be engaged in making high speed rail. They ought to beengaged in breaking ground in other technologies, doing wasterecycling, clean water technology and things of that kind. We can create millions of jobs in these new technologies- -more thanwe're going to lost in defense--if we target it. But we're investinga much smaller percentage of our income in the things you just askedabout than all of our major competitors, and our wealth growth isgoing down as a result of it. It's making the country poorer, whichis why I answered the gentleman the way I did before. We have to bothbring down the deficit and get our economy through these kinds ofinvestments in order to get the kind of wealth and jobs and incomes weneed in America. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, what about your plans for the cities? Youwant to tackle the economy and the deficit first. PEROT: First you've got to have money to pay for these things. Soyou've got to create jobs. There are all kinds of ways to create jobsin the inner city. I'm not a politician, but I think I could go toWashington in a week and get everybody holding hands and get this billsigned because I talk to the Democratic leaders and they want it. Italk to the Republican leaders and they want it. But since they'rebred from childhood to fight with one another rather than get results,you know, I would be glad to drop out and spend a little time and seeif we couldn't build some bridges. Now, results is what counts. The president can't order Congressaround. Congress can't order the president around. That's not badfor a guy that's never been there, right? But you have to worktogether. Now, I have talked to the chairmen of the committees that want this.They're Democrats. The president wants it, but we can't get itbecause we sit here in gridlock because it's a campaign year. Wedidn't fund a lot of other things this year, like the savings and loanmess. That's another story that we're going to pay a big price forright after the election. The facts are though--the facts are--the American people arehurting. These people are hurting in the inner cities. We'reshipping the quote, "low paying jobs" overseas. What are low payingjobs? Textiles, shoes, things like that that we say are yesterday'sindustries. They're tomorrow's industries in the inner cities. Let me say in my case, if I'm out of work, I'll cut grass tomorrowto take care of my family; I'll be happy to make shoes, I'll be happyto make clothing, I'll make sausage. You just give me a job. Putthose jobs in the inner cities instead of doing diplomatic deals andshipping them to China where prison labor does the work. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, everybody thought you won the first debatebecause you were plain-speaking and you made it sound, oh, so simple.Well, just do it. What makes you think that you're going to be ableto get the Democrats and Republicans together any better than theseguys? PEROT: If you ask me if I could fly a fighter plane or be anastronaut, I can't. I've spent my life creating jobs. That'ssomething I know how to do. And, very simply, in the inner city,they're starved--you see, small business is the way to jump start theinner city, not-- SIMPSON: Are you answering my question? PEROT: You want jobs in the inner city? Do you want jobs in theinner city? Is that your question? SIMPSON: No, I want you to tell me how you're going to be able toget the Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together betterthan these 2 gentlemen. PEROT: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, I've listened to both sides, and ifthey would talk to one another instead of throwing rocks, I think wecould get a lot done. And, among other things, I would say, okay,over here in this Senate committee to the chairman who is anxious toget this bill passed, the president who is anxious, I'd say ratherthan just yelling at one another, why don't we find out where we'reapart, try to get together, get the bill passed and give the peoplethe benefits and not play party politics right now. And I think thepress would follow that so closely that probably they would get itdone. That's the way I would do it. I doubt if they'll give me thechance, but I will drop everything and go work on it. SIMPSON: Okay, I have a question here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: My question was originally for Governor Clinton,but I think I would welcome a response from all 3 candidates. As youare aware, crime is rampant in our cities. And in the Richmondarea--and I'm sure it's happened elsewhere--12-year-olds are carryingguns to school. And I'm sure when our Founding Fathers wrote theConstitution they did not mean for the right to bear arms to apply to12-year-olds. So I'm asking: Where do you stand on gun control, andwhat do you plan to do about it? SIMPSON: Governor Clinton? CLINTON: I support the right to keep and bear arms. I live in astate where over half the adults have hunting or fishing licenses, orboth. But I believe we have to have some way of checking hand gunsbefore they're sold, to check the criminal history, the mental healthhistory, and the age of people who are buying them. Therefore Isupport the Brady bill which would impose a national waiting periodunless and until a state did what only Virginia has done now, which isto automate its records. Once you automate your records, then youdon't have to have a waiting period, but at least you can check. I also think we should have frankly restrictions on assault weaponswhose only purpose is to kill. We need to give the police a fightingchance in our urban areas where the gangs are building up. The 3rd thing I would say--it doesn't bear directly on gun control,but it's very important--we need more police on the street. There isa crime bill which would put more police on the street, which waskilled for this session by a filibuster in the Senate, mostly beRepublican senators, and I think it's a shame it didn't pass, I thinkit should be made the law--but it had the Brady bill in it, thewaiting period. I also believe that we should offer college scholarships to peoplewho will agree to work them off as police officers, and I think, as wereduce our military forces, we should let people earn militaryretirement by coming out and working as police officers. Thirty yearsago there were 3 police officers on the street for every crime; todaythere are 3 crimes for every police officer. In the communities which have had real success putting policeofficers near schools where kids carry weapons, to get the weapons outof the schools, are on the same blocks, you've seen crime go down. InHouston there's been a 15- percent drop in the crime rate in the lastyear because of the work the mayor did there in increasing the policeforce. So I know it can work; I've seen it happen. SIMPSON: Thank you. President Bush? BUSH: I think you put your finger on a major problem. I talk aboutstrengthening the American family and it's very hard to strengthen thefamily if people are scared to walk down to the corner store and, youknow, send their kid down to get a loaf of bread. It's very hard. I have been fighting for very strong anti-crime legislation--habeascorpus reform, so you don't have these endless appeals, so whensomebody gets sentenced, hey, this is for real. I've been fightingfor changes in the exclusionary rule so if an honest cop stopssomebody and makes a technical mistake, the criminal doesn't go away. I'll probably get into a fight in this room with some but I happento think that we need stronger death penalties for those that killpolice officers. Virginia's in the lead in this, as Governor Clinton properly said,on this identification system for firearms. I am not for nationalregistration of firearms. Some of the states that have the toughestanti-gun laws have the highest levels of crime. I am for the right,as the governor says- -I'm a sportsman and I don't think you ought toeliminate all kinds of weapons. But I was not for the bill that hewas talking about because it was not tough enough on the criminal. I'm very pleased that the Fraternal Order of Police in Little Rock,Arkansas endorsed me because I think they see I'm trying to strengthenthe anti-crime legislation. We've got more money going out for localpolice than any previous administration. So we've got to get it under control and there's one last point I'dmake. Drugs. We have got to win our national strategy against drugs,the fight against drugs. And we're making some progress, doing alittle better on interdiction. We're not doing as well amongst thepeople that get to be habitual drug-users. The good news is, and I think it's true in Richmond, teenage use isdown of cocaine, substantially, 60% in the last couple of years. Sowe're making progress but until we get that one done, we're not goingto solve the neighborhood crime problem. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, there are young black males in America dyingat unprecedented rates-- PEROT: I didn't get to make a comment on this. SIMPSON: Yes, I'm getting to that. PEROT: Oh, you're going to let me. Excuse me. SIMPSON: The fact that homicide is the leading cause of death amongyoung black males 15 to 24 years old. What are you going to do to getthe guns off the street? PEROT: On any program, and this includes crime, you'll find we haveall kinds of great plans lying around that never get enacted into lawand implemented. I don't care what it is--competitiveness, healthcare, crime, you name it. Brady Bill, I agree that it's a timid stepin the right direction but it won't fix it. So why pass a law thatwon't fix it? Now, what it really boils down to is can you live--we become sopreoccupied with the rights of the criminal that we've forgotten therights of the innocent. And in our country we have evolved to a pointwhere we've put millions of innocent people in jail because you go tothe poor neighborhoods and they've put bars on their windows and barson their doors and put themselves in jail to protect the things thatthey acquired legitimately. That's where we are. We have got to become more concerned about people who play by therules and get the balance we require. This is going to take first,building a consensus at grassroots America. Right from the bottom up,the American people have got to say they want it. And at that point,we can pick from a variety of plans and develop new plans. And theway you get things done is bury yourselves in the room with oneanother, put together the best program, take it to the Americanpeople, use the electronic town hall, the kind of thing you're doinghere tonight, build a consensus and then do it and then go on to thenext one. But don't just sit here slow dancing for 4 years doingnothing. SIMPSON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Perot. We have a question up here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Please state your position on term limits, and,if you are in favor of them, how will you get them enacted? BUSH: Any order? I'll be glad to respond. SIMPSON: Thank you. BUSH: I strongly support term limits for members of the USCongress. I believe it would return the government closer to thepeople, the way that Ross Perot is talking about. The president'sterms are limited to 2, a total of 8 years. What's wrong withlimiting the terms of members of Congress to 12? Congress has gottenkind of institutionalized. For 38 years one party has controlled theHouse of Representatives, and the result, a sorry little post officethat can't do anything right and a bank that has more overdrafts thanall the Chase Bank and Citibank put together. We've got to dosomething about it. And I think you get a certain arrogance, bureaucratic arrogance, ifpeople stay there too long. And so I favor, strongly favor, termlimits. And how to get them passed? Send us some people that will pass theidea. And I think you will. I think the American people want it now.Every place I go I talk about it, and I think they want it done.Actually, you'd have to have some amendments to the Constitutionbecause of the way the Constitution reads. SIMPSON: Thank you. Governor Clinton. CLINTON: I know they're popular, but I'm against them. I'll tellyou why. I believe, number one, it would pose a real problem for alot of smaller states in the Congress who have enough trouble nowmaking sure their interests are heard. Number 2, I think it wouldincrease the influence of unelected staff members in the Congress whohave too much influence already. I want to cut the size of thecongressional staffs, but I think you're going to have too muchinfluence there with people who were never elected, who have lots ofexpertise. Number 3, if the people really have a mind to change, they can.You're going to have 120 to 150 new members of Congress. Now, let me tell you what I favor instead. I favor strict controlson how much you can spend running for Congress, strict limits onpolitical action committees, requirements that people running forCongress appear in open public debates like we're doing now. If youdid that you could take away the incumbents' advantage becausechallengers like me would have a chance to run against incumbents likehim for House races and Senate races, and then the voters could makeup their own mind without being subject to an unfair fight. So that's how I feel about it, and I think if we had the right kindof campaign reform, we'd get the changes you want. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, would you like to address term limitations? PEROT: Yes. Let me do first on a personal level. If the Americanpeople send me up to do this job, I intend to be there one term. I donot intend to spend one minute of one day thinking about re-election.And as a matter of principle--and my situation is unique, and Iunderstand it-- I would take absolutely no compensation; I go as theirservant. Now, I have set as strong an example as I can, then at that pointwhen we sit down over at Capitol Hill--tomorrow night I'm going to betalking about government reform--it's a long subject, you wouldn't letme finish tonight. If you want to hear it, you get it tomorrownight--you'll hear it tomorrow night. But we have got to reform government. If you put term limits in anddon't reform government, you won't get the benefits you thought. Ittakes both. So we need to do the reforms and the term limits. Andafter we reform it, it won't be a lifetime career opportunity; goodpeople will go serve and then go back to their homes and not becomeforeign lobbyists and cash in at 30,000 bucks a month and then taketime off to run some president's campaign. They're all nice people, they're just in a bad system. I don'tthink there are any villains, but, boy, is the system rotten. SIMPSON: Thank you very much. We have a question over here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: I'd like to ask Governor Clinton, do youattribute the rising costs of health care to the medical professionitself, or do you think the problem lies elsewhere? And what specificproposals do you have to tackle this problem? CLINTON: I've had more people talk to me about their health careproblems I guess than anything else, all across America--you know,people who've lost their jobs, lost their businesses, had to give uptheir jobs because of sick children. So let me try to answer you inthis way. Let's start with a premise. We spend 30% more of ourincome than any nation on earth on health care, and yet we insurefewer people. We have 35 million people without any insurance atall--and I see them all the time. A hundred thousand Americans amonth have lost their health insurance just in the last 4 years. So if you analyze where we're out of line with other countries, youcome up with the following conclusions. Number one, we spend at least$60 billion a year on insurance, administrative cost, bureaucracy, andgovernment regulation that wouldn't be spent in any other nation. Sowe have to have, in my judgment, a drastic simplification of the basichealth insurance policies of this country, be very comprehensive foreverybody. Employers would cover their employees, government would cover theunemployed. Number 2, I think you have to take on specifically the insurancecompanies and require them to make some significant change in the waythey rate people in the big community pools. I think you have to tellthe pharmaceutical companies they can't keep raising drug prices at 3times the rate of inflation. I think you have to take on medicalfraud. I think you have to help doctors stop practicing defensivemedicine. I've recommended that our doctors be given a set ofnational practice guidelines and that if they follow those guidelinesthat raises the presumption that they didn't do anything wrong. I think you have to have a system of primary and preventive clinicsin our inner cities and our rural areas so people can have access tohealth care. The key is to control the cost and maintain the quality. To do thatyou need a system of managed competition where all of us are coveredin big groups and we can choose our doctors and our hospitals, a widerange, but there is an incentive to control costs. And I think therehas to be--I think Mr. Perot and I agree on this, there has to be anational commission of health care providers and health care consumersthat set ceilings to keep health costs in line with inflation, pluspopulation growth. Now, let me say, some people say we can't do this but Hawaii doesit. They cover 98% of their people and their insurance premiums aremuch cheaper than the rest of America, and so does Rochester, NewYork. They now have a plan to cover everybody and their premiums aretwo-thirds of the rest of the country. This is very important. It's a big human problem and a devastatingeconomic problem for America, and I'm going to send a plan to do thiswithin the first 100 days of my presidency. It's terribly important. SIMPSON: Thank you. Sorry to cut you short but President Bush,health care reform. BUSH: I just have to say something. I don't want to stampede.Ross was very articulate across the country. I don't want anybody tostampede to cut the president's salary off altogether. Barbara'ssitting over here and I--but what I have proposed, 10% cut, downsizethe government, and we can get that done. She asked a question, I think, is whether the health care professionwas to blame. No. One thing to blame is these malpractice lawsuits.They're breaking the system. It costs $20-25 billion a year, and Iwant to see those outrageous claims capped. Doctors don't dare todeliver babies sometimes because they're afraid that somebody's goingto sue them. People don't dare--medical practitioners, to helpsomebody along the highway that are hurt because they're afraid thatsome lawyer's going to come along and get a big lawsuit. So you can'tblame the practitioners for the health problem. And my program is this. Keep the government as far out of it aspossible, make insurance available to the poorest of the poor, throughvouchers, next range in the income bracket, through tax credits, andget on about the business of pooling insurance. A great big companycan buy--Ross has got a good-sized company, been very successful. Hecan buy insurance cheaper than Mom and Pop's store on the corner. Butif those Mom and Pop stores all get together and pool, they too canbring the cost of insurance down. So I want to keep the quality of health care. That means keepgovernment out of it. I want to do--I don't like this idea of theseboards. It all sounds to me like you're going to have some governmentsetting price. I want competition and I want to pool the insuranceand take care of it that way and have--oh, here's the other point. I think medical care should go with the person. If you leave abusiness, I think your insurance should go with you to some otherbusiness. You shouldn't be worrying if you get a new job as towhether that's gonna--and part of our plan is to make it what theycall portable--big word, but that means if you're working for theJones Company and you go to the Smith Company, your insurance goeswith you. I think it's a good program. I'm really excited aboutgetting it done, too. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot. PEROT: We have the most expensive health care system in the world.Twelve percent of our gross national product goes to health care. Ourindustrial competitors, who are beating us in competition, spend lessand have better health care. Japan spends a little over 6% of itsgross national product. Germany spends 8%. It's fascinating. You've bought a front row box seat and you're nothappy with your health care and you're saying tonight we've got badhealth care but very expensive health care. Folks, here's why. Gohome and look in the mirror. You own this country but you have no voice in it the way it'sorganized now, and if you want to have a high risk experience,comparable to bungee jumping, go into Congress some time when they'reworking on this kind of legislation, when the lobbyists are running upand down the halls. Wear your safety toe shoes when you go. And as aprivate citizen, believe me, you are looked on as a major nuisance. The facts are you now have a government that comes at you. You'resupposed to have a government that comes from you. Now, there are all kinds of good ideas, brilliant ideas, terrificideas on health care. None of them ever get implemented because--letme give you an example. A senator runs every 6 years. He's got toraise 20,000 bucks a week to have enough money to run. Who's he gonnalisten to--us or the folks running up and down the aisles with money,the lobbyists, the PAC money? He listens to them. Who do theyrepresent? Health care industry. Not us. Now, you've got to have a government that comes from you again.You've got to reassert your ownership in this country and you've gotto completely reform our government. And at that point they'll justbe like apples falling out of a tree. The programs will be goodbecause the elected officials will be listening to--I said the othernight I was all ears and I would listen to any good idea. I think weought to do plastic surgery on a lot of these guys so that they're allears, too, and listen to you. Then you get what you want, andshouldn't you? You paid for it. Why shouldn't you get what you want,as opposed to what some lobbyist cuts a deal, writes a little piece inthe law and he goes through. That's the way the game's played now.Till you change it you're gonna be unhappy. SIMPSON (continuing): You wanted one brief point in there. CLINTON: One brief point. We have elections so people can makedecisions about this. The point I want to make to you is, abipartisan commission reviewed my plan and the Bush plan and therewere as many Republicans as Democratic health care experts on it.They concluded that my plan would cover everybody and his would leave27 million behind by the year 2000 and that my plan in the next 12years would save $2.2 trillion in public and private money to reinvestin this economy and the average family would save $1200 a year underthe plan that I offered without any erosion in the quality of healthcare. So I ask you to look at that. And you have to vote for somebodywith a plan. That's what you have elections for. If people wouldsay, well, he got elected to do this and then the Congress says, okay,I'm going to do it. That's what the election was about. SIMPSON: Brief, Governor Clinton. Thank you. We have a questionright here. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes. How has the national debt personallyaffected each of your lives? And if it hasn't, how can you honestlyfind a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you haveno experience in what's ailing them? PEROT: May I answer that? SIMPSON: Well, Mr. Perot--yes, of course. PEROT: Who do you want to start with? AUDIENCE QUESTION: My question is for each of you, so-- PEROT: Itcaused me to disrupt my private life and my business to get involvedin this activity. That's how much I care about it. And believe me,if you knew my family and if you knew the private life I have, youwould agree in a minute that that's a whole lot more fun than gettinginvolved in politics. But I have lived the American dream. I came from very modestbackground. Nobody's been luckier than I've been, all the way acrossthe spectrum, and the greatest riches of all are my wife and children.That's true of any family. But I want all the children--I want these young people up here to beable to start with nothing but an idea like I did and build abusiness. But they've got to have a strong basic economy and ifyou're in debt, it's like having a ball and chain around you. I just figure, as lucky as I've been, I owe it to them and I owe itto the future generations and on a very personal basis, I owe it to mychildren and grandchildren. SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Perot. Mr. President. BUSH: Well, I think the national debt affects everybody. AUDIENCE QUESTION: You personally. BUSH: Obviously it has a lot to do with interest rates-- SIMPSON: She's saying, "you personally" AUDIENCE QUESTION: You, on a personal basis--how has it affectedyou? SIMPSON: Has it affected you personally? BUSH: I'm sure it has. I love my grandchildren-- AUDIENCE QUESTION: How? BUSH: I want to think that they're going to be able to afford aneducation. I think that that's an important part of being a parent.If the question--maybe I-- get it wrong. Are you suggesting that ifsomebody has means that the national debt doesn't affect them? AUDIENCE QUESTION: What I'm saying is-- BUSH: I'm not sure I get--help me with the question and I'll try toanswer it. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Well, I've had friends that have been laid offfrom jobs. BUSH: Yeah. AUDIENCE QUESTION: I know people who cannot afford to pay themortgage on their homes, their car payment. I have personal problemswith the national debt. But how has it affected you and if you haveno experience in it, how can you help us, if you don't know what we'refeeling? SIMPSON: I think she means more the recession--the economicproblems today the country faces rather than the deficit. BUSH: Well, listen, you ought to be in the White House for a dayand hear what I hear and see what I see and read the mail I read andtouch the people that I touch from time to time. I was in the LomaxAME Church. It's a black church just outside of Washington, DC. AndI read in the bulletin about teenage pregnancies, about thedifficulties that families are having to make ends meet. I talk toparents. I mean, you've got to care. Everybody cares if peoplearen't doing well. But I don't think it's fair to say, you haven't had cancer.Therefore, you don't know what's it like. I don't think it's fair tosay, you know, whatever it is, that if you haven't been hit by itpersonally. But everybody's affected by the debt because of thetremendous interest that goes into paying on that debt everything'smore expensive. Everything comes out of your pocket and my pocket.So it's that. But I think in terms of the recession, of course you feel it whenyou're president of the US. And that's why I'm trying to do somethingabout it by stimulating the export, vesting more, better educationsystems. Thank you. I'm glad you clarified it. SIMPSON: Governor Clinton. CLINTON: Tell me how it's affected you again. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Um-- CLINTON: You know people who've lost their jobs and lost theirhomes? AUDIENCE QUESTION: Well, yeah, uh-huh. CLINTON: Well, I've been governor of a small state for 12 years.I'll tell you how it's affected me. Every year Congress and thepresident sign laws that make us do more things and gives us lessmoney to do it with. I see people in my state, middle classpeople--their taxes have gone up in Washington and their services havegone down while the wealthy have gotten tax cuts. I have seen what's happened in this last 4 years when--in my state,when people lose their jobs there's a good chance I'll know them bytheir names. When a factory closes, I know the people who ran it.When the businesses go bankrupt, I know them. And I've been out here for 13 months meeting in meetings just likethis ever since October, with people like you all over America, peoplethat have lost their jobs, lost their livelihood, lost their healthinsurance. What I want you to understand is the national debt is not the onlycause of that. It is because America has not invested in its people.It is because we have not grown. It is because we've had 12 years oftrickle down economics. We've gone from first to twelfth in the worldin wages. We've had 4 years where we've produced no private sectorjobs. Most people are working harder for less money than they weremaking ten years ago. It is because we are in the grip of a failed economic theory. Andthis decision you're about to make better be about what kind ofeconomic theory you want, not just people saying I'm going to go fixit but what are we going to do? I think we have to do is invest in American jobs, Americaneducation, control American health care costs and bring the Americanpeople together again. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Thank you. SIMPSON: Thank you, Governor Clinton. We are a little more than halfway through this program and I'm gladwe're getting the diversity of questions that we are, and I don't wantto forget these folks on the wings over here so let's go over here.Do you have a question? AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes, I do. My name is Ben Smith. I work in thefinancial field, counseling retirees, and I'm personally concernedabout 3 major areas. One is the Social Security Administration or trust fund is projectedto be insolvent by the year 2036. And we funded the trust fund withIOUs in the form of Treasury bonds. The Pension Guarantee Fund, whichbacks up our private retirement plans for retirees, is projected to bebankrupt by the year 2026, not to mention the cutbacks by privatecompanies. And Medicare is projected to be bankrupt maybe as soon as1997. And I would like from each of you a specific response as to what youintend to do for retirees relative to these issues, not generalitiesbut specifics because I think they're very disturbing issues. SIMPSON: President Bush, may we start with you? BUSH: Well, the Social Security--you're an expert and I could, I'msure, learn from you the details of the Pension Guarantee Fund and theSocial Security Fund. The Social Security system was fixed about 5years, and I think it's projected out to be sound beyond that. So atleast we have time to work with it. But on all of these things, a sound economy is the only way to getit going. Growth in the economy is gonna add to the overallprosperity and wealth. I can't give you a specific answer on PensionGuarantee Fund. All I know is that we have firm government credit toguarantee the pensions. And that is very important. But it's--thefull faith and credit of the US, in spite of our difficulties, isstill pretty good. It's still the most respected credit. So I would simply say, as these dates get close, you're going tohave to reorganize and refix as we did with the Social Security Fund.And I think that's the only answer. But the more immediate answer isto do what this lady was suggesting we do, and that is to get thisdeficit down and get on without adding to the woes, and thenrestructure. One thing I've called for that has been stymied, and I'll keep onworking for it, is a whole financial reform legislation. It isabsolutely essential in terms of bringing our banking system andcredit system into the new age instead of having it living back in thedark ages. And it's a big fight. And I don't want to give my friendRoss another shot at me here but I am fighting with the Congress toget this through. And you can't just go up and say I'm going to fixit. You've got some pretty strong-willed guys up there that arguewith you. But that's what the election's about. I agree with the governor.That's what the election's about. And sound fiscal policy is the bestanswer, I think, to all the 3 problems you mentioned. SIMPSON: Thank you. Mr. Perot. PEROT: On the broad issue here, when you're trying to solve aproblem, you get the best plans. You have a raging debate about thoseplans. Then out of that debate, with leadership, comes consensus.Then, if the plans are huge and complex like health care, I would urgeyou to implement pilot programs. Like the old carpenter says measuretwice, cut once. Let's make sure this thing's as good as we all thinkit is at the end of the meeting. Then finally, our government passes laws and freezes the plan inconcrete. Anybody that's ever built a successful business will tellyou you optimize, optimize, optimize after you've put something intoeffect. The reason Medicare and Medicaid are a mess is we froze them. Everybody knows how to fix them. There are people all over thefederal government, if they could just touch it with a screwdriver,could fix it. Now, back over here. See, we've got a $4 trillion debt and only inAmerica would you have $2.8 trillion of it or 70% of it financed 5years or less. Now, that's another thing for you to think about whenyou go home tonight. You don't finance long-term debt with short-termmoney. Why did our government do it? To get the interest rates down.A 1% increase in interest rates in that $2.8 trillion is $28 billion ayear. Now, when you look at what Germany pays for money and what we don'tpay for money, you realize there's quite a spread, right, and yourealize this is a temporary thing and there's going to be anothersucking sound that runs our deficit through the roof. You know, and everybody's ducking it so I'm gonna say it, that weare not letting that surplus stay in the bank. We are not investingthat surplus like a pension fund. We are spending that surplus tomake the deficit look smaller to you than it really is. Now, that--put you in jail in corporate America if you kept booksthat way but in government it's just kind of the way things are.That's because it comes at you, not from you. Now then, that money needs to be--they don't even pay interest onit. They just write a note for the interest. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, can you wrap it up? PEROT: Do you want to fix the problem or sound-bite it? Iunderstand the importance of time but see, here's how we get to thismess we're in. SIMPSON: But we've got to be fair. PEROT: This is just 1 of 1000. Now then, to nail it, there's one way out--a growing, expanding jobbase. A growing, expanding job base to generate the funds and the taxrevenues to pay off the mess and rebuild America. We've got todouble-hit. If we're $4 trillion down, we should have everythingperfect, but we don't. We've got to pay it off and build money torenew it- -spend money to renew it, and that's going to take agrowing, expanding job base. That is priority one in this country.Put everybody that's breathing to work. And I'd love to be out ofworkers and have to import them, like some of our internationalcompetitors. SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, I'm sorry. I'm going to-- PEROT: Sorry. SIMPSON: And I don't want to sound-bite you but we are trying to befair-- PEROT: Okay. SIMPSON: --to everyone. PEROT: Absolutely. I apologize. SIMPSON: All right. Governor Clinton. CLINTON: I think I remember the question. (Laughter.) Let me say first of all, I want to answer your specific question butfirst of all, we all agree that there should be a growing economy.What you have to decide is who's got the best economic plan. And weall have ideas out there, and Mr. Bush has a record. So I don't wantyou to read my lips and I sure don't want you to read his. I do hopeyou will read our plans. Now, specifically, one, on Medicare, it is not true that everyoneknows how to fix it. There are different ideas-- the Bush plan, thePerot plan, the Clinton--we have different ideas. I am convinced,having studied health care for a year hard and talking to hundreds andhundreds of people all across America, that you cannot control thecost of Medicare until you control the cost of private health care andpublic health care, with managed competition, ceiling on cost, andradical reorganization of the insurance markets. You've got to dothat; we got to get those costs down. Number 2, with regard to Social Security, that program--a lot of youmay not know this--it produces a $70 billion surplus a year. SocialSecurity is in surplus $70 billion. Six increases in the payrolltax--that means people with incomes of $51,000 a year or less pay adisproportionally high share of the federal tax burden, which is why Iwant some middle-class tax relief. What do we have to do? By the time the century turns, we have gotto have our deficit under control, we have to work out of so thatsurplus is building up so when the baby boomers like me retire, we'reokay. Number 3, on the pension funds, I don't know as much about it, but Iwill say this. What I would do is to bring in the pension experts ofthe country, take a look at it, and strengthen the pensionrequirements further, because it's not just enough to have theguarantee. We had a guarantee on the S&Ls, right? We had aguarantee--and what happened? You picked up a $500-billion billbecause of the dumb way the federal government deregulated it. So I think we are going to have to change and strengthen the pensionrequirements on private retirement plans. SIMPSON: Thank you. I think we have a question here oninternational affairs, hopefully. AUDIENCE QUESTION: We've come to a position where we're in the newworld order, and I'd like to know what the candidates feel ourposition is in this new world order, and what our responsibilities areas a superpower? SIMPSON: Mr. President. BUSH: Well, we have come to that position. Since I becamepresident, 43, 44 countries have gone democratic, no longertotalitarian, no longer living under dictatorship or communist rule.This is exciting. New world order to me means freedom and democracy.I think we will have a continuing responsibility, as the onlyremaining superpower, to stay involved. If we pull back in someisolation and say we don't have to do our share, or more than ourshare, anymore, I believe you are going to just ask for conflagrationthat we'll get involved in the future. NATO, for example, has kept the peace for many, many years, and Iwant to see us keep fully staffed in NATO so we'll continue toguarantee the peace in Europe. But the exciting thing is, the fear of nuclear war is down. And youhear all the bad stuff that's happened on my watch; I hope people willrecognize that this is something pretty good for mankind. I hopethey'll think it's good that democracy and freedom is on the move.And we're going to stay engaged, as long as I'm president, working toimprove things. You know, it's so easy now to say, hey, cut out foreign aid, we gota problem at home. I think the US has to still have the Statue ofLiberty as a symbol, caring for others. Right this very minute we'resending supplies in to help these little starving kids in Somalia.It's the US that's taken the lead in humanitarian aid into Bosnia.We're doing this all around the world. Yes, we got problems at home. And I think I got a good plan to helpfix those problems at home. But because of our leadership, because wedidn't listen to the freeze--the nuclear-freeze group, do youremember--freeze it, back in the late 70s--freeze, don't touch it;we're going to lock it in now or else we'll have war. PresidentReagan said no, peace through strength. It worked. The Soviet Unionis no more, and now we're working to help them become totallydemocratic through the Freedom Support Act that I led on, a greatDemocratic ambassador, Bob Strauss, over there, Jim Baker, all of usgot this thing passed--through cooperation, Ross--it worked withcooperation, and you're for that, I'm sure, helping Russia becomedemocratic. So the new world order to me means freedom and democracy, keepengaged, do not pull back into isolation. And we are the US, and wehave a responsibility to lead and to guarantee the security. If it hadn't been for us, Saddam Hussein would be sitting on top ofthree-fifths of the oil supply of the world and he'd have nuclearweapons. And only the US could do this. Excuse me, Carole. SIMPSON: Thank you. Mr. Perot. PEROT: Well, it's cost-effective to help Russia succeed in itsrevolution; it's pennies on the dollar compared to going back to theCold War. Russia is still very unstable; they could go back to squareone, and worse. All the nuclear weapons are not dismantled. I amparticularly concerned about the intercontinental weapons, the onesthat can hit us. We've got agreements, but they are still there. With all this instability and breaking into republics, and all theMiddle Eastern countries going over there and shopping for weapons,we've got our work cut out for us. So we need to stay right on top ofthat and constructively help them move toward democracy andcapitalism. We have to have money to do that. We have to have our people atwork. See, for 45 years we were preoccupied with the Red Army. Isuggest now that our number one preoccupation is red ink and ourcountry and we've got to put our people back to work so that we canafford to do these things we want to do in Russia. We cannot be thepoliceman for the world any longer. We spent $300 billion a yeardefending the world. Germany and Japan spend around $30 billion apiece. If I can get you to defend me and I can spend all my moneybuilding industry that's a home run for me. Coming out of World War II it made sense. Now, the othersuperpowers need to do their part. I'll close on this point. Youcan't be a superpower unless you're an economic superpower. If we'renot an economic superpower, we're a used to be and we will no longerbe a force for good throughout the world. And if nothing else getsyou excited about rebuilding our industrial base maybe that willbecause job one is to put our people back to work. SIMPSON: Governor Clinton, the president mentioned Saddam Hussein.Your vice president and you have had some words about the presidentand Saddam Hussein. Would you care to comment? CLINTON: I'd rather answer her question first and then I'll be gladto. Because the question you ask is important. The end of the ColdWar brings an incredible opportunity for change. Winds of freedomblowing around the world, Russia demilitarizing. And it also requiresus to maintain some continuity--some bipartisan American commitment tocertain principles. And I would just say there are 3 things that Iwould like to say--number one--we do have to maintain the world'sstrongest defense. We may differ about what the elements of that are. I think that defense needs to be--with fewer people in permanentarmed services but with greater mobility on the land, in the air andon the sea, with a real dedication to continuing development of hightechnology weaponry and well trained people. I think we're going tohave to work to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.Got to keep going until all those nuclear weapons in Russia are goneand the other republics. Number 2, if you don't rebuild the economicstrength of this country at home, we won't be a superpower. We can'thave any more instances like what happened when Mr. Bush went toJapan and the Japanese prime minister said he felt sympathy for ourcountry. We have to be the strongest economic power in the world.That's what got me into this race, so we could rebuild the Americaneconomy. And number 3, we need to be a force for freedom and democracy and weneed to use our unique position to support freedom, whether it's inHaiti or in China or in any other place, wherever the seeds of freedomare sprouting. We can't impose it, but we need to nourish it andthat's the kind of thing that I would do as president--follow those 3commitments into the future. SIMPSON: Okay. We have a question up there. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes. We've talked a lot tonight about creatingjobs. But we have an awful lot of high school graduates who don'tknow how to read a ruler, who cannot fill out an application for ajob. How can we create high paying jobs with the education system we haveand what would you do to change it? SIMPSON: Who would like to begin--the education president? PEROT: Go ahead, sir. Yeah, go ahead. BUSH: I'd be delighted to, because you can't do it the old way.You can't do it with the school bureaucracy controlling everything andthat's why we have a new program that I hope people have heard about.It's being worked now in 1700 communities--bypassed Congress on thisone, Ross-- 1700 communities across the country. It's called America2000. And it literally says to the communities, re-invent theschools, not just the bricks and mortar but the curriculum andeverything else. Think anew. We have a concept called the NewAmerican School Corporation where we're doing exactly that. And so I believe that we've got to get the power in the hands of theteachers, not the teachers' union. What's happening up there? (Laughter) And so our America 2000 program also says this. It says let's giveparents the choice of a public, private or public school--public,private or religious school. And it works- -it works in Milwaukee.Democratic woman up there--taking the lead in this. The mayor upthere, on the program. And the schools that are not chosen areimproved--competition does that. So we've got to innovate through school choice. We've got toinnovate through this America 2000 program. But she is absolutelyright. The programs that we've been trying where you controleverything and mandate it from Washington don't work. The governors--and I believe Governor Clinton was in on this--but maybe--I don't wantto invoke him here. But they come to me and they say, please get theCongress to stop passing so many mandates telling us how to controlthings. We know better how to do it in California or Texas orwherever it is. So this is what our program is all about. And I believe you'reright on to something, that if we don't change the education we're notgoing to be able to compete. Federal funding for education is upsubstantially--Pell grants are up. But it isn't going to get the jobdone if we don't change K through 12. SIMPSON: Governor Clinton. CLINTON: First of all, let me say that I've spent more of my timeand life on this in the last 12 years than any other issue. Seventypercent of my state's money goes to the public schools, and I wasreally honored when Time magazine said that our schools have shownmore improvement than any other state in the country except oneother--they named 2 states showing real strides forward in the 80s.So I care a lot about this, and I've spent countless hours in schools. But let me start with what you said. I agree with some of what Mr.Bush said, but it's nowhere near enough. We live in a world dependson what you can learn, where the average 18- year-old will change jobs8 times in a lifetime and where none of us can promise any of you thatwhat you now do for a living is absolutely safe from now on. Nobodyrunning can promise that, there's too much change in the world. So what should we do? Let me reel some things off real quick,because you said you wanted specifics. Number one, under my programwe would provide matching funds to states to teach everybody with ajob to read in the next 5 years and give everybody with a job thechance to get a high school diploma, in big places on the job. Number 2, we would provide 2-year apprenticeship programs to highschool graduates who don't go to college. And community colleges areon the job. Number 3, we'd open the doors to college education to high schoolgraduates without regard to income. They could borrow the money andpay it back as a percentage of their income or with a couple of yearsof service to our nation here at home. Number 4, we would fully fund the Head Start program to get littlekids off to a good start. And, 5, I would have an aggressive program of school reform, morechoices--I favor public schools or these new charter schools--we cantalk about that if you want. I don't think we should spend tax moneyon private schools. But I favor public school choice, and I favorradical decentralization in giving more power to better-trainedprincipals and teachers with parent councils to control their schools. Those things would revolutionize American education and take us tothe top economically. SIMPSON: Thank you. AUDIENCE QUESTION: What are they going to cost? SIMPSON: The question is, what is it going to cost? What is itgoing to cost? CLINTON: In 6 years--I budget all this in my budget, and in 6 yearsthe college program would cost 8 billion dollars over and abovewhat--the present student loan program costs 4; you pay 3 billiondollars for busted loans, because we don't have an automatic recoverysystem, and a billion dollars in bank fees. So the net cost would be8 billion 6 years from now in a trillion-plus budget--not very much. The other stuff--all the other stuff I mentioned-- costs much lessthan that. The Head Start program full funding would cost about 5billion more. And it's all covered in my budget from--the plans thatI've laid out--from raising taxes on families with incomes above$200,000 and asking foreign corporations to pay the same tax thatAmerican corporations do on the same income, from $140 billion inbudget cuts, including what I think are very prudent cuts in thedefense budget. It's all covered in the plan. SIMPSON: Thank you. Mr. Perot, you on education, please. PEROT: Yes, I've got scars to show for being around educationreform. And the first word you need to say in every city and state,and just draw a line in the sand, is public schools exist for thebenefit of the children. You're going to see a lot of people fallover it, because any time you're spending $199 billion dollars a year,somebody's getting it. And the children get lost in the process. Sothat's step one. Keep in mind in 1960, when our schools were the envy of the world,we were spending $16 billion on them; now we spend more than any othernation in the world--199 billion a year--and rank at the bottom of theindustrialized world in terms of education achievement. One more timeyou've bought a front-row box seat and got a 3rd-rate performance.This is a government that is not serving you. By and large it should be local--the more local, the better.Interesting phenomenon: small towns have good schools, big citieshave terrible schools. The best people in a small town will serve onthe school board; you get into big cities, it's political patronage,stepping stones--you get the job, give your relatives a janitor's jobat $57,000 a year, more than the teachers make, and with luck theyclean the cafeteria once a week. Now, you're paying for that. Thoseschools belong to you. And we put up with that. Now, as long as we put up with that, that's what you're going toget. And these folks are just dividing up 199 billion bucks and thechildren get lost. If I could wish for one thing for great publicschools, it would be a strong family unit in every home--nothing willever replace that. You say, well, gee, what are you going to do aboutthat? Well, the White House is a bully pulpit, and I think we oughtto be pounding on the table every day. There's nothing--the mostefficient unit of government the world will ever know is a strongloving family unit. Next thing. You need small schools, not big schools. In a littleschool everybody is somebody; individualism is very important. Thesebig factories? Everybody told me they were cost-effective. I did astudy on it; they're cost- ineffective. 5000 students--why is a highschool that big? One reason. Sooner or later you get 11 more boysthat can run like the devil that weigh 250 pounds and they might windistrict. Now, that has nothing to do with learning. Secondly, across Texas, typically half of the school day wasnon-academic pursuits--in one place it was 35 %. In Texas you couldhave unlimited absences to go to livestock shows. Found a boy--excuseme, but this gives the flavor--a boy in Houston kept a chicken in thebathtub in downtown Houston and missed 65 days going to livestockshows. Finally had to come back to school, the chicken lost itsfeathers. That's the only way we got him back. (Laughter) Now, that's your tax money being wasted. Now, neighborhood schools. It is terrible to bus tiny littlechildren across town. And it is particularly terrible to take poortiny little children and wait until the first grade and bus themacross town to Mars, where the children know their numbers, know theirletters, have had every advantage. At the end of the first day, thatlittle child wants out. I'll close on this. You've got to have world class teachers, worldclass books. If you ever got close to how textbooks were selected,you wouldn't want to go back the 2nd day. I don't have time to tellyou the stories. SIMPSON: No, you don't. PEROT: Finally, if we don't fix this, you're right. We can't havethe industries of tomorrow unless we have the best educated workforce.And here you've got, for the disadvantaged children, you've got tohave early childhood development. Cheapest money you'll ever spend.First contact should be with the money when she's pregnant. Thatlittle child needs to be loved and hugged and nurtured and made tofeel special, like your children were. They learn to think well orpoorly of themselves in the first 18 months. SIMPSON: Thank you. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Perot. PEROT: And in the first few years they either learn how to learn ordon't learn how to learn. And if they don't, they wind up in prison. SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Perot. PEROT: And it costs more to keep them in prison than it does tosend them to Harvard. I rest my case. SIMPSON: Thank you. President Bush, you wanted to answer. BUSH: I just had a word of clarification because of somethingGovernor Clinton said. My school choice program, GI Bill for Kids, does not take publicmoney and give it to private schools. It does what the GI Bill itselfdid when I came out of World War II. It takes public money and givesit to families or individuals to choose the school they want. Andwhere it's been done, those schools, like in Rochester, those schoolsthat weren't chosen find that they then compete and do better. So I think it's worth a shot. We've got a pilot program. It oughtto be tried. School choice--public, private or religious. Not to theschools but to--you know, 46 % of the teachers in Chicago, publicschool teachers, send their kids to private school. Now, I think we ought to try to help families and see if it will dowhat I think--make all schools better. CLINTON: I just want to mention if I could-- SIMPSON: Very briefly. CLINTON: Very briefly. Involving the parents in the preschooleducation of their kids, even if they're poor and uneducated, can makea huge difference. We have a big program in my state that teachesmothers or fathers to teach their kids to get ready for school. It'sthe most successful thing we've ever done. Just a fact clarification real quickly. We do not spend a higherpercentage of our income on public education than every other country.There are 9 countries that spend more than we do on public education.We spend more on education 'cause we spend so much more on colleges. But if you look at public education alone and you take into accountthe fact that we have more racial diversity and more poverty, it makesa big difference. There are great public schools where there's publicschool choice, accountability and brilliant principals. I'll justmention one--the Beasley Academic Center in Chicago. I commend it toanybody. It's as good as any private school in the country. SIMPSON: We have very little time left and it occurs to me that wehave talked all this time and there has not been one question aboutsome of the racial tensions and ethnic tensions in America. Is thereanyone in this audience that would like to pose a question to thecandidates on this? AUDIENCE QUESTION: What I'd like to know, and this is to any of the3 of you, is aside from the recent accomplishment of your party, asidefrom those accomplishments in racial representation, and withoutciting any of your current appointments or successful elections, whendo you estimate your party will both nominate and elect anAfro-American and female ticket to the presidency of the U.S.? SIMPSON: Governor Clinton, why don't you answer that first? CLINTON: Well, I don't have any idea but I hope it will happen sometime in my lifetime. AUDIENCE QUESTION: I do, too. CLINTON: I believe that this country is electing more and moreAfrican Americans and Latinos and Asian Americans who are representingdistricts that are themselves not necessarily of a majority of theirrace. The American people are beginning to vote across racial lines,and I hope it will happen more and more. More and more women are being elected. Look at all these womenSenate candidates we have here. And you know, according to my motherand my wife and my daughter, this world would be a lot better place ifwomen were running it most of the time. I do think there are special experiences and judgments andbackgrounds and understandings that women bring to this process, bythe way. This lady said here, how have you been affected by theeconomy. I mean, women know what's it like to be paid an unequalamount for equal work. They know what it's like not to have flexibleworking hours. They know what it's like not to have family leave orchildcare. So I think it would be a good thing for America if ithappened. And I think it will happen in my lifetime. SIMPSON: Okay. I'm sorry. We have just a little bit of time left.Let's try to get responses from each of them. President Bush or Mr.Perot? BUSH: I think if Barbara Bush were running this year she'd beelected. But it's too late. (Laughter) You don't want us to mention appointees, but when you see thequality of people in our administration, see how Colin Powellperformed--I say administration-- AUDIENCE QUESTION: (Inaudible). BUSH: You weren't impressed with the fact that he-- AUDIENCE QUESTION: Excuse me. I'm extremely impressed with that. BUSH: Yeah, but wouldn't that suggest to the American people, then,here's a quality person, if he decided that he could automatically getthe nomination of either party? AUDIENCE QUESTION: Sure--I just wanted to know-- yes. BUSH: Huh? AUDIENCE QUESTION: I'm totally impressed with that. I just wantedto know is, when's your- BUSH: Oh, I see. AUDIENCE QUESTION: When? BUSH: You mean, time? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. BUSH: I don't know--starting after 4 years. AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Laughs) BUSH: No, I think you'll see-- SIMPSON: Mr. Perot. BUSH: I think you'll see more minority candidates and womencandidates coming forward. SIMPSON: We have--thank you. BUSH: This is supposed to be the year of the women in the Senate.Let's see how they do. I hope a lot of-- SIMPSON: Mr. Perot--I don't want to cut you off any more but weonly have a minute left. PEROT: I have a fearless forecast. A message just won't do it.Colin Powell will be on somebody's ticket 4 years from now--right?Right? He wanted that said--4 years. SIMPSON: How about a woman? PEROT: Now, if won't be, General Waller would be--you say, why doyou keep picking military people. These are people that I just happento know and have a high regard for. I'm sure there are hundreds ofothers. BUSH: How about Dr. Lou Sullivan? PEROT: Absolutely. BUSH: Yeah, a good man. SIMPSON: What about a woman? PEROT: Oh, oh. BUSH: (Inaudible) totally agree. My candidate's back there. SIMPSON: (Laughs) PEROT: Okay. I can think of many. SIMPSON: Many? PEROT: Absolutely. SIMPSON: When? PEROT: All right. How about Sandra Day O'Connor as an example? SIMPSON: Hm-hm. PEROT: Dr. Bernadine Healy-- SIMPSON: Good. PEROT: Natl Institutes of Health. I'll yield the floor. BUSH: All good Republicans. PEROT: Name some more. (Laughter) SIMPSON: Thank you. I want to apologize to our audience becausethere were 209 people here and there were 209 questions. We only gotto a fraction of them and I'm sorry to those of you that didn't get toask your questions but we must move to the conclusion of the program. It is time now for the 2 minute closing statements and by prioragreement President Bush will go first. BUSH: May I ask for an exception because I think we owe CaroleSimpson--anybody who can stand in between these 3 characters here andget the job done--we owe her a round of applause. (Applause) But don't take it out of my time! (Applause) SIMPSON: That's right. BUSH: I feel strongly about it because I don't want it to come outof my time. SIMPSON: Give this man more time. (Laughs) BUSH: No, but let me just stay to the American people in 2 and ahalf weeks we're going to choose who should sit in this Oval Office,who to lead the economic recovery, who to be the leader of the freeworld, who to get the deficit down. 3 ways to do that. One is toraise taxes. One is to reduce spending--controlling that mandatoryspending. Another one is to invest and save and to stimulate growth.I do not want to raise taxes. I differ with the 2 here on that. I'mjust not going to do that. I do believe that we need to control mandatory spending. I think weneed to invest and save more. I believe that we need to educatebetter and retrain better. I believe that we need to export more soI'll keep working for export agreements where we can sell more abroadand I believe that we must strengthen the family. We've got tostrengthen the family. Now, let me pose this question to America. If in the next 5 minutesa television announcer came on and said, there is a majorinternational crisis--there is a major threat to the world or in thiscountry a major threat--my question is, who, if you were appointed toname 1 of the 3 of us, who would you choose? Who has theperseverance, the character, the integrity, the maturity, to get thejob done? I hope I'm that person. Thank you very, very much. SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. President. And now a closing statementfrom Mr. Perot. PEROT: If the American people want to do it and not talk about it,then they ought to--you know, I'm one person they ought to consider.If they just want to keep slow dancing and talk about it and not doit, I'm not your name. I am results oriented. I am action oriented.I've dealt my businesses. Getting things done in 3 months that mycompetitors took 18 months to do. Everybody says you can't do that with Congress. Sure, you can dothat with Congress. Congress--they're all good people. They're allpatriots but you've got to link arms and work with them. Sure, you'llhave arguments. Sure, you'll have fights. We have them all day everyday. But we get the job done. Now, I have to come back in my clothes to one thing because I ampassionate about education. I was talking about early childhoodeducation for disadvantaged little children. And let me tell you onespecific pilot program where children who don't have a chance go tothis program when they're 3. Now we're going back to when themother's pregnant and they'll start right after they're born. Starting when they're 3 and going to this school until they're 9 andthen going into the public school in the 4th grade. Ninety percentare on the honor role. Now that will change America. Those childrenwill all go to college. They will live the American dream. And I begthe American people, any time they think about reforming education totake this piece of society that doesn't have a chance and take theselittle pieces of clay that can be shaped and molded and give them thesame love and nurture and affection and support you give your childrenand teach them that they're unique and that they're precious and thatthere's only one person in the world like them and you will see thisnation bloom. And we will have so many people who are qualified forthe top job that it will be terrific. Now, finally, if you can't pay the bills you're dead in the water.And we have got to put our nation back to work. Now, if you don'twant to really do that I'm not your man. I'd go crazy sitting upthere slow dancing that one. In other words, unless we're going to doit, then pick somebody who likes to talk about it. Now, just remember when you think about me--I didn't create thismess. I've been paying taxes just like you and Lord knows, I've paidmy share--over a billion in taxes. And for a guy that started outwith everything he owned in the trunk of his car-- SIMPSON: Mr. Perot, I'm sorry-- PEROT: --that ain't bad. SIMPSON: --once again. PEROT: But it's in your hands. I wish you well. I'll see youtomorrow night-- (Laughter) on NBC--10:30 to 11:00 Eastern Time. (Laughter) SIMPSON: And finally, last but not least--Governor Clinton. CLINTON: Thank you, Carole, and thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Since I suggested this format I hope it's been good for all of you.I really tried to be faithful to your request that we answer thequestions specifically and pointedly. I thought I owed that to youand I respect you for being here and for the impact you've had onmaking this a more positive experience. These problems are not easy. They're not going to be solvedovernight. But I want you to think about just 2 or 3 things. Firstof all, the people of my state have let me be their governor for 12years because I made commitments to 2 things--more jobs and betterschools. Our schools are now better. Our children get off to a better startfrom pre-school programs and smaller classes in the early grades, andwe have one of the most aggressive adult education programs in thecountry. We talked about that. This year my state ranks first in thecountry in job growth, 4th in manufacturing in job growth, 4th inincome growth, 4th in the decline of poverty. I'm proud of that. It happened because I could work withpeople--Republicans and Democrats. That's why we've had 24 retiredgenerals and admirals, hundreds of business people, many of themRepublican, support this campaign. You have to decide whether you want to change or not. We do notneed 4 more years of an economic theory that doesn't work. We've had12 years of trickle down economics. It's time to put the Americanpeople first, to invest and grow this economy. I'm the only personhere who's ever balanced a government budget and I've presented 12 ofthem and cut spending repeatedly. But you cannot just get there bybalancing the budget. We've got to grow the economy by putting peoplefirst-- real people like you. I got into this race because I did not want my child to grow up tobe part of the first generation of Americans to do worse than herparents. We're better than that. We can do better than that. I wantto make America as great as it can be and I ask for your help in doingit. Thank you very much. SIMPSON: Thank you, Governor Clinton. Ladies and gentlemen, thisconcludes the debate, sponsored by the Bipartisan Commission onPresidential Debates. I'd like to thank our audience of 209uncommitted voters who may leave this evening maybe being committedand hopefully they'll go to the polls like everyone else on November3rd and vote. We invite you to join us on the 3rd and final presidential debateMonday, Oct 19, from the campus of Michigan State University in EastLansing, Mich. I'm Carole Simpson. Good night.