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Qraft 8/29/96 9am
PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON
ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
August 29, 1996
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-President, fellow Democrats, ml'fellow Americans: •
aW\t' uti It# stu tp
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atute my gtrBR§ pa&iRer aHei close fnen<1, wUp I lsslc ferWcmtking nitls '
   
. tke UH:iteEl Statel3 of2
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dttctica, Al Gore.
It has },llllililfour ye:L you and I set forth on a journey to bring ourS'sion to this . ·. .
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country: To keep the American Dream alive for all who were willing to work To eep
America the world's strongest force for peace and freedom and prosperity, to come tsgetR.iliu
&J Ji C' itWI Ct"JtHR"J:Mniiy.
CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
Cbnrldence Meome a RiV:' 'faitl;t iiA gm:ISilvss a:s e a ne •• fttitfi iR Ametil;a.
t (! a e _., 'J-..ixlt QlQ -{=c

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. ncighbmliUMS Mid jobs ::ll:<l!oruy uppunmrt ty ana     :!:lio• .• OOMOO it oil
b:P\'H'• trsn•eetQJtsaa 4\lf!z t':
_ around: In the stroll$ outstre;ch\d of a pQlice officer in Ohio.; in the ingenuity of a young ·
 
businesswomap in West Virginia; in tlie voice of a small child reading aloud -- to us all -- in a

vtllage in Michigan. For the last four days, all of you here joined me in that journey across the :J
   
    on that train trip because I wanted into the the faces and-the bearts

of the people I work for every day. And as much as I misse being here with you to celebrate, I
• .• +JaliB".
would not niissed'That trip for all the world, because it showed that ol{ faith should be
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\ stttnfgmtd that hmetiea really..ii on the right track to the 21st Century.



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4.4 million Americans are living in neW homes. For the first in a decade, we are
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selling more of the cars our workers make to the world than Japan. Hundreds of thousands of
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women have started new businesses: And we have the. lowest combined rate ofunemployment

CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
and inflation and mortgages in 28 years. 10 million new jobs, half managerial and professional.
10 million workers getting the raise they deserve with an increase in the minimum wage. 25
million working people will now have their health care protected even if they change jobs.
·
ifh C&I 1 cs t RIG 1 1 ing
1
t our country is still the strongest force for peace, freedom and
prosperity in the v:rl!irivir ma
1
ook RHssia, ts QssHi!i, ts Haiti, ts tA:e  
East !iRe eey and-- the ehileFeH !iHe all tke J3i9J3le gfthe vvsdei look to us and to om valaw f5r
the leadCI ship they bto vo they eaR
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On crime, we 100,000 more on the streets; we made three-strikes-and-
you're out the law of the land; we stopped 60,QJ)O felons and fugitive;; and stalkers from buying .. L

handguns; we banned assault For four years now, the crime rate has dropped . ..Wsw
ft . _
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. @ :fr!g h Cfllii!!X . -t •
- re J a /8RI i iilmun we* e .1 ..
On welfare, we worked with the states to launch a quiet revolution; today 1.6 million
fewer people are on welfare than on the day I took office. And we have increased child support
collections by 40%.
CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY

And the deficit that was strangling our progress -- well, tonight, it is 60% smaller than
four years ago, heading towards zerO._. '1\U. lJ.I.l ,
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kirrd ef country w11l we bmld )'ear 2000? What look like vvbeft eM! oehildren
   
....
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I love and revere the of America. And I am determined to take our best traditions

into the with all respect, we do not need to build a to the past-- we need to
l . . . .. t ... i'\ Jr\ .. ...;. 4- ..,.
build a bridge to &1.4. lU. IIUit \\U.A - - ( &.do

 
Tonight,+ :: that bridge to
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.our chalienges, protect our basic values, and prepare our people for   =
build a bridge to help every parenfraise their help young S: and adurf get the
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education and training they need te get o geuer,jehi citizerfW> feel safer. •
. foD ftu, 'IIMM+o . . · -f,:,
on our streets;     9i R succet!Qat home and at work; !bllt :f!Ml break the cycle of u.:.w,.
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poverty and dependence that afflicts our cities; tMt will protect our environment for
tJ:I.A . .
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American comml:lait' has the teals taey need to make t:Rg ~   ~ t of Ol:lr Gog given pot;rntial.
OPPORTUNITY
I want America to build a bridge to the Year 2000 in which we expand opportunity
through education: where computers are as much a part of the classroom as blackboards, where
highly trained teachers demand peak performance from our children, where every 8-yearold can ·
point to a book and say: "I read it myself."
F 61 half a t:t.:!llldlj' HrCIIICJSttliipbnant Clltng we have done te Emh!Rel @Q9R8mic
oppettanity is L6 open trre doeus 8fseWege ta miHiaH:s ef i\:merisaAii. By the year 2000, the
single most critical thing we can do is to give every single American who wants it the chance to
go to college.
We must make at least two years ofcollege as universal as a high school education is
) . I
today. And we should cut taxes to do it.
I propose a $1500-a-year tuition tax credit for Americans -- a "Hope Scholarship" for the
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
first two years of college, to make the typical community college free. Every family ought to be
able to deduct $10,000 in college tuition costs ·per year. Every parent ought to be able to save
money for college in a tax free IRA. We should not tax middle income Americans on the money
they spend for college.
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-tax my plan are fully paid for, by ·specific cut\mtti 1Bep
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:.=::;,:a=Jru::c:o=:};rj:1l ·nl!icddtsfm nFall!:ru.
Education cannot stop on graduation day. I have proposed a new GI Bill for America's
workers -- a $2600 grant 2Ai, to get training and skills -- the tools they
need-- to make the most of their own lives.
We must demand excellence at ·every level, insisting that students learn the old basics we
learned, and the new basics they need

Tonight, let us set a clear national shiltl should be able to read on their own
by 3rd grade. When 40% of 8 year olds cannot read as well as they should, we must act. I want
to send 30,000 reading specialists to mobilize a volunteer army of 1 million tutors. Together,
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they will teach America's children to read. Let me say to every tired night you spend
reading a book to your child is 8 1 1 ell worth it. It was for Hillary and me when we read to
Chelsea. Literacy is freedom -- we must set our children free.
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
... '" We must insist that our students pass tough tests to move up in school; reward good
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teachers and remove those who don't measure up;   parents the choice of which public school
to send their children; keep schools open late so young people can stay off the street.
We need schools that will take our children into the new century -- rebuilt and
modernized, with an unprecedented commitment from the national government to .increase
school construction ... and with every single library and classroom in America connected to the
information superhighway by the year 2000.
If we do these things, every 8 year old will be able to read ... every 12 year old will be
able to log on to the internet ... every 18 year old will be able to go to college ... And

Americans will have the knowledge they need to cross t)¢ bridge to the future.
Economy/budget
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I want to build a bridge to the ¥eM 26'(10 in which we preserve the legacy of I
for the next generation, by balancing our budget in a way that protects our values, and ensuring
· that every family will be able to protect the value of their most important asset -- their home.
Tonight, let us proclaim to the American people: We will balance the budget. And let us
also proclaim: we will do it in a way that preserves Medicare, Medicaid, education arid the
environment.
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
Last year, the Republican Congress sent me a plari that violated our values. I vetoed their
budget last year; I was proud to do it; and if necessary, I will do it again.
As long as I am President, I will never allow that devastate education for our
children, pollute our or violate our duty to our
parents under Medicare. Never.

And as long as I am never allowAGtingte'!>s to use tlte_ blackmail threat of
a government shutdown to try of !fte hm8risaiA peopli isto   deep
.
And way to these cuts: a new ( Democrati
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I 1.'\'Mie proposet-s p
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na to balance the budget through real, certified cuts in government
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\ and waste. My plan invests in it gives cuts that will help our
country grow. 'II ,..... .
I expandiwl IRAs so that young people can save tax free to buy a first
home. Tonight, I propose a new home ownership tax cut that says to every middle-income
family: if you sell your home, you won't have to pay a capital gains tax-- ever. I want every
American to be able to hear those beautiful words: Welcome home.
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
I
!
Every tax cut I call for tonight is targeted, responsible, and paid for within my balanced
·budget. My tax cuts won't undermine the economy cut taxes for
the family sending their child to college ... for the worker returning to college ... for the family
saving to buy a home ... for middle income families raising their children. That's the right way
to cut taxes.
Our opponents have put forward a very different plan-- a risky $550 billion tax scheme
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This tax scheme will explode the deficit ... spike interest rates

-- by 2% and require
huge cuts in the very investments that will help our e¢onomy grow.lfyil!t the cat3 tki¥
lgst )'ilif iR Mcdicmc, Me8i&aid, edwation and thfi' iRl/iromntilt wete bact, cnese
........
Do we really want to make the same mistake again?, To raise ;rest rates again? To
 
stop ecopomic growth again? To court recession again? fl e qme piii!8
.
We have an obligation to leave our children a legacy of opportunity, not debt. So this is
one area which I respectfully disagree with my opponent. We should not bet the farm ... and we
certainly shouldn't bet the country.
ht. (J.U!" .
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RESPONSIBILITY
Welfare
Opportunity alone is not enough. I want America to build a bridge to the Year 2000 in
which America.r?take# personal responsibility for themselves, their families and their
/,'IUt.
country. And I nation to take responsibility to make sure 'that every single child can
look ouJ the window in the morning and see a whole community getting up and going to work.
mjles from tR.is :kall ... and m the MISSISSippi Delta ... and in 8oath Central b\- .
. rysung people are up in neighl5orhoods where only a frachon of tne adults
e 'et y S.y. We want these young people to know the thrill of that first paycheck, the challenge of
starting a business, the pride of following in a parent's footsteps.
The welfare reform law I signed last week is a chance for America to have,a new ,

to strike a n(\w social bargain with the poor1fA'e fl:Etve to take ow +CSpeRsieiliey st>
... lt
We Me ecuyone who eaa work, to go to we
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have a moral obligation to 38)' ts gf wham we are dehTI:nJhiig rcspunsibil'hy that they will
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he:v8 the We must make sure to ge *o --one million new jobs for
· welfare recipients by the Year 2000.
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UMiir t:Re lave I sigttctl;itates money spent an welfare. an2._ use it to help
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
businesses hire people and train them for jobs. I challenge every state to do this now.
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W give. businesses a tax credit for every person they hire off welfare and keep
We   offer job placement firms bonus for every welfare recipient they
... .. .
place in a job ifthe worker stays in We sfie-!tM to put welfare recipients to
work -- repairing schools, fixing streets, making their neighborhoods shine again.
We spend enormous time opening markets for America around the world, and we should. . . .l • •.
. .
... . \.N.J .... I). Uo.Ad.-
But let's never forget: The greatest untapped market for America ... is Ariienc1l i' neeil more
f8t 'r .
Empowerment draw businesses into poor neighborhoods;
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development banks -- like South Shore here in Chicago -- to small -
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"] •       A decade ago, a woman named Lillie Hardin moved
from welfare to work with the help of a program in my state. I asked her, "What is the best thing
I
abourbeing off welfare?" She told me: "The best thing about being off welfare is that when my
boy goes to school, and they ask him, 'What does your momma do?' he has an answer." Today,
Lillie Hardin works in a grocery store in Little Rock. One daughter is an honor student; another
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is a physical therapist.
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Her oldest son has a job and a family. And her younger son is going to
'1\w....{W.   DJ.l +t . .
I W!lltt evety fmaily to h?Jrotbo t!ac Lillie lta:td!n
.... heFfmtJi!fha+e. Anti! ;; "'"'l' persgq jn Amerjro   We

permanent underclass forgotten, and exiled from the promise of America.
Crime
I want America to build a bridge to the Year 2000 where our children are not killing
children ... where our children's lives are not shattered by violence at home or in the schoolyard
... where a generation of young people is not left to raise itself alone on the streets.
..
We all owe a great debt to Sarah and Jim Brady 't{t t1ieli ts&£&@le. "We mast emnd the
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Brady Bill to say: anyone with a record of violence against spouse or child should not own
a gun.
We must ban cop-killer bullets-- designed for one reason: to kill police. We ask the
police to keep us safe. We must do our part to keep them safe.
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY
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We should pass a victims' rights Constitutional Amendment because victims deserve to
be heard -- and need to know when an assailant is released.
We have made so much progress; even crime among young people is down. So it is very,
very painful to me that drug use among young people is up. Drugs nearly killed my brother
when he was a young man -- and I hate them.
Parents have a responsibility to teach their children this truth: Drugs are deadly, drugs are
wrong, drugs may cost you your life.

. General Barry McCaffrey, /1 four star general who led our fight against drugs in Latin
America, now leads our at home -- stoppin=s at our borders, cracking down on
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those who sell them, andk:alling on America to turn our children away from drugs and
Congress needs to give him every cent of funding we have requested.
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We will say to parolees:Vfyou go back you will go back to jail. We will say to
gangs: We will breakyou with the same anti-racketeering law we use to put mob bosses in jail.
My fellow Americans, in the 21st Century, we must make all of our children free-- free
of the vise grip of guns, gangs and drugs, free to build lives of hope.
COMMUNITY
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CLINTON LIBRARY PHOTOCOPY

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