Clinton Criticizes Republican Tactics, Pledges to Aid EconomyBy Haider A. Hamoudi
Before an estimated crowd of 1,200 at the Boston Parker House Hotel Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate and governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton harshly criticized the Bush Administration for its ineffectiveness in dealing with the United States's economic problems and reiterated his charges that the Republican party was behind recent allegations of womanizing and controversy over his military draft history.
"George Bush said that it was a dog-eat-dog world out there and that he would do anything to get himself re-elected. Everything, that is, except do what's right for the American people," Clinton said.
Clinton added that if the Republicans were to win the presidential election again in 1992, it is very likely that the next generation of Americans could be the first whose standard of living is lower than that of their parents.
Calling the 1991 election one of the most important of the era, Clinton emphasized the need for change. "Every election is important, but some are more important than others. Do you want another four years of the `take it for yourself and let others fend for themselves the best they can' philosophy that the Republicans represent? There has to be a change, and it has to be soon," Clinton said.
He related the stories of people who had been fired from their jobs shortly before they would have been eligible for pension and of poor families struggling to clothe and feed their children. Clinton said that as governor of Arkansas he had been forced to deal with federal cuts which would have helped such people. As president, he would change this, he said.
"The Republicans say that you cannot make a difference, but don't believe them. I believe that everybody can make a difference," Clinton said.
The governor also ridiculed Bush for his stagnancy and charged the president with not being interested in instituting the radical change necessary to resuscitate the economy.
In response to recent womanizing and draft-dodging allegations, Clinton sought to cast himself as the victim of spurious Republican charges in the last week before the New Hampshire primary.
"They did it because they know I have a message and the people of this country are coming to it," Clinton said. "Just when we were getting off the ground, these stories started coming out. In the South, we have a saying: if you find a turtle on a fence post, it didn't get there by accident."
The governor said that while the Republicans readily exploited racial and ethnic divisions to win an election, his campaign focused on bringing people together.
The Rev. Charles Stith, who introduced Clinton, charged Bush with using Willie Horton to win the previous election, and said he would use "Willie Quota" to try to win this one. But according to Stith, Clinton would rise above this because he could bring people together like no other candidate.
Others who spoke at the rally included Sid Johnson, president of the Arkansas National Education Association, who said that Clinton had greatly improved the educational system in his own state.
To bolster claims that Clinton's support remained strong, Clinton fund-raiser Robert Farmer said Clinton raised $157,000 at a Copley Plaza event Tuesday night -- more that one-third of the $450,000 Clinton has raised in the state, according to the Boston Herald.
Edward B. Garon '95, who organized a group of MIT students who support Clinton, said Clinton's speech was "very well delivered" and had a significant impact upon the audience. "The audience reaction was positive. I think a lot of people are excited about his campaign," he said.
Asked about whether or not Clinton could win in New Hampshire, Garon replied, "I am not a political analyst, but if the people of New Hampshire vote based upon the issues, then Clinton will win."