Monday, August 3, 1998
Vol. 34, No. 31
Remarks and a question-and-answer session at a Democratic National Committee
reception in Aspen
�� July 25, 1998
� The President. That was better than I can do, Michael. Thank you
very much. Thank you and thank you, Ana, for welcoming all of us
into your home. And I want to thank my long, longtime friend, Roy
Romer, for being willing to keep his day job and take on another job
as well for our party.
�� Since vou mentioned the Brady bill, I think what I'd like to do is
maybe just talk just for a few minutes and then, probably to the
chagrin of all the people who came here with me, take a few minutes,
if any of you have any questions or comments or you want to give a
speech to me, I'll listen to that. But you think about it, if you've
got any questions you want to ask.
� But you heard the example Michael gave you of the Brady bill, and
if you ask me about what I tried to do through and with our
Democratic Party and as President that makes it worthy of the support
of thoughtful Americans, many of whom might have been Republicans
before, I would say two things.
� First of all, I've tried to move our party and to move our country
and, hardest of all, to move Washington, DC, away from sort of
yesterday's categorical, partisan name calling toward a genuine
debate over new ideas, because we are living in a new and different
time that, coincidentally, is at the turn of the century and the turn
of the millennium, but is indisputably different. It is different
rest of the world is different. It is different because the nature
of the challenges we face, among other things, in relating to the
natural environment are profoundly different than any previous
generation. So that's the first thing; it is different.
� The second thing I would say is that I have tried to redefine what
it means for Americans to be engaged in what our Founding Fathers
said would be our permanent mission, forming a more perfect Union.
And the Brady bill is about as good an example as any I can think of
for what the difference is today in Washington at least-not so much
out in the country maybe but certainly in Washington between the two
� If you go back to the beginning of the Republic, the people who
got us started were very smart people; they understood that they
weren't perfect. Thomas Jefferson said when he thought of slavery,
he trembled to think that God was just and might judge him justly.
So they knew they weren't perfect even then. And then they knew
there would be new and unchartered challenges in the future. But
they essentially-if you go back and read the Declaration of
comes down to the fact that they believe that God gave everybody the
inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit-not the guarantee,
but the pursuit-of happiness, and that in those shared rights, we
were created equal, not with equal abilities, not with equal pace,
not all the same, but equal in a fundamental human sense.
� And then the second thing that distinguishes the Democrats from
the Republicans even today, I think-even more today than in the last
50 years, the Founding Fathers said, "Look, we can't pursue these
objectives completely by ourselves. We can't protect or enhance the
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness unless we band
together and form a government. But governments ought to be limited.
They ought to be limited in scope, limited in power, limited in
reach, but they should do those things that we cannot do alone. And
sometimes, in order to advance our collective life, liberty, and
happiness, individually, we have to make a few sacrifices." That's
really what the Brady bill is all about.
� You know, in a country with 200 million guns, where last year,
with our zero tolerance for guns, we sent home-6,100 kids got sent
in the series of murders in the schools the consequences of failure
when that policy either doesn't work or isn't enough, the Brady bill,
by requiring a background check and making people wait 5 days between
the time they order and get a handgun has kept a quarter of a million
people with criminal records, stalking records, or records of mental
health instability from getting handguns. That's one of the reasons
that crime is at a 25-year low, and murder has dropped even more.
� Now, did it inconvenience some people to wait 5 days? Doubtless
so. Maybe some people that were mad at other people would cool down
after they waited 5 days. Is it an unconstitutional abridgement of
the right to keep and bear arms? Not on your life.
� In 1996 one of the most moving encounters I had in the campaign
was when I went back to New Hampshire, the State that basically
allowed me to go on when the first, we now know, Republican-inspired
assault was waged against me in 1991 and '92 in New Hampshire. And
they gave me a good vote, and I got to go on, so I went back there.
Then they voted for me in 1992 for President. And in 1996 they voted
for me again, which is unheard of because it's an overwhelmingly
are big sportsmen, and they had defeated a Congressman who supported
our crime bill with the ban on assault weapons and the Brady bill.
And I had all these hunters there, and I'd been going to see them a
long time. And I said, "I'll tell you what, remember back in '94
when you beat that Congressman because the NRA told you that the
President was trying to take your guns away with the assault weapons
ban, and the NRA?" I said, "Well, you beat him last time." I said,
"Now, every one of you who lost your hunting rifle, I expect you to
vote against me this time." But I said, "If you didn't, they lied to
you and you ought to get even." [Laughter] And you could have heard
a pin drop there, because they realized all of a sudden that this
sort of radical individualism, meaning you have no responsibilities
to collective citizenship, was wrong. And they could perfectly well
pursue their heritage that's deeply a part of New Hampshire where
people could hunt and fish and do whatever they want and still have
sufficient restraints to try to keep our children alive. And that's
just one example. And I could give you countless others.
� But as you look ahead in a world where we have done our best to
promote global markets, to promote efficient enterprise, we still
other we have to fulfill together. And as you look ahead, let me
mention two or three-and I won't mention them all, but two or three.
� One is, as presently structured, both the Social Security system
and the Medicare system are unsustainable once all the baby boomers
retire. And I look at all these young people who are working here,
and young enough, most of them, to be for most of us, to be our
children. Not very long ago I went home to Arkansas because we had a
terrible tornado and after I toured the damaged area, I got a bunch
of people I went to high school with to come out and have dinner with
me. We ate barbecue from a place we've been eating at 40 years and
sat around and talked.
� Now, most of my high school classmates had never been to Aspen.
Most of my high school classmates are just middle class people, with
modest incomes, doing the best they can to raise their kids. But
every one of them said to me, you've got to do something to modify
the Social Security system, make it as strong for us as you can, do
the best you can, but we are obsessed with not bankrupting our
baby boom generation is so big that by the time we're all in it,
there will be only two people working for every one person drawing.
� Now, I personally believe since the Democratic Party created
Social Security and Medicare and since they, I believe; they've been
great for America, that we should take the responsibility of
constructively reforming them rather than going into denial and
pretending that it doesn't have to be done. That's one example.
� Example number two: We've got the best system of college education
in the world, but nobody thinks we have the best elementary and
secondary education system in the wvorld. Ninety percent of the kids
in this country are in public schools. We have got to modernize
these schools, raise the standards, and do a thousand things that are
necessary that Governor Romer and I have been working on for 20 years
now if we expect America to grow together in the 21st century.
� Example number three-and then I'll quit after this, although there
are more, but I think it's important here in Colorado, especially in
Aspen-we've got to prove that we can grow the economy and improve the
� We have to make energy use like electricity and other things in
the next 50 years the way electronics has been in the last 50, where
everything gets smaller and smaller and smaller, with more and more
� I mentioned this at the previous dinner, but I'll say it again:
The main reason we have a year 2000 problem with all these computers,
you know, where� everybody is afraid that we'll flip into-at the
stroke of midnight, December 31st, January 1st, 1999, 2000, we'll all
go back to 1900 and everything will stop, is because we computerized
early in America. And when we computerized, these chips that hold
memory were rudimentary by today's standards. And so they had all
the numbers they did on dates, they just had the last 2 years, they
didn't have 4 years. So they're not capable of making this
� Today, it's a no-brainer. If you were building something today,
the power of these chips is so great, nobody would even think about
right on until the year 9999. So we've got to deal with this
education challenge. And we've got to prove that we can do it. And
then the second thing we have to do on this is to prove that we can
do with energy what we have done with electronics and the computer
� The best example of that that all of you will be able to access
within 3 or 4 years is a fuel-injection engine, where today about 70
percent of the heat value of gasoline is lost as it works its way
through a regular engine, when the fuel can be directly injected into
the process of turning the engine over you will cut greenhouse gas
emissions by 75 to 80 percent and triple mileage. And that's just
� I was in a low-income housing development in California a couple
weeks ago where the windows let in twice as much light and kept out
twice as much heat and cold. All of this is designed to do in energy
what we have already done in electronics and so many other things.
This is a huge challenge. I was pleased to wake up just the other
morning and look at CNN; the first story was on climate change
Florida, pointing out that the 9 hottest years ever recorded have
occurred in the last 11 years; the 5 hottest years ever recorded have
all occurred in the 1990's; 199 was the hottest year ever recorded;
and each and every month of 1998 has broken that month's record for
� This is not a game. We cannot afford to go into denial about
this. We have to find a way to reduce the emission of greenhouse
gases into the atmosphere and still keep growing the economy, not
just for America but for China, for India, for all the people that
are looking for their future. These are just three examples.
� The last point: 50 years ago tomorrowI had this on my mind because
I dedicated the aircraft carrier, the Harry Truman, today; some of
you may have seen it on TV tonight-50 years ago tomorrow Harry Truman
signed the Executive order ending segregation in the United States
military. And 50 years later-there are a lot of people who whined
and squalled about it and said it was the end of the world and how
awful it would be-50 years later we have the finest military in the
world, in no small measure because it is the most racially diverse
� Today we have one school district in Washington-across the river
from Washington, DC, with children from 180 different national and
ethnic groups, speaking over 100 different native languages-one
� So that's the last point I will make. It is particularly
important that we figure out how to live together and work together,
to relish our differences but understand that what binds us together
is more important. When you look at Kosovo and Bosnia, when you look
at Northern Ireland and the Middle East, when you look at the tribal
warfare in Rwanda and elsewhere, you look at the way the whole world
is bedeviled by not being able to get along because of their racial,
ethnic, and religious differences, if you want America to do a good
job in the rest of the world, we have to be good at home.
� Those are some of the things I think we should be thinking about.
And I believe politics should be about this. So if when you turn on
the television at night and you hear reports about what's being
the alternatives that are being presented, you hardly ever hear this,
do you? You ought to ask yourself why. I can tell you this: You
help more of our guys get in, what you're doing by your presence
here, you'll have more of this kind of discussion, and I think
America will be better in the 21st century.
� Thank you very much. National Economy
� Q. As you know, I'm a Houstonian, but I have a house down the
street from my friends, the Goldbergs. I want to say that in your
last trimester of your stewardship, I remember sitting on a bus with
Senator John Breaux, my boyhood friend, and you talked about your
plans for America. And I haven't seen this in the paper lately, but
I guess I want to tell you that we recognize low interest rates; we
recognize low inflation and, I think, a booming economy. And I think
with that track record that I should be reading that in the paper
more. But I want to tell you that I thank you, and I think all these
people here thank you.
� The President. Thank you. If I could just say one thing about
economy is a constantly moving target. And I am very grateful we
have the lowest unemployment rate in 28 years and the lowest
percentage of people on welfare in 29 years and the lowest inflation
in 32 years and the highest homeownership ever. That's the good
� About a third of our economic growth has come from exports. About
a third to 40 percent of our export growth-40 percent-has gone in
Asia. If Asia goes down, our export growth goes down; our economic
growth goes down. That is already happening. So one of the things
that I think is very important to do is that we impress upon the
Members of Congress, both Republican and Democratic, that we have to
do those things which are designed to keep the rest of the world
growing. Otherwise, we can't grow.
� We are 4 percent of the world's population; we have 20 percent of
the world's income. It does not require much mathematical
computation to realize that if we want to sustain our income, we have
to sell more to the other 96 percent of the people in the world.
America's dues to the International Monetary Fund to modernize and
strengthen and restore growth in these economies, why I want to see
us continue to be engaged with Japan, why I went to China because a
strong economy will cure a lot of social problems. And very few
social problems can be cured in a democracy in the absence of a
strong economy because the middle class becomes preoccupied with its
� But in this day and age, we can't sustain a strong economy without
a strong foreign policy that commits us to be constructively involved
with the rest of the world. And one of the things that I worry most
about in Washington is in various ways, there are elements that are
still-some in our party but more in the other party-still pulling
away from our constructive engagement in the rest of the world. We
cannot become what we ought to become unless we continue to get more
deeply involved, not less involved, with the rest of the world. But
I thank you for what you said.
� Go ahead.
� Republican Congress
� Q. You mentioned Harry Truman, and I still remember those
headlines, "Dewey Wins," right? And in fact it was Harry that won.
And my question is, I believe-I am not smart enough to know exactly
why, but I believe that one of the reasons he won is he said, that
do-nothing 80th Congress-is that the right number, 80-I hope-and
we're going to really show them.
� When are we going to-when do your advisers say it's time to start
talking in the parts of matter instead of more that sort of global
thing where we are all going to be together and be all a happy
� The President. Well, I have been hitting them pretty hard over
the way they killed the tobacco bill, the way they are so far killing
the Patients' Bill of Rights, the way they killed campaign finance
reform, the way they are endangering our future economic prosperity
by walking away from our dues to the International Monetary Fund.
� You know I haven't attacked them personally in the way they have
serious risks being played with America's future there. But I,
frankly, believe that we have to wait until-see what happens in the
first 2 weeks after the August recess. They're about to go out.
Then they'll come back, and they'll have to make a final decision
whether they are going to work with us to get something done for
America or whether they're just going to play politics. And I
believe the American people will have an extremely negative reaction
if they walk away as a do-nothing Congress.
� So far-one of the major papers called them a "done-nothing"
Congress. They said so far, they're a "done-nothing" Congress.
They're not yet a do-nothing Congress because they still have a few
days left. But they're not meeting very much this year and so far-I
just think that they believe that conventional wisdom is that when
times are good, incumbents all win, so what they really have to do is
to keep their base happy. And in this case, the base is the most
ideologically conservative people in the country. And I think they
think they can keep them happy just by banging on me and doing a few
as times are, I don't think this is an inherently stable time-I mean,
stable is wrong. I think it's stable but not status quo. I think
all you have to look5 years ago, Japan thought they had a permanent
formula for prosperity. Now they've had 5 years of no growth, and
their stock market has lost half its value.
� But one of the reasons that our country is working so well is that
the private sector, the entrepreneurs in this countr y, can stay in
constant motion. There are opportunities out there. They can see
things that are changing, and they can move and everything. And
we've got to equip more people to do that. But I guess I'm having a
vigorous agreement with you, but I think the Republican political
analysis is that they can get by this election by doing nothing
because times are so good that all incumbents will benefit, even if
the President is more benefited than others.
� My belief is that the good times impose on us a special
responsibility to bear down and take on these long-term challenges
because good times never last forever and because things inherently
change more rapidly now than they ever have before. So I think
miscalculation in terms of what's best for our country. And I think
you'll hear more of it in the last 6 weeks before the election. Yes?
� 1998 Elections
� Q. The Republican Party has clearly been captured by the
conservative idealogue. The Christian right, the religious right,
knows what they're doing; they know what they believe; they're well
organized; and I think they are probably the most-[inaudible]-that we
have. On the other hand, Democrats, we have a-all of us have a
tradition of understanding and of tolerance for the discrepancies and
the differences in opinions across the party, we're not so well
organized. How do we face this
� The President. Well, first of all
� Q. election against people who are as determined, as well
organized, and as well funded as the conservative right is?
� The President. Well, we are working hard to get better organized.
been. We were quite well organized in '96, and we did well. We
would have won the House in '96, but for the fact that in the last 10
days of the election, in the 20 closest races they out-spent us 41/2
to one-in the last 10 days. Over and above that, you had all these
third party groups like the Christian Coalition groups, doing mass
mailings into these districts, basically talking about what heathens
our candidates were.
� And I think the Democrats are just going to have to decide whether
they're going to be tough enough to handle that, I mean, we don't-but
I think we will be better organized. I think we will be better
funded this time. They did their best to bankrupt us the last 2
years, and it didn't work.
� So I think if we're better organized and better funded and we
train our candidates better, then what we have to do is be ready for
that last 10-day onslaught where the Christian Coalition and the
other far right groups do these heavy, heavy mailings basically
trying to convince the people they're mailing to that we're cultural
aliens and that we don't have good values, and we don't support
the majority again. And if we're tough enough to handle that, I
think we've got a chance to do pretty well.
� We were doing fine in '96, we just didn't have enough ammunition
at the end. We were so far down in '95 that we had to spend a lot of
our party money go get back up, and then the last 10 days they just
blew us away. But you've helped a lot by being here, and I think we
know now that you don't have to descend to the level of personal
meanness that your attackers do, but you do have to show a similar
level of vigor, with a strategy that will work.
� My own view is that we've got a strategy that will work; we've got
a message that will play. And you asked about the partisanship
thing- the most effective partisan attack, and a truthful one, is to
say that they are being partisan in preventing us from making
progress. It's not just to say Democrats are better than
Republicans. It's to say they're being partisan; they're preventing
us from making progress. Here are our ideas. Now, what are their
ideas. Measure them up. Twothirds of the American people will pick
ours. So if they don't stampede us with fear and money, we'll do
fine. And that's the ultimate answer to the question you asked.
� Q. Mr. President, first of all, I think it's really wonderful-
you've had a long day, and you're answering our questions. That's
really the American way. Thank you.
� The President. It's 1:15 a.m. our time. International
� Q. [Inaudible]-incredible things worldwide. I read the newspapers
where you even got those two suspected terrorists and they may end up
getting tried in The Hague. And that's wonderful. And NAFTA was the
greatest thing. I know you have to give and take, Mr. President, but
during NAFTA I know one of the things you had to kind of give on a
bit was to let the Mexican fishermen take up to 10,000 dolphins and
kill them. Is there any way in the last year and a half we could
take a couple of these ecological issues and maybe readdress them
again to help make the world a better place to live?
� The President. Well, we've got a lot ofone of the reasons we did
that is that we finally got the Mexicans to agree to at least end
along the border. And we tried to build up a border commission that
would allow us to invest in the environment and elevate the public
health of the people in the Maquilladora areas along the border.
� I think that you will see, I predict, a number of areas where
there will be advances in wildlife protection and the environment in
the last 2 years. We're doing our best to get a much broader
agreement, for example, on all kinds of efforts to restore the oceans
generally. There's been a significant and alarming deterioration in
the oceans, not unrelated to climate change and global warming but
caused by forces in addition to that. There is a dead spot the size
of the State of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico outside the mouth of
the Mississippi, for example. And we're trying to address all those.
� I believe the American people-I think within a decade you'll see
an overwhelming majority of the American people for operational
environmentalism. Today we have 70 percent of our people, our
environmentalists and almost all little children are-it's something
they have to be taught to abandontheir instincts are to preserve the
planet. But I think that people still believe something I don't
grow the economy. I just don't believe that. And I think that you
will see a steady movement toward more aggressive environmental
policies which will come to dominate both parties, I believe, in the
next 10 years. And I hope before I leave office I can do more.
� I even had somebody from Utah come up to me tonight and thank me
for saving the Red Rocks, the Grand Staircase Escalante, you know-who
said they didn't think it was right when I did it before.
� Moderator. Mr. President, I know your schedule. Would you mind
taking just a couple more?
� The President. Go ahead.
� Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia
� Q. Mr. President, I've got a question about foreign policy. Do
you have any concern about India and Pakistan, South Asia, what's
happening over there? And what kind of leadership role can you take
to bring peace over there or even float the idea of creating an
there? What can you do about it?
� The President. Well, one of the problems we've had-I thought-I
actually feel bad about this because I had a trip set up for the fall
to India and Pakistan. And in 1993, when I took office, I got all of
our peopleactually, before I took office-and I said, "Let's look at
the major foreign policy challenges this country faces and figure out
how we're going to deal with them and in what order." And as you
might imagine, we went through the Middle East and Bosnia, and then
we had Haiti on the list. We went through the idea that we had to
build a trade alliance with Latin America, that we needed a
systematic outreach to Africa, that the big issues were how were
Russia and China going to define their future greatness and could we
avoid a destructive future. And we worked hard on that.
� But I told everybody at the time, I said, one of the things that
never gets in the newspapers in America is the relationship between
India and Pakistan and what happens on the Indian subcontinent, where
they already-India already has a population of over 900 million, in
30 years it will be more populous than China; it already has the
people and so does Bangladesh. So it's an amazing place.
� So I had planned to go there with plans to try to help resolve the
conflicts between the two countries. One big problem is India
steadfastly resists having any third party, whether it's the United
States or the United Nations or anybody else, try to mediate on
Kashmir. It's not surprising. India is bigger than Pakistan, but
there are more Muslims than Hindus in Kashmir. I mean, it's notthe
same reason that Pakistan, on the flipside, is dying to have
international mediation because of the way the numbers work.
� What I think we have to do is go back to find a series of
confidence-building measure which will enable these two nations to
work together and trust each other more and to move back from the
brink of military confrontation and from nuclear confrontation. And
we have to find a way to involve the Russians and the Chinese because
the Indians always say they're building nuclear power because of
China being a nuclear power and the border disputes they've had with
China. And, oh, by the way, we happen to have this Pakistani
achieved a lot of notoriety in the press. And I'm still hopeful that
before the year is over, we'll be able to put them back on the right
path toward more constructive relations. I mean, India,
interestingly enough, is a democracy just� as diverse, if not more
diverse, than America. Almost no one knows this. But most-most, but
not allthe various minorities groups in India live along the borders
of India in the north. And it's just-it would be, I think, a
terrible tragedy if Hindu nationalism led to both estrangement with
the Muslim countries on the border and the minorities-Muslim and
otherwise-within the borders of India when Ghandi basically set the
country up as a model of what we would all like to be and when
India's democracy has survived for 50 years under the most adverse
circumstances conceivable and is now, I believe, in a position to
really build a level of prosperity that has not been possible before.
� I feel the same thing with the Pakistanis. I think if they could
somehow-they're much more vulnerable to these economic sanctions than
the Indians are. If they could somehow ease their concerns which are
leading to such enormous military expenditures and put it into people
if I can do any good with it, but I certainly intend to try because I
think, whether we like it or not, I think that the one good thing
that the nuclear tests have done is that they have awakened the West,
and Americans in particular, to the idea that a lot of our children's
future will depend on what happens in the Indian subcontinent.
� Q. How about if you called their Prime Ministers here?
� The President. Well, I can't force a settlement on them, but I
can-that's why I say because of their relationships with India and
China, we need their help as well. And so far-excuse me-with Russia
and China. And so far, the Russians and the Chinese have been very
helpful to me in trying to work out a policy that we can pursue. But
I'm working on it. Believe me, if I thought it would work, I would
do it tomorrow, and I will continue to explore every conceivable
� Q. That's great. Thank you very much. The President. Thanks.
One last question. Go ahead.
� Intellectual Property Rights
� Q. I'm an intellectual property owner. I represent a lot of
entrepreneurial and independent interests against a lot of the large
multinational companies. I know what it's like to be on the nose
cone of a missile pretty much. And these interests can tell us that
basically that black is white in Congress and try to weaken the
patent system and protection of intellectual property.
� Governor Romer's son is one of the most vocal spokesmen for-
[inaudible]-the thing that differentiates us from the rest of the
world is intellectual property.
� The President. Well, it's interesting that you'd say that. First
of all, I don't think we should weaken the system. And secondly, I
think we should continue to aggressively pursue those protections in
our trade relations. I have spent an enormous amount of time with
the Chinese, for example, trying to protect against pirated CD's of
all kinds and other technology.
� And the consequences are far greater than they used to be. And we
Rolex watches and then when I first went to Taiwan 20 years ago, you
could buy all the latest hardcover books for $1.50; that was
something that was done. But the volume and level of trade and the
interconnections and the sophistication of what was being copied were
nowhere near what they are today where you're talking about billions
and billions and billions of dollars that can literally undermine the
creative enterprise of whole sectors of our economy.
� So I think it's important, first, to keep the legal protections
there, but secondly, it's important that the United States make this
a big part of our foreign policy and all of our trade policy. And we
try to do it. I spent a huge amount of time on it myself.
� Q. Mr. President, recently Massachusetts had some ugly test scores
from its teachers; they couldn't pass lOth grade equivalency. And
there's a problem, I guess, in other States, as well. Is there any
way that the education of the kids-[inaudible]-it will take another
generation to upgrade the teaching in the public schools?
what Massachusetts did was a good thing, not a bad thing. Most
people, every time they read bad news think this is a bad thing.
Sometimes when you read bad news, it's a good thing, because
otherwise how are you going to make it better if you don't know what
the facts are? So the first thing I'd like to say is we ought to
give Massachusetts a pat on the back for having the guts to have the
teacher testing, get the facts out, and deal with them.
� Now, what I think should happen is, I think every State should do
this for first-time teachers just the way they do it for lawyers and
doctors. Then I believe there should be a much more vigorous system
for trying to support and improve teaching as we go along, trying to
bring like retired people with degrees in science and mathematics and
other things into the teacher corps, which is very uneven across the
� And there's also something called the National Board for
Professional Teacher Standards, which certifies master teachers every
year, people who have great academic knowledge, could knock the socks
And one of the things that I've got in my budget is enough money to
fund 100,000 of those master teachers, which would be enough to put
one master teacher in every school building in the country. And if
you look at-I don't want to embarrass him, but Tony Robbins standing
here-if you ever listen to his tapes or look at him on television,
you know he's a teacher. He's teaching people to change how they
behave. Well, it just stands to reason that if you could get one
really great teacher in every class, in every school building in
America, you would change the culture of that school building if they
had mentoring as part of their responsibility. So I think this is a
huge deal. But let me say, there's a lot more to do. You have to
recognize, too, that we have to do more to get young people into
teaching, even if they only stay a few years-really bright young
people. One of the proposals I've got before the Congress today
would fund several thousand young people going into inner-city
schools and other underserved areas to teach just for a couple of
years and they would, in turn, get a lot of their college costs
knocked off for doing it. Congress hasn't adopted it yet, but I
think that's another important avenue to consider. You've got to-the
quality of teaching matters.
the other thing that you have to remember whether you're in Colorado
or anyplace else, is that when most of us who are my age at least
were children, the smartest women were teaching because they couldn't
do anything else for a living. And they weren't making much for
doing it, but it was all they could do.
� And now, a smart woman can run a big company, can create a company
and then take it public and be worth several hundredmillion dollars,
can be elected to the United States Senate and, before you know it,
will be President of the United States. So that means if you want
good young people to be teachers, we're going to have to pay them
more. And that's-everybody nods their head and then nobody wants to
come up with the bread to do it, but you've got to do it. I mean,
there's no question about it. If you really want to maintain quality
over a long period of time, you have to do-you have to pay people;
you have to improve the pay scales.
� The best short-run fix is to get really smart people who did other
things and now have good retirement income to come in because they
do it for a few years as soon as they get out of college by helping
them cover their college costs.
� Moderator. Mr. President, Michael Goldberg promised me he would
show me some reruns of his brother, the wrestler, on winning his
championship after you were done speaking.
� The President. I'm really impressed by that.
� Moderator. You're running me out of my time on watching that
� The President. Thank you very much.
� NOTE: The President spoke at 10:58 p.m. at a private residence.
In his remarks, he referred to dinner hosts Michael and Ana Goldberg;
Gov. Roy Romer of Colorado, general chair, Democratic National
Committee; and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. A tape was not
available for verification of the content of these remark