April 13, 1995 in Nation/World

Marilyn Quayle Attacks Clintons And Divisiveness Wife Of Former Vice President Prescribes Family Values

By The Spokesman-Review

Americans must stop dividing themselves and emphasizing their differences, or the nation could wind up like Bosnia, Marilyn Quayle warned Wednesday.

“Let’s get rid of hyphenated Americans,” the wife of the former vice president told Gonzaga University students. “Why do we need hyphens? Let’s all be Americans.”

In a speech that called for stronger family values, Quayle blasted everything from multiculturalism to corporate greed to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“We’re tearing ourselves apart the more we emphasize these differences,” she said of school courses that stress multiculturalism or re write history to fit political agendas. “What we all want is the same.”

Those common desires include safe neighborhoods, a good education and the chance to pursue dreams and enjoy freedom, she said. They are achieved by such family values as responsibility, integrity, courage and compassion.

But those values are missing from many parts of society, Quayle said. They are missing in the corporate raiders who buy companies to gut them and leave workers unemployed. Missing in executives who receive exorbitant salaries, doctors who commit Medicare fraud, television executives who produce shows based on violence and vulgarity, and companies that sponsor those shows.

“The baseball strike is totally about greed - on both sides,” she said. “We have a values problem throughout our society.”

How to correct it? Speak out, she said.

“We must all demand a change. It is wrong not to demand it.”

Quayle started her speech by hailing a different kind of change, the one in Washington, D.C. She called the Republican takeover of Congress a needed event to bring in new blood and push out complacency from 40 years of Democratic control.

But she criticized the president for “abdicating his leadership role” and for “blowing with the wind on everything.”

Clinton didn’t understand Washington, D.C., when he was elected, and now doesn’t know how to handle an opposition Congress, she said.

“If he sits back too long, our presidency will be emasculated,” she said.

She accused Democrats of catering only to a constituency of big business, big labor and big government. Vice President Al Gore’s program to reinvent government was “a shell game.”

Quayle also criticized Hillary Clinton for “listening to her feminist friends” and denigrating the traditional role of the first lady. She argued that Hillary Clinton actually took a less important, but more damaging, position as the leader of health care reform.

“She was doing an incredible disservice by being front and center on a very controversial piece of legislation,” Quayle said. When problems arose with the proposal, it was tied to the president through Hillary Clinton and “he couldn’t step away from it.”

When a student suggested that conservatives’ criticisms of the president might be considered divisive, Quayle said it is important to draw distinctions. “Attacking government isn’t attacking individuals.”

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