Saying America can do better than President Clinton’s “zigzag leadership,” Bob Dole criticized the president Friday for failing the nation on the balanced budget, crime and other issues.
In the heart of the country music industry, Dole quoted a popular country music song to characterize the president:
“You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told a GOP rally near the Tennessee capitol.
In his speech, Dole made no mention of his statement Thursday night that the GOP platform should maintain its tough anti-abortion plank but include a “declaration of tolerance” for Republicans who support abortion rights.
The soon-to-retire Senate majority leader used his address to highlight the two-vote margin by which a proposed balanced budget amendment failed to win Senate approval on Thursday. Dole held out the issue as an area of major difference between him and the president.
“If the president wants a balanced budget, we will have a balanced budget. This president made clear that he does not. I do,” Dole told the enthusiastic crowd.
He also accused Clinton of coopting the Republican agenda on issues ranging from welfare reform to crime, but added that the president fails to follow through and ends up vetoing GOP legislation he claims to support.
“I believe the United States of America deserves better than zigzag leadership, and we’ll do that on November 5, 1996,” Dole said.
Befitting the Music City location, Dole strode to the platform to the strains of “Dole Man,” sung to the tune of the rhythm-and-blues classic “Soul Man” by none other than Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, which popularized the original.
After the Nashville event, Dole was traveling to Chicago to attend Friday night’s Chicago Bulls-Seattle Sonics NBA Finals game. Dole planned to attend a rally in Marietta, Ga., today in House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s district.