President Clinton marked five years in office Tuesday, touting as major accomplishments the impending balanced budget, less joblessness and bringing Americans together on the role of government.
“The evidence of the last five years is all the evidence you need to know that we need to keep on going,” Clinton told 160 supporters at a fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee.
The event at the Corcoran Gallery of Art a block from the White House raised $1.3 million, giving the party a much-needed transfusion of cash going into the 1998 congressional elections.
“If you leave here tonight and say, ‘I’m proud to be a Democrat, …’ then I want you to leave committed to keep on doing it because we need you badly,” Clinton said.
Aides sought to support Clinton’s rhetoric with pocket cards listing what he has done as president “so they can recite that record proudly at the drop of a hat,” said White House spokesman Mike McCurry.
Clinton claimed credit for presiding over an economic boom that generated millions of new jobs and whittled the budget deficit down to $22 billion this year, far less than the $357 billion projected when he was sworn in Jan. 20, 1993.
He advocated “a Democratic program within the constraints of fiscal discipline,” and said he would eschew any effort to spend a budget surplus.
The White House trumpeted Clinton’s housekeeping accomplishments: cleaning up toxic waste sites, collecting more child support payments from deadbeat parents, vaccinating more children against disease.