Dole Says Trust Him, 'Be Happy'
Sep. 13, 1996
WAUSEON, Ohio (AP) _ Bob Dole told voters today to cast off cynicism and depression and to trust he'll keep his promises if elected. ``Don't be miserable. You're going to be happy if Bob Dole's elected,'' he said.
Campaigning in Ohio, where his ancestors lived, the Republican nominee was asked by a participant at one of his ``Listening to America'' sessions what he'd do as president about people who feel ``miserable'' because they're working hard but not getting ahead.
Dole said he understood ``there's a lot of cynicism'' about what politicians can accomplish, but he insisted he could restore faith in government.
``I can understand a certain feeling of depression with Clinton in the White House,'' he said.
Earlier today, Dole met three distant cousins for coffee at a restaurant in nearby Montpelier, then stopped by a doughnut shop to purchase about 80 doughnuts for his campaign staff and traveling press. He paid with $53 out of his own pocket.
His subject was trust on Thursday, too, as he campaigned in Montpelier.
``Everyone here understands and loves America. We want a better America, and we want better leadership for America,'' Dole told a cheering county fair crowd. ``Trust me. Trust me. I trust the people.''
Dole, whose ancestors left northwest Ohio for Kansas just after the Civil War, again brought up President Clinton's unfulfilled 1992 pledge to cut taxes and said the president might make the same promise this time.
``This is the guy who promised you one in 1992. Anybody get hit with a tax cut? I don't think so,'' Dole told a rally Thursday night at the Williams County Fair.
``You tell him, goodbye Bill, goodbye Bill. You're history,'' Dole said.
Dole, on the other hand, invoked his upbringing in rural Russell, Kan., to underscore that he learned as a young boy the value of keeping promises _ like his proposed $548 billion tax cut, including a 15 percent reduction in income taxes, coupled with a pledge to balance the budget.
``We're going to promise and we're going to keep our promises,'' Dole said, as many in the crowd waved round yellow ``15 percent'' signs. ``This is a good, fair program, and no one is left behind.''
Before the rally Thursday night, Dole visited the grave of his great-great grandfather, Michael Dole, and Michael Dole's granddaughter, Minnie, who died at the age of 4 in the mid-1800s.
``We've been working on it for a long time, and we finally got it tracked down,'' Dole told reporters of the hunt for long-lost relatives. He joked that finding them here lets him claim Ohio as home turf _ a claim he hopes will help him carry the state's 21 electoral votes in November.
Dole brought two bundles of red carnations bound in red, white and blue ribbons to lay at the grave's white tombstones, which were almost completely weathered away. All that was readable on Michael's stone was ``Michael Dole'' and the word ``died.''
Three of Dole's other ancestors were mayors of Montpelier and a great-great uncle, Robert D. Dole, was wounded in the Civil War while fighting in Jonesboro, Ga., and lost a leg to amputation, according to local amateur historian Alan Benjamin.
Like Dole, who suffered severe wounds in World War II and went into politics, Robert D. Dole served three terms as county recorder and was a delegate to the Republican convention that nominated James Garfield for president.
``It is kind of exciting to learn more about your past. It is always good to know where you came from, what kind of people you came from,'' Dole said.
It was Robert's brother, James L. Dole, who moved the family to Kansas in 1866, apparently to join other family members.