I speak to you this afternoon at a somber time. Fifty Americans continue to be held captive in Iran, hostages of a mob and a government that have become one and the same. This crisis, precipitated by this unlawful and unprecedented act, has demanded my closest attention since the first moment that it began.
But the process of democratic self-government is the heart of our liberties and our strength, and it must go forward. Every 4 years, in good times and in bad, in times of peace and in times of war, in times of crisis and in times of calm, the American people elect a President. So it has been since 1789, and so it will be in 1980.
For the last month, I have curtailed my political activities, and I would have preferred to postpone this announcement until a later time. However, election laws in certain States require formal declarations of candidacy within the next few days.
Therefore, I formally declare that I am a candidate for reelection as President of the United States of America.
I intend to be renominated by the Democratic Party, and I intend to ask the Democratic Convention to renominate the most effective Vice President in the history of the United StatesóWalter Mondale. We intend to lead the Democratic Party to victory next year, and we also intend to lead the Nation in continuing the good work which all of us have begun together.
As President, I have had to make some very difficult decisions, and I expect to make some more. I've made some mistakes, and I have learned from them. I've fought some bitter fights against selfish special interests, and I expect to go on leading the fight for the common good of the American people. I carry some scars, and I carry them with pride.
I also carry the knowledge, strengthened by my own experience in this office, that the greatness of our Nation and the goodness of the American people will prevail. We've set a firm and constructive course for the history of our people. It is a difficult course, but it's a right one and we must not turn aside.
The course of a great nation is not changed overnight. The problems we face are very difficult. There are no easy solutions, and I promise none. But there are solutions.
In the past 3 years, the United States has begun to move in a new and better direction. We are a strong nation. We are a nation at peace. We are enhancing our nation's security. We are improving social and economic justice, and we are leading the struggle for human rights throughout the world.
Our superb system of government and our great natural and human resources give us the strength and the flexibility to meet rapidly changing times. The world of the 1980's will be as different from the world of 1960 as 1960 was from the world of the 1930's. As we enter the next decade, the work that we've begun together will let us meet even the most serious challenges. What we do now will bring us safely and at an even better time of peace and security, if we have the determination to see it through and if we have the courage to continue making the hard decisions.
In these difficult times, our greatest single ally is the truth. As President and as a candidate, I will continue to ask you to join me in looking squarely at the truth. I will continue to talk sense to the American people. Only by facing up to the world as it is can we lift ourselves toward a better future. There is no such thing as cheap energy, and never will be; that is the truth. We cannot wish our way out of inflation; that is the truth. We cannot spend our way out of every problem; that is the truth. We cannot toss aside a generation's work, patient work in the control of nuclear power, nuclear explosives, nuclear bombs; and that is the truth. We cannot have peace without a strong defense; that is also the truth.
If we act together in the unifying spirit of our deep and unchanging values, we can triumph together, and that is the most important truth of all.
With the support of the American people, I propose to carry on the struggle for a secure nation, for a just society, and for a peaceful worldóand I intend to carry on this struggle as President of the United States.
Thank you very much.