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Gerald R. Ford: Remarks in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Gerald R. Ford
172 - Remarks in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
October 19, 1974
Public Papers of the Presidents
Gerald R. Ford<br>1974
Gerald R. Ford

United States
South Carolina
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Len Phillips, Strom Thurmond, Mayor Lyle, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a real thrill to be here in Rock Hill, to see this tremendous gathering, and to see the enthusiasm that you have and the warm welcome that you are giving me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, some of you may not have noticed when this fine young lady came up to give the Pledge of Allegiance. I shook hands with her and thanked her, Len Phillips shook hands and thanked her, but you know what Strom Thurmond did? He kissed her. [Laughter]

Well, you know we have had a wonderful day so far. We were in Spartanburg, we were in Anderson, and now we are here in Rock Hill. It is obvious to me that when you get a little tired, the days get a little long. It is great to come to South Carolina and get revitalized.

I found that it gives you new life. Don't take my word for it. Ask Strom Thurmond. [Laughter]

You know, the motto of the sovereign State of South Carolina is "Prepared in Spirit and Resources." Strom Thurmond certainly has that. In fact, there are 2 days in particular when Strom really proves that he is prepared in spirit and in resources. One is election day, the other is Father's Day. [Laughter]

I do, of course, want to add something that I say from the bottom of my heart. I have known Strom Thurmond all the time that I have been in Congress, the Vice Presidency, and the Presidency, and I can say nothing but the very finest about your senior Senator.

He is strong, he is courageous, he is intelligent, he is dedicated, he is a great Senator, and I admire him, as I am sure all of you do. But Strom and I need some help. Strom needs a good, strong Congressman from the Fifth Congressional District in the great State of South Carolina, and Len Phillips will be that on November 5.

During the day, I have had an opportunity to talk to Len. I know that Len Phillips has worked to develop his own business, and in the process of making that business successful, he has learned that you have to pay your bills. He has learned that you have to run a business effectively, that you have to take in more than you spend. And Len Phillips also knows that that is the way you ought to run the Federal Government.

Strom Thurmond was telling me on the way over here today that in the last 23 years, the Federal Government has balanced its budget, I think, 5 out of the 23. That is not a very good record. You couldn't run your household, your church, your business, your Boy Scout organization, your schools with that kind of record.

Now what we need in Washington to win the battle against inflation, among other things, is Members of the House as well as Members of the Senate who will stand up and be counted and spend less, so we can win the battle against inflation.

And Len Phillips will help Strom Thurmond and me in that most important. vital, essential responsibility.

I came down here for the purpose of renewing my acquaintanceship with many people of South Carolina. I came down to make some new friends. I came down here also for the purpose of enlisting all of you in the battle against inflation.

Now Strom and Len Phillips and I, we can do part of the job, but if we are going to win this battle against inflation, with those words up there--WIN-and with that button that I have--and I see many on others, "Whip Inflation"-we have to have your help.

About 10 days ago, I gave a speech to the Congress of the United States, and I laid out in cold turkey 31 proposals whereby we could have a plan and a program to WIN. The Congress has a part of it, the President has a part of it, and all of you have a part of it with 213 million other Americans.

One hundred thousand-plus have written to the White House in the last week or so and enlisted. I urge you, every one of you, to join with Strom and Len Phillips and myself, enlist in the battle against inflation so that we can win for America.

I have said, and I think we all must concede, that inflation is public enemy number one. The plan and the program that I have suggested, that I have proposed, recommended, will put the lid on inflation. At the same time, it will do those things that are needed and necessary to provide us an expanding economy, a strong economy, a good economy.

But if we don't win this battle by conserving energy, by doing the other things that are an integral and important part of it, the great blessings of this country will not be for our younger generation.

I admire the sacrifices that have been made by the senior citizens who are here. I admire and respect you, and we thank you. You have done much to give us all what we have today.

But we have an obligation to these young people in the bands, in the Boy Scouts, the Camp Fire Girls, the Girl Scouts. We have an obligation to them, as this group had to us.

And so what we have to do is join the ranks, arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, to spend less, and that means spend less of your taxpayer dollars so that we will have more for you to spend for yourself, for your city, for your State, for your country.

One of the important things to me and something that I like and enjoy about people from South Carolina is the political philosophy that you have--a philosophy that says yes. The government at the local, State, and Federal level, they are important, but the philosophy that you have--that you can stand and will stand on your own two feet--is what I believe in, and I respect you, I admire you for it.

Now we recognize that there are circumstances and problems that are beyond the scope and beyond the capability of individuals. But there are, unfortunately, people in the Congress and elsewhere in our society who think every problem has to be solved by some Government program or excessive Federal spending.

I don't agree with that. But what worries me, what worries me is that the people who have this philosophy are too strong, are getting too much of a stranglehold on some of our areas in our Federal Government and elsewhere. What they don't tell us when they propose all these benefits that they are going to give you from our Government, they don't tell you the end result, the final conclusion. They don't inform you that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.

Now, South Carolina is one of the great States of this Union. South Carolina has had a long history and tradition of being strong in a crisis, whether it was from outside our continental limits, or whether it was from within. You have measured up to the challenges abroad and at home.

And you in South Carolina know that the strength of our form of government is one of balance. You had people that represented your great State when our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution and when they went to the city of Philadelphia and put together that Constitution. They wove into it the concept of balance: a strong President in the White House, a strong Congress in the legislative branch, a strong judicial system, headed by the Supreme Court, a system of checks and balances to protect freedom and give opportunity to everybody to move ahead and live their own private lives.

But at some moments in our history there has been a shift of that balance. Now there are people who want to impose on this system a veto-proof Congress.

What does that mean? It means that they want to remove the checks and balances. They want all power in the Congress. The American people want balance for the protection of themselves, their families, their local, their State government.

We don't want a veto-proof Congress. We want a Congress that will reflect your views in Rock Hill, your views in South Carolina, working in a partnership with the President. And so, instead of a veto-proof Congress, I urge you to give me an inflation-proof Congress in November.

And I say from the bottom of my heart--because I know what he stands for, I know what his philosophy is, I know he has courage, I know he has character, I know he has background and experience--you can help Strom Thurmond in his struggles to do a good job in the United States Senate, you can help me, you can help yourself, you can help the State of South Carolina, you can help America by electing Len Phillips to the United States Congress.
Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 12:27 p.m. at the Rock Hill Mall. In his opening remarks, the President referred to David Lyle, mayor of Rock Hill, S.C.
Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Remarks in Rock Hill, South Carolina.," October 19, 1974. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=4490.
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