IN THESE last hours I'd like to share with you some personal thoughts about today's election. To all of us, the outcome is important, because the choice is final.
I believe I offer experienced leadership; you will have to decide whether my opponent can make the same claim. I think my approach could properly be called steady and dependable; it is my opinion that, even as I speak to you, his claims are unclear and untested. To single out just one issue, my course promises a lid on spending and a tax cut for every American family; Mr. Carter's approach shifts with the wind, leaving me with the feeling that we, the American people, could be left high and dry.
To stay on our steady and dependable course, I need your help; I need your vote. To me it is more than a choice between different approaches to government; it is the test of our political system, a test of the qualities we Americans seek in our leadership.
For these past 2 years I have been careful never to promise what I could not deliver. It has been my goal to inspire your confidence in America through solid performance rather than through mere words. And in these past 2 years I think America has come a long way back: We're at peace in our world, we have peace of mind here at home, inflation has been cut in half, we've set a peacetime record of 4 million new jobs in 17 months, and honor has been restored to the White House. I'm proud of that extraordinary comeback, and I think America should be too. You all did it. And I think we can be proud.
So now that our comeback has brought us to the threshold of a better quality of life, the choice is yours to make. I hope you will choose continued leadership. This is my fondest hope: to continue to serve the people of this country that has blessed me in so many ways.
The White House has affected every person ever to serve in it. Many have added to its wisdom. Some have succumbed to its power. Most have risen to its challenge. In my own case perhaps it is the unique conditions of my service that have most influenced my thoughts. Perhaps only one who came to the Presidency without being elected can care as deeply as I do to use that power without ever abusing your trust. Perhaps only one who has served as your President without your mandate can desire as strongly as I do to serve as your President with your mandate.
This election comes at the end of our second century and also at the beginning of what can be a new generation of freedom where individual Americans can know the blessings of freedom without the intrusions of a government trying to be all things to all people.