Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Farewell Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1996 Election Documents
• 1968 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
• White House Media Pool Reports
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 

Limit by Year

To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals

You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
Gerald R. Ford: Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Abilene, Texas.
Gerald R. Ford
405 - Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Abilene, Texas.
April 30, 1976
Public Papers of the Presidents
Gerald R. Ford<br>1976-77: Book II
Gerald R. Ford
1976-77: Book II

United States
Font Size:
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

GOOD AFTERNOON. How are you? It is great to be at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, and I will be very delighted to answer any questions.

REPORTER. Mr. President, apparently the U.S. is fairly far behind the Russians in terms of conventional weaponry, yet this spring we have seen the announcement by the Pentagon of a great mass of base cutbacks of conventional weapons and training bases, such as Webb Air Force Base in Big Springs. Can you explain why a base like Webb, with a proven cost-efficiency like it has, would be closed?

THE PRESIDENT. Let me talk specifically about Webb. That was a mandated cutback, actually as a result of reductions in military appropriations by the Congress. So, the executive branch had nothing they could do except follow the law as passed by the Congress.

I categorically deny that the United States is behind the Soviet Union in conventional weapons. We have sophisticated weapons both in tactical air. We have the finest tank in the world today, the M-60. We are developing another one. We are increasing our Army divisions from 13 to 16, and they are good, fine, outstanding combat divisions. We are improving our capability, modernizing and upgrading it all along the line. If the Congress passes the appropriation bill that I recommended, a 14-percent increase in Department of Defense appropriations, there won't be any question whatsoever now or in the future as to our capabilities in conventional warfare. That includes of course: our capability as a navy.

Q. Mr. President, are we getting the B-1 bomber, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I included $1,500 million in my next year's budget for the Department of Defense for production of the B-1 bomber, and the total force we are seeking is 254 new B-l's to replace the existing B-52's. So, we are on the way. I am sure the B-1 is going to pass every test which will be concluded some time early this spring or in the summer. And the B-1 will be on the production line, and we expect to get 250 of them in a relatively short period of time.

Q. Mr. President, do you think Secretary Kissinger is too much of an internationalist?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at all. I think the United States of America has to be a leader in the world. The day is long gone when the United States could adopt a policy of fortress America. That was an unsuccessful policy prior to World War II and conditions have changed significantly since then.

The United States must be a leader in the world. It must be a leader militarily, economically, industrially, agriculturally, scientifically, and technologically, and we are unsurpassed in all of those areas. So, the United States is a leader, it will
continue to be a leader, and it must be.
REPORTER. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. It is nice to see you all. Thank you.

Note: The exchange began at 5:04 p.m. at Dyess Air Force Base.
Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Abilene, Texas.," April 30, 1976. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=5917.
© 1999-2018 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project ™
Locations of visitors to this page