Thank you very much Senator Bob Taft, Congressman Chuck Whalen, Governor Jim Rhodes, distinguished Mayor, public officials:
This is the most fantastic, warmest, most generous welcome. I thank each and every one of you. I love to be in Dayton.
Let me take just a few minutes to tell you why I want your help, why I think I deserve your support, and why I want your vote tomorrow and why we want it on November 2.
First, when I became President just about 22 months ago, this country was in trouble. People had lost faith and confidence in the White House. We were suffering inflation of about 12 percent. We were on the brink of a serious recession. The American people were uncertain as to what they wanted to do in handling or working with our allies and how to challenge our adversaries. But in 22 months I think the Ford administration has done a good job.
First, we have restored confidence and trust in the White House. This administration has been open, it has been candid, it has been forthright, and as a result the American people, instead of being divided, are united. They have faith in the Oval Office, they have faith in the President.
The second point: As I said, when I became President the rate of inflation was 12 percent per year. We just got a report last week that indicates that the rate of inflation for the first 4 months of 1976--3 percent or less. In other words, we cut the rate of inflation from 12 percent to 3 percent. That is a 75-percent reduction, and that's a darn good job. What does that mean to the person who brings home the paycheck? It means that he has got more money to spend for himself or herself or their family than they had from their wages in 1974.
But let's talk about jobs. Jim Rhodes, your great Governor, has done a fabulous job in making certain that jobs come to Ohio, that jobs are here. But let me talk for just a minute about what we have tried to do and what we have accomplished.
A year ago unemployment was going up, and employment was going down. In the last 12 months we've turned it around. We've added 3,600,000 jobs in this country, 300,000 more jobs in the last month. For the fourth month in a row, the Department of Labor has announced that we have had the highest number of jobs in the history of the United States. Just last Friday they said 87,700,000 people are working in America. That is progress, and we should be darn proud of it.
But let me just talk for a minute about what we're going to do when we move ahead toward greater prosperity. I'm not going to be satisfied until every American who wants a job can get a job. That's what we are going to do.
But let's talk about the national security and how the United States stands around the world. Under the Ford administration, we achieved the peace. Under the Ford administration because we are strong, under the Ford administration because we have respect from our allies and trust from our friends around the world, we are going to keep the peace.
I remind you of this fact: Not a single American boy is fighting and dying on foreign soil under the Ford administration, and that's progress.
Let me say because of this great community's interest in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, it performs a tremendously important function in keeping America strong, in keeping America ready, in giving us the ideas and the production to keep us where we can handle every required military mission. I was talking to your great Senator, Bob Taft, and Chuck Whalen on the way up here from Middletown, and they tell me that as the result of the budget recommendations that I proposed in January, there will be $36 million in construction in Wright-Patterson in the next 12 months. That is how much support I have for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
I need your help tomorrow so we can go to Kansas City and win, and we can go to the election in November. What are the stakes in the election in November? The stakes are very simple--a Republican candidate who can win or a Republican candidate who will be defeated.
Congressman Whalen, Bob Taft, all of the Republican Members of the House as well as the Senate, with few exceptions, say that President Ford can win and President Ford can make certain that more Republicans will be reelected and more Republicans will be elected to the Congress of the United States. And that's what we've got to do.
So, let me summarize. You don't want to nominate a Republican candidate for the Presidency who can't win. You want a guy that will win, and you want a Republican candidate for the Presidency who will strengthen the party at the courthouse level, at the municipal level, at the legislative level, at the congressional level, so we will have a stronger team to achieve and maintain the peace, prosperity, and trust.
I need your help so I can do that job better in the next 4 years.
Thank you very much.