Jimmy Carter photo

Carter/Mondale Re-election Committee Remarks at the Committee Headquarters.

September 12, 1980

MR. STRAUSS. Mr. President, I was looking around waiting for a local politician, Mr. Timothy Kraft, and I don't see-there he is. [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. Come on up, Tim. I don't see how we lost him.
MR. STRAUSS. You know Mr. Kraft, a local politician.

Mr. President, I'm not going to take any of your time away from these people. [Laughter] You know you're a guest over here—now you behave like one. [Laughter]

Mr. President, I don't think any person ever had better partners than you have in this great venture, and it's my pleasure to present them to you and you to them.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you. Although they've already left, I want to first express my deep thanks to Tim Kraft and to Bob Strauss for the superb job that they did throughout the primary and are doing now. I might say, secondly, that we're doing very well, and I thank you for that; third, that the success of our campaign efforts, this next few weeks up to November 4, depends on you.

And I look upon you as full partners with me, not just in the narrowly defined conduct of a political campaign but in the shaping of our Nation's future—the accurate analysis of what our Nation is now, the achievements that we've realized in an unvarnished, extremely accurate fashion, the problems and opportunities that we face at this moment, and what we hope to contribute to our Nation's greatness in the years ahead.

I can do the best from the Oval Office of which I'm capable, but you can do even more. Collectively, you reach the entire Nation every day, and I only reach it, as you know, infrequently, through the public news media and through my ventures out into individual communities. But you are part of me in deciding the future of the United States of America.

The other point I want to make is this: I have to conduct the affairs of our country on a daily basis. I can't take a 3-month vacation from being President in order to run a campaign, to attack opponents, to criticize every defect in our societal life, and to make projections of what might happen in the future in an irresponsible fashion. I have to deal with economics, with defense, with international affairs, with peace, with human problems every day.

When we have failures and disappointments or delays, which are inevitable, those are going to be highly publicized by the Republicans, most often in a distorted and irresponsible fashion. When we have successes—and I think they are notable—in international matters, in defense matters, in domestic affairs, the Republicans are going to claim that we had those successes not for the benefit of our Nation, but just for some political benefit for us. So be it.

The American people have very sound judgment when the facts are presented. I've worked on this campaign, not with trepidation or displeasure or reluctance, but with anticipation and confidence. It gives us a chance in a legitimate democratic way within the constitutional provisions that were prescribed for our Nation more than 200 years ago, to present our case to the people. And if we do that well, I have no doubt that on November 4 we will have a tremendous victory for myself and Fritz Mondale—who I might add is the best Vice President this country has ever seen.

I had, earlier, thought that I would make an outline of basic issues and give you a description of this campaign from my own perspective, its progress and its challenges. I'm not going to do that. What I would rather do, if you will accommodate me, is to go out into the adjacent room, and I'd like to shake hands with every one of you individually and get a photograph so that I can remember, the rest of my life, the people that meant so much to me—and that's you.
Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:42 a.m. Robert S. Strauss is chairman and Timothy E. Kraft is national campaign manager for the Carter/ Mondale Re-election Committee.

Jimmy Carter, Carter/Mondale Re-election Committee Remarks at the Committee Headquarters. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250903

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