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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

August 28, 1923

Inquiry about an invitation to the Johnson Morgan Memorial exercises at Durham, North Carolina. Like all other invitations this was a peculiarly attractive one, but I had to give a negative answer. I want to be here to take up the details of this office, to work them out with the different departments, in order that I may prepare myself as quickly as possible to carry them on to the best of my ability. Now I wouldn't be able to do that if I accepted invitations taking me away from Washington. It seems to me that what the country most needs now is stability and confidence and reassurance, and in a knowledge that things are going on smoothly and as well as can be hoped, and that they can build on the present foundation with an assurance that there isn't going to be any violent change in it or recession from it. For that reason I don't want to stir up a lot of political speculation. That can wait. I don't want to limit you, in serving your constituents acceptably and interestingly, but there are certain limits that are always to be observed. There are many fine men in the service of the United States. Remember, if you can, that they are entitled to credit. They are entitled to my confidence and require support. Don't suggest, if you can avoid it, without your knowing it an absolute fact, that I am going to change or displace them with somebody else. That may come some time or other, but you owe a little to the men that are trying to cooperate with us in carrying on the Government, to see that their work has proper public appreciation, and the assurance that it is properly appreciated by me.

Source: "The Talkative President: The Off-the-Record Press Conferences of Calvin Coolidge". eds. Howard H. Quint & Robert H. Ferrell. The University Massachusetts Press. 1964.

Calvin Coolidge, Excerpts of the President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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