Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Dallas, Texas.

April 09, 1976

GOOD AFTERNOON. It is nice to see all you good people from Dallas and the surrounding area. Why don't you ask me some questions?

REPORTER. Mr. President, don't you think Dr. Kissinger is becoming somewhat of a problem, if not a liability, by the mere fact that Governor Reagan has made him such an issue in this campaign?

THE PRESIDENT. I think we have to look above the politics of the situation. We have to look to see whether our foreign policy has been successful or not. When you look at the United States around the world, you see that we have been successful, that we have been the calming and successful influence in the Middle East. We have strengthened our alliances in Western Europe. We have strengthened our position in the Pacific. Dr. Kissinger has been an excellent Secretary of State. He has implemented the policies which I have directed. And when you look at success, I think you understand why there are, you know, politics a bit.

Q. How are you going to do in Texas at the primaries?

THE PRESIDENT. We are very encouraged. We recognize that we started from behind, but I was tremendously impressed with the people in the organization in San Antonio, and I am told the same is true in many other areas. Under the leadership of Senator John Tower we have a great person to give us the inspiration and to get the workers pulling together and doing a job. So, we might surprise somebody.

Q. Can you win this primary without Governor Connally's support?

THE PRESIDENT. I wouldn't have any idea. That is up to the voters of the State of Texas.

It is really nice to see you all. I will be glad to answer any other questions. It is nice to be here. We are looking forward to the rest of the day here. We are going to have a busy day tomorrow, but Texas is a great State, and this is a crucial primary, and we are going to work very hard. We have good leadership with John Tower. We have wonderful workers. We are delighted to be here, and compete very strongly.

Q. Mr. President, who is ahead right now?

THE PRESIDENT. I think we are probably a little behind, but you know underdogs often win, and we are going to do our best to prove that here.

Q. Will John Connally come around?

THE PRESIDENT. I wouldn't have any idea. You will have to talk to John.

Q. Do you consider Texas do-or-die for Ronald Reagan? Do you think he will win here?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we really don't know what they are going to do. Our plans are to go right to Kansas City full steam ahead. After we win in Kansas City, we expect to go full steam ahead between then and November 2. So, we really have no way of knowing what their plans might be. We can only count on ours.

Thank you all very, very much. It is nice to see you all.

Note: The exchange began at 4:30 p.m. at Love Field.

Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Dallas, Texas. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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