Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Dallas, Texas.

September 13, 1975

IT IS very nice to be in Dallas, and we are looking forward to not only the convention but SMU and a nice luncheon, and then we go on to Midland. So, we look forward to a full and a most enjoyable day here in the great State of Texas. If you have any--I won't look at you, Walt [Walter Rodgers, Associated Press Radio]. [Laughter]

REPORTER. How do you feel your protection has been all along, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. It has been great. The people have been so wonderful that I just felt happy from the day we started until we finish here in Texas.

Thank you all very much.

Q. Concerning your stay in Dallas, did it ever enter your mind, before you came here, what happened here 12 years ago?

THE PRESIDENT. Quite frankly, I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it. I have always come to Dallas and had a very warm reception, and it never entered my mind.

Q. Do you think that the Warren Commission should reopen in view of the things that have been revealed in Dallas in the last few weeks?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't seen any new evidence that would justify a reopening. The Warren Commission did an excellent job. We assembled all the evidence that was available, and based on that evidence, I think the right decision was made. It seems to me that it would be unwise--unless there is some new and very important evidence brought to light--that it would be unwise to reopen the hearing.

Q. What about the destruction of the letter? 1

THE PRESIDENT. I think if you go back into all of the evidence that was accumulated by the Warren Commission, that every bit of significant evidence was pulled together by the investigators, analyzed by the staff and by the Commission. As I said a moment ago, I don't think there has been any additional significant evidence that has been turned up that would change the basic decisions made by the Warren Commission.

Thank you all very much.

1 According to testimony by a Federal Bureau of Investigation official given before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on October 21, 1975, Lee Harvey Oswald visited the FBI's Dallas Office several days prior to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and left a note warning an FBI agent to desist from further interviews with Oswald's wife. Shortly thereafter, the note was destroyed in the Dallas Office and thus was not available for examination during the deliberations of the Warren Commission.

Note: The President spoke at 10:37 a.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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