Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Fresno, California.

March 27, 1976

GOOD MORNING everybody. It is nice to be in Fresno. We have had a good day and a half in California. Any of you with the local press that would like to ask questions, I would be delighted to try and respond.

REPORTER. After a day and a half, are you ready to predict how you will do?

THE PRESIDENT. I think we have to recognize, for practical reasons, we started from behind, but I am very impressed with the people that are heading up the organization, and I am encouraged by what I understand are the great, great many volunteers that are participating. And I think by the time the primary comes in June we will be in very good shape, and we will sure do our best.

Q. Any more thoughts on Governor Reagan as a running mate?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, as I have said a good many times, we have many, many outstanding Republicans who are potentially outstanding Vice-Presidential candidates and certainly Governor Reagan would fit on that list without a question.

Q. Mr. President, NBC News has reported some teamster officials feel that they are immune from investigation or prosecution by your administration. Do you have any response to that?

THE PRESIDENT. Anything that involves a criminal investigation or prosecution I don't think it is appropriate for me to comment on. We have an outstanding Attorney General in Ed Levi, and I am sure that he will handle it properly. I am sure that he will handle it in the high standard that Ed Levi is known for.

Q. Now that Mr. Carter is considered a serious contender, do you plan to do anything differently?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at all. We are concentrating on the Republican side, and I will let my good Democratic friends resolve their problems.

Q. Mr. President, Woodward and Bernstein1 are being quoted quite a lot from their latest book saying former President Nixon had been threatening suicide and drinking heavily in his last days. Could you comment at all on that?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not read the book. I can only say that in my personal experiences in those last few days I saw no evidence of it.

1Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, coauthors of a book on Richard Nixon's Presidency, entitled "The Final Days."

It is very nice to see you all. It is beautiful here in Fresno.. I wish we could stay longer, but we will be back.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The exchange began at 11:10 a.m. at the Fresno Air Terminal.

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

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