Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
WE HAVE had several meetings up in Orlando, and it is great to be in Ft. Lauderdale. I have been here many times, and I have many, many friends here, as I do elsewhere in Florida.
We are very optimistic, but it is nice to see such a warm welcome and have so many nice people out here saying hello and wishing me well.
REPORTER. What kind of shape do you think the party is in, sir, in Florida-the Republican Party?
THE PRESIDENT. I am optimistic about it, of course. I am sure it is out-registered, but philosophically, I am certain that the Republican Party and its candidates will do well.
Q. You said recently the candidacy of your opponent was divisive to the party. Do you think your visit here will alter that or change that?
THE PRESIDENT. I don't think it is too divisive. It is a good contest. I am running on my record, and I think it is a good record, and I think it conforms with the moderate Republican philosophy that is necessary to win. Anything to the extreme right of that philosophy can't win a national election. So, I think my philosophy, my record, is what is good for the Republican Party, and I think it is good for the country as a whole.
Q. Sir, there has been talk that there really is not that much difference between yourself and your opponent, that you are both basically conservative in your ideology. What are the differences as you see them?
THE PRESIDENT. I am a moderate, middle-of-the-road Republican. I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe in a strong national defense. I don't think I should pass judgment on former Governor Reagan's record or his statement.
I will run on my record, which I think conforms to the middle-of-the-road American viewpoint today, and it has proven to be a good record for the country, and I will run on that record.
REPORTER. Thank you, Mr. President.
Note: The exchange began at 7:23 p.m. at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.
Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241811