Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Portland, Oregon.

May 22, 1976

GOOD AFTERNOON. It's great to be in Portland. We had a really wonderful stop on our first in Oregon, and we are looking forward to the same opportunities here in Portland, and Pendleton tomorrow.

The reason I'm here is, frankly, to set forth the message that I think is important, the critical one in this campaign. The message is that President Ford has achieved the peace and has maintained it and expects to for the next 4 years. President Ford has turned the economy around so that we are now on a surging upswing from a recession to the kind of prosperity that America needs. And thirdly, President Ford has restored confidence and trust in the White House.

I believe that is what the American people want, and I'm here to ask the help and assistance of the people of Oregon.

I'll be glad to answer a few questions.

REPORTER. Presumably you are going to do rather well here.

THE PRESIDENT. Gee, that is good news. I like to hear that. [Laughter]

Q. Have you reversed your views on Reagan's ability to beat a President in the primaries?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we had a good day this last Tuesday with 65 percent of the vote in Michigan and 58 percent of the vote in Maryland. We think we have restored the momentum, and we are doing our very best to keep the same kind of momentum going here in Oregon and the other five States that have the primaries. We're reasonably optimistic about what's going to happen next Tuesday in all six States.

Q. Do you think you will win in all six States?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't like to quantify something. I think we will do reasonably well, and we are certainly going to make a big effort.

Q. What about the action of the uncommitted New York delegation?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we understand that the New York delegation is meeting some time this weekend. That was done on their own, and if they take the action, we will get a good bunch of delegates that have been uncommitted that will come into the President Ford column.

The Pennsylvania delegation is meeting today. I can't forecast with any certainty what they will do, but I have a lot of friends in that delegation.

Q. President Ford, would you say that those uncommitted delegates are largely committed to you?

THE PRESIDENT. I am told that that's true. And if it is true, I'm very, very pleased. We just got some word that the Vermont convention was held, and we got all 18 in Vermont, which is better than we anticipated.

Q. Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee was with Ronald Reagan the other night. What about that?

THE PRESIDENT. I think Senator Howard Baker, by having as his house guest overnight my opponent, was just typical Tennessee courtesy. I'm told that Senator Baker wore a big Ford button all the time that he was being courteous and thoughtful, like all Tennesseans are to anybody from out of State.

REPORTER. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you all very much.

Note: The exchange began at 1:48 p.m. at Portland International Airport.

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

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