Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at San Jose, California.

May 25, 1976

GOOD MORNING, everybody. It's nice to be in San Jose. We've had a superb trip that took us to two other States, plus the great State of California. It's nice to see two of my former colleagues here, Al Bell and Pete McCloskey.1

1 Representatives Alphonso Bell and Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, Jr., of California.

I think we have had a very successful trip in California so far. The reason that I'm encouraged is the programs that I have tried to put forth, implement, and execute for the last 21 months have been programs that I find appealing to people in California.

We have tried, as I think all of you know, to restore confidence in the White House, to turn the economy around, to get more jobs, and we have achieved that with some 3,300,000 more jobs in the last 12 months. We have 87,400,000 people gainfully employed at the present time, an all-time record.

And if you look at the area of foreign policy, we have achieved the peace, we have it, and the policies, both military and diplomatically, will continue to maintain that peace. So, we are hoping and trusting that the people in the six primary States today and the three that come June 8 will give us the kind of support that will ensure the nomination and the election in November. I will be glad to answer any questions.

REPORTER. Mr. President, how do you think you will score in delegates in today's six primaries?

THE PRESIDENT. I think we will break at least even. I am naturally hopeful that we will get a few more than 50 percent of them, and from the reports we get in the six States, I think that will take place.

Q. Mr. President, I understand you do not have California on your schedule after this trip. The crowds in San Diego were not very large. Are you depressed at all about California?

THE PRESIDENT. I'm not depressed at all about California. The crowds where I have been have been excellent, the response has been very favorable. We have not made a final decision as to whether I will return to California. I would hope that I could, but we have to live within the law as to expenditures. And when we get back to Washington and analyze the situation, we will make a final decision. I sure would like to come back.

Q. Mr. President, this morning in Los Angeles you were asked about Secretary Kissinger and you said you have no intention of letting him go. Does that mean you will try to dissuade him from resigning if you are elected?


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

THE PRESIDENT. I don't want to get into picking one or another. We have analyzed all six, Phil [Phil Jones, CBS News], and our best judgment is that when the total number of delegates represented by those six States are added up, we will get at least a 50-50 break and hopefully a few more.

Q. Mr. President, can you give us a projection of where you think you will be going into the California primary, and that day, when there are primaries in New Jersey and Ohio as well, how do you think you will stand with Ronald Reagan?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, our best judgment is we will continue the momentum that we have. We think, of course, we will do well in New Jersey and Ohio, and we hope to do better here in California than some of the forecasters have predicted. We are still an underdog, but I have seen some good underdogs win in the final. We are still predicting in Kanasas City we will get a first ballot victory.

Q. Has California become a make it or break it State?

THE PRESIDENT. We haven't analyzed that as yet, of course, it is, a crucial State.

Thank you all very, very much.

REPORTER. Thank you.

Note: The exchange began at 11:42 a.m. at the San Jose Airport.

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

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