Exchange With Reporters on Departure From Toledo, Ohio.
Governor Rhodes, Bob Taft, Del Latta, and all of the other members of the congressional delegation:
I want to thank you for being such wonderful hosts and wonderful supporters. I can't express deeply enough my appreciation for the wonderful, unbelievable warmth and generosity of the people of the great State of Ohio during this long but very, very warming day.
I want to thank everyone, the Governor and the whole group Who have really come out and worked with me in trying to make certain and positive that our program is one that the people of Ohio understand, that the people of Ohio like, and the people of Ohio will support.
Now, it has been a great day here, and I met with the press, and we are about to leave to go back to Washington. I will be glad to answer a question or two if you have any.
REPORTER. Mr. President, could you tell us what happened back at the university and your reaction, how you feel about it?
THE PRESIDENT. As I understand it, just a little bulb from one of the cameras exploded, and it sounded like it might be ominous, but it turned out just to be a little bulb. And I look pretty healthy, don't I? [Laughter]
Q. Mr. President, there was a report tonight that some Republicans are a little angry about the California spots and were threatening to withhold support for the convention. Will you comment on that, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. Let me say, as I understand the spots, they told the truth as to what my opponent said and they told the truth as to what I said. The American people want the truth, and I think it is the obligation of the candidates to tell the American people where they stand. As long as we tell the truth, I think the American people will support it.
Q. Mr. President, you spent the early part of your campaign saying that you and Ronald Reagan had almost identical philosophies. Now you say Mr. Reagan may be a dangerous man to have in the White House. How do you reconcile that?
THE PRESIDENT. Those are your words, not my words. I have never said that.
Q. Do you still have the same philosophy?
THE PRESIDENT. I have said that, basically, on domestic philosophy our views are reasonably similar. I have said that we do have some differences in foreign policy. And those foreign policy differences have been well expressed by him on his side, and by me on my side, but I didn't say what you said I said.
Q. Do you think that the Congress is investigating the Wayne Hays scandal with enough vigor?
THE PRESIDENT. I won't pass judgment on what the Congress is doing in that case. That is their responsibility. I am sure that it will be carried out, but I am not going to pass judgment on it.
On the other hand, as you know, the Department of Justice, which is in the executive branch, is carrying out its responsibilities, and I am sure they will do a good job.
Q. Your campaign manager, Rogers Morton, said it might be another Democratic Watergate.
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't want to pass judgment on the allegations until they have been investigated by both the House as well as the Senate as well as the executive branch and the Department of Justice. When the investigations are concluded, why, then, I will see what the results are.
Q. Mr. President, I know you think you will win (inaudible). Other than winning at the convention, what scenario do you foresee in sight if you get (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT. I am so encouraged by what we found in Ohio today and what I found in New Jersey yesterday and the encouragement in California-even though admittedly we are an underdog--I am more fortified than ever that we are going to get the nomination on the first ballot in Kansas City.
REPORTER. Thank you very much.
Note: The exchange began at 9:50 p.m. at the Toledo Express Airport. In his opening remarks, the President referred to Governor James A. Rhodes of Ohio, Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Representative Delbert L. Latta.
Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters on Departure From Toledo, Ohio. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257440