Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Departure From Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

November 07, 1975

HOW ARE you all? It is nice to see you. I have a couple of minutes here if you want to ask a question or two.

REPORTER. Mr. President, we have really got a State that is concerned about jobs, about a 16-percent unemployment. Do you see any possibility of the Government as an employer of last resort, especially in the Northeast, which has been pretty hard hit?

THE PRESIDENT. We have a number of programs, the CETA program for public service employment. We have a number of other training programs. And as the economy moves up--and it is moving up and getting stronger and healthier--I think we will find a downward trend in unemployment in Rhode Island, in Massachusetts. In my own State of Michigan, we are making real headway. In the meantime I think we will have the kind of programs that are helping in many, many instances in places like Springfield.

Q. Mr. President, would you see the money running out, though, by June?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, no. The appropriation for the CETA program, if the Congress appropriates what I have recommended, will fully fund the program through June 30 of next year.

Q. Mr. President, would you consider a woman Vice President?

THE PRESIDENT. Of course I would.

Q. Mr. President, there is an impression, with the changes in your Cabinet, that Dr. Kissinger is being moved out of the national security area and being restricted only to the foreign policy area. Is that a correct reading?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't hear the last part.

Q. That Dr. Kissinger is being moved out of the national security area pretty substantially and being restricted to the foreign policy area at the State Department.

THE PRESIDENT. Dr. Kissinger will continue to have great influence in the overall strategy that we have on a worldwide basis. As Secretary of State, as an active member of the National Security Council, he will have tremendous influence. But we will also have an input from other sources--the Secretary of Defense, head of the CIA. It is a combination of high-ranking people, each with specific responsibilities. And the recommendations will come to me, and I will make the final decisions.

Q. Sir, doesn't that represent some diminution though of Dr. Kissinger's influence?

THE PRESIDENT. I wouldn't think so. He will have a very great influence, and he has, and he will. But there is also other voices that have to contribute to the recommendations that come to me, and those voices will be heard as well.

Q. Mr. President, who do you see as a possible running mate in '76?

THE PRESIDENT. We have got a wide variety of fine potential candidates, and I couldn't take all the time to name them, they are all so good and there are so many of them.

REPORTER. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:35 p.m.

Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters on Departure From Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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