Jimmy Carter photo

Hartford, Connecticut Remarks at a State Democratic Party Fundraising Reception.

October 28, 1978

I've come to Connecticut for two basic reasons. One is to thank you for your great support of me and my programs, and the wonderful congressional delegation that you've sent to Washington, particularly Abe Ribicoff, who's here with me this morning, and to let you know how deeply I need for you to support strongly our Democratic nominees, and particularly your wonderful Governor, Ella Grasso.

I have only got a few minutes. I would like to take a chance to shake hands with you rather than making a speech. But there are two things I want to say. First of all, your coming here today is very helpful financially to Governor Grasso. But it's not enough, because all of you are able to help her even more financially among your friends and neighbors and relatives, and I hope you will do so. You could not possibly make a better investment in the future of Connecticut and the future of our country.

And each one of you can become a campaign manager for her, because you have the influence, the prestige, and the ability to do so. And I hope that you will in this last 9 or 10 days of this election year.

The other thing I'd like to comment on to you, at the request of Senator Abe Ribicoif, is about the Middle East. We've had some luck, as you know, at Camp David, and we intend to continue our efforts until we have peace in the Mideast.

We have two great leaders there who were honored yesterday with the highest peace award in the world: President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin. The people of Israel, the people of Egypt want peace, and so do the people who live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria, and, of course, Lebanon. It is a slow, uncertain, tedious process. It's not enjoyable to get involved in the negotiation of every single word, every phrase, every punctuation mark, every paragraph, to overcome years, generations, even centuries of hatred and animosity and bloodshed and distrust. But the spirit is there, and the desire is there. We need your help, and we need your support.

I told a group a few minutes ago that because of the problems with the Middle East settlements and the furor that it aroused in Egypt, that President Sadat had told his delegation to come home. But I contacted him last night, asked him to rely on us to bring about a peaceful resolution. And this morning, he informed me that his delegation will stay in Washington as long as it's necessary to have a peace treaty.

The last thing I want to say is to ask you to be patient with me and Abe Ribicoif and others. There are times when I have made statements or taken action during the last 12 months—and Senator Ribicoff has done the same—when, for a few days or maybe even weeks, it seemed that we had made a serious mistake.

Our commitment to Israel, our allegiance to Israel, is unshakable. And sometimes there are nuances or complications or facts that can't be revealed at the time. But over a period of weeks, I think you've always seen that when Abe Ribicoff votes in the Congress for a controversial issue, like, for instance, the sale of F-5's to Egypt, it seems to some that he may have made a mistake or that I may have made a mistake in advocating it. But we would never have induced President Sadat to come to Camp David had it not been for that vote.

And so, I hope that you will be patient with us and give us your moral support and your active support as we struggle with this very difficult question.

I want to see peace throughout the world. But with the exception of our own Nation itself, I can't think of any issue that's more sensitive nor more important than to bring peace, permanent peace, and a recognition of Israel by her neighbors. If you'll help me, I'll help you and we'll bring that about.

Thank you very much. I love you all.

Note: The President spoke at 1:53 p.m. in the Plaza Room at the Hotel Sonesta.

Jimmy Carter, Hartford, Connecticut Remarks at a State Democratic Party Fundraising Reception. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243681

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