Ronald Reagan picture

Informal Exchange With Reporters in Columbia, South Carolina

July 24, 1986

Q. [Inaudible]—cooperate with our allies in a couple of months on stiffer sanctions on South Africa?

The President. Right now, we're cooperating on another account here that has to do with agriculture.

Q. The Secretary of State, sir, seemed to suggest yesterday the door is still open.

The President. We haven't closed any doors.

Q. Are you willing to make a deal on Star Wars with the Soviets, sir?

Q. Mr. President, Botha loved your speech.

Q. Mr. President, are you willing to make a deal with the Soviets on SDI?

The President. I'm not going to take any questions here on this subject. I will just—

Q. Is this a bailout, Mr. President? Is this a bailout?

Q. Bail of hay?

Q. Are you going to do anything else for the farmers? Are you going to give them any other aid?

The President. We are trying with everything we've got at our disposal.

Q. What?

Q. What else can you do, Mr. President, for the farmers? What else?

The President. As I've said, everything that our farm program will allow us to do we're going to try to do. I may be speaking a little bit about that where I'm going.

Q. You can't make it rain, can you?

Q. They want more.

Q. More rain.

The President. I know it. And if you'll ask the same fellow I'm asking, maybe it'll happen.

Q. Mr. President, Botha loved your speech on South Africa. Do you have a reaction for him?

Q. Did you ever pitch any hay when you were young?

Note: The exchange began at 11:28 a.m. at the site of Operation Haylift at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. During Operation Haylift, U.S. Air Force planes delivered hay donated by Midwestern farmers to drought-stricken farms in the Southeast.

Ronald Reagan, Informal Exchange With Reporters in Columbia, South Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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