Kansas City, Missouri Informal Exchange With Reporters on Arrival.
Q. Mr. President, yesterday Governor Reagan complained that you opened the campaign in the home of the Ku Klux Klan. Why would he say that?
THE PRESIDENT. I wasn't going to answer any questions, but I will respond to that one.
I resent very deeply what Ronald Reagan said about the South and about Alabama and about Tuscumbia when he pointed out erroneously that I opened my campaign in the home of the Ku Klux Klan. Anybody who resorts to slurs and to innuendo against a whole region of the country, based on a false statement and a false premise, is not doing the South or our Nation a good service.
This is not the time for a candidate, trying to get some political advantage, to try to divide one region of the country from another by alleging that the Ku Klux Klan is representative of the South or Alabama or Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Q. Do you think it was a low blow?
THE PRESIDENT. I think it was uncalled for. I think it was inaccurate, and I think it was something that all southerners will resent. As an American and a southerner I resent it.
Note: The exchange began at approximately 9:30 a.m. at the Kansas City Municipal Airport.
Jimmy Carter, Kansas City, Missouri Informal Exchange With Reporters on Arrival. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250576