Jimmy Carter photo

New York City, New York Remarks at a "Get Out the Vote" Rally.

November 02, 1978

Governor Carey, Senator Moynihan, Mayor Koch, Lieutenant Governor Krupsak, Mario Cuomo, Members of Congress:

Thank you very much, everyone, for coming out today for a tremendous rally that is going to prove to the people of the world that the people of New York care about your own city, care about your own State, and care about this Nation by voting on November 7. Will you do that? [Applause] Thank you very much.

Last week I made a speech about inflation. And the next day I told Mike Blumenthal that I was coming to Wall Street for a rally, and Mike Blumenthal said, "If there's one thing that Wall Street needs, it's a rally." This is a tremendous one for people; it's a tremendous demonstration of your interest in your own government.

One thing that I'd like to say today is this: I come here as your President, as President of all the people of our country, Democrats and Republicans. One thing that has been of great concern to me in the past is the tremendous decrease in the number of people who care enough about our Nation to vote on election day. In 1960 two-thirds of the people of our country voted. Recent elections have shown that two-thirds of the people of our Nation do not vote. We live in trying times, times when public servants who are elected by you need to know that you care about our country.

I'd like for you to think back, just for a few minutes, 2 or 3 years ago when I first came to New York State, to New York City, to campaign for President. Your city was in a state of crisis. Bankruptcy was the immediate prospect for you all. When I walked the streets of your city, there was an attitude of despair; the spirit of New York was lost.

But things have changed under the dynamic leadership of a courageous man-Governor Hugh Carey. He's a man who knows how to form and to use a team based on the principles of American democracy. Working with Pat Moynihan and the congressional delegation from New York, working with Mayor Beame and now Ed Koch, Hugh Carey has let me know, as President, what I could do to help your city and to help your State.

Shortly after the election in 1976, even before I was inaugurated, Hugh Carey and your mayor came down to Georgia to talk to me and to outline in specific terms what the Congress and the President could do, if we cared, to resolve New York City's financial crisis and to put this State back on the road to prosperity.

Hugh Carey inherited a State deficit of a billion dollars. You now enjoy a State surplus of $600 million. Hugh Carey saw that taxes on your shoulders were too great. He has reduced State taxes $1.3 billion.

Hugh Carey cares about people, people of all kinds, and he's provided services to you, a strong anticrime program to make your streets and your homes safer.

Hugh Carey was concerned about the unemployment rate in this State, and the unemployment rate in the last 21 months has dropped in New York State 35 percent.

He's a Governor who .believes in economic development of all kinds, all over New York, and he's a man who believes in tough, competent fiscal management. Hugh Carey is one of my staunchest allies in trying to fight against inflation.

We tried unsuccessfully this year to get a hospital cost containment bill through the Congress, because costs of hospital care have gone up twice as fast as the very high inflation rate in our Nation. I was not successful. I'm going to continue to fight next year. And a beautiful pattern for us to use in Congress is what Hugh Carey has already .done in New York State.

There was 1 State among all 50 last year where the costs of hospital care went down. Do you know what State that was? New York—the only one. The next best State in holding down hospital costs had an increase of 9 percent. You, now, in your State have the lowest Medicaid cost of any State in our entire Nation.

These are the kinds of things that quite often have not been emphasized enough by Hugh Carey, who's a modest man. But we require a Democratic team, and we require the ability to work together, and particularly we need to have your trust, your confidence, and your support.

This is a very close election in prospect for you in November. Hugh Carey was in Congress 14 years. The people there trust him; they trust Ed Koch. And they know that those two men who serve you are thoroughly aware of the congressional procedures and also thoroughly aware of the needs of New York City and New York State.

I'd like to point out one other thing: We have a great population in New York of leaders from almost every nation on Earth. This is a living demonstration, in your great community of millions of people, of how basic human rights can be achieved here through good services, jobs, lower taxes, safer streets, equal opportunity, which can be used as a pattern for other nations around the world.

When I have a problem in dealing with international affairs—bringing human rights to Northern Ireland, bringing human rights and peace to the Mideast—I know that I can refer to and depend upon the advice and the counsel and support of your great Democratic Party leadership here—Hugh Carey, Ed Koch, Pat Moynihan, and others.

It's a very great influence that you enjoy in helping to guide me in making decisions that affect your own ancestors, your own relatives, in troubled areas of the world.

November 7 is a time for you to take a few minutes and to express your views of support for good leaders, particularly Hugh Carey and his good team, and also to show this country and the rest of the world that you have confidence in the future of our Nation and that you are willing to invest a small portion of your time and effort to let your voice be heard. It strengthens me in dealing with your problems to know that you care enough to vote.

I believe the best way to make sure that we have equitable and fair treatment in our country for average citizens is to make sure that on election day your voices are the ones to be heard. The voice and influence of powerful, selfish special interest groups are always heard through high-priced lawyers and very effective lobbyists.

The time for the average citizen to let your voice be heard is on election day. And I hope there will be a demonstration next Tuesday that you really care.

When I was elected President, we had 10 million Americans who were looking for a full-time job and could not find one. The unemployment rate was 8 percent. In the last 21 months we have added a net increase of 6 1/2 million jobs and cut the unemployment rate 25 percent. If you care about this kind of progress in the future, then you yourself will vote on November 7.

I've embarked, as you know, on a tough, sometimes unpopular program to control inflation in our Nation, to stabilize the value of the dollar, to have integrity and purpose and responsible monetary policy for our country. If you care about the maintenance of this effort and the success of it, then on November 7, next Tuesday, you will vote.

We have strengthened our democratic influence around the world by bringing our allies to our side in military matters, in political matters, and—in a vivid demonstration of cooperation yesterday-in stabilizing the dollar, controlling inflation, and having a strong, growing economy in our country. If you care about our Nation having a good relationship with our allies, in meeting our own needs and their needs around the world, then on November 7, next Tuesday, you will vote.

We've got a good path laid out for ourselves. The Congress in the last few days has finally passed, for the first time, a national energy policy. Our deficits have been drastically reduced. We've got a good, sound anti-inflation program announced and making good progress.

Our trade deficits are going down. Our exports are going up. The prospect for the future looks good. If you care about this kind of progress economically, that affects every family in America, then next Tuesday, you will vote.

On economic matters—controlling inflation, having a responsible monetary policy—I mean business. I do not intend to fail, and I will not fail if you'll help me. And you can help by voting next Tuesday. Will you do that for me? [Applause] Thank you.

It's going to take a while. There are no easy answers. We've had too high inflation for the last 10 years. We're going to have some more high inflation before we turn the corner and get it under control. Do not be discouraged. Stick with me, stick with my program, and we will be successful.

The last thing I want to mention is this: Our country is strong. It's strong militarily, the strongest on Earth. It's going to stay that way. Our country is strong economically, the strongest on Earth. It's going to stay that way. Our country is the strongest politically in the whole Earth. It's going to stay that way. We've raised the banner of principle, of honesty, of decency, of protection for human rights. We're going to maintain that banner high. It's going to stay that way.

But the only way we can keep this strength and to make sure that we let our Nation, which is already the greatest on Earth, be even greater in the future is for you to keep a Democratic team in office and let your support be felt by voting next Tuesday. If you do, we'll be successful in carrying out our programs; you'll have a better life; our Nation will be even greater than it is today.

Thank you very much. Help us all the way I've said.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12: 35 p.m. from the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial. In his opening remarks, he referred to New York Secretary of State Mario M. Cuomo, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Following his remarks, the President attended a fundraising luncheon for Governor Carey at the Arthur Krim residence.

While at the Krim residence, the President also met with Prime Minister Menahem Begin of Israel and Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance. Prime Minister Begin was in New York City to receive an award from the New York Council of Churches.

Jimmy Carter, New York City, New York Remarks at a "Get Out the Vote" Rally. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243819

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