Orlando, Florida Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival at Orlando International Airport.
Q. Mr. President, Governor Reagan says the United States has been humiliated and embarrassed by the hostage crisis, which he says your foreign policy helped to create.
THE PRESIDENT. Well, the fate of the hostages is too important, to the hostages, to their families, and to our country, to be made a political football. I will not make any statement that would tend to complicate an already very sensitive situation. Throughout this year candidates have tried to refrain from this temptation.
In September, I believe it was, September 13th, Governor Reagan pledged to the American people that he would not inject the negotiations for the hostages into the political campaign. I regret that he has broken his pledge, but I am not going to depart from the past commitment that we have made to continue to do everything we could to preserve the lives and safety of the hostages.
Q. But he says he has some ideas for solving the crisis, though he says he can't discuss them. Would you like to know what they are?
THE PRESIDENT. I think I won't comment on that until I see exactly what he had to say.
Q. Would you address yourself to' his charge that it was your weak foreign policy which caused the kidnaping of the hostages in the first place?
THE PRESIDENT. No.
Note: The exchange began at 3 p.m. at the West Terminal area.
Jimmy Carter, Orlando, Florida Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival at Orlando International Airport. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/251482