Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks in Beverly Hills, California, to Republican Fundraising Dinners

October 07, 1976

Thank you very, very much, Bob, Governor Reagan, Mrs. Reagan, Holmes Tuttle, Margaret Brock, Cardinal Manning, Rabbi Magnin, distinguished guests at 22 dinners across the land, ladies and gentlemen:

It has been 7 weeks since Kansas City. We've got the issues, we've got the momentum, and we've got less than 4 weeks to win a great victory for the American people, and we will.

I said in Kansas City that we wouldn't concede a single vote, we wouldn't concede a single State--and we haven't, and we won't. Governor Reagan and I are teaming up to say we are going to carry California with 45 electoral votes, we are going to elect a Republican Senator and a number of new Republican. Congressmen America can be proud of in the next session of the Congress.

I told you in Kansas City that I was ready and eager to debate Mr. Carter face to face on the real issues. I still am, if I can ever pin him down. [Laughter] I don't think he knows what the real issues are.

We've heard a lot of double-talk from Mr. Carter, a lot of conversation, a lot of irresponsible promises. I still don't know where Mr. Carter stands on most issues and I am not sure he does, either. I can sympathize when he says he will have to take a few years of study to examine the problems and get all of the facts. That's reasonable. Let's give Mr. Carter a few more years to prepare himself, but not on the taxpayers' money or time.

You know what I will do, because you know what I have done for the past 26 months. You know where we were then, and you know where we are now--at peace, recovering from a recession, rebuilding pride in America--America's 200 years of freedom. You know what I have done as President, despite the blockade of a Congress stacked 2 to 1 against me.

We heard before the convention that our party was sick and dying. Now we hear the voters are overcome with apathy and don't really care who wins this great election. I don't believe that. I don't believe the American people believe that. There will be a big election, and we are going to win.

The American people do have a clear choice; they do care. Our job is to get them to the polls November 2 to register the right choice for this country for the next 4 years. Make no mistake: This election is about the direction that America will take in its third century of independence. Mr. Carter can be deficient on details, but the general direction of his philosophy is very plain--it is unstable, it is unreliable. It won't work because it hasn't worked.

Mr. Carter wants more Federal Government; I want less. Mr. Carter wants higher Federal taxes for middle-income taxpayers; I want lower taxes for everybody, especially the overburdened man in the middle. Mr. Carter wants less defense. He wants it on the cheap. I want the strongest and best military capability that science and money can provide, and we will keep it under the Ford administration. Mr. Carter wants to reduce our commitments to our allies; I must maintain America's leadership for peace and for freedom around the world, and we will during the next 4 years. There are serious differences, real choices to be made.

Mr. Carter and his party's platform chart one course for this country. No matter how he zigs and zags, there is no doubt where we wants to go. The direction Mr. Carter would take us is the same one that brought us double-digit inflation, a taxload that kills initiative and slows expansion, a slowdown in research and development and oppressive interference by a know-it-all Federal Government.

I want a new direction, a direction with more freedom and more liberty for 215 million Americans.

This year my budget cut the rate of Government growth by half. Congress added $18 billion more. Despite the extravagance of a majority in the Congress, I will submit a balanced budget by 1978. I have cut 11,000 jobs from Federal bureaucracy. Next year, with a better Congress, I will make our Government more responsive and more responsible to you, the taxpayers.

My 59 vetoes saved the American taxpayers over $9 billion. Mr. Carter constantly criticizes. If his party's Congress had not overridden 12 of my vetoes, I would have saved all of you $16 billion more for the middle-income taxpayer. That would save his hard-pressed family $200, and that is what we have got to do in the months and years ahead.

When I say I stand for smaller government, my performance proves it. Mr. Carter says he is for reforming and reorganizing bureaucracy, but his performance tells a far different story. Ask your friends from Georgia.

What do you think you will get from a liberal President and another 2 to 1 liberal Congress? One guarantee: You certainly will get more spending and bigger deficits, and you can depend on that. Another thing you will get is more runaway inflation. You certainly won't get lower Federal taxes. You won't get less Federal Government. So, the choice before our country is clear. You know where I stand.

As dedicated Americans, we are not motivated by the love of governmental power, but by the concern and the fear of it. I am talking about those who work hard, pay their taxes, obey the laws and want to enjoy their God-given liberties. We are committed to a policy of peace through strength in a world where freedom is still threatened by aggressors who would destroy our freedom. The United States of America must remain number one.

I know how deeply all of you are devoted to these wonderful principles. I thank you for your steadfast support. But there is one more effort I ask of you. Republicans alone cannot win this election. The principles we hold are just as dear to millions of our friends and neighbors who prefer to be Democrats and Independents.

Between now and November 2, I ask every Republican to persuade just one Independent and one Democrat--two concerned citizens who feel as we do about the new direction that this country must take--to go to the polls and vote their true convictions. If you do this--person to person, friend to friend--we can win, and we will win a great victory for the American people.

We must go forward together. There is no way we can lose, except by resting before the last poll closes.

Together, not as partisans but as proud Americans, let's get America off to a good start on our third century of freedom and liberty.

Thank you and good night.

Note: The President spoke at 7:52 p.m. in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and his remarks were heard over closed-circuit television at 22 fundraising dinners across the United States.

In his opening remarks, the President referred to Bob Hope, entertainer and master of ceremonies at the dinner, Holmes Tuttle and Margaret Brock, cochairmen of the dinner, The Most Reverend Timothy Cardinal Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles, and Rabbi Edward F. Magnin of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Prior to his remarks, the President met privately with former Governor Ronald Reagan and then, accompanied by Mrs. Ford and the Reagans, greeted guests at the dinner in the Empire Room at the hotel.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks in Beverly Hills, California, to Republican Fundraising Dinners Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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