Richard Nixon photo

Remarks at Hackensack, New Jersey

October 29, 1969

I wanted to get all of the group that you have just seen up here so that you could see the people who came up from Washington with me on Air Force One tonight.

And I simply want to say, by way of introduction, that I am very proud to serve in Washington with those who represent the State of New Jersey in the Congress and particularly with those that are here tonight.

You saw that team here. It is a great team. We would like to keep them all there, but, believe me, we need a Governor in New Jersey and Bill Cahill we are going to spare for that job.

I realize that we are running a little late this evening. I think you will be glad to know the reason why. We had enormous crowds at the airport and on the way in to the meeting at Morristown and, consequently, we are delayed.

Then there was another reason we were delayed slightly and I would like to be permitted a personal note. I have Mrs. Cahill's permission to share it with you.

When we were in the holding room a moment ago, we made a call. You see, the Cahills and the Nixons have a number of things in common. I served in the House and they served in the House. And I have two daughters. They have more than that.

But, nevertheless, one of my daughters' name, the older one, is Tricia. They have a Tricia, too. You all know that she had an accident and she is in the hospital. She is a brave, fine girl.

So we called the hospital tonight. They got her on the phone. I said, "Tricia, your daddy is going to win." And let's make him win.

And I do want you to know that some of the girls up here in front asked where Mrs. Nixon was. As you probably read, she, after speaking in New York or going to New York to help dedicate one of the new units of the Lincoln Center--she got the flu and was unable to go with me to Virginia yesterday or to New Jersey tonight.

But, believe me, she is here in spirit and she joins me in wishing the Cahills the best and everybody the best.

And, too, may I say that coming to Bergen County means something to me. I want to tell you what I know about Bergen County.

I have campaigned it a lot. It is a tremendously important county from the standpoint of this State, because what you do in Bergen determines whether you carry this State. It is a big county. For a Republican, he has got to bring it in real big.

I remember in 1952 I came up to a rally in Bergen County after the election in '53. It was one of the biggest rallies I have ever heard or seen. I remember Bergen County was proud that year, Nelson Gross [State Republican Committee chairman], to point to the fact that it gave the biggest majority to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket of any county in the Nation.

Now, in the year 1968, we knew New Jersey was a key State. We knew that it was a must State. It was one of those we really had to win. We campaigned it hard.

You know what happened? We carried the State of New Jersey by 60,000. We carried Bergen County by 60,000. This county did it. You put us over the top.

So I thank you in a personal note for that support in that campaign of 1968.

Now, tonight, I am here in behalf of another man. I want to speak to you quite directly, as I did to the people in Morris County a few moments ago. I want to tell you why I am for him.

I am for him because I like him personally, and I like his wonderful family, as you do.

I am for him, too, because I think that Bill Cahill has the experience to qualify him to be the Governor of this State.

I like him because he is a Republican, a member of my party. But I know that in this county, while it is a great Republican county, I know that here, as throughout this State, there are Independents, there are Democrats as well as Republicans that are going to make up their minds not on the basis of a party label, but on the basis of who is the best man for that job. And that is why I am for Bill Cahill. He is the best man for that job.

So for a moment, and I ask all of you tonight, whatever you are, Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, forget your party label or affiliation. And those of you who are going to go out and work these last critical 6 days, remember what I say now because this is what counts. Think of the race in New Jersey in terms of the man, not the party; think in terms of what New Jersey needs; think of what the other party offers; think of what this party, the Republican Party offers; but above everything else, think of the man, his experience, and his background, and then determine what New Jersey needs.

It seems to me the choice is clear. I am not going to try to give a judgment as to what the people of New Jersey should do about their own business, except to say this: that when you consider the background of the man, the people of New Jersey have never had a man who, from the standpoint of experience at the national level, was better qualified to be the Governor of this State than Bill Cahill.

Look at him. Eleven years in the House of Representatives, 11 years on the key Judiciary Committee of the House.

What does that mean? It means that here is a man who, instead of just talking about law enforcement, talking about controlling crime, will do something about it.

We are going to help him do something about it with your help.

And Bill Widnall, your Congressman and the man who comes from this town, and who has been a great friend of mine, has for many years told me when you look at Bill Cahill's record in all fields, whether it is in the field of education or the field of transportation or the field of the environment, all of these matters in which you are so vitally concerned in this great county, Bill Cahill has the kind of progressive action record that recommends itself to people who are looking at the man and not just at his party label.

That brings me, really, to the key point. As some of you are probably aware, as President of the United States I have had the responsibility and also the great privilege to travel abroad twice during the Presidency---once to Europe and then around the world visiting several Asian countries.

This was a very great experience for me as a man and also as one representing a great people. It was very exciting to see the marvelous crowds and to see the exciting events that were planned on that trip.

But after traveling abroad, no matter where you go, and when you return to the United States you always come home realizing what truly a great country this is.

I just want you to know that we have problems in this country. We have problems that all of you are aware of. You have problems in this State--the problems of transportation, the problems of law enforcement, the problems of education, the others to which I have referred and to which Bill Cahill has referred in his campaign. But the difference between America and most of the other nations of the world is that we have what it takes to solve the problems.

We are by far the richest country in the world. We have certainly the greatest well of intelligence and trained people, from the standpoint of our education, in the world.

What we need to do in order to solve our problems is to get the leadership and we also need new programs, new methods, new approaches to those problems. And that brings me to the key reason why I 'think the independent voter, be he a Republican or Democrat or unregistered, either one, why he is going to be for Cahill rather than his opponent.

Usually, the choice is simply on the basis of one party or the other. This year, the choice is: Is New Jersey satisfied with the leadership that it has had for the last 16 years? Does it want 4 more years or 8 more years of that?

Or are the people of New Jersey, with a great tradition over the past of some great Governors, going to turn to a vigorous man, a man well qualified by experience and background, a man with the program for the '70s rather than talking about what he did in the '50s or the '60s, a man who says to the people of New Jersey, "Give me the chance" and he is going to do something about crime in this State.

He is going to do something about education in this State. He is going to do something about transport problems in this State. He is going to make New Jersey first again in the quality of its State government. That is what he is going to do.

At the national level, my friends, I want you to know that we have made a beginning in that direction, and with the cooperation of the Congress, we will present to the American people a record of accomplishment in terms of a new approach to the problems of the State of the Nation, a new approach such as we have not had over the past 95 years.

After 25 to 40 years, as a matter of fact, with the power flowing from the States and the people to Washington, D.C., we finally turned it around. We have a program in which we have asked the Congress to enact legislation in which the Federal Government will do what it should have done, what people have talked about doing for many, many years, and that is share the Federal revenues with the States so you can handle your problems here and reduce your own tax burden.

We have a new program in the field of welfare, a program in which we provide that minimum assistance, which is needed by any family that is in need in America, but which we also provide that if an individual is able to work, and if a job is found for him, and we should try to find jobs, then he should be given that opportunity to work--in other words, job incentives, getting people off the welfare rolls and onto payrolls. We think that is a good line for the United States to follow.

We have, too, a program in which the Federal Government is going to turn over to the States, first in the field of job training, a billion dollar program, where the States can better administer than the Federal Government.

What I am really saying to you is this: We are looking at an entirely new situation for State government of the decade of the 70's. We are having in Washington, D.C., a new attitude, in which Washington, instead of grabbing the power from the people in the States and taking it to Washington, we are bringing it back to the people. We are bringing government to the people.

We are giving the people of New Jersey a chance to decide their own problems.

But, my friends, you see, that is the challenge. If that is going to work, you have to have a man who is thinking new, who is thinking about action for the future, who will assume those responsibilities, and who will develop the new programs rather than to think of the way that it used to be done, and Bill Cahill is that kind of a man.

I know it. You know it. And that is the reason that I believe that he deserves your vote, not just because you happen to be Republicans, if you are, but because he is the best man for the job this year.

Now my friends, I would close on one personal note. In my office in Washington, D.C., like all Presidents who have the great privilege and the high responsibility of assuming that Office, I had the chance to choose the desk I was to have. And there' was the Eisenhower desk, and the desk of others who had been in that Office, and, of course, they all have a history.

I chose the Wilson desk, because it had been my desk when I was Vice President.' It had been Woodrow Wilson's desk when he was President. I chose it because I was always an admirer of Woodrow Wilson.

He, of course, was a Democrat. He also was the Governor of this State. Incidentally, right after he had run for Governor, he became a candidate for President. I am just saying to Bill Cahill, wait 4 years at least before you do that.

And my friends, as I sit at that desk, I sometimes think of that man and some of the things that he said. He was one of our most eloquent Presidents and among the most eloquent of all the inaugurals was Wilson's first inaugural.

Go back and read it, those of you in school here, and you will find it had the great prose which he developed probably to the highest point in terms of eloquence of any President in our history.

He spoke of the challenge that he faced in an era of reform for America in the time he became President, in the year 1913. He was elected in 1912.

But in reading the history of that inaugural, I found something very interesting. While there were many great phrases in it, there is one that is not in the text of the speech that is more remembered than any other. This is the way it came about.

The Secret Service in that year 1912, 1913, March 1913, at the Inauguration, protecting the President, as they always have the responsibility to do, had put the fences way out beyond the Capitol steps. And when Wilson got up to speak, he saw the people far away from him.

And very softly, before he started to speak, he said, "Let the people come forward." And the people came forward.

And that came to be, really, the watchword of Wilson's first term as President of the United States.

I think of Bill Cahill today Bill Cahill, a Republican rather than a Democrat--but when great ideas are involved, they transcend all partisan politics--is as he indicated in his own brief remarks trying to bring government to the people. He is listening to the people.

He, like Woodrow Wilson, is saying, "Let the people come forward." My friends, that is what kind of government the people of New Jersey want. You want to participate. You want to make your own decisions. You want a chance to go into the future with a man of the future.

Bill Cahill is ready to serve the people of New Jersey, and, I think, too, that New Jersey is ready for Bill Cahill.

Note: The President spoke at 9:22 p.m. in the gymnasium at Hackensack High School.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at Hackensack, New Jersey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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