Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks in Paramus, New Jersey

October 13, 1976

Thank you very, very much, Senator Cliff Case, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

As I came in from the highway into the plaza, I saw a wonderful sign. It said, "Jersey Loves Jerry." Let me reciprocate--Jerry loves Jersey.

Let me thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of you being present. And I believe the fact that there's such a tremendous crowd here today puts to rest the allegation that the American people are not concerned about this election. You are concerned, the American people are concerned, and you all have good reason to be concerned. We're right, they're wrong, and we are going to win in Jersey and 49 other States.

You in Jersey care, and you care very deeply because you have a great stake in this election. Despite what my opponent tries to say and the hedging that he does, despite his attempts to take both sides of almost every issue, there is a clear choice between Jimmy Carter and President Ford.

The choice is: Do you want the Federal Government to spend more and more of your money in the next 4 years? Do you want the Federal Government to interfere more and more in your daily lives in the next 4 years? I think the American people have been overtaxed, overburdened, and with Jerry Ford as President, we're going to change that in the next 4 years.

The American people have had enough double-talk, fuzzy talk, doubtful promises. The American people want a government that will promise only what it will deliver and will deliver everything that it promises.

You have heard my opponent say that he is going to balance the Federal budget. And then the next thing, he turns around and he approves of, endorses, supports about all of these programs that are going to cost $100 billion more each year. He can't get away with it. The American people won't let him get away with it, and you in Paramus won't let him get away with it.

I think you in New Jersey know how risky it is when a candidate says one thing on the campaign trail and then does something else when he gets in public office. You have been burned before here in New Jersey. You have learned what it's like when a candidate faces the voters with a smile and then turns his back on them later. You have learned it with every dollar you pay for your State income tax here in New Jersey.

There's a good alternative to that kind of political acrobatics. You know where I stand. I am for the little taxpayer and against the big tax spender.

But let's talk about taxes. Jimmy Carter wants to withdraw the income tax deduction of the interest on your mortgage payments. I am against his position; I am for the taxpayer. He wants to collect more money from you, from withdrawal of that income tax deduction. Jimmy Carter wants to tax your churches, except the church property. I am against that tax proposal. Jimmy Carter wants to increase Federal income taxes on all medium- and middle-income taxpayers on up. Jerry Ford wants to increase your personal exemption from $750 to $1,000. I want to cut your taxes. He wants to increase your Federal taxes.

I happen to believe that the best tax reform is tax reduction, and this administration holds the lid on Federal spending, cuts down on our national deficit, makes it possible for us to have an honest tax deduction. That is the kind of government you are going to get with Jerry Ford as President for the next 4 years and a better Congress to work with.

When I became President 2 years ago, America was deeply troubled. In the last 2 years America has made an incredible comeback. In 2 short years we have added 4 million new jobs in this country. In the last 2 years we have cut the rate of inflation in half. In the last 2 years we restored trust in the White House.

And let me emphasize right today that there is not a single young American fighting and dying on foreign soil because of Ford foreign policy. We are at peace because we are strong. We are going to stay strong.

Jimmy Carter wants to undercut your Defense Department with a $15 billion reduction in Federal spending for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force. That's not the way to keep the peace. That's not the way to be sure, to be certain that we have peace in America, we have peace around the world.

The Ford administration has achieved the peace, and we are strong and diplomatically skillful. And we are going to keep the peace in the next 4 years.

The American people want a steady, experienced hand handling our national affairs in our international relations, someone who knows a little bit about what is good for us at home as well as us abroad.

Let me say that I have had nothing but the finest experience in working with Cliff Case and his Republican associates in the House of Representatives. I am very impressed with the kind of programs that are good for New Jersey that Cliff Case and others have sponsored and made available through their ability and skill in the Congress.

But let me add this: Cliff does a super job--and I have a long list of things that have been accomplished--but Cliff Case could do more for New Jersey and you could do more for yourself with some of those good Republican candidates for the House of Representatives. Send them down to Washington.

Let me conclude with this observation and comment. We have heard a lot--a great deal, I might say--about trust in this campaign. But it is not enough for anybody to say trust me. Trust must be earned. Trust is not guessing what a candidate means; trust is leveling with the American people before the election about what you are going to do after the election. Trust is not being all things to all people; trust is being the same thing to all people. Trust is saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

In the 2 years that I have had the honor and privilege of being your President, by the progress that we have made at home, by the successes we have had abroad, by the way in which we have run the White House--open, candid, straightforward--I think I have earned the trust of the American people. Now I need your help. We have to carry New Jersey. We have to carry a great State like New Jersey. And when I said that I had seen this wonderful sign on the way in-"Jersey Loves Jerry"--I want to reiterate what I said at the outset, that Jerry loves Jersey.

But to do what all of us have to do--you in New Jersey and your fellow Americans from all over the country--we have to win that election November 2. I need your help. We can win in New Jersey. We are going to win throughout the United States. It will be a great day November 3 for America, 4 more years of Ford.

Note: The President spoke at 2:51 p.m. at the Garden State Plaza.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks in Paramus, New Jersey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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