Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a President Ford Committee Reception in Omaha.

May 07, 1976

Thank you very much, Roman, Carl Curtis, all of you:

First, I want to thank the people of Nebraska, Omaha, and especially all of you for the extremely warm welcome and the wonderful hospitality that has been shown. I'm proud to be a native Nebraskan.

I do want to thank you also for the kind of support and assistance that all of you have given. Without this kind of aid, cooperation, we couldn't be in this ball game and in the situation where we are today--where from all the reports I get, our chances are very good.

Now, let me, if I might, take just a minute to give you the message as I see it, which I think epitomizes the last 21 months and which is the foundation from which, in my judgment, we have built for another good 4 years. If you would refresh your memories just a little, back to August of 1974, and then see what has transpired in the last 21 months, I think a person can say that there has been a record of peace, prosperity, and trust established.

You know, in 1974 this country was going through great trauma as far as the economy was concerned. Inflation was over 12 percent. We have cut it, for the first 3 months of this year, down to under 3 percent. And the news we got yesterday about the Wholesale Price Index was one that we could have anticipated; you can't always, in this situation, get every one of them as good as they have been the last 5 months. But the prospects overall, the trend as far as inflation is concerned is good, and it's going to stay on the decline.

But if you look at the problems concerning the economy jobwise, we got some excellent news today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor announced that in the month of April we had 700,000 more people on payrolls in this country, up to a total of 87,400,000--by far, the most employed in the history of the United States.

So, I think a person can talk to his neighbor, to his partner, to his business associates, to anybody, and say that in the 21 months, we have taken this country through a tough, tough time by the right policies, by keeping our cool, beating the Congress over its head with 40 vetoes that have been sustained, where we have saved over $13 billion.

It wasn't easy, believe me. We had a lot of advice from all sources saying that, "Do what the Congress wants you to do, spend a lot more money, do this and do that." It wasn't right; we didn't do it. And I think we are now in the process where we can say with pride that we are on the right track and we are going in the right direction. To summarize it, everything that is supposed to be going up is going up and everything that is supposed to be going down is going down.

I think you know the record that we can also speak with great pride about. It's the first time that a President of the United States can seek election or reelection in the last 20 years where that President can say this country is at peace, and when we can say we are meeting our manpower needs without the draft. We are spending all of the money that is needed and necessary for good military programs: the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, and Marines. We have this peace, we are going to keep it by being strong, diligent, alert, wall-prepared, well-led.

And then, if we turn to the last point, if you will refresh your memories, 21 months ago this country had gone through a very, very serious loss of confidence. It was not an easy job, but I think by openness and candor and responsibility, frankness, integrity, we have helped to restore public confidence in the White House and in the executive branch.

And so if we have an opportunity to do this job for another 4 years, I can promise you that the progress we have made will be increased tremendously in the 4 years. So, I hope and trust that you and all of your friends and neighbors will give us a chance to do so.
Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:12 p.m. in the Hall of Four Flags at the Ramada Inn. In his opening remarks, he referred to Senators Roman Hruska and Carl Curtis of Nebraska.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at a President Ford Committee Reception in Omaha. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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