Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a President Ford Committee Reception in Pasadena.

October 24, 1976

Thank you very, very much, John Rousselot, Carlos Moorhead:

Let me say this a great, great thrill for me to be in California, to see all of you wonderful volunteers who will, on November 2, give us a victory in California, which means a victory for the United States that day.

In Kansas City, I said we would not concede a single vote, we would not concede a single State. And let me say, as I travel across this great country--and this is my second visit to California since Kansas City--I feel a great momentum building, which means that I can honestly invite each and every one of you to an inauguration of Jerry Ford and Bob Dole in January 1977.

But let me tell you that the thing that's so impressive as I travel around the country--we found volunteers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, yesterday. We found them in Texas and Oklahoma; we find them in New Jersey and New York; we find them in Pennsylvania and Ohio; we find them in the Rocky Mountain States. There is this ground swell of deep public concern not only on the part of Republicans but on the part of Independents and Democrats who know that this election could be the deciding point as to the direction of this country for the next 4 years, but, more importantly, the direction of this country for the next century.

We celebrated a tremendous birthday on July 4. It brought forth all the good things in America. But we have a new spirit, a new healing among people. And the American people, as a result, are concerned that they want their country to be strong at home and to be strong abroad, so that we can have the kind of quality of life that is so essential not only for ourselves but our children and our grandchildren. And under a Ford-Dole administration, that's what we'll have, and I pledge that to you.

But it's vitally important that you not only give the support that I know you're going to give as great volunteers to Bob Dole and to myself, but we must have men like John Rousselot and Carlos Moorhead and Dr. Hayakawa back in Washington, or with us in Washington.

But let me tell you where I stand so there is no question, there is no doubt whatsoever. I stand for limited government; I stand for restraint on Federal spending; I stand for tax reduction; I stand for the free enterprise giving to us the kind of prosperity that's needed and necessary; I stand for a strong America that will keep the peace. And I remind you today, as I have on other occasions, because we are strong, there isn't a single American fighting or dying on any foreign soil today.

We're strong today because of the defense budgets that I have submitted to the Congress that will keep our strategic forces alert 24 hours a day against any strikes or aggression, because the kind of defense appropriations that I've
recommended will keep our conventional forces strong to meet any attack or any aggression.

Now, there are some in this political campaign who wish to cut, to slash, to make our military forces weaker in the future. That would be a dangerous gamble. It would be a gamble because it would, for example, send our young pilots out flying aircraft that are older than themselves. That's why we need the B-1 now, and we'll need it in the future.

When people talk about reducing the military budgets, what they're doing is stretching out the modernization of our Navy. When they talk about the reduction in our military forces, they're talking about a slowdown in the procurement of the necessary aircraft that are essential both in strategic and in conventional forces. The American people are willing to make the sacrifice to keep America strong, and that's what the Ford-Dole ticket stands for, and we will not let you down.

But if we are to keep our economy moving in the direction that it is--toward increased prosperity--we have to keep a restraint on the expenditures of the Federal Government. In the budget that I submitted to the Congress last year, I called for a 50-percent cutback in the growth of Federal spending. I called for a $28 billion tax reduction.

The Congress disappointed me in both cases, but let me say--and look each and every one of you right in the eye--on January 20, when I take the oath of office as the next President of the United States, I'm going to call for additional restraints in Federal spending, for additional tax cuts, particularly for the middle-income people who have been shortchanged.

But let me say in addition, as we move forward to strengthen our economy, we're going to continue the battle, the successful battle we've made in reducing the rate of inflation. Take yourself back to 1974--inflation of over 12 percent. Today it's under 6 percent. You're not satisfied, and I'm not satisfied, but with the right kinds of economic program--reduce Federal expenditures, with the kind of tax incentives that will increase our productivity--we'll win that battle against inflation under a Ford-Dole administration.

Yes, November 2 is a crucial date. It's a crucial date because it will determine the direction from the point of view of the White House, the Chief Executive. But I repeat again, it would be a disaster for us to have the wrong kind of a Congress, the kind of a Congress that you've had for the last 2 years. We need to strengthen the House of Representatives, and we do need Dr. Hayakawa in Washington.

But now let me just conclude with this: We can't do it alone. We can campaign as hard as we are--and, as I said, I have been back to this great State twice since Kansas City; my wife, Betty, has been out here working; three of our four children have been out here trying to contribute and make a contribution to this campaign; Bob Dole has been out here and done a superb job---but the way we're going to get results is for wonderful people like you, who are dedicated, to multiply your efforts with your neighbors, with your friends, your business associates, and with others.

This is a crusade--a crusade for the kind of government that our forefathers gave us some 200 years ago. We must work extra hours, make an even greater effort, because the future of America could well depend on what happens on November 2.

I pledge to you, as I pledged before, I will uphold the Constitution, and I will do as I see in the future as God gives me the light to see and to never let you down.
Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:24 a.m. in the Viennese Room at the Huntington-Sheraton Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Representatives John H. Rousselot and Carlos J. Moorhead and Republican senatorial candidate S. I. Hayakawa.

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

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