Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at a Republican Party Reception in West Orange, New Jersey

June 06, 1976

Pretty women--you are the heart and the soul of the Republican Party, and I thank you for what you have done.

Now, we have got a big ballgame on Tuesday, and let me just lay out what it looks like. We have got the State of New Jersey with 67 delegates. We have the State of Ohio with 97, and the State of California with 167. I think it would be a tremendous beginning--because your polls close, I understand, earlier than the others--if we could have a clean sweep of New Jersey on Tuesday. That just isn't going to happen. We have got good delegates. I think I'm a good candidate, but the only way you win in this game is to get people to the polls.

Let me tell you why we need all 67 delegates to the convention in Kansas City. We have got about 805 delegates. We have got 325 more to go, and if the State of New Jersey comes up with 67, that is a big push toward that magic number of 1,130.

Let's look clown the road a minute. There is absolutely no question in the mind of political experts around the country that President Ford can win on November 2 and that my Republican opponent cannot win on November 2.

Now, let's take a look at history. I can remember very vividly in 1964, going into that election we had about 190 Republican Members of the House of Representatives. We got clobbered in 1964. We lost about 50-some Republican Members of the House of Representatives, and we lost some Senators. We now have only about 145 Republican Members of the House and about 32 Republican Members of the Senate.

If we have a repetition of 1964, the numbers on the Republican side of the aisle in the House, as well as in the Senate, will be cut tremendously. We don't want that, and if President Ford is leading the ticket for the Republican Party, I can assure you we will pick up Republican Members of the Congress and won't lose any.

But I think it might even go a little deeper than that. I don't recall the precise figures in New Jersey, but I suspect that in the 1964 election a lot of New Jersey freeholders weren't reelected, and I suspect a lot of other New Jersey candidates lost in 1964.

So, if you want the strength of the party at the local level, at the State level, and at the congressional level and at the Presidential level, to carry on and do the kind of a job that you want done, you better get 67 New Jersey delegates for Jerry Ford on Tuesday.

Now, let me give you a couple of good reasons why I think you can go to those people that live in your neighborhood, or you people who associate with your lawyer, doctor, friends, school teachers, or the people that work in any one of our occupations. We have a job to do in the next 48 hours. You have to sell people, and you have got to make sure, you have to make positive that they get to the polls.

Let me summarize briefly why I think I ought to be the Republican candidate for the Presidency. In 22 months, after inheriting a situation where our economy was on the downside, where our allies abroad were uncertain, our adversaries abroad weren't sure whether they could undertake some adventurism, and where there had been a loss of confidence and trust in the White House, in 22 months we have turned it all around.

We have restored confidence and trust in the White House with an open, candid, forthright administration, and I am proud of it. Despite a Democratic Congress, we have turned the economy around so that everything that is supposed to be going up is going up, and everything that is supposed to be going down is going down. I'm proud of that too.

One other comment. Because we are strong militarily and because the American people have the will to carry out a foreign policy, we are at peace today. I remind each and every one of you, there is not an American boy dying and fighting on any foreign soil under that administration. Let me add, parenthetically, the Ford administration isn't going to send any American troops to Rhodesia.

And now, let me thank you all. As I said at the outset, you are the heart and the soul and the producers in the Republican Party. I have been the beneficiary in a number of elections of what my friends at home, just like all of you, have done on my behalf, and I could never thank them enough. But let me thank all of you in advance of what you will do so we can win on Tuesday.

Note: The President spoke at 2:27 p.m. at the Town and Campus Site.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at a Republican Party Reception in West Orange, New Jersey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




New Jersey

Simple Search of Our Archives