Richard Nixon photo

Remarks at Saginaw, Michigan

October 28, 1972

Thank you. Could I have your attention for just a moment.

First I want to tell you that we are very sorry we were over an hour late, but there is a good reason. We were in Ohio. The crowds were so big that we couldn't get here until just now, and all that means is that we are going to have a big win in Ohio and a big win in Michigan.

Now I would like to say a word about all of those that are here today with us, to pay my respects, of course, to Governor Milliken, to pay my respects and express my appreciation to the Members of the Congress who are represented here, to Garry Brown, Al Cederberg, Mrs. Jim Harvey, who is here although her husband could not be here because he is a little under the weather, but boy, he is really there when it counts on the votes in the United States Congress.

But particularly I am here in Michigan to ask for your support not only of our ticket, but also for your support of these Members of the House of Representatives to whom I have referred, and particularly for a Member of the United States Senate. I want to say a word about the United States Senate because I know it well. I was a Member of the Senate before the people in that band, that marvelous band over there, were born. I remember the years 1950, '51. The Senate is a great body. I presided over it for 8 years as Vice President. In the past 4 years, of course, I have worked with the Senate and with the House of Representatives for what I have thought and what they have thought were the interests of the Nation.

Let me tell you a thing about the Senate. It is considered to be the most exclusive club in the world. Now Members of the House won't agree with that, but at least the Senate is smaller. There are 100 Members of the Senate, two from each State, as you know. I can tell you that of those 100 Members there are five Members of the Senate who are the big men. They are the ones that will determine the future of this country, and one of those five is Michigan's Bob Griffin. I need him in the Senate, Michigan needs him in the Senate, America needs him in the Senate.

Let me tell you just a word about what Bob Griffin has worked for, what these Members of the Congress have worked for, and what we are going to work for in these next 4 years. First, I have noted the interest that everybody here and interest that I have seen all over Ohio today in what every American wants, and that means peace, just not now, but for a generation to come. As you know, we have made a very significant breakthrough in the negotiations. As you know, we now can look forward with confidence to winning the kind of peace in Vietnam that all Americans want, and that is the kind of a peace Bob Griffin has worked for and supported-peace with honor and not peace with surrender.

But beyond that, Vietnam being over, we are proud of the fact that our trips to Peking and to Moscow have paved the way not just for ending this war, but for a generation of peace so that those young people that we see over here can have something that we have not had in this century in America: a full generation without war. We have a beginning, but we need to continue, and we ask for your help to continue to work for a generation of peace over these next 4 years. I pledge you, that is what we are going to work for.

If we are going to have it, we need a strong America. Don't listen to the voices of those that would have America have the second strongest army, the second strongest navy, the second strongest air force in the world.

Let me tell you, that when it comes to football we, of course, can take a little pride in whether we are number one or number two, but let's make sure that the United States is never number two in the world so that the United States can continue to lead the world to peace.

Then here at home, could I say a word about Bob Griffin and his leadership in the Senate? Everybody in this great tri-city area, in this State of Michigan, that contributes so much to the economy of this country, is interested in jobs. But you want peacetime jobs. Our goal is full employment without war and without inflation, something we have not had in America since Dwight Eisenhower was President. We can have it again, but we need your help. We need Bob Griffin's help in the United States Senate and these men that I have mentioned for the Congress of the United States.

But jobs, as good as they are--and I know they are very good in this State-let me tell you they don't mean anything if your income is eaten up by higher prices or higher taxes.

I think that government in Washington has grown too big. Bob Griffin agrees. I believe that the Government in Washington is taking too much money out of your pocket. He agrees. He has been a strong man in voting against more spending in Washington so that you can spend more here in Michigan. We are for that, and I hope that you will send him back so he can continue to work for that cause.

Finally, let me say a word on another subject that is of great interest to everybody here in this State--I know that it is not one of particular concern in this area--and it is that of education, to which I addressed myself just a few days ago on radio. The best education is the education you get in the school that is closest to your home. The Senate needs Bob Griffin standing against any kind of program that would bus children away from their homes across town. We need him in the United States Senate for that kind of leadership. We also need him because we can have peace abroad, we can have good jobs, and it isn't going to mean anything if our cities are ridden over with crime and drugs and all the other things which are part of modern life.

Let me tell you, there is no man in this country today who, with his legal background, gives us better leadership, as he does in the United States Senate, than Bob Griffin, in developing that kind of support we need for strong judges that will strengthen the peace forces as against the criminal forces in this country. We need him in the Senate for that.

If he would step up here for one moment-let me just close with one word. In speaking of him, I speak of all of those who support these principles that I have spoken of. These are not partisan principles. Democrats as well as Republicans want peace in the world. Democrats as well as Republicans want jobs and prosperity, without war and without inflation. Democrats as well as Republicans want good education, education close to home and not clear across town. Democrats as well as Republicans want progress, progress for their children and their children's children in the years to come.

One of the things that impresses anyone who runs for any office, and particularly for President, is to see the wonderful young people that we have seen by the hundreds of thousands today, and the thousands here today, let me tell you what I feel at a moment like this. I know many of you have been here for almost 4 hours. I know that you didn't even know that we were going to have a meeting here until yesterday. Thank you for coming. Thank you for coming.

Let me tell you, I realize that for many who are here, who are 18, 19, and 20, this is the first time you will have had an opportunity to vote. I want your first vote to be remembered as one of your best votes. I want the next 4 years and Bob Griffin wants the next 4 years to be the best 4 years in this country's history.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 6:30 p.m. at a rally at the Tri-City Airport which serves Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland. He spoke without referring to notes.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at Saginaw, Michigan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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