Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks to the New York Delegation at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City

August 18, 1976

Thank you very, much, Dick, Mr. Vice President, Senator Javits, the congressional delegation from the State of New York, my good friend, Louis Lefkowitz, my also very good friend, the man that should have been the present Governor of the State of New York, Malcolm Wilson, and all of the wonderful delegates and alternates from the Empire State:

I thank you very, very much. I sat there watching the television as we went down the roll call last night, and it was certainly comforting to know that under the leadership of your great State chairman and all of the people that work with him that we were going to get an awful lot of delegates voting right last night--[laughter]--and 134 sounded great at that point. I thank you, Dick, and I thank all of those that stood with us. It was a good fight. I was impressed that we did it the right way because we were on the right side of the issue.

But now let me say that the ball game is not over. I have seen an awful lot of good ball teams lose when they didn't play until the final whistle. We have got the final part of this game, as far as this convention is concerned, this evening. The contribution of the State of New York and the delegation here can be extremely significant, just as it was last night. I am absolutely confident that we will do in New York tonight as we did last night--and I hope even better.

But when we are all through with the contest tonight, we have to be absolutely certain and positive that in New York, in Michigan, in the other 48 States, that we leave that convention as a party unified for the philosophy, for the point of view, for what we believe so deeply. And if we do, we can win that election on November 2. Let me say, as the nominee I will maximize my efforts. I will do everything possible to make sure that we march arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder for the next 75 days so victory is assured for the American people.

So, I would just like to thank you all. I have had the privilege of meeting many of you over the years as I have campaigned in, I think, virtually every part of the great State of New York. I would just like to reemphasize and reiterate my appreciation for the support you have given me, not just last night but over some tough months. Betty and I are most grateful.

I would just like to wander through the crowd and express that appreciation not by words, but by a handshake and a personal expression of our gratitude and gratefulness.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 5:30 p.m. in the Century Room at the Crown Center Hotel. In his opening remarks, he referred to Richard Rosenbaum, New York State Republican chairman, Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York, Louis J. Lefkowitz, New York State attorney general, and Governor Malcolm Wilson of New York 1974-75.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks to the New York Delegation at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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