Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia

October 23, 1976

Let me thank all of you for the opportunity to come to Columbia, to South Carolina to this great State Fair.

I would just like to introduce a member of our family who went to the fair while I went to the football game. I'd like to introduce our son, Steve Ford.

Two weeks ago, I went to the Texas State Fair. This morning I stopped at the North Carolina State Fair. Here I am at the South Carolina State Fair. I love fairs. [Applause] Thank you very, very much. But what I like best is those figures up there.

But let me be serious, if I might. We have a great campaign that's about to come to its conclusion on November 2. The issues are very important. We keep hearing that only about 50 percent of the people are going to vote. I hope that's not true, because the course or the direction of this Nation could well be decided on November 2, and that course and that direction for the next 4 years and perhaps for the next century

Let me tell you where I stand. I stand for a strong national defense. America must be number one and will be number one. We have the best Army, the best Navy, the best Marine Corps, the best Air Force, and, under President Ford, we're going to keep it that way.

But we also have to have a strong economy, and that means not only an industrial economy but it means a strong agricultural economy. We believe very strongly that American agriculture is probably one of the most important segments of our society, and we're going to keep agriculture in America strong under President Ford for the next 4 years.

I think a few of you may have heard the debate last night. I'm not going to ask you who won, but I do want to repeat one or two things that I believe are very important for us to remember.

Two years ago, in August, this country was in serious trouble. Today, we have made a substantial amount of progress. We have gone from a lack of trust in the White House to confidence and trust in the White House under President Ford. We have gone from inflation of over 12 percent 2 years ago, to a rate of inflation under 6 percent, and it's going down. We have made a lot of progress in winning the battle against inflation, and we're going to make a lot more between now and the end of the next 4 years.

But then, let me make one other observation. America is at peace. We're at peace because we're strong. Not a single young American is fighting or dying on any foreign battlefield tonight. But we're able to do that because the United States has the military capability and the diplomatic skill to strengthen our allies and to get respect from our adversaries.

But the most fundamental thing that's important in America is our moral and spiritual strengths. The United States is a nation where each and every one of us has an opportunity to participate--to participate in government, to pray to God, to have our own convictions, and strengthen the character of America. And I think by any standard, we can say we are proud of America, and we are proud to be Americans.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 4:20 p.m. Prior to his arrival at the State Fair, he attended the second half of the Notre Dame-University of South Carolina football game at William Brice Stadium on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




South Carolina

Simple Search of Our Archives