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Remarks at the Swearing In of Kenneth Rush as Counsellor to the President for Economic Policy.

May 29, 1974

Ladies and gentlemen:

We are here today for the swearing in, as assistant to the President, of Kenneth Rush, and it carries me back almost 40 years, when I first met him. I thought he was then a rather senior person, although he was 24 and I was 21. He was an assistant professor at Duke University Law School in the field of corporations.

As assistant to the President, as we have already indicated, he will have the primary responsibility for advice and counsel in the economic area, both domestic and international. I think he certainly is a man who meets the qualifications that are needed for this very, very great responsibility.

His international credentials are well known--as Ambassador to Germany, as Deputy Secretary of State, and also on the defense side as Deputy Secretary of Defense.

What is probably not as well known is that he is a distinguished lawyer and was one of the top business leaders of the United States, chief executive officer of a great American corporation.

I think he is bringing to this position what is needed at this time, not only the coordination but also the ideas that we need to keep our economy growing and to fight the major battle that we have to fight on the economic front to handle inflation.

In addition, we are naming him as a member of the Cabinet, Counsellor to the President, and as a member of the National Security Council, a position he should be in because of his wide credentials in the international field and, particularly, the national defense field.

With all of those responsibilities, I don't know if he is going to be able to spend much time at home, but we welcome him as a member of the Cabinet today, as a member of the National Security Council, and as an assistant to the President.

Mr. Justice Powell of the Supreme Court will administer the oath. Here is the Bible.

[At this point, Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., administered the oath of office. The President then resumed speaking.]

Before our new Counsellor responds briefly, I should point out that while he has great additional responsibilities in our battle against inflation, holding the line, he gets no additional money. Now, if you would like to say something, you may.

Note: The President spoke at 12:07 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

Counsellor Rush responded to the President's remarks as follows:
Thank you very much, Mr. President. Members of the Cabinet, distinguished Mr. Justice Powell, and ladies and gentlemen:

As the President said, I have known him for almost 40 years, and I knew him when he was president of the student body of the Duke Law School, and when he was second in the class, but when he was first, working about twice as hard as the President did as a student.

Five years ago, I joined the President's official family and went to Germany, and during those 5 years, we have made, I think, incredible progress in achieving his great goal of a generation of peace.

And in the achieving of this goal, Mr. President, I have seen at firsthand how very essential it is to have your strong support and your guidance. Without that, the very idea would never have come about. Without that, of course, we would not have our present relations with Moscow and with Peking.

And as we move from confrontation to negotiation and as we move forward in this generation of peace that we are seeking, the President has pointed out very strongly that we cannot disassociate security, political matters, and economic matters. I feel, as I come to the White House to help the President on economic affairs, that I am participating just as much in seeking the generation of peace as I was as Ambassador to Germany or in the Defense Department or the State Department.

Without a strong nation and a strong economy, we obviously cannot have a strong defense. And without allies with whom we can patch up economic differences without confrontation, we are not going to have a strong alliance. And without a united front in the Government, pushing the President's objectives in economic matters, we are not going to have the proper governmental guidance.

Mr. President, I am looking forward very much to working with you. I know the task is not going to be an easy one or I wouldn't particularly want it, and I don't think you would need anyone in the post. But I shall do my b:'st. I am looking forward to working with your very able executives and advisers in this work.
Thank you very much.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Swearing In of Kenneth Rush as Counsellor to the President for Economic Policy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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