Jimmy Carter photo

Tacoma, Washington Remarks at a Democratic National Committee Fundraising Reception.

September 23, 1980

Mr. Mayor, Chairman Murphy, Dale Carlisle, and other friends that have assembled here to help me and the Democratic National Committee with a very important element of politics, and that is to finance an adequate campaign:

It's important to the American people to know the facts about our Nation, its past, its present, and its future. And I'm delighted to be with you here today. I've had a good visit to Tacoma. The crowds on the street were much larger than I ever dreamed, and the excitement and fervency of their support is very good.

I'm sorry that Maggie 1 couldn't be with us today. He wanted me to express his apologies. But as you know, he is the person responsible for the appropriations of funds for the entire Federal Government. He's there taking care of the State of Washington; he's there taking care of the entire Nation. And I advised him, although I'd like to have him by my side here, to stay in Washington, where he means so much to our entire Nation. I appreciated Scoop Jackson sending a congratulatory message to me for being back in Tacoma and expressing the wish that he could be here. As you know, the Congress is going to adjourn very shortly, and the last minute crush of business for them is all-consuming.

1 Senator Warren G. Magnuson, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

I'm also glad to be with Ted McDermott, who will be the next Governor of the State of Washington. I've been looking at some of the poll results, and they're very exciting. And I would guess at this moment that it's a tossup. And what happens to Ted, in spite of enormous influx of money, is very important to all of you. And I hope that, Ted, you'll be very successful in your campaign. Good luck to you. I mean—Jim—Jim McDermott. Excuse me. Jim is very important to me, too. He rode in in the car with me, and we had a chance to talk about the future of this State.

Dixy Lee and I had a good conversation on the phone this morning. I called her as we were leaving the State of California on the way to Washington and expressed my appreciation for what she has meant to your State with the catastrophe that was imminent with the explosion at Mount St. Helens. And to work with her has been a gratifying thing to me.

As you know, Jim, Maggie, I, and the Democratic ticket I think will make a good combination this year. And if you all will continue to help us, we'll have a great Democratic victory.

I want to say just a couple of things to you in closing. One is that the office of the Presidency is a major and vital force in the life of every human being in this country and every family, perhaps in the entire world. The decisions that come to the Oval Office have a profound importance to us all. The decisions are not easy. If they are easy, they would be resolved somewhere else.

It's sometimes a lonely job, but the life or death of many people are at stake. If sound judgment is used and the strength of our Nation is wisely applied, our Nation can make progress, lives can be enhanced, the quality of American life can be preserved, and peace throughout the world can have a better chance to persevere.

I'm grateful in the last 3¼ years there has been no American troop or soldier sent to endanger his or her life in combat against another nation. And I pray that we can stay strong enough and have sound enough judgment in our decisions that we will remain a nation at peace for the next 5 years, as long as I'm in the White House.

The other point I'd like to make is this: A President is responsible for the future of this country. We've made great progress so far in building a sound basis for the resolution of a very challenging problem of energy. The achievements have been notable. This year we'll buy 2 million barrels of oil less per day than we were buying a year ago. We are drilling more oil and natural gas wells this year than any other year in the history of our Nation, and you might be surprised to know that we are also producing more coal than any other year in the history of our Nation. We have 10 times as many homes now using solar power as used solar power just 4 years ago.

And that commitment to the new forms of energy and to conservation give us a chance to have a springboard toward an exciting, dynamic, challenging, fruitful, and successful future. We now must take the tremendous opportunities that we have been given in this country, invest it in a structure of our industrial society to keep the American worker the most productive on Earth, with new tools and new factories and new trade opportunities throughout the world.

We are rapidly increasing exports of American products. We are opening up new customer opportunities for us in China, keeping those in Taiwan, increasing those in Japan, opening up new ones in Mexico, so that the American workers will have a ready product [market] for what we produce, both on the farm and in our factories. And in technological advances, new discoveries, new ideas, new products, we will stay on the cutting edge of progress as an inspiration to people all over the world.

This bright future, of a nation strong, secure, prosperous, united, proud, raising high the banner of human rights, and a nation committed to peace—that's the vision I have for the future. It's a bright future, an optimistic future. And I look forward to sharing that future with other Democratic candidates like Maggie, like Jim McDermott, if you'll help us between now and November the 4th. We'll have a great victory, thanks to you.
God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 6:23 p.m. at the Tacoma Bicentennial Pavilion Rotunda.

Jimmy Carter, Tacoma, Washington Remarks at a Democratic National Committee Fundraising Reception. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/251636

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