American Politician, 38th President of the United States
Gerald Ford, fully Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr., Orig. name Leslie Lynch King, Jr.
American Politician, 38th President of the United States
My commitment to the security and future of Israel is based upon basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest. Our role in supporting Israel honors our own heritage.
The Communist leaders in Moscow, Peking and Hanoi must fully understand that the United States considers the freedom of South Viet Nam vital to our interests. And they must know that we are not bluffing in our determination to defend those interests.
There are no historic or legal precedents to which I can turn in this matter, none that precisely fit the circumstances of a private citizen who has resigned the Presidency of the United States. But it is common knowledge that serious allegations and accusations hang like a sword over our former President's head, threatening his health as he tries to reshape his life, a great part of which was spent in the service of this country and by the mandate of its people. After years of bitter controversy and divisive national debate, I have been advised, and I am compelled to conclude that many months and perhaps more years will have to pass before Richard Nixon could obtain a fair trial by jury in any jurisdiction of the United States under governing decisions of the Supreme Court.
An American tragedy in which we all have played a part.
I am a Ford, not a Lincoln. My addresses will never be as eloquent as Mr. Lincoln's. But I will do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking.
I gave a speech in Omaha. After the speech I went to a reception elsewhere in town. A sweet old lady came up to me, put her gloved hand in mine, and said, "I hear you spoke here tonight." "Oh, it was nothing," I replied modestly. "Yes," the little old lady nodded, "that's what I heard."
I watch a lot of baseball on the radio.
My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility but to use every means that I have to insure it. I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right.
The Constitution is the bedrock of all our freedoms; guard and cherish it; keep honor and order in your own house; and the republic will endure.
There is an old saying, "The harder you try the luckier you get." I kind of like that definition of luck.
An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.
I am a little late getting around to it, but confession is good for the soul. I have sometimes voted to spend more taxpayer's money for worthy Federal projects in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while I vigorously opposed wasteful spending boondoggles in Oklahoma. [Laughter] Be that as it may, Mr. Speaker, you and I have always stood together against unwarranted cuts in national defense. This is no time to change that nonpartisan policy.
I guess it just proves that in America anyone can be President.
I would hope that understanding and reconciliation are not limited to the 19th hole alone.
My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy. As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.
The Declaration was not a protest against government but against the excesses of government. It prescribed the proper role of government to secure the rights of individuals and to effect their safety and their happiness. In modern society, no individual can do this all alone, so government is not necessarily evil but a necessary good. The framers of the Constitution feared a central government that was too strong, as many Americans rightly do today. The framers of the Constitution, after their experience under the Articles, feared a central government that was too weak, as many Americans rightly do today. They spent days studying all of the contemporary governments of Europe and concluded with Dr. Franklin that all contained the seeds of their own destruction. So the framers built something new, drawing upon their English traditions, on the Roman Republic, on the uniquely American institution of the town meeting.
There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe — and there never will be under a Ford administration... The United States does not concede that those countries are under the domination of the Soviet Union.
As a man of the Congress, let me reaffirm my conviction that the collective wisdom of our two great legislative bodies, while not infallible, will in the end serve the people faithfully and very, very well.
I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers. And I hope that such prayers will also be the first of many. If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises. I have not campaigned either for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman — my dear wife — as I begin this very difficult job.
I had a lot of experience with people smarter than I am.
I would like to deny all allegations by Bob Hope that during my last game of golf, I hit an eagle, a birdie, an elk and a moose.
Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.
The exclusive right to declare war, the duty to advise and consent on the part of the Senate, the power of the purse on the part of the House are ample authority for the legislative branch and should be jealously guarded. But because we may have been too careless of these powers in the past does not justify congressional intrusion into, or obstruction of, the proper exercise of Presidential responsibilities now or in the future. There can be only one Commander in Chief. In these times crises cannot be managed and wars cannot be waged by committee, nor can peace be pursued solely by parliamentary debate. To the ears of the world, the President speaks for the Nation. While he is, of course, ultimately accountable to the Congress, the courts, and the people, he and his emissaries must not be handicapped in advance in their relations with foreign governments as has sometimes happened in the past.
Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.
As I look into the faces that fill this familiar room, and as I imagine those faces in other rooms across the land, I do not see members of the legislative branch or the executive branch or the judicial branch, though I am very much aware of the importance of keeping the separate but coequal branches of our Federal Government in balance. I do not see Senators or Representatives, nor do I see Republicans or Democrats, vital as the two-party system is to sustain freedom and responsible government.