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
I deeply believe in equal justice for all Americans, whatever their station or former station. The law, whether human or divine, is no respecter of persons; but the law is a respecter of reality. The facts, as I see them, are that a former President of the United States, instead of enjoying equal treatment with any other citizen accused of violating the law, would be cruelly and excessively penalized either in preserving the presumption of his innocence or in obtaining a speedy determination of his guilt in order to repay a legal debt to society. During this long period of delay and potential litigation, ugly passions would again be aroused. And our people would again be polarized in their opinions. And the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad.
I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.
It's discouraging how hard it is for a President to slice any large chunks from a $305 billion budget.
Some people equate civility with weakness and compromise with surrender. I strongly disagree. I come by my political pragmatism the hard way, for my generation paid a very heavy price in resistance to the century we had of some extremists -- to the dictators, the utopians, the social engineers who are forever condemning the human race for being all too human.
The ultimate test of leadership is not the polls you take, but the risks you take. In the short run, some risks prove overwhelming. Political courage can be self-defeating. But the greatest defeat of all would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all.
We must proceed with our own energy development. Exploitation of domestic petroleum and natural gas potentialities, along with nuclear, solar, geothermal, and non-fossil fuels is vital. We will never again permit any foreign nation to have Uncle Sam over a barrel of oil.
All my children have spoken for themselves since they first learned to speak, and not always with my advance approval, and I expect that to continue in the future.
Frequently, along the tortuous road of recent months from this chamber to the President's House, I protested that I was my own man. Now I realize that I was wrong.
I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
I know well the coequal role of the Congress in our constitutional process. I love the House of Representatives. I revere the traditions of the Senate despite my too-short internship in that great body. As President, within the limits of basic principles, my motto toward the Congress is communication, conciliation, compromise, and cooperation.
It's the quality of the ordinary, the straight, the square, that accounts for the great stability and success of our nation. It's a quality to be proud of. But it's a quality that many people seem to have neglected.
Teddy Roosevelt... once said, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.' Jimmy Carter wants to speak loudly and carry a fly swatter.
The veto is a President's Constitutional right, given to him by the drafters of the Constitution because they wanted it as a check against irresponsible Congressional action. The veto forces Congress to take another look at legislation that has been passed. I think this is a responsible tool for a president of the United States, and I have sought to use it responsibly.
When a man is asked to make a speech, the first thing he has to decide is what to say.
All of us who served in one war or another know very well that all wars are the glory and the agony of the young.
Government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference. I do believe, with all my heart and mind and spirit, that I, not as President but as a humble servant of God, will receive justice without mercy if I fail to show mercy.
I love sports. Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio.
I've had a lot of experience with people smarter than I am.
Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time.
The world is ever conscious of what Americans are doing, for better or for worse, because the United States today remains that most successful realization of humanity’s universal hope. The world may or may not follow, but we lead because our whole history says we must. Liberty is for all men and women as a matter of equal and unalienable right. The establishment of justice and peace abroad will in large measure depend upon the peace and justice we create here in our own country, for we still show the way.
America needed recovery, not revenge. The hate had to be drained and the healing begun.
Government exists to create and preserve conditions in which people can translate their ideas into practical reality. In the best of times, much is lost in translation. But we try. Sometimes we have tried and failed. Always we have had the best of intentions. But in the recent past, we sometimes forgot the sound principles that guided us through most of our history. We wanted to accomplish great things and solve age-old problems. And we became overconfident of our abilities. We tried to be a policeman abroad and the indulgent parent here at home. We thought we could transform the country through massive national programs, but often the programs did not work. Too often they only made things worse. In our rush to accomplish great deeds quickly, we trampled on sound principles of restraint and endangered the rights of individuals. We unbalanced our economic system by the huge and unprecedented growth of Federal expenditures and borrowing. And we were not totally honest with ourselves about how much these programs would cost and how we would pay for them. We must introduce a new balance in the relationship between the individual and the government — a balance that favors greater individual freedom and self-reliance.
I do believe, with all my heart and mind and spirit, that I, not as President but as a humble servant of God, will receive justice without mercy if I fail to show mercy.
I once told you that I am not a saint, and I hope never to see the day that I cannot admit having made a mistake. So I will close with another confession. Frequently, along the tortuous road of recent months from this chamber to the Presidents House, I protested that I was my own man. Now I realize that I was wrong. I am your man, for it was your carefully weighed confirmation that changed my occupation. The truth is I am the people’s man, for you acted in their name, and I accepted and began my new and solemn trust with a promise to serve all the people and do the best that I can for America.