tv Ronald Reagan Presidential Campaign Announcement CSPAN November 27, 2015 8:00pm-8:26pm EST
served. we'll hear about colonial slave life, hear from a master black smith, and go behind the scenes of williamsburg costume center. and viewers can ask questions throughout the day. live from colonial williamsburg saturday, december 5th beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. on road to the white house rewind, we look back to ronald reagan's presidential campaign announcement in the 1980 election. the former california governor talks about the economy, taxes, energy, and foreign policy. ronald reagan won the 1980 republican presidential nomination with george h.w. bush finishing a distant second. he went on to defeat incumbent democrat jimmy carter in the general election carrying 44 states.
ladies and gentlemen, ronald reagan. >> good evening. i'm here tonight to announce my intention to seek the republican nomination for president of the united states. i'm sure each of us has seen our country from a number of viewpoints depending on where we've lived and what we've done. for me, it's been as a boy growing up in several small towns in illinois, as a young man trying to get a start in the years of the great depression, and in california. i've seen america from the stadium press box as a sports cast, as an actor, soldier, office holder, and as both democrat and republican. i've lived in an america where those who often had too little to eat outnumbered those who have had enough. there have been four wars in my lifetime. i've also seen the great
strength of this nation as it pulled itself up from that ruin to become the democrominant for the world. proud of its own success, generous, yes, and naive. sometimes wrong, never mean, and always impatient to provide a better life for its people in a framework of a basic fairness and freedom. you know, someone once said the difference between an american and any other kind of person is that an american lives in anticipation of the future because he knows it will be a great place. other people fear the future as just a reputation of past failures. we well, there's a lot of truth in that. if there's one thing we're sure of is history need not be relived, that nothing is impossible, and man is capable
of improving his circumstances beyond what is fact. there are those in our land, however, who would have us believe the united states has reached the zenith of its power. much of this talk has come from leaders who claim that our problems are too difficult to handle. we're supposed to meekly accept their failures as the most which can humanly be done. they tell us we must learn to live with less and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been, that the america of the coming years will be a place where because of our past excesses it will be impossible to dream and make these dreams come true. i don't believe that and i don't believe you do either. that's why i'm seeking the presidency. i cannot and will not stand by
and see this great country destroy itself. our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on faults estimates, but unknown identifiable experts who rewrite modern history who try to convince us our high standard of living is somehow selfish extravagance. i don't agree that our nation must resign itself to an inevitable decline. i am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world. the crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the american spirit. it's a failure of our leaders to establish rational goals and give our people something to order their lives by. if i'm elected i shall regard my
election as proof that the people of the united states have decided to set a new agenda and have recognized that the human spirit thrives best when goals are set and progress can be measured in their achievement. during the next year, i shall discuss in detail a wide variety of problems with a new administration mustar address. tonight i'll only address a few. double digit inflation has robbed you and your family of the ability to plan. it's destroyed the confidence to buy and it threatens the very structure of family life itself as more and more wives are forced to work in order to meet the ever increasing cost of living. at the same time the lack of real growth in the economy has introduced a justifiable fear in the minds of working men and
women that soon there will be fewer jobs and no money to pay for even the necessities of life. and tragically as the cost of living keeps going up, the standard of living, which has been our great pride, keeps going down. the federal government has overspent, overestimated, own overregulated. it has failed to deliver services within the revenue it should be allowed to raise with taxes. in the 34 years since the end of world war ii it has spent $448 billion more than it has collected in taxes. $448 billion of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worst less and less. at the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some ways solve the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less.
well, business is not a taxpayer. it is a tax collector. business has to pass its tax burden onto the customer as part of the cost of doing business. you and i pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. only people pay taxes, and it is political demagoguery or economic ill lit iteracy to try tell us otherwise. at the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. now this does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the handicapped. we have long since committed ourselves as a people to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. but the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of
help we can possibly have. we must put an end to the arrogance of a federal establishment which accepts no blame for our condition, cannot be relied upon to give us a fair estimate of our situation, and utterly refuses to live within its means. i will not accept the supposed wisdom that the federal bureaucracy has become so powerful that it can no longer be changed or controlled by administration. as president, i would use every power at my command to make the federal establishment respond to the will of the people. at the same time, in reviewing the functioning of the federal government, we must determine which of those functions could better be performed by levels of government closer to the people.
you know, the tenth article of the bill of rights is very explicit in pointing out that the federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the constitution. all others that will remain with the states or the people. we haven't been observing that tenth article of late. the federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. there should be a plan to orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities and a transfer with them of the sources of taxation to pay for them. the savings and administrative overhead could be considerable and certainly there would be increased efficiency and less bu bur ros-- bureaucracy.
proposals such as the kemp roth bill would bring about this kind of realistic reduction in tax rates. in short, a punitive tax system must be replaced by one that restores incentive for the worker and industry. a system that rewards initiative and effort and encourages thrift. now all these things are possible. none of them will be easy, but the choice is clear. we can go on letting the country slip over the brink of financial ruin with the disaster which this means for the individual, or we can find the will to work together to restore confidence in ourselves and to regain the confidence of the world. when my brother and i and our parents exchanged our modest gifts, there was no lighted tree
as there had been on christmas' past. i remember watching my father open what he thought was a greeting from his employer. we all watched. and yes, we were hoping it was a bonus check. it was notice he no longer had a job. and in those days the government ran radio announcements telling workers not to leave home looking for jobs. there were no jobs. i'll carry with me always the memory of my father sitting there, holding that envelope unable to look at the rest of us. i cannot and will not stand by while inflation and joblessness destroy the dignity of our people. another serious problem which must be discussed tonight is our energy situation. our country was built on cheap energy. today energy is not cheap and we face the prospect that some forms of energy may soon not be available at all.
last summer you probably spent hours sitting in gasoline lines. this winter some will be without heat and everyone will be paying much more simply to keep home and family warm. if you ever had any doubt of the government's inability to provide for the needs of the people, just look at the utter fiasco we now call the energy crisis. not one straight answer, nor any realistic hope of relief has come from the president administration in almost three years of federal treatment of the problem. as gas lines grew, the administration again panicked and now has proposed to put the country on a wartime footing. but for this war, there's no victory in sight. and as always, when the federal bureaucracy fails, all it can suggest is more of the same. this time it's another bureau to untangle the mess made by the ones we already have. now this just won't work.
solving the energy crisis will not be easy, but it can be done. first, we must decide that less is not enough. next we must remove government obstacles to energy production. it is no program simply to say use less energy. of course waste must be eliminated and efficiency promo promoted, but for the government simply to tell the people to conserve, that's not an energy policy. at best it means we'll run out of energy a little more slowly, but a day will come when the lights will dim and the wheels of industry will turn more slowly and finally stop. as president i will not endorse any course that has this as its principal objective. we need more energy and that means diversifying our sources of supply away from the opec countries. yes, it means more efficient
automobiles, but it means more exploration and development of natural gas here in our own country. the answer obvious to anyone except those in the administration it seems is more domestic production of oil and gas. we must also have wider use of nuclear power within strict safety rules of course. there must be more spending by the energy industries on research and development of substitutes for fossil fuels. in years to come solar energy may provide much of the answer, but for the next two or three decades we must do such things as master the chemistry of coal, putting the market system to work for these objectives is an essential first step to their achievement. additional multibillion dollar federal bureaus and programs are not the answer. in recent weeks there's been a lot of talk about excess oil company profits.
i don't believe we've been given all the information we need to make a judgment about this. and we should have that information. government exists to protect us from each other. it is not government's function to allocate fuel or impose unnecessary restrictions on the marketplace. it is government's function to determine whether we're being unfairly exploited and if so to take immediate and appropriate action. as president, i would do exactly that. on the foreign front, the decades of the 1980s will place severe pressures on the united states and its allies. during a time when the soviet union may enjoy nuclear superiority over this country, we must never waiver in our commitment to our allies or
accept any negotiation that's not in the national interest. we must be clear voiced in our resolve to resist any unpeaceful act wherever it may occur. negotiation with the soviet union must never become appeasement. we've been preoccupied with the global struggle, the competition with the soviet, and with our responsibilities to our allies. but too often in recent times we've just drifted along with events, responding as if we thought of ourselves as a nation in decline. to our allies, we seem to appear to be a nation unable to make decisions in its own interests, let alone the common interests. since the second world war we have spent large amount of money and time defending freedom all over the world. we must continue this for if we do not accept the responsibilities of leadership,
who will? if no one will, how will we survive? the 1970s have taught us the foolhardiness of not having a long-range diplomatic strategy of our own. the world has become a place where in order to survive our country needs more than just allies. it needs real friends. yet in recent times we often seem not to have recognized who our friends are. this must change. it is now time to take stock of our own house and to resupply its strength. part of that process is taking stock of our relationship with puerto rico and the people of puerto rico vote for statehood in their upcoming referendum, i favor statehood for puerto rico. we live on a continent whose three countries possess the assets to make it the strongest,
most prosperous, self-sufficient area on earth. within the boarders are the foo, technology, and undeveloped territory that would improve the quality of life of all its inhabitants. it's no accident this exists in thee count three countries with long-standing heritages of free government. to a developing closeness between canada, mexico, and the united states -- in fact, the key to our own future security may lie in both mexico and canada becoming much stronger countries than they are today. no one can say at this point
precisely what form future cooperation among our countries will take. but if i'm elected president, i would be willing to invite each of our neighbors to send a special representative to our government to sit in on high-level planning sessions. first, i would immediate seek the views and ideas of canadian and mexican leaders on this issue and work tirelessly with them to develop closer ties among our peoples. it's time we stop thinking of our nearest neighbors as foreigners. by developing methods of working closely together, we'll lay the foundation of future cooperation on a broader scale. we'll also put to rest any doubts of those cynical enough to believe that the united states would seek to dominate any relationship among our three countries or foolish enough to think that the governments and peoples of canada and mexico
would ever permit such a domination to occur. i for one am confident that we can show the world by example that the nations of north america are ready within the context of an unswerving commitment to freedom to seek new forms of accommodation to meet a changing world. a developing closeness between the united states, canada, and mexico would serve notice on friend and foe alike that we were prepared for the long haul looking outward again and confidence of our future that together we're going to create jobs to generate new fortunes of wealth for many and provide a legacy for the children of each our countries. we taught the world a new form of government created out of the genius of man to cope with his circumstances could bring a
quality to human life previously thought impossible. now let us work towards the goal of using the assets of this continent in the most efficient ways possible for the common good of all its people. we can dare to dream that at some future date a map of the world might show the north american continent as one in which the peoples and commerce flow freely across their present borde borders. leaders have told us we the people have lost confidence in ourselves, that we must regain our spirit and our will to achieve our national goals. well, it's true. there is a lack of confidence and unease with the way things are, but the confidence we've lost is confidence in our government's policies. our unease can almost be called bewilderment at how our defense
strength has deteriorated. and our currency is no longer the stable measure of value it once was, but there remains the greatness of our people. our capacity for dreaming up fantastic deeds and bringing them off to a surprising world. tom payne told his fellow americans we have it in our power to begin the world over again. we still have that power. we, today's living americans, have in our lifetime fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, and done more to advance the dignity of man than any other people who lived on this earth. they want someone who believes they can begin the world over
again. a leader who will unleash their great strength and remove the roadblocks government has put in their way. i want to do that more than anything i've ever wanted, and it's something i believe with god's help i can do. i believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival, hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency, to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. government should uphold institutions of religion, education, and above all family. government cannot be clergyman, teacher, and parent. we have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when john winthrope told the
band of pilgrims we'll be a city upon the hill. a troubled and afflicted mankind $ñ kwe keep our rendezvous with destiny. that we will become that shining city on a hill. for our country's future, i pledge you my every effort. i ask for your prayers and support. i believe that together we can keep this rendezvous with destiny. thank you and good night. each week until the 2016
presidential election, american history tv will bring you archi archive coverage. bill clin announced his candidacy. come on. you come with me. come on. hi. what's your name? >> brenda. >> good. i'm governor clinton. do i need to get one of these? oh, okay. hello. how are you? >> good. >> hello. it's good to see you. can we shake hands? that's good. thank you. this looks good. i like it. i'll try not to cheat. what's your name? >>