tv Gary Hart First Withdrawal CSPAN April 24, 2016 11:37pm-11:48pm EDT
are you to persuade us or anyone who has looked at the story, given that you did sign -- you did go on a cruise with her, you did spend time with her in washington, obviously very relaxed, casual time with her vivid and can you convince us or anyone that your story is true? >> i can just tell you the facts and leave it up to you. if you don't believe me, there is nothing i can do about it. i have told you the facts. that is the best with can do. announcer: next on road to the white house, democratic candidate gary hart withdraws from the presidential race less than a month after his campaign began. the former colorado senator faced allegations of the extramarital affair with a miami woman named donna rice. in this 10 minute event, the former colorado senator continues to deny the affair, saying he is quitting the race to spare his family and friends from rumors and gossip.
michael dukakis won the 1988 democratic nomination but lost to george h.w. bush in the general election. [applause] sen. hart: thank you very much. i apologize for being late. i have not intended to come down here and read a short, carefully worded political statement saying i was withdrawing from the race and quietly disappear from the stage, and then after frankly, tossing and turning all night as i have for the last three or four nights, i woke up around 4:00 this morning and i said to myself, hell no. [applause]
sen. hart: no. no, no, no. i am not going to do that. i'm not going to do that because that is not my style and because i am a proud man and i am proud of what i have accomplished. [applause] sen. hart: let's hold on the applause, thank you. [laughter] sen. hart: i appreciate it, but was get through this. now, clearly lee and i have never had a tougher week, but i'm not a beaten man, i am in -- an angry and defiant man. i have said that i been but i do not break, and believe me, i am not broken. instead of getting this over fast, i am going to talk a while about this week in the times we are in. frankly, the hardest part about making this decision has been my
children. they are both more angry and confused than i have ever seen them -- than i have ever seen them in my lives, and they are angry with me, they do not want me to get out of this race. i believe they are also angry and confused as long at -- as voters around this country. for my children and those voters, sense getting into politics a long time ago, there are two things i have not been very good at, talking about myself and playing the political games. i have never felt the voters really cared about either one of those things, frankly. they are smart enough to know who you are without you telling them, and you talk to them and they decide whether or not you are telling the truth. i had not spent a lot of time and effort trying to create an image. i am i am, take it or leave it. [applause]
sen. hart: frankly, and frankly i am pretty happy with uim and evidently some voters have been also. i have not based my campaigns on the support of politicians, even though some of them are my very best friends. with all due respect, most politicians but the exceptions of a few with great courage wait to see how political events are breaking before risking a political capital and i understand that. what this means for the rest of it is, i guess i have become a rare bird, some extraordinary creature that has to be dissected by those who analyze politics to find out what makes them tick. well, i resist that so i become in a matter or whatnot -- enigmatic or whatnot. the more people talk about me, the more i resisted so it
becomes the cat chasing its tail. a number of friends of mine around the country will tell you in the weeks leading up to this race, i gave serious thought to not running for president. in many ways, i did not want to. it is because i had to do a number of these profiles, and i can see what was happening, i was going to be the issue. i did not want to be the issue and i cannot be the issue, because that breaks the weight between me and the voters and that is what i have tried to mix -- explain to my children. if someone is able to throw up a smokescreen and keep it up there long enough, you cannot get your message across, cannot raise the money to finance her campaign, too much static and you cannot communicate. in the final analysis, the american people decide what qualities are important to govern this country in the national interest and they have not been heard from yet.
the last public event we did was the night before last in new hampshire. there were maybe 100 to 150 people there, the height of the circus. not one question about me. people they wanted to know everything about south africa, aids, ireland, day care, job training, central america and the list went on. i doubt any of that data to the evening news. that is the point. in public life, some things may be interesting, but that does not necessarily mean they are important. whether i change my name or still owe campaign debts may be interesting for a while, but for most people in this country, that is not what concerns them. the farmers in amarillo, oilfield workers in louisiana, steelworkers in pennsylvania, i can tell you because i have listened to them.
they want jobs. their kids when a chance for an education. like all of the rest of us, they do not want to be killed by some nuclear weapon. if you are going to have to spend all of your time talking about yourself and you are not particularly good about that anyway, then you cannot maintain that link with the voters that lets you listen to their concerns and offer your ideas and proposals. that is about where we are today. clearly, under present circumstances this campaign cannot go on. i refuse to submit my family, friends and innocent people in myself to further rumors and gossip. it is simply an intolerable situation. i believe i would have been a successful candidate. i know i could've been a very good president, particularly for these times, but apparently now we will never know. i have had the support of some of the most talented people in this country, particularly young people and want to say to all of them today, march on. there's a lot of work to do. we will all have to seriously question the system of selecting our national leaders. it reduces the press to hunters and presidential candidates as the hunted.
it has full stories printed, photographers in our windows, helicopters over our lives and my strong wife close to tears because she cannot even get into her own house tonight, without being harassed. after all of that ponderous pundits wonder why some of the best people in this country choose not to run for high office. i want those talented people who supported me to insist that the system be changed. too much of it is just a mockery, and it continues to destroy people's integrity and honor and the system will eventually destroy itself. all attacks this country, take it from me, it is on the verge of becoming another form of athletic competition or sporting match. we all better do something to make the system work. we are all going to be
rephrasing jefferson saying, i tremble for my country when i think we may in fact get the kind of leaders we deserve. i say to my children and other frustrated angry and young people, i am angry, too. i have made some mistakes, some big mistakes but not bad mistakes. i am an idealist and i love this country deeply and i want to serve this country or it the events of this week should not deter any of you who are idealistic young people from moving on and moving up. i would say to the young people of this country, the torch of idealism burns right in your hearts. it should lead you into public service and national service. it should lead you to want to make this country better, and whoever you are and whatever you do with that cause, at least in spirit, i will be with you. thank you very much. [applause]