tv Carter 1976 Election Eve Program CSPAN November 7, 2016 10:27pm-10:57pm EST
see all their appearances on c-span, as well as many other supreme court videos available on demand. follow the supreme court at c-span.org. road to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. and coming up next, a program produced for the 1976 campaign of democratic nominee and former georgia governor jimmy carter. aired on national television on the eve of the general election. former governor carter answers questions from voters in a half-hour program taped at his home in plains, georgia. he defeated incumbent gerald fored for, winning 50 to 48%. >> i'm leaning towards carter. i am also a registered democrat. and i would really like to see the democrats back in power. but i have a lot of questions. and i'm not definitely decided yet.
>> on tuesday the voters will decide who will be the next president of the united states. many voters are still undecided about their choice, or even if they will vote because they have unanswered questions for jimmy carter and gerald ford. in this program, people from every part of the country will ask their questions of jimmy carter. from his home in plains, georgia, jimmy carter. >> good evening. 22 months ago when i began my campaign, i was a lonely candidate. i walked the streets, went into private homes, saw one person at a time, at the most three or four. but when the returns came in during the primaries, we had won. and the reason was, and it surprised a lot of people, i had a close, personal individual relationship with the people of this country in new hampshire and florida and florida and illinois. and that's the kind of relationship that was disturbed. as we did win, we had larger
crowds, secret service, a lot of news people between me and the people of this country. tonight is an opportunity at the last moment of the campaign to let the american people see again individual americans the way i see them, people in families, sometimes unemployed, sometimes elderly, sometimes concerned about the image of our country. just in a direct person-to-person relationship with me, a man who hopes to be the next president of our country. i hope you enjoy the show. and it's going to be untarnished and direct and unrehearsed, a good representation of the relationship between the future president and the people he hopes to serve. >> i'm going to go to the ballot box for all of the candidates that are running for the various offices, except i will not vote for anybody for president. >> i don't really think there is any choice between carter and
ford. i wouldn't vote for ford because you pardoned nixon, really. i wouldn't vote for the man. they skirted the issues. they're dazed out. they don't know who to vote for because they have no choice. that's the way i feel about it. >> more apathetic than ever. unfortunately, i think a lot of people are going to stay home. and that's not going to prove anything. >> well, i can understand the attitude of these people and millions of others around our country who have been deeply hurt in the last eight years, who have been disillusioned and disappointed and alienated, who have been embarrassed and sometimes even ashamed of our own government. with high unemployment and high inflation and grossly unbalanced budgets and a drifting nation and a lack of pride and a violation of the law among the higher officials of our country. the fact is that the problem is not the people have lost confidence in the government. the problem is that public officials once they got in
office lost confidence and trust in the people who put them there. tonight we're going to be discussing some of the things on this program that show that a president, a governor, a member of congress, a mayor can't solve these problems, which are difficult, without the full participation and encouragement and involvement, without the hopes and the dreams of american people. and when the election comes on november 2nd, the responsibility would be yours, the people of america. if i'm elected president, in january 20th the responsibility would be mine and yours. but let's don't give up on our country, on this government just because we've been embarrassed or shamed and disappointed in the past. americans have never done this. we've been tough. and really, our strength has come forward in the most vivid way, when the difficulties are greatest, like they are now. we can change things, but we've got to do it together, all of us. >> with the united states not
being involved in any wars whatsoever, what would be his initial steps in creating a thriving economy? >> what can you do if you're elected president to bring up the economy of this country and get us out of this recession? >> the prices are high, the gas, it's really hard with children. my husband is the only one working. i can't work. so it's rough. >> how far more prices can go up for average people with average incomes? what could it change in government really bring? >> the economy i believe needs to be changed more than anything else. well, it's been kind of bad for the past 10, 12 years. and i kind of feel like it's only republicans who have been in office. i think it's about time for democrats to have another shot at it. >> this is a question i get more than any other question around the country.
this republican administration has been absolutely terrible. they've brought us the first $200 billion budget, the first $300 billion budget, the first $400 billion budget, the highest definites in the history of our country. the highest combination unemployment and inflation that we've ever seen since our country was founded. the statistics are terrible. in the last two years we've had 2.5 million more people become unemployed. in the last four months alone, 500,000 american families have become unemployed. but the most important thing is that these are people, human beings, families. and it's a devastating blow to a person who is able to work not to be able to work. the republicans have always felt that the best way to control inflation was to put people out of a job. so our top priority has to be to put our people back to work. and we'll never have a balanced
budget as long as we have 7.5 or 8 million people out of work looking for jobs there are many things that can be done. our housing industry needs to be stimulated. it won't cost much money. we can put enormous numbers of people back in homes and also back to work. research and development funds, pollution control, transportation. the emphasis has got to be in the private sector. government jobs as a last resort. but as a main thrust, people have the right to work in private jobs, permanent jobs. for the taxpayer money doesn't have to be involved very much. but the emphasis has to be on restoration of people's right to work. >> mr. carter, i'm a sailor, and i can't get a job. >> more than half of my friends and acquaintances are out of work and have been out of work for a period of time which leaves them out of the statistics. >> mr. carter, i'm worried about the unemployment in general. >> how is jimmy carter going to be able to offer more jobs and
government programs without escalating the economy? >> and i'm very curious to know what -- i hope president carter will do in the way of unemployment. >> i've met people like these all over the country in the last two years. as a matter of fact, 1/3 of all the families in this country have experienced unemployment recently. that's bad enough on people that don't have jobs. but one thing we tend to forget is that the ones that still have jobs are the ones who pay the bills. every time unemployment rate goes up 1%, then the government loses $16 billion in welfare payments and in unemployment compensation. in the last two years alone, since richard nixon left office, we added $23 billion to the cost of unemployment compensation and welfare payments. and the one that pays the bill is the american who is still at work. that's where the relief needs to come. it's not going to be easy.
but government and business and industry and labor and agriculture and education can work together, we can start making progress. and as we cut down the unemployment rate, it will help everybody. that's what i intend to do. >> governor carter, my question is what do you intend doing about the mess we have in the welfare program? >> well, we now have 12 million people in this country who are permanently on welfare. 10% of them, about 1.3 million are fully able to work full-time. they ought to be taken out of the welfare system altogether and placed under the responsibility of the labor department and the education department, given job training, literacy instruction if they can't read and write. match with a job, offer a job. if they are offered a job and don't take it, i wouldn't pay them any more benefits. the other 90% need to be treated fairly. but we've got about 100 different welfare programs.
the present welfare system is both anti-work and anti-family. it's time for a change in the welfare system. have a simple system that treats people fairly, yes. but it ought to be designed pro-work, pro-family. >> mr. carter, i would like to know how you're going to cut the taxes as you say that you're going to cut when you become president of the united states. >> i would like to have a little more information about how he is going to put into effect the tax cuts that he has recommended. >> my question to governor carter would be how he would make taxes fair for everyone. >> all i can say is what about the guy with the wife and three or four children. he needs that break in taxes. he has to educate the children. he's got clothing, food. with inflation what it is, by the time you get done buying your groceries, paying your rent, boy, you're really hurting if you're not making a whole lot of money. >> i heard that you're considering removing the exemption on interest payments for home mortgages.
is that true position of yours or is that something that the ford camp is just pumping out? >> i want to answer bob gary's question first about home mortgages. that is not my position that is just something republicans are using to distort my position and try to gain votes in an improper way. i would never increase taxes on the homeowner who has been using the deduction of interest payments on his mortgages. now taxes is a serious question with the american people. american people don't mind paying their taxes. if they feel that's it fair. but the present income tax structure is not fair. it's a disgrace. income earned from manual labor and not hidden loopholes for someone who draws a check every two weeks, but there are hidden secret loopholes for all the big shots, the special interest groups. that's got to stop. in the last reporting period there were over 800 people in this country that made more than
$100,000 a year and paid no income taxes. there were 11 corporations supported and friends of the republicans who made over $100 million on average in one year and paid not a nickel in income tax. and when they don't pay their taxes, do you know who pace it for them? the average working american family in this country. if we can remove the loop holes and just have a fair and simple tax system, we can reduce taxes for the low and income income families. the american people are ready for this change. and congress is ready for this change. and i'm ready for the change. and next year we're going to have comprehensive tax reform to make our income tax structure fair for a change. >> ford has vetoed several things on senior citizens, and i don't think it's right. i'm sure he's got a mother. he would want her to be taken care of. but he doesn't care about
anybody else's. >> what about social security? i'm all right because i managed to save a little money. but i think if people were left making i'd say the average person, these older people that started to collect social security earlier that are getting their minimum payments, i don't see how they can do it with the cost of living. >> i'm a social worker. i have been for a long, long time. and i don't work in the welfare system. i work with the elderly. and we can't see people who spent all their lives doing the subscribed thing and then lose their homes because they can't pay their medical bills and have nothing. and they never deviated. they voted, they pay their rents, they bought the little house. they paid off the mortgage. they own the place free and clear. and then they have to sell it. and there isn't even any subsidized housing for them to move in from the ill. >> i get to the age to draw social security, will there be any left? >> well, my mother is 78 years
old eleanor's mother is over 70 also. never let us forget about the special problems of the elderly of this country there is a deep concern. and i think a legitimate concern about the future stability and soundness of the social security system among those that are paying social security now who are quite young and among those who are old and depending on it for their security in years to come. we must have confidence restored in government and particularly in social security. and we must have an assurance that never changes that when the inflationary costs go up, the social security payments will go up enough to take care of it. this is something that is so important to our people who have worked all their lives who have a lot to offer. i want to be sure when i'm president and in the white house at my shoulder, there will be a full-time counselor just speaking up for elderly people so that every time i make a decision about housing, social security, taxation, welfare,
health care, transportation i never forget the fine retired people of our country who have already given so much to make america great and who still have a lot to offer. >> i think the overall situation of the united states i think other countries are looking at us, you know, with a sort of down attitude. >> it stinks the way it is right now. i wonder if he becomes president if he is going to try to cut down on some of the overseas spending with the other nations, the billions and billions of dollars that go over there. see if he can do something with our own government. >> the other thing that concerns me, bob is the two major grain deals with the russians. the grain that was purchased at $1.55 a bushel or $2.55 a bushel or sold back to the united states or on the world market for at least a dollar per bushel increase in cost. i just can't understand how we can be giving our grain and
grain supplies. why can't we use this as a lever instead of armaments. instead of selling armaments, why don't we sell our crops? >> what substantial way do you differ from president ford as far as foreign policy is concerned? >> these are the kind of questions that i've had all over the country about our foreign policy. how would we change it specifically? well, one is i think in the field of foreign policy that the president ought to be a spokesman for our country and not the secretary of state. also, every time we made a serious mistake in foreign affair, it's been because the american people have been excluded from the process. we need to the proposition that the president and the congress and the people ought to understand and make decisions on foreign affairs. another thing we need to do is make sure in the field of foreign aid we want to be humanitarian, no doubt about it. but i'm tired of seeing the poor people in this rich country taxed and the money sent to the rich people in the poor countries. as far as the grain sale to the russians is concerned, that was
a terrible mistake. but president ford has compounded the mistake lately by having three different grain embargoes, which has robbed the farmers at the same time as seriously hurt the consumers of this country. so we need to have an open foreign policy, understood and supported by the people and the congress with the president expressing accurately a moral tone and the ideals and commitments and the character of the american people. we ought to have a foreign policy once again to make us proud and not ashamed. and through these specific changes, we can have that kind of foreign policy in the years to come. >> i'd like to know how much does governor carter plan to cut the defense budget? >> i was in the navy for 11 years. i am a graduate of the naval academy and served as a
submarine officer. and i've seen the terrible waste in the defense department. also, i've been governor for four years and i've seen the waste in the social programs. i intend to be tough on both of them. the number one responsibility of a president above everything else is to guarantee the security of our country, of freedom from the fear of successful attack or blackmail and ability to carry out a foreign policy. but i'm in a strategic position in debating with my opponent that i'm trying to cut out waste and he is defending waste. he estimated we could save maybe 5 to $7 billion just by proper management. i'll give you two or three quick examples. the average service family now stays on a post only 15 months. if we can increase his time of service in one place to 18 months we can save over $1.5 billion. we have two students for every instructor in the military. high schools and colleges have 15 or 20. if we can increase to three students for every instructor,
we can save another $11.5 billion. if our weapons in nato alone in europe and save our country $2 billion. so we need to have tough management in domestic and foreign affairs. maintaining a strong defense at all times. that's number one. but also giving our people proper services. it's not going to be easy. but i've had enough experience, and i understand american people well enough and the system of government to know that working together we can have both. >> governor carter, if i had a chance to meet you face-to-face, i'd sure like to tell you to straighten up this country after you get to be president and get this crime and viciousness off of the streets, especially the hard dope. >> mostly concerned as is every american is the narcotic problems which i doubt that the next president of the united states would be -- have the guts to take any -- any precautions.
>> mr. carter, i would like to know what you're going to do about crime in the streets. it seems to be the most important issue as far as new yorkers are concerned. and i hope you come up with a good solution. >> crime is one of the major concerns of our people all over this country, and particularly in the urban downtown areas, where it's grown by leaps and bounds. our criminal justice system is just not working. the constant delays in bringing a criminal to trial and getting him off the street really concerns me and everyone else. when i became governor of georgia, there was a man who had been indicted 52 times, primarily for drug charges. he had never served a single day in jail. and not until i put pressure to the public opinion and until a young person died in the drug pusher's home from an overdose of heroin did that criminal ever spend his first day in prison. we also have a dual system of justice for those who are powerful and influential, they have never go to prison.
but the average american family member faces tough penalties if they do commit a crime. let's take drugs as a specific example on what is causing a lot of crime and where we can do something about it. during the vietnam war period, a lot of our heroin came from the far east. but now 90% of it comes from mexico. and with close cooperation between ourselves and the mexican government through infrared photography, we can identify the poppy fields where the heroin is produced and cut down drastically on the inflow of heroin to our country. we've got to also set a good example at the top. in recent years, our government has been disgraced. we've had two attorneys general convicted of serious crimes, and we've seen a president of the united states and a vice president of the united states resign from their high office in disgrace. so from the top all the way down to the bottom, we can have a
more effective way through cooperation and deep commitment to cut down on the crime rate in this country. i'm determined to do that if i'm elected. >> mr. carter, i'm really concerned about food. and as a family man, i'd like to know what effect your administration will have across the food in the market. >> every so often i hear a comment in the news that the government is saying there is good news for consumers. food prices are going to go down because farm prices are down. and i know people that are raising cattle that tell me right now they're losing $100 every time they sell one. and they, you know, they're going broke. and i wonder if people really understand that if all the farmers go broke, we won't have anybody to feed us. >> what the farmers would like to know is what our new administration would do for them. everybody promises the farmers the world. we know the farmers are the backbone of the nation. but we want to know what you can do for us. everybody knows what we can do for you.
>> well, i know that the price of food has gone sky-high. as a matter of fact in the last eight years things like sugar and bacon have gone up more than 100%. but as a farmer, i know that it hasn't helped us.farmer, i know seen farm prices go down drastically, wheat prices about half what they were a year ago. it's absolutely correct that cattle ranchers are now losing $50 to $100 every cow. as a matter of fact, the farmers are going broke trying to produce food that the consumers can't afford to buy. we need a policy, national production. we also need national exports which help us all. we need to have in the white house and the secretary of agriculture's office, somebody who understands that what's best for the family farmer in the long run is exactly what's best for the consumer. stable production, stable prices. this will help us all. because when the farm prices go
down, and it really is catastrophic for farm families, it doesn't show up at the marketplace to help consumers. >> if your wife got an offer for a job that was very well paying and very excite, but would take her a thousand miles away from her home, would you approve, would you let her go? what would you say to her? >> i had to face this question about two years ago when i decided to seek the new job in the white house. i asked my wife to go away from me and campaign around the country. sometimes thousands of miles away. so far that assignment has been very successful. and i might say this. it's brought our family closer together. to bring our family together, i hope to bring the country together in the next four years. >> i have a question for jimmy carter. i'm a jimmy carter fan and i'm going to vote for him. but what is he going to do for
the minorities in the states, especially the latin americans? >> mr. malagan, everybody in our country has been hurt with unemployment, inflation, unbalanced budgets, mismanagement, crime increase. quite often the minority groups get hurt worse. those who don't speak english well, those who happen to be black, those who have been out of work for a long time can be minorities. since you are spanish-speaking, let me say -- [ speaking in spanish ] >> i suppose the thing i would want to know most from governor carter would be does he really intend to keep his promises to change the atmosphere and the attitudes in our country.
>> basically we've gotten away from people. and we've gotten into government. that's why when he said do you have a question, i said no. i think there's too much government. i think right now that politics in this country is mostly a game. that's basically it. i know this doesn't help you much. that's my attitude. >> i think that the american people have confidence in our democratic system. i think the problem the last few years has been that we've lost confidence in the bureaucrats and the politicians that are in that system. what i would like to know, governor carter, is what you can do as president, not just to give us confidence in the system again, but to give us reason to have confidence in our government again. >> many americans, including the ones you heard tonight, i've worked all my life. i know the government quite often is incompetent, insensitive, and the people don't feel they're part of it, that they're turned off by their failures. a great nation can't stand
still. lately we've been going backwards. more people out of work. inflation. mismanagement. discouragements almost every day. betrayal in high office. my strength and my support and my advice and my criticisms have come directly from people throughout this country for the last 22 months. and i know we have to have tough, competent management in government. my whole life i didn't waste money. i didn't waste the taxpayers' money when i was governor of georgia. we need somebody in washington who hasn't been there the last 25 or 30 years, to weed out unnecessary programs, to save money, to give our people a sense that we have a government that is well-run, that we can meet their needs, and that we also can let the people be part of the decisionmaking process. the election is almost here.
i hope that none of you will be discouraged. it's not part of the american character to avoid a tough fight or avoid answering a tough question. i hope to take office to start leading this country toward the things that we want. the answers won't come easy. the promises i've made have been very cautious, and i'm going to keep them. because i believe that the people, the congress and i want the same things. but the election is right on us. that's when you and all the people of this country will have a part to play. so participate. help me, if you will. together, we can restore the greatness we've lost and prove once again that we still live in the most wonderful country on earth. thank you very much.
>> the preceding prerecorded program was paid for and authorized by 1976 presidential campaign committee incorporated. c-span. where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. next on american history tv, a program produced by the republican national committee in support of president gerald ford's 1976 presidential campaign. it aired on national tv the night before election day. president ford went on to lose to democratic challenger jimmy carter. this is about a half hour.