tv Presidential Debates 1980 Presidential Debate - Jimmy Carter Ronald... CSPAN October 11, 2020 11:31am-1:08pm EDT
only debate from 1980 between jimmy carter and ronald reagan. the candidates took questions from a panel of journalists on national security and spending, inflation, inner cities and the iran hostage crisis. reagan defeated carter, winning the popular vote 51% to 41%. this debate from cleveland is just over 90 minutes in our coverage is from nbc news. >> good evening. hinderland of the league of women voters. welcome understand the issues. and know the candidates' positions. tonight, voters will have the opportunity to hear the candidates for the presidency state their views on issues that affect us all.
the league of women voters are proud to present this presidential debate, our moderator is howard smith. >> thank you. the league of women voters is pleased to welcome to the cleveland, ohio convention center musical president jimmy carter, the democratic party's candidate for reelection to the presidency, and governor ronald reagan of california, the republican party's candidate for the presidency. the candidates will debate questions on foreign policy and national security issues. the questions will be posed by a panel of distinguished journalists are -- marvin stone, the editor of u.s. news & world report. harold ellis. hilliard, assistant managing editor of the portland oregonian. correspondents,
from abc news. the ground rules for this as agree to you gentlemen are these -- each panelist will ask a question, the same question to each of the two candidates. after the two candidates have answered, a panelist will ask follow-up questions to try to sharpen the answers print candidates will have an opportunity to make a rebuttal. that will constitute the first half of the debate and i will save the rules for the second half that are on. the candidates are not permitted to bring prepared notes to the podium but are able to make notes during the debate. if the candidates exceed the allotted time agreed on, i will reluctantly but certainly interrupt. we ask the convention center audience to abide by one grand road -- please do not applaud or express approval or disapproval during the debate. based on a toss of the coin, governor reagan will respond to the first question. >> the question of war and peace
has emerged as a central issue during this campaign and the give-and-take of recent weeks, president carter has been criticized for responding late to soviet impulses for insufficient buildup of armed forces and a paralysis in dealing with afghanistan and iran. you have been criticized for being all too quick to advocate for the use of muscle and military action to deal with foreign crises, specifically, what are the differences between the two of you on the uses of american military power? gov. reagan: i do not know what the differences might be, because i do not know what mr. carter's are, i just know what he has said about mine. i know in all my heart that our first priority must be world peace. and that use of force is always and only a last resort when everything else has failed.
and then only with regard to our national security. i believe, also, that this mission is the responsibility for meeting the peace, which is a responsibility particular to our country, that we cannot shirk our responsibility because we are the only one who can do it. the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us and to maintain that peace requires a strength. america has never gotten into a war because we were too strong. we can get into a war by letting event get out of hand as they have in the last three in a half years under the foreign policies of this administration, until we are faced each time with a crisis. in preservingt the peace requires that we control the events and try to
intercept before they become a crisis. wars in my four lifetime. i am a father of sons i have a grandson. i don't want to see another generation of young americans bleed their lives into sandy beachheads in the pacific or rice patties and jungles in asia or the muddy battlefields of europe. >> mr. stone, do you have a follow-up? >> we have been hearing the defense buildup you would disassociate yourself that would cost billions of dollars more than contemplated. assuming the american people are ready to bear this cost, nevertheless, they keep asking the following question -- how do you reconcile huge increases in military outlays with your
promise of substantial tax cuts and balancing the budget, which in this fiscal year ran more than $60 billion in the red? gov. reagan: mr. stone, i have submitted an economic plan that i have worked out in concert with a number of fine economists in this country, all of them approve it. they believe in a five-year projection that this plan can permit the extra spending for needed refurbished spending on our defensive posture, that it can provide for a balanced earlier, 1983, if not and that we can afford, along with the cut i have proposed in government spending, we can afford the tax cuts have proposed and mainly because mr. carter's economic policy has built into the next five years and beyond that a tax increase that will be taking $86 billion more next year out of people's pockets then was to condition her.
my tax cut does not come close to eliminating that $86 billion increase. i'm only reducing the amount of the increase. in other words, i am not talking about government getting less money, but cutting the increase in spending. >> the same question now goes to president carter. would you like to have the question repeated? peace question of war and . you have been criticized in the give-and-take for responding late to aggressive soviet impulses for insufficient buildup of our armed forces, and a paralysis in dealing with afghanistan and iran. governor reagan on the other hand has been criticized for being too quick to advocate the use of loss of muscle, military action to deal with a foreign crises, as i mention. specifically, what are the differences between the two of you on the uses of american military power?
pres. carter: mr. stone, i have had to make thousands of decisions since i have been president, serving in the oval office. with each one of those deficient, it affected the future of my country and i have learned in the process how to become a much wiser and more experienced man than when i debated for years ago against president ford. there are no simple answers to complicated questions. said for every problem there is a simple answer. neat and possible and wrong. the fact is this nation and eight years before i became president at its own military strength decrease seven out of eight years. the budget commitments for defense went down 37% in all. since i have been in office, we have had a steady, carefully planned, methodical increase in
our commitment for defense. what we have done is used that enormous power and prestige and military strength of the united states to preserve the peace. we not only kept peace in our own country, but extended the benefits of peace to others. in the middle east, we have worked towards a peace treaty and others successfully. forwarda very good step for our nation's security and will continue to do what we have done in the past. i would also add there are decisions made in the oval by every president, which are profound in nature. there are always trouble spots in the world. how those troubled areas are addressed by a president alone in that oval office affects our nation directly. the involvement of the united states and also our american
interests -- that is a basic decision that has to be made so frequently by every president who serves, that is what i am trying to do successfully by keeping our country at peace. >> i would like to be a little more specific on the use of military power. under what circumstances would you use military forces to deal with, for example, a shut off of counteroil gulf or to an iran or afghanistan? i asked this question that there are charges we are woefully unable to maintain sustained power in that part of the world. pres. carter: in my state of the union address earlier this year, i pointed out that any threat to the stability or security in the persian gulf would be a threat to the security of our own country. in the past, we have not had an adequate military presence in
that region. now we have two taskforces, access to facilities in five different areas of that region and have made it clear that working with our allies and others that we are prepared to address any foreseeable eventuality that by commerce with that crucial area of the world. in doing this, we have made sure we address this question peacefully, not injecting american military forces into combat, but letting the strength of our nation be felt in a beneficial way. i believe this has assured our interest will be protected in the persian gulf region, as we have done in the middle east and throughout the world. >> governor reagan, you have a minute to comment gov. reagan: i question the figure about the decline in defense spending under the two administrations in the preceding eight years. i would call your attention we were in a war that wound down during those eight years which made a change in military spending because of turning from
war to peace. would also like to point out that republican presidents in those years were faced with a democratic majority in both houses of the congress and found requests for the defense budget were often cut. gerald ford left a five year projected plan for a military buildup to restore our defenses and president carter's administration reduce debt by 38%. they cut 60 ships out of the navy program that had been ,roposed and stopped the b-1 delayed the cruise missiles, stopped the production line for the missiles, delayed the submarine and now is planning a mobile military force that can be delivered to various spots in the world, which does make me question his assaults on whether i am the one who is quick to look for use of force. >> president carter, you have the last word. pres. carter: there are diverse
elements of defense, one is to control nuclear weapons. that is the most important single issue in this campaign. another is how to address troubled areas in the world. i, governor ricketts has advocated the injection of military forces. i and my predecessors have advocated for resolving those troubles in difficult areas of the world peacefully, diplomatically and through negotiations. in addition to that, the buildup of military forces is good for our country because we have to have military strength to preserve the peace. the best weapons are the ones that are never fired in combat, and the best soldier is one who never has to lay his life down on the field of battle. peaceth is imperative for , but the two must go hand-in-hand. >> thank you, gentlemen. the next question is for president carter. >> when you were elected in
1976, the consumer price index stood at 4.8%. it now stands at more than 12%. perhaps more significantly, the nation's broader underlying inflation rate has gone from 7% to 9%. part of that was due to external factors beyond u.s. control, notably the more than doubling of oil prices right opec last year. because the united states vulnerable to such external shocks, can inflation in fact be controlled? if so, what measures would you pursue in a second term? important to it is put the situation into perspective. in 1974, we had a so-called oil shock, were in the price of opec oil was raised to an extraordinary degree. we had an even worse shock in in 1974, we had the worst 1979.
recession, the deepest since the second world war. the recession that resulted this time was the briefest we have had since the second world war. in addition, we have brought down inflation. earlier in the first quarter, we had a very severe inflation pressure that was brought about by the opec price increase. it averaged about 18% the first quarter. the second quarter, we dropped it down to 13%. the most recent figures of the third quarter, the inflation rate is 7%. still too high, but it illustrates vividly that in addition to providing an orbis number of jobs -- 9 million new jobs in the last three and half years -- the inflation threat is still urgent on us. governor reagan recently proposed something his old running mate described as "voodoo economics." businessweek he said it would result in a 30%
inflation rate. this waseek said completely irresponsible and would result in inflationary pressures that were destroyed this nation. our proposals are sound and carefully considered to stimulate jobs, improve the industrial complex of this country, create tools for american workers at the same add 9 million jobs, control inflation, plan for the future with an energy policy intact as a foundation is our plan for the years ahead. >> do you have a follow-up question? >> mr. president, you mentioned the creation of 9 million new jobs. at the same time, the unemployment rate still hangs high, as does the inflation rate. i wonder can you tell us what , additional policies you would
pursue in a second administration in order to bring down that inflation rate? would it be an act of leadership to tell the american people that they are going to have to sacrifice to adapt a leaner lifestyle for some time to come? pres. carter: we have demanded the american people to sacrifice, they have done very well. we are importing today about one third less oil from overseas than we did a year ago. we have funded 25% reduction since the first year i was in office. we have added about 9 million net new jobs in that period of time, a record never before achieved. the energy policy has been predicated on two factors -- conservation, requires sacrifice, and an increase in production of american energy. year than ever before.
revitalization program we have in mind would be implemented next year, it would result in tax credits that would let businesses invest in new tools to create more jobs in the next two years for it we also have planned a youth employment program, which would encompass 600,000 jobs for younger people. this has already passed the house and has an excellent prospect to pass in the senate. >> governor reagan, would you like to have the question repeated? >> during the past four years, the consumer price index has risen from 4.8% to currently over 12%. perhaps more significantly, the nation's broader underlying rate of inflation has gone from 7% to 9%. part of that has been due to external factors beyond u.s. control and notably, the more than doubling opec oil prices last year.
it leads me to ask you whether, since the united states remains vulnerable to such external shocks, can inflation in fact be controlled? if so, specifically what measures would you pursue? gov. reagan: i think this idea that has been spawned in our country that inflation somehow came upon us like a plague and is uncontrollable and nobody can do anything about it is dangerous to say this to the people. when mr. carter became president, inflation was 4.8%, as you said. it had been cut in two by president gerald ford. it is not running at 12.7%. spokeent carter also about new jobs created, we always with new growth and an increase in population increased number of jobs, but that cannot hide the fact there are 8 million men and women out of work in america today, and 2 million of those lost their jobs in the last few months.
mr. carter also promised he would not use unemployment as a tool to fight against inflation. yet, his 1980 economic statement stated we would reduce gross national product and increase unemployment to get a handle on inflation because at the beginning of the year it was more than 18%. since then, he has blamed for inflation opec, the federal reserve system, the lack of productivity of the american people, he has been accused of people living too well, and we must share in scarcity, sacrifice and get used too doing with less. we do not have inflation because people are living too well, we have inflation because the government is living too well. the last statement was a speech to the effect that we have inflation because government revenues have not kept pace with government spending. i see my time is running out, i will have to get this done fast. by, you can lick inflation
increasing productivity and decreasing the cost of government and are no longer crying out printing press money, flooding the market with it because the government is spending out more than it takes in. but economic plan calls for that. the president's economic plan calls for increasing taxes to the point where we finally take so much money away from the people that we can balance the budget in that way, but we will have a very poor nation and unsound economy if we follow that path. >> a follow-up? >> you have centered on cutting government spending on what you said about your own policies. you have also said you would increase defense spending. specifically, where would you cut government spending if you were to increase defense spending and also cut taxes so that presumably federal revenues would shrink? gov. reagan: most people when they think about cutting
government spending, they think in terms of eliminating unnecessary programs or wiping out some service the government is supposed to perform. i believe there is enough extravagance in government -- as a matter of fact, one of the secretaries under mr. carter testified he thought there was $7 billion worth of fraud and waste in welfare. and with the medical programs associated with it. we had the general accounting office estimator is probably tens of billions of dollars lost in fraud alone and they have added waste adds more to that. we have a program for a gradual reduction on government spending based on these theories. i have a task force working on where those cuts could be made. i am confident it can be done and it will reduce inflation because i did it in california and inflation went down below the national average in california when we returned money to the people and reduced
government spending. >> president carter. pres. carter: governor reagan's proposal is one of the most highly inflationary ideas that has been presented to the american public. he would have to cut government spending by at least $130 billion to balance the budget under this ridiculous proposal. i noticed his task force is working for his future plans, some ideas revealed in the wall street journal this week. one idea was to repeal the minimum wage. several times this year, governor reagan said the major cause of unemployment is the minimum wage. this is a heartless approach to the working families of our country, which is typical of many republican leaders in the past and i think it has been accentuated under governor reagan. in california -- i am surprised governor reagan brought this up -- he had the three largest tax
increases in the history of that state under his administration. he more than doubled state spending while he was governor -- 122% increase. he had between a 20% and 30% increase in government spending. >> governor reagan has the last word on this question. gov. reagan: the figures the president just used about california is a distortion of the situation there. while i was governor of california, are spending in california increased less per capita than the spending in georgia while mr. carter was governor of georgia in the same four years p. the size of government increased only 1/6 what it did in accordance to population in georgia. the idea that my tax cut proposal is inflationary, i would like to after president, why is it inflationary to let
the people keep more of their money and spend it when they like, and it is not inflationary to let him keep the money and spend it the way he likes? >> i do not want that question to be rhetorical, but it will have to be because we ran it up time. the third question to governor reagan from william hilliard. >> the decline of our cities have been hastened by a rise in crime. relations, falling quality of public education and a decline in the services to the public. the signs seem to point toward a deterioration that could lead to the establishment of a permanent underclass in the cities. what specifically would you do in the next four years to reverse this trend? gov. reagan: i have been talking to a number of congressmen who have the same idea i have, and that is in the inner city areas, that in cooperation with local government and with national
government, and using tax incentives and cooperation from the private sector, we have development zones that the local entity, the city, declare this particular area based on the standards of the percentage of people on welfare, unemployed and so forth in that area. through tax incentives, induce businesses providing jobs in those areas. the elements of government through these tax incentives -- for example, a business that would not have in a period of time a property tax reflecting its use of property -- would not be any lost city if this it is not getting any tax from them now. there would simply be a delay. many people who would be given of thee presently wards government and it would not hurt to give them a tax incentive because that would not be
costing government, anything either. there are things to do in this regard. i stood in the south bronx in the exact spot president carter stood in 1977. you have to see it to believe it -- it looks like a bombed out city. windows smashed out, painted on one of them unkept promises. this was a spot at which president carter had promised he would bring in a vast program to rebuild this department. -- this area. there are whole lots of land that are bare. nothing has been done. they are now charging to take tourists through there to see this terrible desolation. i spoke to a man who asked me one simple question -- do i have reason to hope i can someday take care of my family again? nothing has been done. >> follow-up? blacks and nonwhites are
increasing in our cities print many feel the face hostility from whites that keep them from joining the economic mainstream. there is racial confrontation in the schools, on jobs and in housing as nonwhites look to get the benefits of a free society. what you think the nation's future is as a multiracial society? i am eternally optimistic and i feel we have made great progress from the days i was young and this country did not know it had a racial problem. i know those things can grow out of despair in an inner-city, when there is hopelessness at home, lack of work and so forth. i believe the presidency is what teddy roosevelt said -- it is a "a bully pulpit." the goal for all of us should be, that one day, things should be done
neither because of or in spite of any of the differences between us -- that we will have total, equal opportunity for all people. i will do everything i can in my power to bring that about. >> mr. hilliard, would you repeat your question for president carter? >> the decline of our city has been hastened by the continual rise in crime, strained race relations, the falling quality public -- quality of public education, the persistence of inequality in the cities. the signs seem to point towards a deterioration that could lead to the establishment of a permanent underclass in the cities. what specifically would you do in the next four years to reduce this trend? president carter: when i was campaigning in 1976, the mayors and local officials were in despair about the rapidly
deteriorating central cities of our nation. we initiated a very fine urban renewal program that worked with the mayors and governors and other interested officials. this has been a very successful effort. it is one of the main reasons we have had such an increase in the number of people employed. 9 million people put to work since i have been in office. 1.3 million of those has been among latin americans. another million among those that speak spanish. we are now planning to continue the revitalization program with increased commitments of rapid transit, mass transit. we expanded -- we expect to spend $43 million to rebuild the transportation systems of our country. we plan to revitalize housing programs. we have an increase in our federal funds to improve education. these are the kinds of efforts
worked on a joint basis with community leaders especially in minority areas of the central cities that had been deteriorating so rapidly in the past. it is important to us that this be done with the full involvement of minority citizens. i have brought into the top levels of office and administrative offices of the executive branch -- into the judicial system, highly qualified black and spanish citizens and women that has in the past been excluded. i noticed that when governor reagan said that as a young man there was no problem of racial problems in our country. those that suffer from discrimination from race or sex certainly knew that we had a problem. we have come a long way towards correcting these problems, but we still have a long way to go. >> president carter, i would like to repeat the same follow-up question to you.
blacks and other nonwhites are increasing in number in our cities. many of them till they are facing hostility from white that keeps them from joining the economic mainstream of our society. there is racial confrontation on schools, jobs, as whites seek to reap the benefits. what is your assessment of the multiracial society? president carter: ours is a nation of refugees and immigrants. almost all of our citizens came from other lands. they now have hopes which are being realized for a better preserving their ethnic life commitments, the religious , beliefs, and their relationships with their relatives in foreign countries. they are still pulling themselves together into a very coherent society that gives our nation makes strength. in the past, those minority groups have been excluded from the participation in affairs of the government. since i have been president, i
have appointed more than twice as many black federal judges have been appointed, as have women and spanish-speaking americans. i enrolled him in the ministration of government and the feeling they belong to the societal structure that makes decisions is a very important commitment that i'm trying to we lies and continue to do so in the future. >> governor reagan, you have a minute for rebuttal. governor reagan the president : speaks of government programs. they have their place. as governor, when i was receiving some of these grants for government programs, i saw that many of them were dead ends. they were public employment and they really want to get out into the jobs market the future. the president spoke that i was against minimum wage i wish he could have been with me when i
sat group of teenagers who were black and who were telling me about their unemployment problems and that was the minimum wage that had done away with the job they once could get and indeed every time it has increased, you will find there was an increase in minority unemployment among young people. therefore, i have been in favor of a separate minimum for them. with regard to the great progress that has been made, the 53e in detroit, michigan is -- 56%. >> president carter, you have the last word. president carter: it is clear that we still have a long way to go in incorporating minority groups into the mainstream of american life. we have made good progress, and there is no doubt in my mind that the commitment to minimum -- to unemployment compensation, minimum wage, national health insurance, those kinds of commitment that have typified the democratic party since
ancient history in this country's political life are a very important element of the future. all of those elements, governor reagan has repeatedly spoken out against them, which to me it shows very great insensitivity to giving deprived families a better chance in life. this for me is very important difference between him and me in this election. i believe the american people will judge accordingly. there is no doubt in my mind that in the downtown central cities with the new commitment on an energy policy come with a chance to revitalize homes and make them more fuel-efficient, with a chance for a synthetic fuel program, solar power, this will give us a new outlet for -- an opportunity for jobs that will favor dividends. >> now to the next question for president carter from barbara walters. barbara: mr. president the eyes , of the country tonight are on the hostages in iran. the question of how we respond to acts of terrorism goes beyond this current crisis.
other countries have policies that determine how they will respond. for the future, mr. president, the country has the right to know -- do you have a policy for dealing with terrorism wherever it might happen? what have we learned from this experience in iran that would cause us to do something -- to do things differently if this or something similar happens again? president carter: one of the blights on this world is the threat and activities of terrorists. at one of the recent economic summit conferences between myself and other leaders of the western world have committed ourselves to defend against acts of terrorism. airplane hijacking was one of the elements of that commitment. there is no doubt that we have seen in recent years in recent cts of additional a
violence against jews in france and against those who live in israel by the plo and other terrorist organizations. ultimately, the most serious terrorist threat is if one of those radical nations who policy in terrorism as a should have atomic weapons. predecessors have had a deep commitment in controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons in countries like libya or iraq. we have even alienated some of our closest trade partners to insist on the control of nuclear weapons to those potentially terrorist countries. when governor reagan is asked about that, he makes a disturbing comment about their nonproliferation and the control of nuclear weapons is none of our business and when he was asked specifically about iraq, he said, "there is nothing we can do about it." threattimate terrorist
is the most fearsome of all and is part of a pattern where our , country must then firm to control terrorism of all kinds. >> ms. walters, a follow-up? barbara: while we are discussing policies, had iran not taken hostages, i would have assumed control that we would stop our neutrality the flow of vital war materials between iraq and iran. now we are offering to lift the ban if we let our people come home. doesn't this reward terrorism in compromise our neutrality and possibly antagonized nations that are neutral to us in the middle east? president carter: we will not compromise our position of neutrality. we have no plans to sell additional material or goods to iran that might be of a warlike nature. when i made my decision to stop
all trade with iran as a result of the taking of her hostages, i announced and have consistently maintained since then that if the hostages are released safety we would make delivery on those items which iran owns and have bought and paid for and also the frozen irani and assets would be released. that has been the consistent policy and one that i will carry out. >> would you repeat the question now for governor reagan? our governor, the eyes of the country tonight remain on the hostages in iran. there are other countries that have policies that determine how they would respond to acts of terrorism. israel considers hostages like soldiers and will not negotiate with terrorists. for the future, the country has the right to know if you have a policy for dealing with terrorism wherever it might happen? what have we learned from this experience in iran that would cause us to do something -- might do things fairly if
this or something similar should happen again. president reagan: ms. walters, you have asked that question twice and i think you deserve it.answer to i have been accused lately of having a secret plan with regard to the hostages. this comes from an answer i have made at least two times to this campaign to the press which is the question would be, have you any ideas of what you would do if you were there. i said, "well, yes." i think anyone that is seeking this position have thought to themselves what about this or that?" these are just ideas that i -- ideas that what i would think of if i were in that position in half access to information on all the options open to me. i've never answered the question second the one that says, tell me what are some of those ideas? worried all, i would be that i would say something that
would endanger the hostages. sometimes i think some of my ideas might involve quiet diplomacy which you do not say in advance what you are thinking of doing. your question is difficult to answer, because in the situation right now, no one wants to say anything that would inadvertently delay the return of those hostages if there is a chance of them coming home soon or that cause them harm. safelyink once they are here with their families and that tragedy is over and we have endured this humiliation for just lacking one year now, and then i think it is time for us to have a complete investigation as to the diplomatic reasons, why they have been there so long and when they come home, what did we have two do in order to bring that about?
what arrangements were made? i would suggest that congress should hold such an investigation. in the meantime, i will continue praying that they will come home. candidateeither answered the specific policy. i will ask governor reagan a different question. you had suggested there would be no a reigning had been president because we would have given support to the shaw. resisting the are government, my question is not whether the regime was preferable but whether the united states has the power or right to determine what form of government any country should have and do we back unpopular regimes whose only merit is that they are friendly to the united states? governor reagan: the degree of unpopularity of a regime, when the choice is total authoritarianism of
totalitarianism i should say in the alternative government. it makes one wonder whether you are being helpful to the people, and we have been guilty of that. because someone didn't meet our standard for human rights and even though they were an ally of ours, instead of trying patiently to persuade them to change their ways, we have, in a number of instances, aided in a revolutionary overthrow which results in totalitarianism for those people. i think this is a hypocritical policy when at the same time we are maintaining a detente with the one nation where there are no human rights at all, the soviet union. there was a second phase in the iranian affair which we had something to do with that. we had adequate warning that there was a threat to our embassy, and we could have done what other embassies did -- either strengthen our security or remove our personnel before the kidnapping took place. >> governor, i must interrupt. president carter, you have a
minute for rebuttal. president carter: i did not hear any comment from governor reagan what he would do to reduce the chances of a terrorism attack in the future. we all committed ourselves and have all of my predecessors in the oval office have made sure not to allow the spread of nuclear weapons to any country that could use them for a terrorism attack. and there not make any sales materials of weapons to nation involved in terrorist activities and lastly not to deal with the plo until and unless the plo recognizes israel's right to exist and they recognize the u.n. resolution 242 as a basis for middle east peace. these are things twitch our
nation is committed and we will continue with these commitments. >> governor reagan, you have the last word on that. governor reagan: i think it is about time that the civilized nations of this world make sure there is no room for terrorism. there will be no negotiation with terrorists of any kind. while i have a last word here i , would like to correct a misstatement of fact by the president. i have never made the statement that he suggested about nuclear proliferation or trying to halt it would be a major part of a foreign policy of mine. gentlemen.u, that is the first half of the debate. half,les for the second the panelists with me will have no follow-up actions. instead, after the panelists have asked a question and the candidates have answered, each
candidate will have an opportunity to follow-up to rebut our comment. governor reagan will respond in the section to the first question from marvin stone. reagan, arms control, the president said it was the single most important issue. both of you have expressed a desire to end the nuclear arms race with russia. but by methods that are vastly different. you suggest that we scrap a treaty already negotiated. and intensify the buildup of american power to induce the soviets to sign a new treaty, one more favorable to us. president carter has said that he would try to convince a reluctant congress to ratify the present treaty on the grounds that it is the best we can hope to get. both of you cannot be right. will you tell us why you think you are? governor reagan: i believe we
need to have a consistent policy of a strong america and a strong economy. as we build up our national security to restore our margin timefety, we at the same try to restrain the soviet buildup that has been going on towards a rapid pace and for quite some time. salt twoto treaty -- treaty was a result of negotiations that president carter and his team had entered into after he had asked the soviet union for a discussion of actual reduction of nuclear, strategic weapons. his emissary came home in 12 hours with having heard a very definite no. from theg that one no soviet union we then went into , the negotiations on their terms. president carter had stopped the b-1 bomber, delayed the cruise
missiles, shut down the minuteman missile production line and whatever other things that might have been done. the soviet union sat at the table knowing that we have gone forward with unilateral concessions without any reciprocation from them whatsoever. now, i have not block the treaty as mr. carter and mr. mondale suggested i have. it was blocked by a senate in which there is a democratic majority. the arms services committee voted 10-0 against the treaty and declared it was not in the national security interests of the united states. besides which, it is illegal. the law of the land passed by congress says that we cannot accept a treaty in which we are not equal. we are not equal in this treaty for one reason alone. our b-52 bombers are considered to be strategic weapons, and their backfire bombers are not.
thatve to interrupt you at point. the time is up. same question now to president carter. >> president carter, both of you have expressed a desire to end the nuclear arms race with russia but through vastly different methods. the governor suggests that we scrap a treaty negotiated and signed in vienna. that we intensify the buildup of american power to induce the soviets to sign a new treaty, one more favorable to us. you, on the other hand, say you will again try to convince a reluctant congress to ratify the present treaty on the grounds it is the best we can hope to get from the russians. you cannot both be right. will you tell us why you think you are? president carter: i would be glad to. inflation, unemployment, the cities, they are all important issues.
they pale in significance when compared to the control of nuclear weapons. every president who has served in the oval office since harry truman has been dedicated to the control and reduction of atomic weaponry. balanced, controlled, observable, and then reducing , is a of atomic weaponry disturbing pattern in the attitude of governor reagan. he has never supported any of those arms control agreements. a limited test ban, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, negotiated byeaty president ford and now, he wants , to throw into the waste basket a treaty to control nuclear weapons on an equal basis between ourselves and the soviet union. it is been negotiated over the course of seven years by myself
and two republican predecessors. the senate has not yet voted on the strategic arms limitation treaty. there have been preliminary skirmishes in the senate, but the treaty has never come to the floor of the senate for a debate or vote. it is understandable that a senator in the preliminary debates can make any responsible -- can make an irresponsible statement or an ill advised statement. you have 99 other senators to correct that mistake if it is a mistake. when a man who hopes to be president says, take this treaty, discard it, do not debate, do not explore the issues, do not capitalize on this long negotiation, the net -- that is a very dangerous and disturbing thing.
>> governor reagan, your rebuttal? president reagan: first of all, i have been critical on some of the negotiations -- on some of the previous treaties is that we have been out negotiated by the soviet union for some time. they have gone forward with the largest military buildup in the history of man. to suggest that to republican presidents have tried to advocate for a treaty -- president ford who has been involved in a treaty that we could have made agreement with, he said he was emphatically against this new treaty. i would like to point out also that senators like henry jackson and others are taking the lead in the fight against this particular treaty. i'm not talking about scrapping about taking the treaty back and going back into negotiations and i would say to
the soviet union, we will sit and negotiate with you as long as it takes to have not only legitimate arms limitation but have a reduction of these nuclear weapons to the point neither of us represents a threat to the other. that is hardly throwing away a treaty or being opposed to arms limitation. >> president carter? president carter: governor reagan is making some misleading and disturbing statements. he not only advocates the scrapping of this treaty, and i don't know these men he quotes are against the treaty in its final form, but he also advocates the possibility thing it has been a missing element and plane a card against the soviet union of a nuclear arms race and insisting upon nuclear superiority by our own nation as a predication for future negotiations with the soviet union in the future. this, wef we scrap
insist upon nuclear superiority as a basis for future negotiations and we believe that the lodging of a nuclear arms race is a good basis for future negotiations. it would mean the beginning of a very dangerous nuclear arms race. it would be very disturbing to the american people. it would change the very tone that our nation has experienced ever since world war ii. it would also be very disturbing to our allies all of whom , support this nuclear arms treaty. in addition, the adversarial relationship between ourselves and the soviet union would deteriorate very rapidly. this attitude is extremely dangerous and belligerent in town while being said in a quiet voice. >> governor reagan? governor reagan: i know he is
supposed to be replying to me but i have sometimes a hard time connecting with the present is saying with what i have said or my positions are. i sometimes think it is the witch doctor they get mad minute the doctor comes along with a cure that will work. my point that i have made already in regards to negotiating that it does not call for nuclear superiority on the part of the united states. it calls for a mutual reduction of these weapons that i say neither of us can represent a threat to the other and to salt two treaty that was based on all the preceding efforts by two previous presidents is just not true. it was a new negotiation, because president ford was within 10% of having a solution that could be acceptable. i think our allies would be very happy to go along with a fair and verifiable salt agreement.
>> mr. president, you have the final word. president carter: i think it would be better to put into perspective what we are talking about. i had a discussion with my daughter, amy, before i came with to ask her what the important issue was. thought nuclear weaponry and the control of nuclear arms. some of these weapons have 10 megatons of explosion. if you put 50 tons of tnt in each one of railroad cars, you would have a carload, a trainload of tnt stretching across this nation. that is one major explosion in a warhead. we have thousands, the equivalent of a million tons of tnt warheads. is control of these weapons
the single major responsibility of a president and cast out this commitment of all presidents because of some slight technicalities that can be corrected is a very dangerous approach. >> we have to go to another question now to president carter. >> mr. president, as you have said, americans to conservation our imported much less oil today than we were even a year ago, yet u.s. dependence on arab oil as a percentage of total imports is today much higher than it was at the time of the 1973 arab oil embargo and for some time to come, the loss of substantial amounts of arab oil could plunge the u.s. into a depression. this means a bridge must be built out of this dependence. can the united states develop synthetic fuels and other alternative energy sources without damage to the
environment and will this process mean steadily higher fuel bills for american families? steadily higher fuel bills for american families? president carter: in the future, the cost of oil is going to go up. what i have had as a basic commitment since i have been president, reduce overdependence on for dutch foreign oil. it can only be done in two ways. first, conserve. we have now reduced the importing of foreign oil in the last year alone by one third. we import today 2 million barrels of oil less than we did the same date a year ago. this commitment has been opening up a very bright this step for -- a very bright vista for our future. we now have a basis to use american technology and american ability and natural resources to
expand rapidly the use of synthetic fuels. to expand rapidly the use of solar energy. also to produce conventional american energy. we will drill more oil and gas wells this year than any year in history. we will produce more coal this year than any year in history. we are exporting more coal this year than any year in history. we have an opportunity now to improve transportation systems and see a very good opportunity on a broad market to use replace opec oil with american call as a basic energy source. this exciting future will not only give us more energy security, what it will also open up vast opportunities for americans to live a better life and have millions of new jobs associated with this new dynamic industry. now in prospect because of the policy we have put into effect.
>> would you repeat the question for governor reagan? mr. ellis: governor reagan, americans, through conservation, are importing much less oil today than we were even a year ago. and yet, u.s. reliance on arab oil as a percentage of total imports is much higher today than it was during the 1973 arab oil embargo. the substantial loss of arab oil could plunge the united states into depression. the question is whether the development of alternative energy sources, in order to reduce this dependence, can be done without damaging the environment, and will it mean for american families steadily higher fuel bills? mr. reagan: i'm not so sure that it means steadily higher fuel costs, but i do believe that this nation has been portrayed for too long a time to the people as being energy-poor when it is energy-rich.
the coal that the president mentioned, yes, we have it and yet one-eighth of our total coal resources is not being utilized at all right now. the mines are closed down, there are 22,000 miners out of work. most of this is due to regulations which either interfere with the mining of it or prevent the burning of it. with our modern technology, yes, we can burn our coal within the limits of the clean air act. i think, as technology improves, we'll be able to do even better with that. the other thing is that we have only leased out, begun to explore 2% of our outer continental shelf for oil, where it is believed, by everyone familiar with that fuel and that source of energy, that there are vast supplies yet to be found. our government has, in the last year or so, taken out of multiple use millions of acres of public lands that once were, well, they were public lands subject to multiple use exploration for minerals and so
forth. it is believed that probably 70% of the potential oil in the united states is probably hidden in those lands, and no one is allowed to even go and explore to find out if it is there. this is particularly true of the recent efforts to shut down part of alaska. nuclear power. there were 36 power plants planned in this country. and let me add the word safety; it must be done with the utmost of safety. 32 of those have given up and canceled their plans to build, and again, because government regulations and permits, and so forth, make it take more than twice as long to build a nuclear plant in the united states as it does to build one in japan or in western europe. we have the sources here. we are energy rich, and coal is one of the great potentials we
have. mr. smith: president carter, your comment? mr. carter: to repeat myself, we have this year the opportunity, which we'll realize, to produce 800 million tons of coal, an unequaled record in the history of our country. governor reagan says that this is not a good achievement, and he blames restraints on coal production on regulations, regulations that affect the life and the health and safety of miners, and also regulations that protect the purity of our air and the quality our water and our land. we cannot cast aside these regulations. we have a chance in the next 15 years, insisting upon the health and safety of workers in the mines, and also preserving the same high air and water pollution standards, to triple the amount of coal we produce. governor reagan's approach to our energy policy, which has already proven its effectiveness, is to repeal, or to change substantially, the
windfall property tax. to return a major portion of $227 billion back to the oil companies, to do away with the department of energy, to short-circuit our synthetic fuels program, to put a minimal emphasis on solar power, to emphasize strongly nuclear power plants as a major source of energy in the future. he wants to put all our eggs in one basket and give that basket to the major oil companies. mr. smith: governor reagan. mr. reagan: that is a misstatement, of course, of my position. i just happen to believe that free enterprise can do a better job of producing the things that people need than government can. the department of energy has a multi-billion-dollar budget in excess of $10 billion. it hasn't produced a quart of oil or a lump of coal, or anything else in the line of energy. and, for mr. carter to suggest that i want to do away with the safety laws and with the laws that pertain to clean water and clean air, and so forth, as governor of california, i took charge of passing the strictest air pollution laws in the united
states, the strictest air quality law that has even been adopted in the united states. we created an osha, an occupational safety and health agency, for the protection of employees before the federal government had one in place. and to this day, not one of its decisions or rulings has ever been challenged. so, i think some of those charges are missing the point. i am suggesting that there are literally thousands of unnecessary regulations that invade every facet of business, and indeed, very much of our personal lives, that are unnecessary, that government can do without, that have added $130 billion to the cost of production in this country, and that are contributing their part to inflation. and i would like to see us a little more free, as we once were. mr. smith: president carter, another crack at that? mr. carter: sure. as a matter of fact, the air
pollution standard laws that were passed in california were passed over the objections of governor reagan, and this is a very well-known fact. also, recently, when someone suggested that the occupational safety and health act should be abolished, governor reagan responded, amen. the offshore drilling rights is a question that governor reagan raises often. as a matter of fact, in the proposal for the alaska lands legislation, 100% of all the offshore lands would be open for exploration, and 95% of all the alaska lands, where it is suspected or believed that minerals might exist. we have, with our five-year plan for the leasing of offshore lands, proposed more land to be drilled than has been opened up for drilling since this program first started in 1954. so we're not putting restraints
on american exploration, we're encouraging it in every way we can. mr. smith: governor reagan, you have the last word on this question. mr. reagan: yes. if it is a well-known fact that i opposed air pollution laws in california, the only thing i can possibly think of is that the president must be suggesting the law that the federal government tried to impose on the state of california -- not a law, but regulations that would have made it impossible to drive an automobile within the city limits of any california city, or to have a place to put it if you did drive it against their regulations. it would have destroyed the economy of california and, i must say, we had the support of congress when we pointed out how ridiculous this attempt was by the environmental protection agency. we still have the strictest air control, or air pollution laws in the country. as for offshore oiling, only 2% now is so leased and is producing oil.
the rest, as to whether the lands are going to be opened in the next five years or so, we're already five years behind in what we should be doing. there is more oil now in the wells that have been drilled, than has been taken out in 121 years that they've been drilled. mr. smith: thank you, governor. thank you, mr. president. the next question goes to governor reagan from william hilliard. mr. hilliard: governor reagan, wage earners in this country, especially the young, are supporting a social security system that continues to affect their income drastically. the system is fostering a struggle between the young and the old, and is drifting the country toward a polarization of these two groups. how much longer can the young wage earner expect to bear the ever-increasing burden of the social security system? mr. reagan: the social security system was based on a false premise, with regard to how fast the number of workers would increase and how fast the number of retirees would increase. it is actuarially out of
balance, and this first became evident about 16 years ago, and some of us were voicing warnings then. now, it is trillions of dollars out of balance, and the only answer that has come so far is the biggest single tax increase in our nation's history, the payroll tax increase for social security which will only put a band-aid on this and postpone the day of reckoning by a few years at most. what is needed is a study that i have proposed by a task force of experts to look into this entire problem as to how it can be reformed and made actuarially sound, but with the premise that no one presently dependent on social security is going to have the rug pulled out from under security is going to have the rug pulled out from under them and not get their check. we cannot frighten, as we have
with the threats and the campaign rhetoric that has gone on in this campaign, our senior citizens, leave them thinking that in some way, they're endangered and they would have no place to turn. they must continue to get those checks, and i believe that the system can be put on a sound actuarial basis. but it's going to take some study and some work, and not just passing a tax increase to let the load or the roof fall in on the next administration. mr. hilliard: yes. president carter, wage earners in this country, especially the young, are supporting a social security system that continues to affect their income drastically. the system is fostering a struggle between young and old and is drifting the country toward a polarization of these two groups. how much longer can the young wage earner expect to bear the ever-increasing burden of the social security system? mr. carter: as long as there is a democratic president in the white house, we will have a strong and viable social security system, free of the threat of bankruptcy.
although governor reagan has changed his position lately, on four different occasions, he has advocated making social security a voluntary system, which would, in effect, very quickly bankrupt it. i noticed also in the "wall street journal" early this week, that a preliminary report of his task force advocates making social security more sound by reducing the adjustment in social security for the retired people to compensate for the impact of inflation. these kinds of approaches are very dangerous to the security, the well being and the peace of mind of the retired people of this country and those approaching retirement age. but, no matter what it takes in the future to keep social security sound, it must be kept that way. and, although there was a serious threat to the social security system and its integrity during the 1976 campaign and when i became president, the action of the democratic congress working with me has been to put social security back on a sound financial basis.
that is the way it will stay. mr. smith: governor reagan? mr. reagan: well, that just isn't true. it has, as i said, delayed the actuarial imbalance falling on us for just a few years with that increase in taxes, and i don't believe we can go on increasing the tax, because the problem for the young people today is that they are paying in far more than they can ever expect to get out. now, again this statement that somehow, i wanted to destroy it and i just changed my tune, that i am for voluntary social security, which would mean the ruin of it. mr. president, the voluntary thing that i suggested many years ago was that a young man, orphaned and raised by an aunt who died, his aunt was ineligible for social security insurance because she was not his mother. and i suggested that if this is an insurance program, certainly the person who is paying in should be able to name his own beneficiary. that is the closest i have ever come to anything voluntary with social security. i, too, am pledged to a social
security program that will reassure these senior citizens of ours that they are going to continue to get their money. there are some changes that i would like to make. i would like to make a change in the regulation that discriminates against a wife who works and finds that she then is faced with a choice between her father's or her husband's benefits, if he dies first, or what she has paid in, but it does not recognize that she has also been paying in herself, and she is entitled to more than she presently can get. i'd like to change that. mr. smith: president carter's rebuttal now. mr. carter: these constant suggestions that the basic social security system should be changed does cause concern and consternation among the aged of our country. it is obvious that we should have a commitment to them, that social security benefits should not be taxed and that there would be no peremptory change in the standards by which social security payments are made to retired people.
we also need to continue to index social security payments, so that if inflation rises, the social security payments would rise a commensurate degree to let the buying power of a social security check continue intact. in the past, the relationship between social security and medicare has been very important to providing some modicum of aid for senior citizens in the retention of health benefits. governor reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against medicare. now, we have an opportunity to move toward national health insurance, with an emphasis on the prevention of disease, an emphasis on out-patient care, not in-patient care, an emphasis on hospital cost containment to hold down the cost of hospital care far those who are ill, an emphasis on catastrophic health insurance, so that if a family is threatened with being wiped
out economically because of a very high medical bill, then the insurance would help pay for it. these are the kinds of elements of a national health insurance, important to the american people. governor reagan, again, typically, is against such a proposal. mr. smith: governor? mr. reagan: when i opposed medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the congress. i happened to favor the other piece of legislation. i was opposing one piece of legislation versus another. there is something else about social security that does not come out of the payroll tax commit comes out of the general fund. something should be done about that. it is disgraceful that the disability insurance fund in
security finds checks going every month to tens of thousands of people locked up in our institutions for crime or mental on this and they are receiving disability checks from social acurity every month while state institution provides all of their needs and care. mr. smith: president carter, you have the last word on this question. mr. carter: i think this debate on social security, medicare, national health insurance typifies, as vividly any other subject tonight, the basic historical differences between the democratic party and the republican party. the allusions to basic changes in the minimum wage is another, and the deleterious comments that governor reagan has made about unemployment compensation. these commitments that the democratic party has historically made to the working families of this nation have been extremely important to the growth in their stature and in a better quality of life for them.
i noticed recently that governor reagan frequently quotes democratic presidents in his acceptance address. i have never heard a candidate for president, who is a republican, quote a republican president, but when they get in office, they try to govern like republicans. so, it is good for the american people to remember that there is a sharp basic historical difference between governor reagan and me on these crucial issues, also, between the two parties that we represent. mr. smith: thank you mr. president. governor reagan, we now go to another question, a question to president carter by barbara walters. ms. walters: thank you. you have addressed some of the major issues tonight, but the biggest issue in the mind of american voters is yourselves your ability to lead this country. when many voters go into that booth just a week from today, they will be voting their gut instinct about you men.
you have already given us your reasons why people should vote for you, now would you please tell us for this your final question, why they should not voteor your opponent, why his presidency could be harmful to the nation and, having examined both your opponent's record and the man himself, tell us his greatest weakness. mr. carter: barbara, reluctant as i am to say anything critical about governor reagan, i will try to answer your question. [laughter] mr. carter: first of all, there is the historical perspective that i just described. this is a contest between a democrat in the mainstream of my party, as exemplified by the actions that i have taken in the oval office the last four years, as contrasted with governor reagan, who in most cases does typify his party, but in some cases, there is a radical departure by him from the heritage of eisenhower and others. the most important crucial difference in this election campaign, in my judgment, is the approach to the control of nuclear weaponry and the
inclination to control or not to control the spread of atomic weapons to other nations who don't presently have it, particularly terrorist nations. the inclination that governor reagan has exemplified in many troubled times since he has been running for president, i think since 1968, to inject american military forces in places like north korea, to put a blockade around cuba this year, or in some instances, to project american forces into a fishing dispute against the small nation of ecuador on the west coast of south america. this is typical of his long-standing inclination, on the use of american power, not to resolve disputes diplomatically and peacefully, but to show that the exercise of military power is best proven by the actual use of it.
obviously, no president wants war, and i certainly do not believe that governor reagan, if he were president, would want war, but a president in the oval office has to make a judgment on almost a daily basis about how to exercise the enormous power of our country for peace, through diplomacy, or in a careless way, in a belligerent attitude which has exemplified his attitudes in the past. mr. smith: barbara, would you repeat the question for governor reagan? ms. walters: yes, thank you. realizing that you may be equally reluctant to speak ill of your opponent, may i ask why people should not vote for your opponent, why his presidency could be harmful to the nation, and having examined both your opponent's record and the man himself, could you tell us his greatest weakness? mr. reagan: well, barbara, i believe that there is a fundamental difference, and i think it has been evident in most of the answers that mr. carter has given tonight that he
seeks the solution to anything as another opportunity for a federal government program. i happen to believe that the federal government has usurped powers of autonomy and authority that belong back at the state and local level. it has imposed on the individual freedoms of the people, and that there are more of these things that could be solved by the people themselves, if they were given a chance, or by the levels of government that were closer to them. now, as to why i should be and he shouldn't be, when he was a candidate in 1976, president carter invented a thing he called the misery index. he added the rate of unemployment and the rate of inflation, and it came, at that time, to 12.5 under president ford. he said that no man with that size misery index has a right to seek reelection to the presidency. today, by his own decision, the misery index is in excess of
20%, and i think this must suggest something. but, when i had quoted a democratic president, as the president says, i was a democrat. i said many foolish things back in those days. [laughter] but the president that i quoted had made a promise, a democratic promise, and i quoted him because it was never kept. and today, you would find that that promise is at the very heart of what republicanism represents in this country today. that's why i believe there are going to be millions of democrats that are going to vote with us this time around, because they too want that promise kept. it was a promise for less government and less taxes and more freedom for the people. mr. smith: president carter? mr. carter: i mentioned the radical departure of governor reagan from the principles or ideals of historical perspective of his own party. i don't think that can be better
illustrated than in the case of guaranteeing women equal rights under the constitution of our nation. for 40 years, the republican party platforms called for guaranteeing women equal rights with a constitutional amendment. six predecessors of mine who served in the oval office called for this guarantee of women's rights. governor reagan and his new republican party have departed from this commitment, a very severe blow to the opportunity for women to finally correct discrimination under which they have suffered. when a man and a women do the same amount of work, a man gets paid $1.00, a women only gets paid 59 cents. and the equal rights amendment only says that equality of rights shall not be abridged for women by the federal government or by the state governments. that is all it says a simple guarantee of equality of opportunity which typifies the democratic party, and which is a very important commitment of
mine, as contrasted with governor reagan's radical departure from the long-standing policies of his own party. mr. smith: governor reagan? mr. reagan: yes. mr. president, once again, i happen to be against the amendment, because i think the amendment will take this problem out of the hands of elected legislators and put it in the hands of unelected judges. i am for equal rights, and while you have been in office for four years, and not one single state, and most of them have a majority of democratic legislators, has added to the ratification or voted to ratify the equal rights amendment. while i was governor, more than eight years ago, i found 14
separate instances where women were discriminated against in the body of california law, and i had passed and signed into law 14 statutes that eliminated those discriminations, including the economic ones that you have just mentioned, equal pay and so forth. i believe that if in all these years that we have spent trying to get the amendment, that we had spent as much time correcting these laws, as we did in california and we were the first to do it. if i were president, i would also now take a look at the hundreds of federal regulations which discriminate against women and which go right on while everyone is looking for an amendment. i would have someone ride herd on those regulations, and we would start eliminating those discriminations in the federal government against women. mr. smith: president carter? mr. carter: howard, i'm a southerner, and i share the basic beliefs of my region that an excessive government intrusion into the private affairs of american citizens and also into the private affairs of the free enterprise system. one of the commitments that i made was to deregulate the major industries of this country. we've been remarkably successful, with the help of a democratic congress. we have deregulated the air industry, the rail industry, the
trucking industry, financial institutions. we're now working on the communications industry. in addition to that, i believe that this element of discrimination is something that the south has seen so vividly as a blight on our region of the country which has now been corrected. not only racial discrimination but discrimination against people that have to work for a living, because we have been trying to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, since the long depression years, and lead a full and useful life in the affairs of this country. we have made remarkable success. it is part of my consciousness and of my commitment to continue this progress. so, my heritage as a southerner, my experience in the oval office, convinces me that what i have just described is a proper course for the future. mr. smith: governor reagan, yours is the last word. mr. reagan: well, my last word is again to say that, we were talking about this very simple amendment and women's rights. and i make it plain again, i am for women's rights. but i would like to call the attention of the people to the fact that that so-called simple amendment could be used by mischievous men to destroy
discriminations that properly belong, by law, to women, respecting the physical differences between the two sexes, labor laws that protect them against doing things that would be physically harmful to them. those would all, could all be challenged by men. and the same would be true with regard to combat service in the military and so forth. i thought that was the subject we were supposed to be on. but, if we're talking about how much we think about the working people and so forth, i'm the only fellow who ever ran for this job who was six times president of his own union and still has a lifetime membership in that union. mr. smith: gentlemen, each of you now has three minutes for a closing statement. president carter, you're first. mr. carter: first of all, i'd like to thank the league of women voters for making this debate possible. i think it's been a very constructive debate and i hope it's helped to acquaint the american people with the sharp
differences between myself and governor reagan. also, i want to thank the people of cleveland and ohio for being such hospitable hosts during these last few hours in my life. i've been president now for almost four years. i've had to make thousands of decisions, and each one of those decisions has been a learning process. i've seen the strength of my nation, and i've seen the crises that it approached in a tentative way. and i've had to deal with those crises as best i could. as i've studied the record between myself and governor reagan, i've been impressed with the stark differences that exist between us. i think the result of this debate indicates that that fact is true. i consider myself in the mainstream of my party. i consider myself in the mainstream even of the bipartisan list of presidents who served before me. the united states must be a nation strong. the united states must be a nation secure.
we must have a society that's just and fair. and we must extend the benefits of our own commitment to peace, to create a peaceful world. i believe that, since i've been in office, there have been six or eight areas of combat evolved in other parts of the world. in each case, i alone have had to determine the interests of my country and the degree of involvement of my country. i've done that with moderation, with care, with thoughtfulness, sometimes consulting experts. but, i've learned in this last three and a half years that when an issue is extremely difficult, when the call is very close, the chances are the experts will be divided almost 50-50. and the final judgment about the future of the nation -- war, peace, involvement, reticence, thoughtfulness, care,
consideration, concern -- has to be made by the man in the oval office. it's a lonely job, but with the involvement of the american people in the process, with an open government, the job is a very gratifying one. the american people now are facing, next tuesday, a lonely decision. those listening to my voice will have to make a judgment about the future of this country. and i think they ought to remember that one vote can make a lot of difference. if one vote per precinct had changed in 1960, john kennedy would never have been president of this nation. and if a few more people had gone to the polls and voted in 1968, hubert humphrey would have been president, richard nixon would not. there is a partnership involved. our nation, to stay strong, to stay at peace, to raise high the banner of human rights, to set an example for the rest of the world, to let our deep beliefs and commitments be felt by others in other nations, is my plan for the future. i ask the american people to join me in this partnership. mr. smith: governor reagan?
mr. reagan: yes, i would like to add my words of thanks, too, to the ladies of the league of women voters for making these debates possible. i'm sorry that we couldn't persuade the bringing in of the third candidate, so that he could have been seen also in these debates. but still, it's good that at least once, all three of us were heard by the people of this country. next tuesday is election day. next tuesday, all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. i think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? is america as respected
throughout the world as it was? do you feel that our security is as safe, that we're as strong as we were four years ago? and if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, i think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. if you don't agree, if you don't think that this course that we've been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then i could suggest another choice that you have. this country doesn't have to be in the shape that it is in. we do not have to go on sharing in scarcity with the country getting worse off, with unemployment growing. we talk about the unemployment lines. if all of the unemployed today were in a single line allowing two feet for each of them, that line would reach from new york city to los angeles, california. all of this can be cured and all
of it can be solved. i have not had the experience the president has had in holding that office, but i think in being governor of california, the most populous state in the union, if it were a nation, it would be the seventh-ranking economic power in the world, i, too, had some lonely moments and decisions to make. i know that the economic program that i have proposed for this nation in the next few years can resolve many of the problems that trouble us today. i know because we did it there. we cut the cost, the increased cost of government, in half over the eight years. we returned $5.7 billion in tax rebates, credits, and cuts to our people. we, as i have said earlier, fell below the national average in inflation when we did that. and i know that we did give back authority and autonomy to the people. i would like to have a crusade today, and i would like to lead
that crusade with your help. and it would be one to take government off the backs of the great people of this country, and turn you loose again to do those things that i know you can do so well, because you did them and made this country great. thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, for 60 years, the league of women voters has been committed to citizen participation of americans in political and governmental affairs. the most critical element of all in that process is an informed citizen. -- who goes to the polls and votes. on behalf of the league of women voters, i would like to thank president carter and governor reagan for being with us in cleveland tonight. thank you and good night. [applause]
announcer: next, brooklyn college professor casey johnson teaches a class on presidents lyndon johnson then richard nixon's supreme court nominations. he describes johnson's plan to fill the bench with justices and the difficulties he came getting them confirmed. senatorses pushed from and concludes with background on some of nixon's nominations to the court. >> today we are going to be looking at the development of controversial supreme court nominations in the late 1960's and early 1970's. we are going to look at the warren court, this increasing surge of controversial decisions from the court with two basic principles. remember the idea of counter majoritarianism. the idea that it was the job of the supreme court to stand up on behalf of people who may not have majority support, whether it was atheist or civil rights activists are criminal defendants throughout the 1960's. and second was the emergence of