Gerald R. Ford
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Gerald R. Ford Quotes

“He [Gerald R. Ford, Sr.] and Mother had three rules: tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time—and woe unto any of us who violated those rules.”
From President Ford's memoir, A Time to Heal

“I am not a saint, and I am sure I have done things I might have done better or differently, or not at all.  I have also left undone things that I should have done.  But I believe and hope that I have been honest with myself and with others, that I have been faithful to my friends and fair to my opponents, and that I have tried my very best to make this great Government work for the good of all Americans.”
Statement before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration [Vice Presidential Confirmation Hearings]
November 1, 1973

“I am a Ford, not a Lincoln.”
Remarks after being sworn in as Vice President of the United States
December 6, 1973

“I promise my fellow citizens only this: To uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and…to do the very best that I can for America.”
Remarks after being sworn in as Vice President of the United States
December 6, 1973

"I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it . . . I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government, but civilization itself.  That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.  In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end.  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.  Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men.  Here the people rule.”
Remarks upon being sworn in as President of the United States
August 9, 1974

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Address to a Joint Session of Congress
August 12, 1974

“This Congress, unless it has changed, I am confident, will be my working partner as well as my most constructive critic.  I am not asking for conformity.  I am dedicated to the two-party system, and you know which party I belong to.  I do not want a honeymoon with you.  I want a good marriage.”
Address to a Joint Session of Congress
August 12, 1974

“As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God.  And I have sought such guidance and searched my own conscience with special diligence to determine the right thing for me to do with respect to my predecessor in this place, Richard Nixon, and his loyal wife and family.  Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part.  It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it.  I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.”
Remarks upon granting a pardon to former President Richard Nixon
September 8, 1974

“Desertion in time of war is a major, serious offense; failure to respond to the country’s call for duty is also a serious offense.  Reconciliation among our people does not require that these acts be condoned.  Yet, reconciliation calls for an act of mercy to bind the Nation’s wounds and to heal the scars of divisiveness.”
Remarks upon announcing a clemency program for Vietnam era draft evaders
September 16, 1974

“We are bound together by the most powerful of all ties, our fervent love for freedom and independence, which knows no homeland but the human heart.”
Address before the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
August 1, 1975

“History will judge this Conference not by what we say here today, but by what we do tomorrow - not by the promises we make, but by the promises we keep.”
Address before the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
August 1, 1975

“As we continue our American adventure…all our heroes and heroines of war and peace send us this single, urgent message: though prosperity is a good thing, though compassionate charity is a good thing, though institutional reform is a good thing, a nation survives only so long as the spirit of sacrifice and self-discipline is strong within its people.  Independence has to be defended as well as declared; freedom is always worth fighting for; and liberty ultimately belongs only to those willing to suffer for it.”
Bicentennial Remarks at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
July 4, 1976

“The world is ever conscious of what Americans are doing, for better or for worse, because the United States today remains that most successful realization of humanity’s universal hope.  The world may or may not follow, but we lead because our whole history says we must.  Liberty is for all men and women as a matter of equal and unalienable right.  The establishment of justice and peace abroad will in large measure depend upon the peace and justice we create here in our own country, for we still show the way.”
Bicentennial Remarks at Independence Hall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 4, 1976

“Remember that none of us are more than caretakers of this great country.  Remember that the more freedom you give to others, the more you will have for yourself.  Remember that without law there can be no liberty.  And remember, as well, the rich treasures you brought from whence you came, and let us share your pride in them.”
Remarks during Naturalization Ceremonies at Monticello, Virginia
July 5, 1976

“To me, the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency were not prizes to be won, but a duty to be done.”
Remarks upon accepting the Republican Presidential Nomination, Kansas City, Missouri
August 19, 1976

I am a loyal Wolverine. When they lose in football, basketball, or anything I still get darn disappointed."
Remarks from a phone interview to the Ann Arbor News before the University of Michigan retired his football number
October 8, 1994.

"Some people equate civility with weakness and compromise with surrender. I strongly disagree. I come by my political pragmatism the hard way, for my generation paid a very heavy price in resistance to the century we had of some extremists -- to the dictators, the utopians, the social engineers who are forever condemning the human race for being all too human."
Remarks upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal
October 27, 1999.

“I have always believed that most people are mostly good, most of the time.  I have never mistaken moderation for weakness, nor civility for surrender.  As far as I'm concerned, there are no enemies in politics--just temporary opponents who might vote with you on the next Roll Call.”
Remarks upon receiving the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
May 21, 2001

“. . . The ultimate test of leadership is not the polls you take, but the risks you take.  In the short run, some risks prove overwhelming.  Political courage can be self-defeating.  But the greatest defeat of all would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all.”
Remarks upon receiving the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
May 21, 2001

Biography of President Ford

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Last Updated: February 12, 2007