Gerald R. Ford

A government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything
you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
– Gerald R. Ford

It’s discouraging how hard it is for a President to slice any large chunks from a $305 billion
– Gerald R. Ford

Our inflation, our public enemy number one, will, unless whipped, destroy our country, our
homes, our liberties, our property and finally our national pride as surely as will any
well-armed wartime energy.
– Gerald R. Ford

The Constitution is the bedrock of all our freedoms; guard and cherish it; keep honor and
order in your own house; and the republic will endure.
– Gerald R. Ford

The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite
guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms
of a national election.
– Gerald R. Ford

All of us who served in one war or another know very well that all wars are the glory and the
agony of the young.
– Gerald R. Ford

Let us remember that our national unity is a most priceless asset.
– Gerald R. Ford

The founding of our Nation was more than a political event; it was an act of faith, a promise
to Americans and to the entire world. The Declaration of Independence declared that people
can govern themselves, that they can live in freedom with equal rights, that they can
respect the rights of others.
– Gerald R. Ford

I once told you that I am not a saint, and I hope never to see the day that I cannot admit
having made a mistake.
– Gerald R. Ford

I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.
– Gerald R. Ford

History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent
times, but out of trial and confusion.
– Gerald R. Ford

The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an
earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?
– Gerald R. Ford

The harder you work, the luckier you are, and I worked like hell.
– Gerald R. Ford

It’s the quality of the ordinary, the straight, the square, that accounts for the great stability
and success of our nation. It’s a quality to be proud of. But it’s a quality that many people
seem to have neglected.
– Gerald R. Ford

We must introduce a new balance in the relationship between the individual and the
government – a balance that favors greater individual freedom and self-reliance.
– Gerald R. Ford

I have always felt that the real purpose of government is to enhance the lives of people and
that a leader can best do that by restraining government in most cases instead of enlarging it
at every opportunity.
– Gerald R. Ford

There are no adequate substitutes for father, mother, and children bound together in a loving
commitment to nurture and protect. No government, no matter how well-intentioned, can take
the place of the family in the scheme of things.
– Gerald R. Ford

When I talk about energy, I am talking about jobs. Our American economy runs on energy.
No energy – no jobs.
– Gerald R. Ford

We must proceed with our own energy development. Exploitation of domestic petroleum and
natural gas potentialities, along with nuclear, solar, geothermal, and non-fossil fuels is vital.
We will never again permit any foreign nation to have Uncle Sam over a barrel of oil.
– Gerald R. Ford

To me, the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency were not prizes to be won, but a duty to be
– Gerald R. Ford

I am proud of America, and I am proud to be an American. Life will be a little better here for
my children than for me. I believe this not because I am told to believe it, but because life has
been better for me than it was for my father and my mother. I know it will be better for my
children because my hands, my brains, my voice, and my vote can help make it happen.
– Gerald R. Ford

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.
– Gerald R. Ford

The American people want a dialogue between them and their president… and if we can’t have
that opportunity of talking with one another, seeing one another, shaking hands with one
another, something has gone wrong in our society.
– Gerald R. Ford

I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, so I ask
you to confirm me as your president with your prayers.
– Gerald R. Ford

Too often critics seem more intent on seeking new ways to alter Congress than to truly learn
how it functions. They might well profit from the advice of Thomas Huxley, who said a century
ago: “Sit down before facts as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion
– or you shall learn nothing.”
– Gerald R. Ford

The old question still remains: Can a free people restrain crime without sacrificing
fundamental liberties and a heritage of compassion? I am confident of the American answer.
Let it become a vital element on America’s new agenda. Let us show that we can temper
together those opposite elements of liberty and restraint into one consistent whole.
– Gerald R. Ford

Thanks to my football experience, I know the value of team play. It is, I believe, one of the
most important lessons to be learned and practiced in our lives.
– Gerald R. Ford

I watch a lot of baseball on the radio.
– Gerald R. Ford

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.
– Gerald R. Ford

Government exists to create and preserve conditions in which people can translate their ideas
into practical reality. In the best of times, much is lost in translation. But we try.
– Gerald R. Ford

America now is stumbling through the darkness of hatred and divisiveness. Our values, our
principles, and our determination to succeed as a free and democratic people will give us a
torch to light the way. And we will survive and become the stronger – not only because of a
patriotism that stands for love of country, but a patriotism that stands for love of people.
– Gerald R. Ford

I believe in friendly compromise. I said over in the Senate hearings that truth is the glue that
holds government together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.
– Gerald R. Ford

All my children have spoken for themselves since they first learned to speak, and not always
with my advance approval, and I expect that to continue in the future.
– Gerald R. Ford

Let us put an end to self-inflicted wounds. Let us remember that our national unity is a most
priceless asset. Let us deny our adversaries the satisfaction of using Vietnam to pit
Americans against Americans.
– Gerald R. Ford

For millions of men and women, the church has been the hospital for the soul, the school for
the mind and the safe depository for moral ideas.
– Gerald R. Ford

I gave a speech in Omaha. After the speech I went to a reception elsewhere in town. A
sweet old lady came up to me, put her gloved hand in mine, and said, “I hear you spoke here
tonight.” “Oh, it was nothing,” I replied modestly. “Yes,” the little old lady nodded, “that’s
what I heard.”
– Gerald R. Ford

I have had a lot of adversaries in my political life, but no enemies that I can remember.
– Gerald R. Ford

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.
– Gerald R. Ford

We… declared our independence 200 years ago, and we are not about to lose it now to paper
shufflers and computers.
– Gerald R. Ford

A strong defense is the surest way to peace. Strength makes detente attainable. Weakness
invites war, as my generation – my generation – knows from four very bitter experiences.
– Gerald R. Ford

I have a basic philosophy: When I meet somebody, even somebody who I’ve been warned is
not a very nice person, my approach is there must be something nice in that person. And if
you get to know the nice part of the individual, then you develop a relationship and a
friendship that is invaluable. And I say with great emphasis – everybody I’ve ever met, you
can find something good about them. And I think that is a trait we ought to embellish and
appreciate rather than discard.
– Gerald R. Ford

I am a Ford, not a Lincoln. My addresses will never be as eloquent as Mr. Lincoln’s. But I will
do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking.
– Gerald R. Ford

The veto is a President’s Constitutional right, given to him by the drafters of the Constitution
because they wanted it as a check against irresponsible Congressional action. The veto
forces Congress to take another look at legislation that has been passed. I think this is a
responsible tool for a president of the United States, and I have sought to use it responsibly.
– Gerald R. Ford

It is not the ultimate fate of Richard Nixon that most concerns me, though surely it deeply
troubles every decent and every compassionate person. My concern is the immediate future
of this great country.
– Gerald R. Ford