Letter from Barry Goldwater to Gerald Ford, 5/7/76

 

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I hope this reaches you before you depart for Nebraska for I would like to reiterate a couple of things I said to you on the phone the other day.

You are the President. Do not stoop to arguing with another candidate. Your speeches are a little bit too long. Get a good speech that is short and use it and use it and use it. Reagan's trick, as you know, is to have a whole handful of cards and he shuffles out whatever comes out to be ten minutes of speaking, and I don't think this deck has changed much over the years. Your speech writer has to be more punchy. It has to sound like you and no matter how much you have to rehearse it do it.

You are not going to get the Reagan vote. These are the same people who got me the nomination and they will never swerve, but ninety per cent of them will vote for you for President, so get after middle America. They have never had it so good. They are making more money and they are not at war and, for God's sake, get off of Panama, but don't let Reagan off that hook.

God speed and with best wishes,
[signed "Barry"]

Barry Goldwater