Page:Carter Interview with Harry Reasoner (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter 1st debate)(Gerald Ford Library)(1554406).pdf/4

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In these fields around us here which are now by large machines and tractors, when I grew up until I was 17 years old and went to the Navy, we plowed these same fields with mules, we pulled every peanut plant out of the ground and shook the dirt off it by hand. We pulled every ear of corn by hand. We pulled the fodder first, we picked velvet beans, we put poison on every cotton plant individually by hand, and that experience and that consciousness is very vivid and very important to me.

There is stability there and an inclination to search out in your past things that ought not to be changed that I think derive directly from the land.

MR. REASONER: Most Americans now though won't die in the town or the county where their fathers died. Isn't that a vanishing breed, these people that stick to the land?

GOVERNOR CARTER: Well, perhaps so, looking at it from a nationwide viewpoint. But, looking at it from the perspective of Plains, Georgia, there is still a lot of that vanishing breed left.

MR. REASONER: Tell me this: Did you ever figure out what to do about the gnats?

GOVERNOR CARTER: Well, I learned about 30 years ago to ignore them. I don't even know that they are there.

MR. REASONER: They are there. (Laughter)

Tomorrow night we will continue this report with how Carter feels about some of the issues.

Governor, I don't imagine you are prepared to reveal your respective Cabinet today but I would like to ask you a few questions about what will happen if you are elected.

You have said you would reduce the size of the White House staff. President Ford said he would, too, but he has increased it since he said that. Do you mean it?

GOVERNOR CARTER: I do. It will be reduced if I am there. We are not making any presumption that I am going to be elected although I think I have a good chance to be elected, but we are making plans so that we can know ahead of time what responsibilities would be on the shoulders of Cabinet members and the responsibilities would be much greater than in the last few Administrations.