United States' Vice-President Gerald Ford countered charges that he has been wavering between support and criticism of President Nixon.
MV Ford wearing academic robes
GV Audience (3 shots)
MV Ford begins speech
FORD: "After six months on my new job the kind of advice I get runs really along two lines. First, why don't you stop flying around the country meeting people, making speeches and stay in Washington doing my job? Second, if I must make speeches and permit press questions wherever I go, why do I uphold the President one day and the next day side with the Congress, which is deliberating his impeachment? In short, why don't I sit down and shut up like a good Vice-President should? I categorically reject the demand that I listen only to the strident voices on the banks of the Potomac. I'm not going to barricade myself in Washington just because I suddenly find myself bearing heavier burdens, heavier official duties and potential responsibilities. So long as I have the physical capability and so long as I can contribute to the climate of reason and truth in this country, I will remain my own man, fly my own course and speak my own convictions".
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Background: United States' Vice-President Gerald Ford countered charges that he has been wavering between support and criticism of President Nixon.
Speaking to students at Utah State University on Saturday (8 June) he said: "I will remain my own man and fly my own course and speak my own convictions."
He was trying to take a stand midway between President Nixon and Congress, where he has served as House of Representatives' Republican leader.
Noting that he had pledged to be a ready conciliator and calm communicator between the White House and Congress Mr. Ford asked: "Why is it so surprising that I sometimes voice the viewpoint of the legislative branch of which I was part for a quarter of a century, and at other times see things much the same way as the Chief Executive."
Mr. Ford said he considered it his duty to try to head off a deadlock between the separate branches of Government and try for a quick resolution to the "nagging Watergate issue...which is sapping the political strength of our nation".