Informal Exchange With Students From Bayou View Elementary School in Gulfport, Mississippi

October 1, 1984

The President. I am very proud that you'd come out this way, and, see, I think you even kind of came back early, didn't you, to be here? Well, and all those signs. Thank you very much. Tell me, I know I've only got a few seconds here, but sometimes some of the others, some of you must have said to yourself, ``Boy, if I could ask him, I'd sure ask him.'' Would you like to throw a question at me, somebody?

Yes.

Q. [Inaudible]

The President. Do I support Federal aid for foreign countries? Yes, I think this is traditional with America. We've always tried to help our friends out and help developing countries. But I tell you, from the old days of just throwing money out there and not knowing where it went, we're trying to do it in a way now that will enable them to become self-sustaining and build their economy. And the biggest help we're being is buying from them the things that they have to sell that they make there.

Yeah. You.

Q. Are you going to put nuclear wastes -- --

The President. Am I going to what?

Q. Put nuclear wastes -- [inaudible]?

The President. Am I going to put nuclear wastes in Mississippi? Well, our director of energy has said that we just were not going to do anything against the State's will, and having been a Governor myself of a State, I'm a great believer in States rights.

Q. Do you think you're better than Mondale?

The President. Do I think I what?

Q. Do you think you're better then Mondale?

The President. Do I think I'm better than Mondale? No, I don't think in this country anyone thinks that you're better than anyone else. I just think that I should keep on being President for 4 more years.

Here, you. You're going to have to come a little closer.

Q. Can you beat Mondale?

The President. Can I beat Mondale? Wait a minute until I turn to where the people of voting age are. [Applause] I think so. They just told me I can.

Well, thank you all again very much. I'm sorry to have to be so short. What was your question?

Q. [Inaudible]

The President. Oh, here's a question I have to answer. And I know the people behind me, after the signal they just gave, will be very happy. The young lady wants to know, am I going to raise taxes? No.

All right, thank you all very much. God bless you all. They tell me I have to get in the car and go.

Note: The President spoke at 4 p.m. to students who gathered at a point on the route of his motorcade from the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport to the Broadwater Beach Hotel in Biloxi, MS.

Following the exchange, the President went to the hotel, where he remained overnight.