Informal Exchange With Reporters on Foreign and Domestic Issues

November 1, 1984

Q. How do you feel about setting out on this last campaign on your own behalf?

The President. Well, I'm delighted. No, I'm going to try everything I can do for all of the ticket. But the main thing is my message is going to be one very simple and clear: Get out the vote. Everyone vote. I think the tendency for some people to think that their votes aren't needed -- we can't afford that.

Q. How confident are you of victory?

The President. You know me. I'm always just cautiously optimistic and one vote behind.

Q. Do you seriously think Walter Mondale could still overtake you at this point? Do you seriously believe that?

The President. I'm not going to comment on that. Allow a fellow a little superstition.

Q. How do you feel about this being your last campaign trip?

The President. Well, you could -- --

Q. A little nostalgic?

The President. -- -- you could have -- no -- well, you could have mixed emotions about that.

Q. What are yours?

The President. What?

Q. What are yours?

The President. Well, there's one of them that says enough's enough. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, did you really mean to suggest in your interview with the Hearst papers that Geraldine Ferraro is not competent to be Vice President?

The President. No. And I'm glad that the entire transcript has been released, because if you read it you will find we were talking about that whole subject of women in high office and so forth, in that sense. And, no, there was no criticism intended of her at all. It was a kind of a hypothetical discussion in answer to a hypothetical question.

Q. Mr. Reagan, what message is Secretary Shultz taking to India with him?

The President. Well, one of our deep sorrow and regret. We had good relations there. And this just is another one of those terribly needless tragedies. And I think we all feel it very deeply.

Q. Is Mr. Shultz going to try to meet with the Soviet envoy?

Q. Is there a danger, sir, that the Soviets would try to exploit that?

The President. I think that's always a danger with regard to the Soviets.

Q. How can we prevent it, sir?

The President. Just by being the good friend that we're trying to be to other nations.

Q. Is Mr. Shultz going to meet with the Soviet envoy in India?

The President. What?

Q. Is Mr. Shultz going to meet with the Soviet delegation?

The President. I don't know. There's been -- I don't know whether their paths will cross or not.

Q. Mr. President, did you ever really expect to be this far ahead at this stage in the campaign?

The President. You're still trying to get me around to that question -- [laughing] -- that I've been avoiding. Frankly, the polls scare me because I still think that a lot of people could be tempted into going their own way and not bothering to vote.

Q. And your message to them?

The President. Vote. President Dewey told me to say that over and over again.

Q. When do you start looking at your second term?

The President. I've been looking at it for the last year and a half, in case there is one. [Laughter]

Q. Are you going to miss all of this -- the campaign?

The President. Why, how could anyone help but miss all of you? [Laughter]

All right. Thank you all very much.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. You bet.

Note: The exchange began at 10:18 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House as the President was leaving for a trip to Boston, MA.