Statement by Chief of Staff James A. Baker III on the Presidential Campaign Debates

July 20, 1984

The President looks forward to debating the Democratic nominee -- on reasonable terms at a reasonable time.

Today's request for six debates cannot be taken seriously, however. It is obviously a partisan tactic intended to focus attention on words not actions -- on promises uttered in debates, rather than on proven records.

Both President Reagan and former Vice President Mondale have well-established records. The former Vice President served with President Carter for 4 years. President Reagan has served the Nation for the succeeding 3\1/2\ years. These records provide a telling comparison, a uniquely valuable basis on which the American people can render judgment.