Informal Exchange with Reporters on the Presidential Campaign

September 2, 1984

Q. The polls show that you don't have a chance of losing. Can you lose it?

The President. The only poll I'm going to believe in is the one they take on November 6th.

Q. What about this religious issue that's come up? Are you all overplaying it?

The President. No, but I think some people in your profession here are.

Q. Jesse Jackson said this morning that this attempt to exploit religion is going to blow up in your face.

The President. Well, he'll have to speak for himself. What I was commenting on was the great movement that has been going on, more and more, to attack religion by some who pretend that they're acting within the Constitution -- those people who would deny such things as chaplains in the military, and ``In God We Trust'' on our coins, and so forth. That's what I was commenting about. I'm not seeking to install a state religion in any way.

Q. Do you feel good about the campaign as you start this trip?

The President. Yes. I always enjoy campaigning.

Q. Are you going for a 50-State sweep?

The President. I'm going to run 1 point behind.

Q. Thank you, sir.

Note: The exchange began at 2:43 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House as the President was preparing to depart for a trip to California, Utah, and Illinois.

Upon his arrival in Irvine, CA, the President went to the Irvine Marriott Hotel, where he remained overnight.