Remarks at a Reception for the McLaughlin Group

October 29, 1985

I've always wanted to be on a McLaughlin show. [Laughter] I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd just drop in. [Laughter] Let's cut the nonsense and get down to beltway business. [Laughter] Issue one -- [laughter] -- the McLaughlin Group, 3 years running strong and getting stronger, seen in -- well, you've just heard how many markets. And now we know that next year it's going to play the big towns. [Laughter] In just 3 short years, the McLaughlin Group has distinguished itself on three fronts. First, it became a stable -- staple -- [laughter] -- that was a Freudian slip -- [laughter] -- in America's diet of political commentary. Its intellectual nutritional values fall somewhere between potato chips and Twinkies. [Laughter] Second, the McLaughlin Group also serves as the most tasteful programming alternative to professional wrestling -- [laughter] -- live from Madison Square Garden. And third, it's also been an obedience school for White House staffers.

Issue two, political potpourri. [Laughter] We're talking about the four horsemen of the political apocalypse and their now-famous rotating chair. By the way, Pat Buchanan rotated all the way to a windowless office down the hall in the west wing just across from the broom closet. [Laughter]

Well, I can dish it out, as well as take it. [Laughter] I'm going to give it to you with the bark on. [Laughter] That's McLaughlin Group talk. [Laughter] Robert Novak, the Prince of Darkness. [Laughter] I only said that because he's so darn liberal. [Laughter] Morton Kondracke, neoconservative, neoliberal, one of the best open minds in the business. [Laughter] Jack Germond, everything Geraldine Ferraro is today she owes to Jack. [Laughter] But don't laugh, at least he got Minnesota right. [Laughter] And John McLaughlin, Mr. T of TV journalism. [Laughter] I once described John by saying the United States needs a tax increase like John McLaughlin needs assertiveness training. [Laughter] John took a simple Sunday morning discussion format out of the issues of our day and, using the insight, skill, and great humility that have become his trademarks -- [laughter] -- managed to turn it into a political version of ``Animal House.'' [Laughter]

One last word in keeping with the format of the show -- I'd like to offer a prediction. [Laughter] I predict that besides your current outlets, you're going to be carried by at least one other major city -- ``Miami Vice,'' watch out. [Laughter] As you've heard, the group promises real mayhem, and this kid McLaughlin, he means business. [Laughter] Well, thank you for making that half hour every weekend something very special to look forward to. I wouldn't miss it. I can't afford to. [Laughter]

God bless you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 6:46 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. In his remarks, the President referred to Patrick J. Buchanan, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications.