Remarks Announcing the Nomination of James A. Baker III To Be Secretary of the Treasury and the Appointment of Donald T. Regan as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff

January 8, 1985

I'm going to read a statement, and then, since there is a press conference tomorrow night, I want to tell you that we will not be taking any questions on the subject of the statement or anything else, and I'll see you tomorrow night.

But today I am announcing the following reassignment of responsibilities among two of my most senior advisers. I intend to nominate James A. Baker III to become Secretary of the Treasury. And I intend to appoint Donald T. Regan as Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, effective upon the date of Jim Baker's confirmation by the Senate.

Upon confirmation as Treasury Secretary, Jim Baker would become chief economic spokesman for my administration and would remain a designated member of the National Security Council. And upon appointment as Chief of Staff, Don Regan would also be designated a member of the National Security Council and remain a member of my Cabinet.

Don Regan and Jim Baker have both served loyally and admirably as members of my team for the past 4 years. They've done so at considerable personal sacrifice for which I am deeply grateful. They both compiled outstanding records of achievement. Each has indicated to me that while willing to serve in whatever capacity I would wish, each would welcome an opportunity to assume new responsibilities and new challenges. After 4 grueling years in their current positions, their desire for change is completely understandable.

This particular change will allow them each to meet new challenges and will bring renewed vigor to their respective responsibilities, while it gives me and the public the benefit of the continued service of two extraordinarily talented individuals.

While both men are admirably suited for their current positions, each is extremely well suited for his new assignment. Don Regan is a proven successful administrator. He has broad domestic and international experience. He has now gained extensive Washington experience, and he enjoys the respect of Members of the Congress and the Cabinet.

Jim Baker is a proven, successful member of our national security, legislative, and economic policymaking teams, and he would bring to Treasury not only his extensive Washington experience but also more than two decades of private sector experience with corporate law and finance. I'm confident that this change can be effected smoothly and that it will contribute substantially to the success of our second term.

And now, I will conclude by saying I'll see you tomorrow night.

Note: The President spoke to reporters at 9:45 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.