June 21, 1984

It may be hard for some of us to agree on some things, but I think I speak for everyone here when I say that Charlie Daniels, we thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Now, Charlie came here on very short notice, and he couldn't bring his band with him. But you know we're always prepared. We flew them in from the Persian Gulf. [The President was referring to members of the Navy's Cross Current Band, who performed with Mr. Daniels.] [Laughter]

For those who may not know, Charlie does have a band that has walked away with dozens of awards, including Grammys, and he has performed in 50 States and a number of foreign lands. He's been named Instrumentalist of the Year more than once by the Academy of Country Music. And this isn't the first benefit he's done. [Laughter] He has made his talent available for worthy causes, including the fact that he has been heard by an audience estimated at a hundred million people on the Voice of America in which his music has been played.

Now, this has been a fine evening, and I also want to express thanks to some generous folks from the seafood industry. We've had quite a meal. Back when I was a kid in the middle of the country, out there in the Midwest, the only fish you had was what you could catch down at the river. Life was uncomplicated then, like dealing with the Congress. [Laughter]

Seriously, though, I want to thank each one of you for being here. This democratic system of ours relies on good will between those of differing political opinions. This year, we go out to do battle in the political arena, and I know we will, in keeping with the finest traditions, we'll do that -- the finest traditions of the democratic government. That, of course, is democrat with a small ``d.'' [Laughter]

But it's been a pleasure to have all of you as our guests. And, once again, I want to thank the one and only Charlie Daniels for giving of his time to come here and entertain us as royally as he has and to thank these gentlemen from the Navy for what they have contributed also.

Thank you again. God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 7:25 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.