August 23, 1983

The President certainly respects [Senator Tower's] decision but also regrets it. He has the utmost respect for [Senator] Tower as an outstanding chairman of the Armed Services Committee and also as a Republican leader and strong supporter of the President's policies. The President understands his reasons and respects his reasons, but regrets it.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes made the statement to reporters onboard Air Force One, en route to Seattle, Wash., from Los Angeles, Calif. He also stated that the President met with Senator Tower on August 13 in El Paso, Tex., and that the Senator had then informed the President of his decision not to seek reelection.