Remarks by Telephone to Senator Barry Goldwater

September 9, 1986

The President. Barry, I'm honored to pay tribute to you this evening and to join with many of your friends in recognizing your outstanding service in the United States Senate. Thirty-five years ago you brought to the Senate a dedication to the ideas which have made our country great and an ability for leadership which has rarely been matched in our lifetimes. You've given so much for so many -- for your fellow Arizonians, for your party, for the Senate, and for all Americans -- and we're all grateful. One of your greatest achievements in the Senate is the outstanding work that you've done on behalf of a strong national defense, and I was moved by the many tributes from your colleagues during debate on the defense authorization bill.

On a personal note, Barry, let me just say how much I'll miss your friendship and guidance there in the Senate. You've been an inspiration to me and Nancy, and I wish you well. Nancy sends her love. And God bless you, and thank you for so many things.

Senator Goldwater. Well, thank you, Mr. President. Bend over and give Nancy a kiss for me.

The President. That I'll do.

Senator Goldwater. And if I've had any luck in accomplishing anything, the fellow that's done most of the work is sitting next to me here, Sam Nunn. I wish I could have the same luck in making him a Republican that I've had with you-know-who.

The President. Yes.

Senator Goldwater. Well, you have a good time. I guess you're still up on the ranch. You sound like you're a long ways off.

The President. No, well, we are. I don't know about the distances within the town. No, we're back here at the White House now. Maybe it's just jet lag on our part.

Senator Goldwater. Well, just keep that old thing all together, because we'll send somebody there to replace you. And it's wonderful of you to call, Mr. President. I do appreciate it so very, very much. And tell Nancy that my brother saw her mother just last week, and she's wearing a hearing aid, and she still tells her dirty jokes, so -- [laughter] -- --

The President. All right, I shall tell Nancy that.

Senator Goldwater. Okay, Mr. President. Thank you so much.

The President. All right. And go to work on Sam, and if there's anything I can help in switching him, remember I once belonged to that other party, too.

Senator Goldwater. Yes, I remember one day when you called me a black Fascist SOB -- [laughter] -- but you've gotten over that.

The President. You bet.

Senator Goldwater. Thank you so much.

The President. You bet. Good night.

Note: The President spoke at 8:39 p.m. from the Residence at the White House. The dinner honoring Senator Goldwater was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.