Excerpt From an Exchange With a Reporter About the Kidnapping of Brigadier General James Dozier

December 18, 1981

Q. Mr. President, can we do anything to try to find General Dozier and free him from the Red Brigades?

The President. Well, I think that everything is being done that can be done. This is, I think, a terrible situation. And it's a most frustrating situation, because I would like to be able to stand sometime -- I'm sure that we all would -- and say to the people that do these things, they are cowardly bums. They aren't heroes, they don't have a cause that justifies what they're doing. They're cowards. They wouldn't have the guts to stand up to anyone individually in any kind of a fair contest. And I think it is -- well, I can't say any more than that.

Yes, we're doing everything we can.

Note: The exchange began at approximately 12:30 p.m. as the President was beginning a luncheon meeting with American automobile industry representatives in the Cabinet Room at the White House.