Remarks by Telephone With Press Secretary James S. Brady, Recipient of the Lincoln Award of the United Republican Fund

September 16, 1982

The President. Hello.

Mr. Brady. Mr. President.

The President. Yes; good evening to all of you. I hope you are hearing me all right. Hello?

Mr. Brady. Ten-four, sir.

The President. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in an Illinois homecoming for my friend and Press Secretary, Jim Brady.

Mr. Brady. Well, the pleasure is all mine, sir.

The President. What's that?

Mr. Brady. The pleasure is all mine.

The President. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the coveted Lincoln Award than you, Jim.

Most of you are aware that Jim and I first got acquainted during the 1980 campaign. Shortly after we met, I knew that Jim was a man I respected as a professional and liked as a person.

Jim, you never let the grueling task of campaigning douse your spirit. We worked side by side to bring the American people a message of hope during a time of economic hardship and international uncertainty. The magnificent victory of November 1980 was due, in no small part, to your contributions, Jim.

You also were a major force in shaping this administration during its formative stages. And now the entire country knows of the depth of your courage. Your close friends -- and I count myself as one of them -- always knew of this strength of character. Now you are serving as an inspiration to a whole nation and to men and women of good will everywhere.

Mr. Brady. Thank you, sir.

The President. When they told me you would be up there helping the Twelve-Hundred Club and the United Republican Fund of Chicago, it was really no surprise.

Now they tell me you are going to be throwing out the first ball at the Cubs game on Monday. I used to broadcast those Cubs games. They never let me throw a ball out, though.

Mr. Brady. I am going to help them out -- -- [laughter].

The President. I hope you will, Jim. The fans in the stadium will not be the only ones rooting for you. We are all thinking about you, and praying for you, and looking forward to the day when you are back with us at the White House. In spirit, of course, you never left.

So, congratulations to you and also to the Twelve-Hundred Club and the United Republican Club of Chicago for picking the ideal guy to honor with the Lincoln Award.

Mr. Brady. Thank you, sir.

The President. Jim -- well, you represent the very best of Illinois and the American heartland. So thanks for letting me be a part of this program.

Mr. Brady. -- -- Mrs. Reagan.

The President. I shall tell her.

Mr. Brady. Thank you, sir.

The President. Okay. God bless you. All right. Good night, Jim. Good night, everybody.

Note: The conversation began at 9:55 p.m. The President was at the White House, and the Press Secretary was in Chicago at the Palmer House, where he was presented with the award.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.