Remarks Announcing the Nomination of William E. Brock To Be Secretary of Labor

March 20, 1985

The President. And to add to that announcement, my nominee as the new Secretary of Labor: Bill Brock. He was our top choice from a blue-ribbon list of candidates, I have to say. He has an outstanding government background -- 6 years as a United States Senator from Tennessee, 4 years now at Cabinet level -- and he was no stranger to politics. He was chairman of the GOP, helped rebuild the Republican Party from 1976 to 1980, and I think laid the groundwork for what was one of the great Republican Party victories of quite some number of decades. And he has been a trade negotiator, and anyone who's spent 4 years dealing with international trade can negotiate with almost anyone.

Among his primary interest is rebuilding and maintaining the ties with labor -- organized and unorganized -- attacking the serious endemic problem of youth unemployment, in particular minority youth. And I know he looks forward to working with our job partnership plan that has been working fairly successfully now for some time in finding work particularly for the untrained, training them, and then placing them.

And so, I'm very pleased and proud to announce that Bill has agreed to accept the nomination for this Cabinet post. And having said that, I'm going to -- --

Q. We understand he didn't want the job.

The President. What?

Q. We understand he didn't want the job.

The President. Well, you know, you just can't believe everything you read, can you? [Laughter]

Q. This clears the way for you to move the Trade Representative right into Commerce, doesn't it, Mr. President?

The President. What?

Q. This clears the way for you to move the Trade Representative's job right into Commerce, right?

The President. That seems like a long way around, doesn't it?

Ambassador Brock. It sure does. Thank you.

The President. I'm not going to take any more questions. You're going to have at me tomorrow night.

Q. -- -- your reaction -- --

The President. What?

Q. -- -- to the MX vote? The House Appropriations -- --

The President. No, I'm not going -- --

Q. -- -- Committee voted against it today.

The President. -- -- to change the subject here. I'm going to leave you in the hands of the nominee for Secretary of Labor -- --

Q. When did you decide?

The President. -- -- William Brock.

Q. Did you make the decision this morning?

Ambassador Brock. Thank you, Mr. President, very much.

The President. We'd been talking about it for several days and -- --

Q. Mr. President, do you think this will help improve your ties -- --

Q. Do you think he will at least be able to -- --

Q. -- -- with organized labor, Mr. President?

Q. Do you think he will at least be able to meet and talk with [AFL - CIO president] Lane Kirkland, since your former Labor Secretary never did?

The President. I'm going to let you answer that.

Ambassador Brock. I'll be happy to answer that -- --

The President. All right.

Ambassador Brock. -- -- if I may.

Q. See you tomorrow.

The President. See you tomorrow.

Q. I'll be there. [Laughter]

Note: The President spoke to reporters at 12:14 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.