Remarks Following a
Visit to the Reynolds Metals Company in Richmond, Virginia
March 28, 1988
The President. Bill, thank you very
much. Your good Senator John Warner is here with me. I'm going to take him back
to Washington and put him back to
work. [Laughter] You know, I've been told that you all heard what I was saying
in there to the others. Is that right?
Audience members. Yes!
The President. Well, then, you know
that I finished by telling a story that I said I haven't told to Gorbachev. I
think I'll tell you a story that I have told to him. [Laughter] It seems that
they were having some trouble with speeders in the Soviet Union, even though they don't
have many automobiles. So, an order was issued that everybody, no matter who it
was, caught speeding get a ticket. And one day General Secretary Gorbachev was
coming out of his country home. He's late getting to the Kremlin. So, he told
his driver to get in the backseat and he'd drive. And down the road he went,
past two motorcycle policemen. One of them took out after him. In just a few
minutes, he was back with his buddy. And the buddy said, ``Well, did you give
him a ticket?'' And he said, ``No.'' He said, ``You
didn't? Why not? We're supposed to give everyone a ticket.'' He said, ``No, he
was too important.'' But he said, ``Who was it?''
``Well,'' he said, ``I couldn't recognize him. But his driver was Gorbachev.''
I've got to tell one more, and then I've got to go back to Washington and get to work, too.
Another story that's a favorite of the people over there is they like to tell
stories about us and their people in arguments about the two countries. And
this was an argument in which the American, trying to prove how great this
country is, said, ``Look, I can walk into the President's Oval Office. I can
pound the desk and say, `Mr. President, I don't like the way you're running our
country.''' And the Russian said, ``I can do that.'' He said, ``You can?'' He said, ``Yes. I can walk into the Kremlin to
the General Secretary's office. I can pound on his desk and say, `Mr. General
Secretary, I don't like the way President Reagan's running his country.'''
that's enough, here. You've stood here long enough. And I just want to thank
you all for not only a great welcome, but, as I told you in those remarks in
there, you're performing miracles, and you make me so proud of what you're all
doing and what America means and why we can hold our own with anyone in the
world and better them.
you very much. God bless you all.
Note: The President
spoke at outside of the headquarters building. In his opening
remarks, he referred to Bill Bourke, president and chief executive officer of
the company. Following his remarks, the President returned to Washington, DC.