Following are excerpts from President Carter's statement on the Democratic platform.
To the 1980 Democratic convention:
I congratulate the platform committee members and the convention delegates for the open and fair process which led to this 1980 platform and for the platform itself.
There was thorough, sometimes heated, debate on the major domestic and foreign policy issues facing us. The end product is a strong and progressive platform in the great tradition of the Democratic Party.
. . . I give you my enthusiastic support for the thrust and ideals expressed in the platform you have adopted.
It has been my desire throughout the platform process to produce a working unity among various elements of the party on the hundreds of issues which were initially debated.
As a result of the agreements reached during the initial drafting process, agreements made thereafter on a number of minority reports, and through further debate on the convention floor, this goal was substantially achieved.
Chapter 1 of the platform deals with the economy. A strong economy is a centerpiece to a strong and viable nation. It is the only way to achieve our national goals of full employment, balanced growth and price stability.
The onset of the seventh recession since World War II . . . has interrupted . . . progress and created unacceptable levels of unemployment.
We must deal with this critical problem by putting our people to work in permanent jobs to build a better America. At the same time we must and we can deal with our long-run economic problems.
. . . The Democratic Party has never turned its back on the working people of America or on the disadvantaged, and our party's platform reaffirms my own commitment that we never do so. We are and always will be the party of jobs and opportunity.
In Minority Report Number 3, the Democratic Party affirmed its dedication to an economic recovery program. I accept and support the intent behind this report and plan to pursue policies that will implement its spirit and aims.
I will soon announce an economic program compatible with those aims and which I believe the delegates to this convention will enthusiastically support. The result of this program will be a sound recovery from the current recession, a significant reduction in the unemployement rate and further progress in slowing inflation.
Our economic recovery program will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next year and substantially more over the long run. The amounts needed to achieve our goals will necessarily depend upon economic conditions, what can be effectively applied over time and the appropriate concurrence by Congress.
. . . I am in full agreement that our economic programs must be based on the principle of fairness and that we should do everything possible to avoid actions which significantly increase unemployment. However, I have concerns with Minority Report 2 because responsibility in these matters must ultimately rest with the president and the Congress. This responsibility should not be delegated to staff officials of either branch of government.
. . . Chapter 2 on Government and Human Needs stressed the importance of passing many of the programs I have proposed. . . .
With regard to Minority Report 9, I want to emphasize that I have no higher domestic priority than full employment. But we must make it clear that to achieve full employment we must also be successful in our fight against inflation. To be lasting, a jobs policy must not only promote economic growth and provide opportunities to the disadvantaged, but also create an environment of reasonable price stability.
I am proud of the ringing endorsement of the Equal Rights Amendment contained in the platform. My family and I have spent countless hours working to obtain congressional agreement for extending the time for ratification and to securing the necessary state approvals for ratification. I will not be satisfied until the ERA is part of our Constitution.
Since the beginning of my administration, I have personally opposed federal funding of abortion. I am sworn to uphold the laws passed by Congress, and the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the federal courts, but my personal view remains unchanged.
. . . In attempting to fulfill the recommendations set forth in the Democratic Party platform we must recognize that many require passage of legislation by Congress or action by other parties or nations. In addition, a president must retain the ability to respond to unforseen events and crises in a responsible and effective manner. I am certain that every delegate would want a president to have the flexibility to deal with such contingencies.
As the preamble to the 1980 platform states, "In this platform we offer programs and solutions that represent our dedication to Democratic principles. They define a spirit as well as a program -- a set of beliefs as well as a set of ideas. Time and events may alter their priority or prospects. But nothing will alter the defining spirit and values of the Democratic Party."
With these understandings, and with the few reservations expressed above, I pledge to do my best to carry out the recommendations and to fulfill the principles of the 1980 Democratic Party platform.