Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner made the following remarks today upon learning of the death of former President Gerald Ford:
“President Gerald Ford will be remembered as the man who restored respect to the presidency and other institutions of government at one of the most trying times in our nation’s history. He was a true healer when Americans really needed healing. And, history will record that his putting the country ahead of personal political agendas when he pardoned Richard Nixon cost him the election of 1976.
We all must remember that Gerald Ford never wanted to be President. He was a creature of the House of Representatives and aspired to become Speaker. Yet his service in Congress taught him that overspending would poison our economy and cost many Americans their jobs. His numerous vetoes of bills passed by Congress which spent too much money is a lesson my colleagues and I should remember.
Gerald Ford encouraged me to run for Congress in 1978. He told me that since I would represent a safe district once elected, I could have a major impact on legislation and the direction our country would take. I never forgot his advice.
While he didn’t know it at the time, he also helped bring my wife, Cheryl, and me together. Cheryl worked for the Ford Committee during the 1976 campaign and was detailed to enlist a brash young State Senator to the cause. She was successful in that endeavor and I got a life’s partner as a bonus.
Cheryl and I express our condolences to the Ford family, and our thoughts and prayers rest with them.”