From the MPR archive: Mondale announces Ferraro as running mate

Mondale Ferraro
Vice Presidential candidate Walter Mondale, left, and Rep. Geraldine Ferraro wave after Mondale announced Ferraro as his running mate in the chamber of the Minneapolis House of Representatives, St. Paul, Minn., July 12, 1984. Ferraro was the first female vice presidential candidate of a major party in the history of the United States.
AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a rough transcript of Walter F. Mondale's announcement of Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro as his choice for vice presidential running mate on July 12, 1984 at the Minnesota State Capitol.

REPORTER: Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale is scheduled to make official his choice of a running mate for the 1984 election. Today marks the end of the several weeks of interviews while Mondale has conducted with potential running mates in his home in North Oaks, just north of Saint Paul. The interviews have captured the attention of the media at least, because Mondale has spoken with women and minority men, something no other major party candidate has done so far in choosing a vice presidential running mate. The rumors are about to be officially put to rest.

WALTER MONDALE: A year and a half ago, in this chamber, I announced my candidacy for president of the United States. One week from today, I expect to be nominated for president of the United States. And today I'm delighted to announce that I will ask the Democratic Convention to nominate Geraldine Ferraro of New York to run with me for the White House.

I know what it takes to be a good vice president, I was once one myself. I looked for the best vice president, and I found her in Geri Ferraro. It was a difficult choice at first, but over the past week or so, as I've worked on my acceptance speech, as I prepared our message to the country, the choice became clear. My campaign, my presidency, will honor basic American values and those who embody them. We must go into the future together, as one indivisible community.

America is not just for some of us, history speaks to us today. Our founders said in the Constitution: "We the People." Not just the rich, or men, or white, but all of us. Our message is that America is for everyone who works hard and contributes to our blessed country.

That's what my choice is about, and that's what Geri's about. The story of her road from the Ferraro home to this moment is really the story of a classic American dream. She's earned her way here today; like most Americans, she's worked hard for everything she's achieved. She has a strong family live, deep religious conviction, and working Americans of average income will find in her a vice president who knows them and who will fight for them.

She believes in a strong America that sees our adversaries through clear eyes, and in an America that uses its strength and its values to keep the peace. Geri has excelled in everything she's tried. From law school at night, to being a tough prosecutor, to winning a difficult election, to winning positions of leadership and respect in the Congress, and to her role as chair of the Democratic Platform Committee. As I've worked on my acceptance speech, I've been thinking about our platform, because it says something about our party, our country's future and about Geri. That platform breaks with the past, but abandons nothing that matters. It strikes the right balance between compassion and practicality. It took a gifted negotiator with an eye on the American people to accomplish that, and Geri made it look easy.

One last point, this is an exciting choice, I want to build a future: Let me say that again, this is an exciting choice!

Geraldine Ferraro and I have ... one vision, one message, and two voices can tell it. Tomorrow we begin our campaign together in Elmore, Minn. From there, to the convention, then to the nation, and then to the White House. Thank you very much.

GERALDINE FERRARO: Thank you, thank you. Thank you Vice President Mondale. Vice President has such a nice ring to it. I want to thank Fritz Mondale for asking the convention to nominate me as his running mate. This choice says a lot about him, about where the country has come, and about where we want to lead it. Fritz called my road here the classic American dream. He's right.

When Fritz Mondale asked me to be his running mate, he sent a powerful signal about the direction he wants to lead our country. American history is about doors being opened, doors of opportunity for everyone, no matter who you are, as long as you're willing to earn it.

Fritz Mondale knows what America's really about, and I'm honored to join him in this campaign for the future.

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Audio and transcript courtesy the MPR archive.

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