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Public Papers - 1989 - March

Statement on the Failure of the Senate To Approve the Nomination of John Tower as Secretary of Defense

1989-03-09

John Tower has devoted his life to service of country. Whether in the U.S. Senate, at the arms control negotiating table, or in the privacy of his counsel to Presidents, he has always held the interests of this nation above all else. John Tower has been steadfast in his advocacy of a strong defense and consistent in support of the many principles for which he fought throughout his career. He is and will remain my friend.

I have read Senator Tower's statement regarding the decision of the Senate and find its dignity and lack of rancor to be typical of the man whose leadership, knowledge, and experience would have benefited the Department of Defense and the Nation.

Instead of the recompense of a grateful nation, John Tower's lot in the past weeks has been a cruel ordeal. For this, I am truly sorry for both him and his family.

The Senate has made its determination. I respect its role in doing so, but I disagree with the outcome. I am also concerned by the way in which perceptions based on groundless rumor seemed to be the basis on which at least some made up their minds in judging a man well-qualified to be my Secretary of Defense. Now, however, we owe it to the American people to come together and move forward.

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