How did President Reagan approach the election? Did he 'play nice' with President Carter's record? I don't think so... 1. During his 1980 Labor Day speech at New Jersey's Liberty State Park, Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan listed the economic failures of his opponent, President Jimmy Carter. With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, Reagan used the moment to respond to Carter, who had accused Reagan of misusing the term "depression" to describe a recession that began in January of that year. "Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well, if it's a definition he wants, I'll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his." Economy: Are We in a Recession or Depression? - Newsweek 2. Today a President of the United States would have us believe that dream is over or at least in need of change. Jimmy Carter’s Administration tells us that the descendants of those who sacrificed to start again in this land of freedom may have to abandon the dream that drew their ancestors to a new life in a new land. You're right. The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million -- eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they're down to more than 11 percent but now they've begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world. American Rhetoric: Ronald Reagan - Labor Day Speech at Liberty State Park 3.Thank you. I'm… well, you know, thanks. I'm -- I'm looking forward to meeting Mr. Carter in debate, confronting him with the whole sorry record of his Administration. The record he prefers not to mention. If he ever finally agrees to the kind of first debate the American people want, which I’m beginning to doubt, he’ll answer to them and to me. Ibid. Let's have a full-blooded conservative who will attack the Obama record in the same way!