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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2006

President Bush Wishes Former President Gerald Ford Happy Birthday

President Gerald Ford's story is a true American story. It is the tale of a son of the Midwest who achieved great things through hard work, dedication, courage, and humility. President Ford played football at Michigan, received a law degree from Yale, served in the Navy during World War II, and for decades he represented Western Michigan as a Republican congressman from Grand Rapids.

Then came his appointment with history. He assumed the presidency at a perilous moment for our country. A President had resigned, the United States was involved in a Cold War, the economy was sputtering, and America's confidence was deeply shaken.

Few leaders have ever faced such challenges upon taking office. Yet President Ford met them with steadfastness and courage. His leadership helped heal a wounded Nation.

Since leaving office, President Ford has set a high standard for grace and character. He has never forgotten his roots or lost sight of the things that matter - including his deep love for his wife and partner, Betty.

Laura and I join all Americans in wishing President Ford a happy birthday.

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