Regional Report; 9; The Republicans
Any tea, regional report, number 9. The following program is from NET, the National Educational Television Network. I have no bitterness, no rank at all. I say to the President as a fellow politician that he did a wonderful job. He put together a vote total, it's larger than has ever been gained in this country.
Also, I want to express my gratitude to the more than 25 million people in this country who are not necessarily voted for me, but they voted for a philosophy that I represent a Republican philosophy that I believe the Republican Party must cling to and strengthen in the years ahead. We all remember that day, the day after the most shattering defeat ever suffered by the Republican Party, a defeat that left the Grand Old Party in a shambles. Where do the Republicans stand today? Have they climbed from the wreckage? The National Educational Television presents regional report, a program of fact, comment and opinion from reporters throughout the country. Our subject tonight, the Republican Party, an examination of the State of the Party as it heads into the 1966 elections. Here again is National Editor Edwin Bailey.
Traditionally and historically, political parties which have lost the presidency gain back some of their losses in the next election. Certainly, the Republicans should expect to do that this year. The question seems to be how much? In this report, our reporters have sought to find whether that crushing defeat has changed the philosophy, the tactics, and the strategy of the Republican Party, and whether new candidates and new leadership is emerging. Along the way they have interviewed most of the top figures in the GOP, and you will hear from them in the next hour. Our first report is from Melvin Wax of the San Francisco Chronicle. He explores the sharply differing political ideologies of California's two major Republican candidates for governor. Nowhere in the United States is the clash between the gold water rights and the Republican moderates, more clearly defined. This is followed by a report on the Western Mountain States, from Neil Maxwell of the University of Utah. I am Mel Wax of Station KQED in San Francisco. It was in this city two years ago that the Republican Party decided to offer a vote as a choice, not an echo. Here as nationally, Republicans are the out party in state politics and the minority party in voter registration.
Democrat Edmund G. Pat Brown is seeking his third term as governor. National interest is focused on the Republican gubernatorial primary. Seeking the Republican nomination is a dairy owner George Christopher, Greek-born former mayor of San Francisco, who supported Rockefeller two years ago. The polls say that if he gets the nomination, George Christopher can win. His chief opponent is movie actor Ronald Reagan, a personable and very handsome man, now identified with the conservative wing of the Republican Party. This is his first bid for public office. I don't think that from the standpoint of good salesmanship that you should ever go back to slogans of past campaigns, particularly when the campaigns didn't turn out to the advantage of your party. I think the Republican Party must be prepared day by day, minute by minute, to meet the challenges that present themselves.
I'm afraid that we haven't done this, and we're afraid of saying, well, this is a me-to-ism. I am not one who believes that just purely to win a victory for the party, that we should just seek to give a better, let's say, a more efficiently run version of the opposite party's program. We should have a program of our own and beliefs of our own. If the Democrats happen to be right in some instances, I say to the Republican Party, let's go along with the Democrats when they're right, and let's just dissent when we are wrong, when they are wrong. I think Republicans have allowed themselves to be divided by the labels, and that we have much more in common than our philosophy is not so estranged. My feeling is that after a number of years of dissension, there still is a small group militant active that will not support any Republican except their extreme right-wing candidate. But I don't find that these splits in the party are so unusual. I think when you've been out of power for a long time, there is kind of a scramble, and there is much more of that.
Except that I have always felt that my point of view is the traditional point of view of the Republican Party. I think we have to be contemporary, I think we have to be up to date, or once in a while some unusual view crops into the picture, and this is what causes the dissension. There's nothing wrong with our party that couldn't be helped by a victory. If we can persuade these people to join the bandwagon for a man who could win, then our troubles will be over. Mervyn Field conducts the prestigious California poll, which is quite accurately, very accurately, measures the political climate here in California. There's still a fundamental rift, but we see signs of it healing somewhat. For example, in our recent polls, we see a growing tendency of conservative Republicans now because of the stigma attached to, well, the tendency of some public to relate. Conservative Republicanism with the John Burt society. We find many Republicans who are truly conservatives now classifying themselves as moderates, and disassociating themselves with, if I may say, the radical right that's in evidence in the Republican Party.
So, this type of rift is being isolated. This group, the John Burt society and the radical right are still there, but there's now a greater distance between them and the great bulk of Republicans. Clearly, Republicans at both ends of the political spectrum in California have learned a lesson from 1964. Their lesson is that they must not again be painted into the conservative corner. The Republican candidate must take his stance at least in the middle of the road. For a victory for the minority party depends upon how many Democrats vote Republican. I'm the old Maxwell of KUED in Salt Lake City. The Mount West have often been thought of as a kind of Republican stronghold, and these states probably are in better shape than the Republican Party as elsewhere in the nation. But in the shock of 1964, these states went heavily for Johnson with the exception of Arizona, and a number of Republican Congressmen lost their house seats. The deep duality that characterizes the Republican Party nationally is between conservatives and moderates appears in the Mount and West too. Which group will prevail?
This is Congressman Lawrence Burton, who won big in 1964 for the Republicans in Utah, a landslide within a landslide. Well, I'm sure there is a duality in the Republican Party in the Mount and West, just as there is with the Democratic Party. But in my judgment, the great normal majority are moderate and are reasonable, and I think that's the branch that will win out. This is Mitchell Millage, former Republican National Committeeman. He was the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Utah in 1964. I'm convinced that the moderate approach within the party is going to prevail, and I think this is true because of the defeat that we took in 1964. I think that the Republican leadership now recognizes that we have to meet these issues more from a moderate approach rather than from an extreme left or extreme right approach. Former Republican National Committeeman Jerry Jones raises money for the party in the four mountain states. Jerry agrees with these statements but sees a duality within a duality. Neil, I think that at the organization level that the conservatives will prevail and at the delegate level, the conservatives will prevail.
At the level where the people get involved in the primaries, the voters themselves involved, that the moderates will prevail. The Democratic Party has clearly demonstrated that duality isn't fatal if a party has compensatory dedication and organization. But can the Republican Party learn from its mistakes? Does it really have a political memory? No, I don't think it has. Every Republican leader from the precinct level up has a mind of his own and an individual thinker. He has to think that what he has done has been the right thing to do. He has his own opinion about what's right and what's wrong in government. And when he goes through a campaign, he won't accept to blame himself for what went wrong in a campaign but will blame it on to someone else in the party who likewise thinks that he was right. So he won't follow the pact or be a part of a herd of sheep. So while the individual person has a memory, the party as a whole is a result of this individual thinking does not have a memory and therefore doesn't learn from its defeats.
Yes, I think so. It's been hard, but we have the vocal group in our party that probably never will learn. But I think that that's just a small vocal group. It isn't a numerical group. And I think that we have learned. We've learned a lot since the 64 election. I see this in evidence in many, many places. Well, I say the elephant has a long memory. I hope the Republican party does too. We should learn from our mistakes. And I hope we have a meal. It seems to me the thing that we should have learned from the last campaign is that if the Republican party is going to be a majority party, it's got to have some 20th century answers to 20th century problems. Too often, the Republican party has been a kind of biennial broker representing a Confederacy of groups, practicing a kind of part time politics. It is more of a continuing political organization than the Republicans are. I hope this is going to change. I'm doing everything I can to change it. The Republican party is to be a dominant voice in American politics. It's got to be a continuing one. People who believe in this philosophy, you've got to be thinking at it and working at it all the time.
Western Republicans have often wondered about the empathy of their Eastern brethren. Do Eastern Republicans really find it possible to understand Western problems? For sensitive to the Eastern problems, we try and have a rapport back and forth. But the Eastern establishment is considerably more liberal. I would say the Republican establishment and the Western branch of the party. That isn't to say there aren't liberal Republicans in the West and conservative Republicans in the East. I think the rapport is pretty good. We get pretty good support from Easterners, from some of our projects, reclamation projects and other things like that. The Eastern establishment is primarily interested in the presidency, in my opinion. The Eastern establishment is not a Republican organization.
The Eastern establishment is made up of Democrats and Republicans and some people who are not identified publicly with either party. The development of natural resources, especially water, has been the major theme in the Western states over the years. But in 1966, other concerns are crowding in. I think there are two that are going to affect Republican candidates' chances affirmatively. One is the attempt by the majority party to repeal the right to work laws. And particularly here in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, that have right to work laws. The efforts by the majority party to do this is going to have an adverse effect upon them. I'm sure. Another one that has got people upset is the conduct of the war in Vietnam. And there's a deep schism in a democratic party about how this should be operated. The only people in Congress so far that have raised Ned with the president or members of his own party. And this is going to invade against them in the election. I'm sure that. On the other hand, the Republican parties got to contend with the great society.
It's hard to be against poor people. It's hard to be against underprivileged children. And the great society has something in the grab bag for everybody. And this is a build-in disadvantage that Republican candidates have. Now we go to the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains where Rick Wing of Denver interviews, Colorado's Republican governor, John Love. Do you think there are any issues specifically that are uniting the Republican party as we go into the 1966 election? Well, the issues in the 1966 election on the statewide, on the nationwide basis, certainly as the are the great and growing concern that the people have about the Vietnamese war and the way it's being handled and what our aims and objectives should be. I find and under lying concern increasingly about the economy, about the increase in prices, about inflation and so on. And I think that all Republicans unite behind their concern in these areas. In the 1966 elections, of course, as in all elections, there will be many instances in the congressional districts and the states and so on in which the elections turn on personalities or local issues.
Here in Colorado, and I think that you can generalize and say this is true pretty much across the United States, the great political dialogue is and needs to be on education. It's organization and it's financing, particularly education beyond the high school. One of the western Republicans who's helping to plan national policy for the Republican party is Governor Robert Smiley of Idaho. He responds now to this matter, the GOP is being a minority party. Well, I think the answer to that question, yes, because where we win is always that kind of a state. I think as somebody put it, the Republican party isn't the second party in the United States. It's the third. There are more people call themselves independence than call themselves Republicans anymore. And so as a consequence, we have to offer superior personnel and superior policies in order to have a hopeful winning. And it's when we get that independent vote and have programs that are key to the needs and the aspirations of people.
This is where and how we win and we've been doing it consistently where we've done that. The GOP could pick up as many as 14 seats in the 13 western states as fall, including some of the mountain states area. But the Republican parties got to face certain issues rather squarely. For instance, it still has difficulty appealing to certain minority groups. In the case of the West, interestingly enough, these are the Indians. Two GOP candidates lost their races last year, probably because of a heavily democratic Indian reservation vote. The Westward till of American population has brought the problems of urbanization to the American West. Yet some Republicans go on behaving as if the cities automatically belong to the Democrats and waiting vainly for the rural vote to come in. Nearly half the congressman from the 13 western states are either in their first or second term and unusually large percentage. This means that the material pattern of party politics in the West gives the Republicans a good chance to pick up seats. But they must also hold on to them.
And one of the ways they must do this is to get men who will hustle for their districts. Only when a Republican comes from a safe district can he afford the luxury of being a watchdog of the treasury. All others are going to have to hustle to become a bridge to the bureaucracy, yet federal dollars and programs to their districts, where their party approves of these programs. The one area where the Republicans did gain in 1964 was the South. Basically, they did it by being more racist than the racist Democrats. But one thing has changed since 1964. Many more Negroes have registered to vote. We have three reports from Sullivan Meyer, editor of the Gainesville Georgia Times, from James Mathis, publisher of several newspapers in Texas, and first from Eugene Dietz of the Nashville Tennessean. Well, Gene, I think Republican Party has come pretty long ways in a relatively short time since 1964. The ghosts of goldwater still revisits the Republican scene.
The goldwater policies of building a party on emotionalism, as yet have not been revised to building a party on issues. But we think by talking to these people and showing them our sincerity and by demonstrating it, for that matter. By asking them to participate with us, informing a program and a set of policies to present to the people, that they will see readily the sincerity of the leadership now. We are talking, talking, talking. But lips say this won't get it. The time has arrived for deeds to be substituted for words. The hopes and the fears of Tennessee Republicans are expressed by these three men. Go for Dudley Jr., Nashville, remember the National GOP Finance Committee, thinks that the GOP is on the right track these days. The George W. Lee, a Memphis Negro, doesn't agree. Julius Hearst, State GOP chairman, thinks that the party is now building a stronger force in the state.
I'm Eugene Dietz of the Nashville Tennessean, reporting from WDCNTV, Nashville. Dudley looks at the GOP situation in Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. We have a good chance in all of those states. Actually, as you well know, I went to Brock Bellers running and running a strong race. It has a very good organization in Arkansas. He has a lot of field people that are working for him, both in a regular organization, a pro, so to speak, as well as an awful lot of volunteers. In Mississippi, you have both in Columbus and Hattiesburg. We picked up two mayors last year. Kentucky has always been a very good state. Through St. Morton, of course, has been one of the strong men of the party for some time. Not just when he was nice, no chairman, but has been an excellent senator. He's now heading to the senatorial committee. Actually, in Tennessee, we will suddenly plan to fill some candidates for the offices that will be open. I see no reason why they shouldn't have an excellent chance of winning.
Mr. Lee, who had been in the habit of going to the Republican National Convention as a delegate, lost his seat in 1964. He blamed deracism, and he says the party hadn't changed much since then. Many of us in Tennessee and all over the nation asked the question, how can it be that the party of Lincoln, which once contributed so magnificent to the building of the country, would now sponsor and support strategic change from our great tradition? In 1947, Negro registration and 11 Confederate states was 595,000. In 1964, it had reached over 2 million. Before the end of this year, 1966, it would be there in 5 million. Yet nothing significant has been done by our party to correct the condition that led 94% of the Negro electorate to vote Democratic in 1964.
We asked Julius Hurst if the party is doing anything to try to get the Negroes back. We realized that we had a migration of Negro vote from the Republican Party this last time. We don't think it should have been, but it was, and we recognize that fact. But we're going to invite our Negro citizens to take an active part in the Republican Party on the same basis that we invite anybody else to take a part. What man did you see now in the National scene who could lead the party to victory in 1968? The situation may be different in 1986. It's two years away. Right now, Richard Nixon is a sound thinker and a leading Republican, and if this were 1968, it would have the best change of becoming the Republican nominee. Do you personally feel that he's your best candidate?
Yes, I feel this way personally, right now. After his Lincoln Day speech here in Nashville, we had an opportunity to talk privately with the former vice president. Do you see yourself in the role of a presidential candidate in 1968? Well, you're getting back, of course, to the question that I respectfully defer comment upon at this point. The moment that I start speculating about 1968, either affecting me or anybody else, we're going to start these forces of division operating within the party again. You referred here yesterday to the need to get rid of the racist and hate petters. How do you propose to do this? Now, when you say, how are we going to get people out of the party? I have made it very clear that when it comes to racist, to hate peddlers, to individuals or organizations that, like the Ku Klux Klan, for example, that practice and preach that kind of doctrine, that there's no place for such individuals in Republican party councils. There's no place for them as candidates. As far as votes are concerned, of course, nobody can go behind that curtain and tell them how they're going to vote.
When people mention the John Birch Society, I would point out that the Region Birch Society has had it, as far as influence in the Republican party's national councils or state councils are concerned. And in order to illustrate that point, I don't know of any congressional district in the country. I don't know of any Senatorial race. I don't know of any government attorial race, or a member of the John Birch Society has any chance, whatever to be a nominee. Negroes stay away from the Republican party in droves 1964. You seem to think you need them. How can you get these people back into your party? The problem of appealing to Negroes who left the party in 1964 is not going to be solved by one election. It isn't going to be solved by one speech. It isn't going to be solved by one campaign or one television appearance. It's going to be solved by what the Republicans individually and collectively do all over America.
In medicine, the fundamental principle is that the physician must diagnose the illness before deciding how to treat his patient. Republicans are indicating that they are applying the sound medical practice to their task of trying to revive the Republican party, which was hit by that sudden and almost fatal, fatal illness in 1964. The political trends are mixed in this region, and we won't know until elections later in this year whether or not the progressive voices of the GOP will be able to drown out those voices which cry out for returned yesterday. Yesterday, which perhaps never even existed, except in those headed dreams, born in conceit, reared in arrogance, and matured in the dark seclusion of closed minds. I am Sylvan Meyer, WGTV, University of Georgia Television. We're in the state headquarters of the Republican Party of Alabama. The Alabama Republicans are by far the best organized among the South East and States. Their structure goes into the grass roots, covers every county of Alabama, and is a going, effective, political organization.
This can only be said of one or two more states in the South East, including Georgia and Tennessee. Last night, we went to a meeting of the executive committee of the party in Birmingham. There, the party began some of its organizational work, and the candidates who will be running on the Republican ticket this fall introduced themselves to members of their party. Mr. Chairman and friends, I hope. I made a statement recently, which I entitled a statement of principle. Among other things, I stated that I could no longer masquerade under the mythical banner of an Alabama Democrat. In my humble opinion, it is time for people in Alabama to state whether they are national Democrats and the principles and philosophies of that party, or whether they are national Republicans and the principles and philosophies of that party,
they intend to support, adhere to, and help to effectuate. I intend to do that. In the South East, the Republican Party has followed a form of organization, visualized by one John Grignet, who was executive director of the Go Water campaign nationally, and was South Eastern coordinator for the Go Water Forces before the convention in which he was nominated. And also during his campaign. Mr. Grignet, is the leadership of the Republican Party in Alabama essentially the same as it was during the 1964 campaign? I'd say so. Actually, the leadership came into being in more 1962, two years before the Go Water election that in 1964, and we added to it in 1964, but essentially the leadership in place in the party today came in in 1962.
I was elected State Chairman at that time. Now, has this leadership managed to accumulate more grassroots supporters as years have gone on since the campaign or has the grassroots strength deteriorated? No, I'd say it's built substantially. Our first general election campaign was in 1962 when we ran Jim Martin for the United States Senate, and he got 49.6% of the vote against Senator Lester Hill. And the head we had a little more grassroots strength at the ballot box than I think we would have won that victory. And it grew into 1964, Senator Go Water as a catalyst of people who had been Democrats, strengthened our ranks even more. And since 1964, I'd say we even added to that and beefed up our leadership so that we're strong throughout the state. Now, you mentioned the Go Water leadership. Would it be accurate to say that in the South, the leadership of the Republican Party is essentially the same that ran the Go Water campaigns, but in the rest of the country, there seems to have been a shift away from Go Water leadership.
Well, let me say I couldn't speak authoritatively about the rest of the country, but I would say that I haven't noticed any substantial change from the 1964 leadership. If anything, we've had people who supported Senator Go Water in 1964 assume positions of greater responsibility in Southern states. Is there a candidate looming on the national level now that you think would be able to unify Southern Republican support in the next national campaign? Well, of course, it's strictly a matter of opinion, and I think until after 1966, we really can't definitively state, but certainly Dick Nixon is far ahead of anybody else in the Southern states, I would say, just off-hand it. Howard Bulkalloway is a member of a wealthy Georgia textile family. He became a Republican, and one Georgia's only Republican seat in Congress in 1964. I would say that those of us from the South who feel as most Southerners do, which is sometimes term conservative, though I don't like that word, we're at home in the Republican Party.
These Democrats that have called themselves for years democratic conservatives, they're just not at home in their party, as a matter of fact, their party doesn't listen to them. Their party in Washington is liberal, if you like that term, their party is liberal, and the Southern Democrats, many of which are conservative, just have no home at all. The home for one who believes in the fundamentals of this Constitution is in the Republican Party, and of course, those of us who believe in that are welcomed by that party. So the Republicans in the South, the East, by and large, are concentrating on organization and on strong central party direction. They are not a particularly program-oriented party. They continue to push the idea of a strong two-party system in the South. When you get right down to it, however, it's the race issue and the antagonisms that result from federal intervention in Southern programs involving the race issue that continue to add cohesiveness to the Republican Party in this area. One of the major Republican problems are the extremists, the real hard-nosed, Dixie-Crat die-hards within the party. The party is attempting to temper these people, to gradually work them into the party structure, meanwhile they need them for support.
Until these Dixie-Crat are completely dead, the GOP must compromise and must temper them and must try to concentrate on structure and organization rather than on philosophical direction. I'm James Riemethas in Texas. Republicans here have one main line of strategy to do whatever is necessary to win in selected races. To date, this is developed along three lines, an unusual appeal to the Latin American vote which is growing throughout the state and especially in South Texas, moderation and full development of their urban strongholds. There are two top candidates, our Senator Tower, who was elected in 1961 to replace the then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and George Bush of Houston, who came close to winning the second Senate seat in 1964. Bush is running for Congress in Houston in a newly created district.
Texas has two million Latin Americans among the eight million other people loosely termed Anglos. The Latin population is growing in a tremendous clip. The last census recorded a 44% growth in the zero to 15-age bracket. Many of these people are voters now. Qualified sources say that if all the eligible Latin Americans registered more than half a million could vote. They outnumber potential Negro voters. They are concentrated in Western and Southern Texas. However, no one but a candidate with a Spanish surname has ever been able to generate mass enthusiasm among the Latin Americans. Anglos politicians in the Rio Grande Valley and other South Texas counties stay in power by dividing the opposition or by keeping Latin Americans in a state of economic thought and ignorance. For the first time, Republicans are concentrating on an appeal to the sometimes apathetic vote.
One of these appeals took place in Alice, a city of 25,000, about 30 miles west of Corpus Christi and 100 miles north of the Rio Grande River. The rally was held at this VFW Hall and gathered here for a barbecue or about 170 Anglos Republicans from all over South Texas. Senator Tower is here, so as Peter O'Donnell, the GOP State Chairman from Dallas, and the prized Republican Platform Catch, Albert Fuentes, President of the State's Political Association of Spanish-speaking organizations, are as we know it, Paso. I talked to Senator Tower before the barbecue began. Senator Paso, the Political Association of Spanish-speaking organizations, has been closely affiliated with the Liberal Democratic Movement in Texas. What do you think are your chances to capture this minority vote in the fall?
Well, it's difficult to say what the prospects are. I intend to run on the basis of my record, on the basis of my experience in the Senate, on the basis of how I have served my state and represented what I consider to be its majority interest. I think that probably the vote that I get will range more across the political spectrum than that that any possible opponent that I have might get. Now, Senator, the Latin Americans in South Texas are largely a low-income, even deprived group. What do you feel Republicans have to offer them as an alternative to the great society program? I think we have opportunities to offer. To begin with, the Republicans don't try to use various minority groups or economic groups for political purposes. We don't try to exploit them for political purposes. I think that many of the minority groups and less privileged economic groups are aware of this fact that we are completely candid about what we have to offer. I think we have to offer opportunity.
We are trying to create a political climate in this country that is conducive to economic growth. And as the economy grows, then everybody benefits. The lower people in the lower income bracket have better job security and higher salaries, higher wages as a result. But this is not a typical Latin American barbecue. Those kinds of political meetings you hold in a goat's shed are beneath the stars with Cabrito roasted over mosquito fires and with plenty of beer and mariachios. These are well-dressed young Republicans ladling out the food. No more than 30 Latin Americans came out. And most of those were from hard-pressed Duval County. Because as I talk to you today about the need for a two-party state, all we're going to do is talk to each other. There was a Fuentes who died alongside David Crockett and William Barrett Travis in the Alamo fighting for independence from Mexico.
This Fuentes is also from San Antonio. He has labored long against all forms of discrimination and tyranny against his people. He is a sincere man, tinged with frustration and bitterness because Democrats move too slowly to correct economic evils from which his people suffer or to educate them. Most of the people in the audience here have fought his organization at the polls without compromise. But he still tries. I think that the Democrats have taken for granted that we had nowhere to go and we had no other place to try to solve problems and they've continued to ignore them. I think that the Republican Party as it looks at its program and how it can grow is starting to realize that Texas is comprised of many more people than just those that they've had in the party in the past. And that the problems that they espoused to solve must include all of the elements. Every one of consequence in the Republican Party here today is for moderation.
But most of them won't call it that. Tower refers to it as responsibility. But in truth, there is no easy way to measure how tower has moderated. He now stresses his positive proposals. His campaign strategy revolves around the affirmative approach and the Vietnam War. He will make his appeal to minority groups, but he will not overly commit himself in this direction. He will not trust himself to any minority. Although he must collect normally liberal democratic votes to win reelection. That was Jim Mathes of Edinburgh, Texas. In the North, there is new life in the Republican Party and a new more progressive breed of candidates is striving to emerge. Our reports are by Hal Bruno, Chicago Bureau Chief for Newsweek Magazine, Marion Sanders, Associate Editor of Harper's Magazine, and Frank Hawkins, Editor of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. This is Hal Bruno, WTTW Chicago. The Republican outlook for this year's election is rather grim in some states that would normally be considered safe Republican territory.
With some notable exceptions, the party appears to be suffering from a lack of patronage money in candidates. Most of all, amid Western Republicans lack exciting political personalities to rally around. This is the sad situation in Indiana, where the GOP once had solid grassroots strength, and in Missouri. Men who would be the best Republican candidates have declined to run in Minnesota. The Iowa and Nebraska political scenes are dominated by the popularity of democratic governors. In Wisconsin and Kansas, you do find strong and unified Republican organizations, but it's only in Illinois and Michigan that they have candidates with a proven star quality. Michigan Governor George Romney has become Mr. Republican in the Midwest, and is favored by many leaders to be the party's presidential nominee in 1968. Governor Romney, would you evaluate the health of the party in Michigan and the nation in the Midwest? Well, I think it's improved somewhat since the 1964 election.
We made considerable progress here in Michigan because as a result of the progress that's been made under Republican leadership, we've reestablished a great deal of respect for the party and a great deal more interest in the party. We have many minority groups who are organized and interested in the party that we didn't have in 1964. As far as the national scene is concerned, I think we have taken some steps that are very important in terms of strengthening the party. The national committee has been reorganized, and the party has created something that I think we've needed for a long time, and that's a representative leadership group that can meet and determine party policy and programs between national conventions. And the result is I think there's a greater degree of understanding and therefore a greater ability to work effectively together than there was earlier. What about the ideological split that took place in the last election? Has that pretty much healed? Have the device of elements been brought together? Well, as I've indicated, the creation of the National Republican Coordinating Committee has permitted the representative leadership from all parts of the party to come together and discuss things that played a part in creating division in 1964, the civil rights issue, the extremism issue, and the national coordinating committee has taken positions on these matters.
And this committee includes the national nominee of 1964, as well as the national nominees of earlier years, including General Eisenhower, our former president Eisenhower, and congressional leadership and Republican governors. So yes, we have been able to compose some of those differences and also to establish a much better basis of understanding. The Midwest no longer is rural and dominated by agriculture. It has become urbanized and industrialized. A successful candidate must win in growing cities like Champaign, Peoria, Decatur, and Rockford, as well as Chicago and its suburbs. This is the challenge facing Charles H. Percy. This year running for the Senate seat occupied for three terms by Paul Douglas, a very popular Democrat. We caught Mr. Percy in the midst of moving into his new campaign headquarters, where he and two of his advisors, Scott Cohen, in Robert Holloway, discussed a crucial Republican problem. How to attract the moderate liberal, independent, and even democratic voters in the cities of Illinois?
What issues do the Republicans have to put them in a position to attract the big city vote? The stand in Congress against repeal of 14b certainly is not going to win any votes in the labor block. Well, it's not true at all, though, that it's going to untagonize large blocks. The facts will refute this. It will untagonize labor union leadership, but that's quite different than workers. The last surveys that I saw indicated that Americans, overwhelmingly, in about a four to one, oppose the repeal of 14b, and feel that this matter should be decided by the states, and even a majority of union members, so that I don't think this is the issue that will be a crucial issue. What lessons have been learned from the Lindsey victory in New York that are applicable in Midwestern cities? Well, I think, generally, the party was very pleased with what Lindsey did.
Not everyone agrees that other candidates should follow the same independent path that he did, but they're proud that he won. They're glad to see the big city vote broken. I think that they're willing to learn from Lindsey, and they're talking with Lindsey and his people to see how this victory can be repeated in other cities, not necessarily under an independent or a liberal label, but under the Republican label. In the Midwest, Republican hopes for this year depend on how the Congressional candidates and leaders like Governor Romney and Charles Percy succeed in bringing a new look to the Grand Old Party. And the hope for the future has to be based on their performance in 1966. This is Mary and Sanders in New York reporting for Station WNDT. In New York, the GLP has discovered how to win the urban vote, a feat that is still in a talking stage in most other cities. They have done it here by nominating able, attractive men who take a consistently liberal position on all the issues that concern city voters.
The latest to do this was Congressman Theodore Cupperman, who won a special election last month, chiefly, because he was slightly to the left of his Democratic opponent on the Vietnam issue. The Republicans hereabouts have also enjoyed the unprecedented cooperation of the Democratic Party, which has regularly fielded impossible candidates chosen after fragile conventions or primaries. As a result, last November, the Liberal Party, for the first time in its history, forsook the city Democrats, and Republican John Lindsay was elected, despite the Democrats' three-to-one edge and enrollment. Lindsay never mentioned his party during his mayoral campaign. In his first two months in office, he has taken a liberal stance at every opportunity. He fired a police commissioner who refused to accept a civilian view board, and he has denounced the John Birch Society in the strongest terms he had heard in these parts. The Democrats, at this moment, present no real threat to our three top Republicans, Rockefeller, Javits, and Lindsay.
But ironically, they have plenty to worry about within their own party. For all of them have higher ambitions, and all of them represent the brand of Eastern liberalism, which no national Republican convention is likely to embrace. Rockefeller also bears the scars of past battles with the gold water rights and his divorce and re-marriage have not been forgotten in the hinterland. Lindsay, too, faces formidable hurdles, apart from his unrepublicant ideology. He will have to impose unpopular new taxes, including a local income tax to pull the city out of bankruptcy, and continuing crises are bound to be his lot. As they have been, from the day the buses and subways stop running as he was being sworn in. Still, Lindsay is the man to watch. There is a good deal of fumbling at city hall by an amateurish and not two billion staff. But when our handsome, energetic young mayor faces this, on TV or in person, our spirits rise.
His language may be a bit on the stuffy side, but he talks since, and he radiates candor and integrity. He has brought hope to this very cynical city. Who knows, even his own party might one day count these qualities as assets. This is Frank Hawking, reporting for a WQED in Pittsburgh. As it looks forward to another national election following its defeat in 1964, the Republican Party can find much comfort in two of its traditional strongholds, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Both states are presently controlled by the GOP. Governor James A. Rhodes is conceded to good chance to win a second four-year time in Ohio. Governor William W. Skyron is ineligible to succeed himself, but his influence is still strong, and the party's nominee, Luke, is expected to run well. Who will set the tone for the party in this year's election?
The moderate progressives are the right-wing extremists. Well, let's be practical in answering that one. I think it will be whoever is the candidate in a given jurisdiction in a non-presidential election year. The people generally follow the candidates of that locality, that is a congressional or a senatorial candidate, if that's the case, or gubernatorial, if it's a state matter. And I think that the elections will be won in states on state issues, and as far as the Congress Senate and the Congressmen are concerned, probably by the candidate himself. Now, there may be a variety of them in various places, but generally speaking, it has tended more toward the so-called moderate line, which incidentally is a term I'm not very enthusiastic about. It sounds kind of wishy-washy to me. The National House of Representatives presently consists of 293 Democrats and 140 Republicans. What chance do the Republicans have in gaining seats to redress that lopsided balance next November? Well, this answer may surprise you, but I think they've got a chance to do a lot better, of course, than they did in 1964.
But how much better is the gauge, and I, and even nobody else knows either? What does the Republican Party need to do most in order to become again the majority party in this country? I think the single greatest need we have is to be able to impress every person individually that we are a party that is interested in him or her. Let me explain that briefly. I think the greatest tragedy that happened to the Republican Party in 1964 over a long period of time was the fact that so many millions of people apparently said in that election. Republican Party doesn't want me because of my religion or my color or something else, and therefore I don't want to have any part of them. I think we've got to overcome that. Many of us are trying very hard to do it as rapidly as possible, and I think that's our greatest need. While the party's image as a whole will be a factor in next November's election, much will defend upon the local appeal of individual candidates.
Party labels are not controlling in Pennsylvania elections. Consolvenians are notorious ticket splitters. While Lyndon Johnson was carrying the state by a million and a half votes in 1964, the electorate was re-electing Hugh Scott as a senator. Two years earlier, a Democratic senator, Joseph S. Clark, was re-elected at the same time that the voters chose a Republican governor, Mr. Scranton. It is thus evident that citizens in this part of the country have learned to vote for the candidate rather than the party label. If it puts up strong candidates, the GOP has nothing to fear next fall in Pennsylvania and Ohio. In Washington, Alan Atten, White House correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, interviews the chairman of the Republican Sanitarial Campaign Committee, Senator Thrusten Martin of Kentucky. Senator Martin, with the Democrats controlling the Senate 68-32 and with only one third of the Senate coming up for election this fall, obviously the Republicans can't hope to win control.
But there are many people who think that the Republicans won't gain at all this fall. What's your own assessment of the outlook for Senate Republicans? Well, from a mathematical standpoint, you're entirely correct. We, of course, can't get control. Also, from a mathematical standpoint, the opportunities are not as great as they were in 64. When we only had nine Republicans running again and 26 Democrats, this time, 14 Republican seats were at stake and approximately 2021 Democratic seats. Now, this makes it more difficult, but on the other hand, many factors worked against us in 1964, which aren't prevalent this year. I don't expect any phenomenal gains, but I would say that we should show a net gain of somewhere between a minimum of three, let us say, and a maximum of six, and it could be a sweep, I don't know. What has happened? Is it all Vietnam that has changed the situation? No, I don't know how this Vietnam thing is going to cut.
Obviously, we're not going to try to make a political issue out of this as a party, and we shouldn't. On the other hand, let's face it, there will be a silent vote of protest, if you will, that could work to our benefit. At least several of your southern Senate candidates, Martin, if he runs an Alabama representative Walker in Mississippi, Senator Thurman, advocate strong segregationist points of view. Do you think this point of view really should be held by members of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln? No, I do not, and I have talked to Republican leaders throughout the South repeatedly on this subject. There's no doubt about it, we cannot hold a position to the right of the southern Democrat in matters of civil rights. First place, there's no room there, there's no room for anybody. Now, the southerner, the average southerner is conservative. Let's forget the civil rights issue, let's admit frankly that we can't get to the right of the southern Democrat because, as I say, there's no room there.
But let's appeal to aim on other issues, this isn't the only issue that impresses the southerner. Many southerners are unhappy with the position taken by both of our major political parties in their platforms and connection with civil rights. So let's appeal on other issues, and in this way, I think we can build a genuine two-party system in the South, and this is the only way we can do it. To one extent, to militant conservative groups such as the John Birch Society still constitute a problem for the Republican Party. I think it's diminishing rapidly. It was a problem, they were certain groups, not only the Birch Society, but others were taking over precincts, and in some cases, county organizations, and then kicking out everyone who didn't agree with them completely, who didn't conform with their particular ideology. This is wrong. I want to see debate in both parties. I don't want to see a conformist party, but I don't want any group to take over my party or any segment of my party, and then I have to believe what they believe in order to stay in the operation of the party. But I think this is disappearing rapidly, and I think that perhaps the Democratic Disunity that we see today probably accentuates Republican unity.
Thank you very much, Senator Morton. A year ago, even six months ago, the Republican outlook was admittedly bleak. Republican conservatives and liberals were fighting over what was left of the party. Lyndon Johnson was winning more and more converts to his brand of consensus politics. Prosperity was booming along, and the Republicans seemed to have no issue going for them at all. Suddenly, things changed abruptly. More and more Republican party professionals seemed willing to let the ideological battles go until after the fall elections, and concentrate for the present on finding attractive candidates and electing them. The Democrats in many large states, New York, Ohio, California, Michigan, were disorganized and feuding. Many voters seemed unhappy about rising prices, and above all, Vietnam threatens Democratic incumbents, with protests coming both from double-like voters who think Mr. Johnson is being too tough, and from hawk-like voters who think he's not being tough enough. Obviously, things could change a good deal between now and November, with things getting better or much worse for the Democrats.
But if things are just about what they are now, most political observers in both parties think that the Democratic incumbents will suffer very badly. The longer-term Republican outlook is obviously much harder to guess. Chances are that when the party turns around again to picking a national ticket, the old ideological fighting will erupt again. They'll be the fight between the liberals who want the party to make a stronger pitch to the great mass of urban and suburban voters, and the conservatives who favor the older, more traditional Republican policy approach. As of the moment, most party pros think the choice lies between former Vice President Richard Nixon, behind whom most of the conservatives seem to be rallying, and Michigan Governor George Romney, who seems to be the liberals candidate. The party pros aren't wildly enthusiastic about either one, but they don't see anyone else on the horizon to rally behind. Most of them think that New York Mayor John Lindsay, or any other Republican emerging from this fall's elections, will not have the time to build a national following quickly enough to win the nomination in 1968.
That was Al Oton of the Wall Street Journal. Well, there is the picture. In California, the gold water rights, down but not out, making a last stand. In the south, a party torn between extreme segregation, and the necessity of coping with a growing number of Negro voters. In northeast, a move toward progressivism in an attempt to crack the Democratic vote in the cities. You may have noticed that few of the Republicans on this program had much to say about the war in Vietnam. Our reporters asked about it, but most answers were non-committal. They did show, however, that the Republicans are confident that popular distaste for that war will work to their benefit. History supports this feeling. It was Truman's war in Korea that led to spectacular Republican gains in 1950 and 1952. Johnson's war, as some Republicans already are calling it, is no more popular. Most Americans, I think, want us to get out of Vietnam, some through negotiation and some through victory, whatever that is, and that confused struggle.
If President Johnson could resolve the conflict, everything would change. But barring that, it seems highly probable that Democratic losses will be heavy this fall. And the shattered, beaten Republican party will gain a new lease on life. This is NET, the National Educational Television Network.
- Regional Report
- Episode Number
- The Republicans
- Producing Organization
- National Educational Television and Radio Center
- Contributing Organization
- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- NOLA Code
- Episode Description
- In its upcoming bi-monthly series Regional Report, National Educational Television focuses on The Republicans. Not since the days before President Johnsons crushing victory of Barry Goldwater 16 months ago has the outlook of the GOP been so bright. Because of the Administrations war policy in Vietnam and the growing possibility of increased inflation and a restoration of some tax cuts, Republicans are now predicting sweeping gains in Congressional seats in the November elections. Regional editors at NET affiliated stations across the country talk with ranking Republicans to find out what has happened to the GOP since its overwhelming defeat in 1964. They also examine how the Partys philosophy, attitudes, and tactics have changed and examine how it stands as another November election approaches. A highlight of The Republicans is former Vice-President Richard Nixon discussing President Johnsons Vietnam War policies and how they are expected to help Republicans pick up blocks of Congressional seats. From key cities in NETs nationwide network regional editors give the local slant on GOP plans. Included among these are reports from California where Ronald Reagan is a leading candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary and from Texas where GOP strategy is being mapped to embarrass President Johnson in his home state by capturing Congressional seats now held by Democrats. There are also reports from the South where Republicans are concentrating on gaining Negro votes and from the Midwest were Republicans are intensifying their efforts. The Northeast segment includes a discussion of Mayor Lindsays victory in New York City and the prospects of New Yorks Governor Rockefeller. A national picture of the direction the Republican Party is following is presented from Washington where GOP National Chairman Ray Bliss is interviewed. REGIONAL REPORT #9: THE REPUBLICANS: a 1966 National Educational Television production. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Series Description
- A series of bi-monthly interpretative regional reports focusing on local aspects of important national issues. For the series, a network of regional editors made up of experienced newspaper and magazine reporters was set up at key places throughout the United States to examine the specific nature of the problem in their localities. The 19 episodes that comprise this series varied in length from 60 to 90 minutes and were all originally recorded on videotape, except for the first episode, which was originally recorded on film. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Politics and Government
- Media type
- Moving Image
Editor: Bayley, Edwin
Executive Producer: Weston, William
Interviewee: Nixon, Richard
Interviewee: Bliss, Ray
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2296461-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape: Quad
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2296461-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2296461-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
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- Chicago: “Regional Report; 9; The Republicans,” 1966-03-30, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 9, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-8s4jm24805.
- MLA: “Regional Report; 9; The Republicans.” 1966-03-30. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 9, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-8s4jm24805>.
- APA: Regional Report; 9; The Republicans. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-8s4jm24805