tv Gary Hart First Withdrawal CSPAN May 6, 2016 9:41pm-9:52pm EDT
that's the best we can do. next on road to the white house rewind, democratic candidate gary hart withdraws from the 1988 presidential race less than a month after his campaign began. the former colorado senator facedle gagss of a extramarital affair with a miami woman named donna rice. in this ten minute event in denver, the former colorado senator continued to deny the affair saying he was quitting the race to spare his family and friends from quote further rumors and gossip. michael dukakis won the 1988 democratic nomination but lost to george h.w. bush in the general election. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] apologize fore being late. there was a little traffic coming down bear creek canyon this morning. i intended, quite frankly, to come down here this morning and read a short carefully worded political statement saying that
i was withdrawing from the race, and then quietly disappear from the stage. and then after frankly tossing and turning all night, as i have for the last three or four nights, i woke up about 4:00 or 5:00 this morning with a start. and i said to myself, hell no! [ cheers and applause ] and i'm not going to do that -- i'm not going to do that because it's not my style, and because i'm a proud man and i'm proud of what i've accomplished. [ applause ] let's hold down the applause. thank you. i appreciate it, but let's get
through this. now, clearly, leigm and i have never had a tougher week, but i'm not a beaten man. i'm an angry and defiant man. i have said that i bend, but i don't broke. and believe me, i'm not broken. so instead of -- instead of getting this over fast, i'm going to just kind of talk a while about this week and the times that we're in. frankly, the hardest part about making this decision has been my children. they are both more angry and confused than i've ever seen them in their lives. and very frankly, they are angry at me, their father. they don't want me to get out of this race. and you know, i believe that there are also a lot of angry and confused voters out around this country. what i have to say here is both for my children and for those voters. since getting into politics a long time ago, there are at
least two things i haven't been very good at, talking about myself, and playing the political game. but i've never felt the voters really cared about either one of those things, frankly. they are smart enough to know who you are without you telling them. you look them in the eye and you talk to them and they decide whether you are telling the truth or not. so i haven't spent a lot of time and effort trying to create an image. i am who i am, take it or leave it. [ applause ] and frankly -- and frankly, i'm pretty happy with who i am. and evidently, some voters have been also. i haven't based my campaigns on the support of politicians even though some of them are my very best friends. with all due respect, most politicians, with the exception of a few with great courage wait to see how political events are breaking before risking their political capital. and i understand that.
but what this means together with the rest of it is that i guess i've become some kind of a bear bird, some extraordinary creature that has to be dissected by those who analyze politics to find out what makes them tick. well, i resist that. and so then i become cool and aloof or elusive or enigmatic or whatnot and then the more people want to talk about me, the more i resist it, and so on. so it gets to be like the cat chasing its tail. now, a number of friends of mine around the country will tell you that in the weeks leading up to this race i gave serious thought to not running for president. in many ways, i didn't want to. it's because i had a to do a number of these profiles and i could see what was happening. i was going to be the issue. now, i don't want to be the issue. and i cannot be the issue. because that breaks the link between me and the voters. and that's what i tried to explain to my children.
if someone is able to throw up a smoke screen and keep it up there long enough, you can't get your message across. you can't raise the money to finance a campaign. there is too much static, and you can't communicate. in the final analysis, the american people decide what qualities are important to govern this country in the national interests. and they haven't been heard from yet. the last public event we did was the night before last in littleton, new hampshire. there were maybe 100, 150 people there, the height of this circus. and not one question about me. people there wanted to know about everything from south africa to aids, to yirld, to day care, to job training, to central america, and the list went on. i doubt any of that got on the evening news. and that's the point. in public life, some things may be interesting, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are important. whether i changed my name or
still owe campaign debts may be interesting at least for a while. but for most people in this country that's not what concerns them. for the farmers in amarillo, the oil field workers in louisiana, the steelworkers in pennsylvania, i can tell you because i've listened to them, they want jobs. their kids want a chance to get an education. and like all of the rest of us they don't want to be killed by some nuclear weapon. but if you are going of to to spend all your time talking about yourself and you are not particularly good about that anyway, then you cannot maintain that link with the voters that lets you listen to their concerns and offer your ideas and proposals. and that's about where we are today. now, clearly, under present circumstances, this campaign cannot go on. i refuse to submit my family and my friends and innocent people and myself to further rumors and gossip. it's simply an intolerable situation. i believe i would have been a
successful candidate, and i know i could have been a very good president, particularly for these times. but apparently now we'll never know. i've had the support of some of the most talented people in this country, particularly young people and i want to say to all of them today, march on. there's a lot of work to do. we're all going to have to seriously question the system for selecting our national leaders that reduces the press of this nation to hunters and presidential candidates to being hunted, that has reporters in bushes, false and inaccurate stories printed. photographers peeking in our windows, swarms of helicoptering hovering over our roof and my very strong wife close to tears because she can't even get in her own house at night without being harass. and then after all that ponder outside pundits wonder why some of the best minds this this country choose not to run for high office. i want those talented people who
supported me to insist that this system be changed. too much of it is just a mockery. and if it continues to destroy people's integrity and honor, then that system will eventually destroy itself. politics in this country, take it from me, is on the verge of becoming another form of athletic competition or sporting match. we all better do something to make this system work or we're all going to be soon rephrasing jefferson to say, i tremble for my country when i think we may in fact get the kind of leaders we deserchlt i say to my children and other frustrated and angry young people, i'm angry, too. i've made some mistakes. i said so. i said i would because i'm human. and i did, maybe big mistakes, but not bad mistakes. but i'm an idealist, and i love this country deeply, and i want to serve this country. events of this week should not deter any of you who are idealistic young people from moving on and moving up.
i would say to the young people of this country the torch of idealism burns bright in your hearts. it should lead you into public service and national service. it should lead service. it should lead you to want to make this country better. and whoever you are and whatever you do in that cause, at least in spirit, i will be with you. thank you very much. [ applause ] tonight you've been watching some of our american history tv programming in primetime. you'll find us here every weekend on c-span 3. we'll take you live to conferences, symposiums and historical sites, on american artifacts go behind the scenes with us to museums and archives. and travel with us to the nation's classrooms, where you'll hear from college and university professors on lectures in history. as the 2016 campaign continues
watch past white house campaigns on road to the white house rewind. and journey with us on real america, which showcases documentaries and other archival films. over the next few weeks watch for our airings of portions from the 1975 church committee hearings, investigating the intelligence activities of the cia, fbi, irs, and nsa. look for all of our programming every weekend on c-span 3. >> every week leading up to the 2016 elections "road to the white house rewind" brings you archival coverage of presidential races. next, a u.s. information agency film on the 1968 campaign. titled "a private decision," it chronicles the race from the first primaries in new hampshire to the surprise withdrawal of president lyndon johnson from the race. through robert kennedy's assassination and the national political conventions to richard