tv The Presidency CSPAN May 15, 2016 8:00pm-9:11pm EDT
copal sent about -- gene kopelson on the behind-the-scenes mentoring of ronald reagan and the role that dwight d. eisenhower blade in the 1950's -- played in the 1960's. his book is, "reagan's 1968 dress rehearsal: ike, rfk, and reagan's emergence as a world statesman." the discovery institute hosted this program. >> we are joined by dr. gene kopelson. he is a cancer doctor by trade, but also an accomplished historian. he has written about theodore roosevelt, about washington state politics in the 1960's, about the holocaust and other subjects. his talk tonight will focus on his first book called, "reagan's 1968 dress rehearsal" and it tells the little-known story of
friendship that developed and ultimately a member -- a mentorship between eisenhower and reagan. i will not steal the thunder, but dwight d. eisenhower was really instrumental in ronald reagan's early political career. we all know how that ended with reagan's election as president to decade later. so, he will tell that story. he will talk for about 45-50 minutes. there will be some audio and presentations. we will do our best to make sure that we are adjusting it in the back and he can hear it. open he is done, we will it up to a q and a paid leave join me --. please join me in welcoming gene kopelson. [applause] gene: thank you for coming on a beautiful sunny seattle day.
the audience should know that it really was. thank you to the other people here at the discovery center. keith, who originally helped, tessa, and also c-span. i would like to go back to give you the rationale for why i wrote this book. to me, the 1980's, the age of ronald reagan was really a golden age for america and for the world. ronald reagan, unlike today, had a strong military, he created a booming economy, he created 20-25,000,000 jobs, he defeated communism with the help from others, but he was a primary mover without firing a shot. he brought freedom to millions and he restored pride in america. so i set out to try to find out
how and why he first sought the presidency in the 1960's. you notice, we will talk about eisenhower, but i would not be surprised if you asked how eisenhower had to do with ronald reagan? eisenhower spent the 1960's on the golf course until he passed away? i found out that in fact come ronald reagan -- in fact ronald reagan viewed dwight eisenhower's presidency as the golden age. you will hear examples of the legacy of dwight eisenhower, as the governorship of ronald reagan. i will pique your interest by showing you very few selected highlights of what i found. you will see one of the major aspects of my book is ronald
reagan's first attempt at the presidency in 1968, but i will not go into details of the campaign. -- robertonald kennedy was a major political photo at the time. -- foe at a time. we will begin, i want to apologize in advance for some of the audio, i thought it was important to listen to it, even though there are segments that are difficult to listen to given that it was recorded on old equipment five decades ago. what i would like to end my introduction with is, many of you are familiar with the voice of ronald reagan, as governor perhaps, but mostly at the present. please realize that what you would hear is ronald reagan running for presidency in the 1960's, talking about world affairs, an area that historians and others do not associate with ronald reagan. this is brand new information.
was godid in my research to the reagan and eisenhower correspondence at the eisenhower library, which consisted of memos, letters and telegrams. i interviewed approximately 35 reagan campaign grassroots activists from that era in the late 1960's. there were for personal meetings between eisenhower and reagan. at the reagan presidential library are audiotapes, they recorded his speeches. of course, he's been most time -- he had spent most time in sacramento running the state. but on many weekends, he flew away to seek support in other parts of the country and that is when i began to learn of the critical importance of his growing stature in foreign affairs, which he had learned from dwight eisenhower. also the postpresidential diary
of dwight eisenhower that was at the presidential library and very few historians have examined it. and a special treat, you'll hear , andhower and reagan reagan reflecting on his mentor. there are recording demos, letters about reagan that eisenhower received or row, as well as direct correspondence. just as one example, the eisenhower summit in gettysburg, pennsylvania. it mentions the future of ronald reagan when he came to meet with the general, which is what he was called after the presidency, in 1966. he sighed and because the wife of eisenhower insisted that every visitor to the home sign in a guestbook, including children and grandchildren. this is a picture of the two of them. they spent a number of days
together for many hours discussing politics and foreign affairs. the story of eisenhower and reagan began during world war ii and we will not get a tiny sample of how eisenhower advised reagan on politics, how to run a aneral election campaign, and photo of them sitting in the white house in the future. during world war ii, the two of them, at the time general eisenhower was commander of the allies, he was there during the day. and captain ronald reagan was in the public relations unit in the army. and they made a radio broadcast of this is when the government asked for financial support from the public to support world war ii. they made, let's all back the attack, in january 1944. they do not meet in person, but this was their first true interaction.
in the 1950's, ronald reagan, a democrat at that time, was unhappy with the mismanagement of president truman's handling of the korean war. he was unhappy with the growth of bureaucracy that had begun under fdr and had continued under truman. he sent a telegram to dwight eisenhower, urging him to run for president. ronald reagan became a democrat for ike, he did not realize that eisenhower was a republican, the reagan reflected -- i thought he was the man to sit in the white house, but if he is a republican, then i will support ike. so he became a democrat for ike. by this time, he has switched to the republican party. eisenhower at the gettysburg for, held that for him, held a conference to improve for an outreach. he wanted to help the gop heract independents, because
had been unhappy with the republican party's poor salesmanship. they had lost the 1960 election to john f. kennedy and they record. a policy -- a the script is in the archives of the eisenhower library and in it, dwight eisenhower, who saw the script and helped plan the publicity record come across out some of the original wording and wrote these words telling a political philosophy. " good republicans have divergent beliefs, there are liberal republican and some in the middle of the road, but they all have a shared sense of principles." he felt the republican party had a wide tent. also, critically important, hiring a new republican, ronald reagan to be the narrator of this new gop record was perfectly fine with dwight eisenhower. on the record, reagan had
introduced eisenhower and eisenhower thanked him. the individual themes of republicanism, individual freedom, smaller government, the gop,emphasized and the for a an inclusive tent conservative republicans in the middle of the road, was the theme of the record. after that, two years later, barry goldwater was running as the first major conservative to become a republican candidate. the convention was held in san francisco and one person observed watching eisenhower delivered his speech, and it was ronald reagan. these other words of a liberal writer who was there, standing close to nancy and ronald reagan while eisenhower delivered his speech. he said that reagan was totally concentrated on eisenhower. i remember being struck by the intensity, it was as if he was
an understudy examining the star of eisenhower's performance. the conclusion was correct, that reagan plan to go into politics, but that writer did not realize that they had a personal relationship that was about to get deeper. reagan was not studying eisenhower as a politician, he was looking at him as a role model. some of you may recall that just before the election of 1964, ronald reagan on national tv delivered, a time for choosing. it became known to the public as the speech. for those not familiar, i would encourage you to read or watch it. 1.i would like to emphasize, ronald reagan said during the speech, the west never opened up its mouth about the millions of people enslaved in soviet colonies and satellite nations. bringing freedom to people was important to ronald reagan.
one other person sitting at home watched ronald reagan deliver the speech, it was dwight eisenhower. he called his former attorney general and said, what a fine speech ronald reagan delivered. he then called a former special assistant and said, what an excellent speech ronald reagan had delivered. there is an intermediate -- intermediary that would appear between the two men. gosling was the cocreator of the radio program, and andy. describedon of ike the goslings as treasured friends. he became the intermediate between ronald and eisenhower in 1965. specifically, that july, he asking, canhower, you give advice, mr. president, of a political newcomer, a
friend of mine, his is thinking about entering politics. what would you advise him to do? the next day, eisenhower wrote back a political plan for ronald reagan to follow. reagan would end up following the advice to the letter, especially, we will listen in a little while, to an address that reagan would deliver when he announced he was running for the governorship of california. eisenhower advice reagan to make a statement that he was a republican, that the prior year in 1964, he had honorably supported the party, the platform and candidates. and that the gop, in seeking common sense solutions, can accommodate men who have different details. the next point, common sense appears again. i advised reagan to never cease presenting himself as a republican seeking the support of all to bring common sense and
integrity to government. deliver the principles, keep hammering away at them at every opportunity and reach out to the media. reagan,will do now is, in january of 1966, listen to how he follows, especially at the end of the recording, the same exact words that eisenhower had advised. again, some of the recording, you could have trouble with. change in the party, that some men change brazil. -- changed principles. if you are a democrat, look [indiscernible] powers.those rights and
and promised the restoration of the constitution under the power of the government. ask yourself, what party would be most at home? -- the republican party is the party of limited government and adherence to the constitution. campaigned in 1960 and 19 62. in those campaigns, i supported those candidates. reagan on state television have used eisenhower's advice and some of his exact words when he announced he was seeking the governorship. the beginning is a section that is difficult to hear, so i would encourage you to read the address of fdr, how those of us proposed slashing the budget, having smaller government, that
is why reagan voted for him and compared it to what actually occurred. ronald reagan followed ike's advice. he made the theme of common sense in that first letter that him, as hissed actual campaign. eisenhower admitted he had been studying reagan and had not looked at him as a right winger, he was in the broadcast of modernism. of modernism. he even advised him on pulling -- polling. and twice, dwight eisenhower helps ronald reagan by false charges of being an anti-semite. he mentored him on speech delivery, this is a well-known actor, eisenhower actually critique his speeches and reagan
thanked him. and told him that he should seek out independents and democrats. this is the true origin of where reagan democrats began. he endorsed reagan and donated to the campaign. eisenhower in 1952 had been the citizen soldier. in 1966, reagan became the citizen politician, as you have heard the term. two years later, when he would run for the presidency for the first time, he would make a campaign film called ronald reagan, citizen governor. this is an example. obtain, ike had tried to votes for mexican americans and others of hispanic origin, by having spanish campaign buttons. ronald reagan did the same when running for the governorship of california. mentort that they were a and coach, coach and a student, in my opinion was obvious from
their early beginnings. this is eisenhower on the left and ronald reagan as a football player as well, on the right. the each knew what it was like to be a player, student, coach. they knew the importance of teamwork and of getting good results. ronald reagan wins the governorship by almost one million votes in 1966. this is the congratulatory telegram that the former president dwight eisenhower sense to -- sends to reagan. immediately, thoughts turn to 1968. a friend writes to eisenhower, for 1968, i am not enthusiastic about nelson, rockefeller, or george romney, or charles percy or richard nixon. too bad we do not have a fresh candidate. do you have any ideas? eisenhower's answer is
illuminating, he does not mention romney, and he only ulges one senseiv about richard nixon. he devotes half of the letter to ronald reagan, he says, i have had a number of talks with ronald reagan, not just an occasional letter or phone call. has givenc issues, he good sense and is that and has considerable imagination. he shows maturity and i have contributed time to the campaign. at the same time, this is only about 2.5 weeks after ronald reagan has been elected governor of california. dwight eisenhower proposes to the gop leadership that he will host a luncheon for all prospective 1968 republican presidential candidates. this is his list. percy, ronald
,eagan -- ahead of rockefeller and a senator from oregon. in effect, dwight eisenhower had meant toward -- mentored ronald reagan from the beginning of his career into a potential president of the u.s. ike did i think about -- think about ronald reagan in the white house? to the press, he certified ronald reagan as presidential timber. and it to the press in 1967, he said, it reagan is the nominee, he will endorse him for president. month, time, the next reagan is still not sworn in as governor. this to his protege, that he would like to discuss more about world affairs the next time they meet. so that is leading into the
second part of my talk. this is a tiny sample of how dwight eisenhower mentor ronald reagan on foreign affairs. at this time, resident johnson with having the beginning of his problems with vietnam. ike, who did not want to see ,merican boots on the ground advised johnson to have a massive show of force once he committed the troops, he wanted to have a show of force to win and win quickly. johnson did not listen and the quagmire began. eisenhower had a committee that forms in 1967. it was going to advise johnson on militaries strategies and tactics. he wanted hot pursuit, meaning when the enemy aircraft and a troops flee across the border, to pursue them and get rid of them. he wanted more american air
power bombing north vietnam. weapons. to use atomic this is what eisenhower had successfully done to stop fighting in korea when you first became president. the threat to use atomic weapons. ike also wanted to threaten an amphibious invasion of the north. he wanted the war brought to north vietnam. he wanted them to be fearful of what might happen. that they bomb the dams in north vietnam. of all the 1968 candidates, only ronald reagan spoke those exact same goals and he learned all of this, beginning with the first meeting in june of 1966 and onward. we will listen to more audio clips of what reagan learned from eisenhower, not only about
vietnam, but much more. standing up against communism and more discussions on world affairs. i would like to mention one thing. just to refresh your memory, reagan will refer to an event in the 1950's where red china threatens taiwan and offshore islands. eisenhower stood firm against them and it said they will have to climb over the seventh fleet to do that. so listen to what ronald reagan said in 1967 about dwight eisenhower. [indiscernible]
that there was good and evil in the world and he was recalling a time in america when dwight eisenhower was at the home that america -- helm that america did stand firm against enemies. around this time, eisenhower encourages ronald reagan to run for president. there is a memo of conversation where he encouraged ronald reagan to run as california's favorite son. he did have plans to run all along. but at the gop convention in 1968, if ronald reagan was planning on it, he may become the nominee. and that encouragement can be traced to eisenhower. , i suddenly see what president eisenhower said, perhaps one of our greatest assuringin vietnam was the enemy in advance of our intention not to use them.
reagan and eisenhower learned lessons long ago, never to tell the enemy what you will do or what you made it. it should be the threat that is important. now we will switch gears for a slight second. william buckley was a well-known conservative during this time. he was in a program called firing line. he interviewed ronald reagan and ronald reagan was a fellow conservative. they were discussing various things. then buckley asked reagan dwight eisenhower did not dismantle the new deal. i think he expected ronald reagan to agree with him and criticize eisenhower. but i would like you to listen to how immediately ronald reagan comes to the defense of his mentor, dwight eisenhower. the very fact that he did not
they were carrying reforms that were not in existence. and the only thing he could do -- the power -- [indiscernible] gene: i think that buckley was surprised. immediately, reagan came to eisenhower's defense. was a potential vice presidential nominee, to be paired with rockefeller. one magazine cover showed the two of them, but eisenhower said this was not a good idea. that it would be a political convenience and he was against it. that the vice presidency, for a second. after the civil war, tecumseh sherman famously said, is nominated i will not run, if elected i will not serve. ronald reagan frequently during this time was asked about the vice presidency and the sherman
statement. would he followed the sherman statement, that if he was selected he would decline. listen to what he answers and specifically pay attention to the discussion he had with dwight eisenhower about it, the main point of it. this and whatn of you think about the statement. i would like to think what president eisenhower said about the sherman statement. a humorous answer, but the point of not discussing the sherman statement, rather the fact that he got the advice directly from dwight eisenhower. eisenhower knew that in six months, seven months, it would be the republican convention. there was an interesting interview published. the reporter met with supposedly
the golf buddy of eisenhower. i believe this was eisenhower himself. not a golf buddy. those of you that no eisenhower history, know about his hidden hand techniques. that he had a number of press conferences after the press seemed that he seemed confused, but he purposely used to that confusion to throw the press off course. he did not know that he did not want to know what he would support. this was a number of months after romney's famous brainwash comments and his poll numbers were decline fed rockefeller had refused -- were declining. tokefeller had refused support goldwater. interestingly, with richard nixon, ike clearly felt like the
,an most qualified for the job was richard nixon, but he did not want him relative. he wanted somebody who could win over lyndon johnson and he was the most recent winner, ronald --gan, who had just begun who had just one california by one million votes. warned, it's a republican or democrat for just that we pull out of vietnam, and turn our backs on more than 13,000 americans who died, they have to contend with me. the reporter asked if this meant reagan was an option. eisenhower did not answer. way of the obscure reporter saying that maybe
ronald reagan would have been eisenhower's choice. the -- offensive -- tet offensive. it was a major military offensive from north vietnam. portrayed in the media, especially by walter cronkite, one would think, if you polled americans today, they would think it was a major military defeat. but it was not. it was a major american victory, but you would not know that by having watched american television. shortly thereafter, the u.s.s. pueblo was hijacked and intelligence ship by north korea. so you had to ongoing things, the war in vietnam and suddenly north korea makes an appearance again. the american crew was imprisoned
and tortured, president johnson seemed paralyzed with indecision and there was no public response. i would like you to listen, but i need to tell you one thing, one of the major changes that john kennedy did in terms of overall military strategy, compared to eisenhower, dwight eisenhower's philosophy was massive retaliation. we have many nuclear weapons and arms so nobody will mess with america. jfk did not particularly like that, he wanted a flexible approach. when the u.s. as pueblo .s.s. pueblo u hijacking occurred and nothing was done, ronald reagan was very upset. listen to what he says. >> this, beginning with the bay of pigs, and closing with the kidnapping of 82 young americans.
this is a nation given to the inability of our air force to move out and support the uss pueblo. nuclearquipped for retaliation. [indiscernible] >> hasn't the claim then that we have moved millions of dollars of the path -- past years. and when a response is needed, we have no response at all. gene: and many of you who remember ronald reagan from the 1980's, this is the 1960's. now many of you know the term surge from the war in iraq. ronald reagan used that term, limiting what was -- he lamented what was going on in vietnam. listen to this military discussion from ronald reagan at
that time. leaders, leaders of eisenhoweri, general the enemy. necessity, it was a to invade or at least pose a threat of invasion on these forces. anywhere you go, this is still the mission. administration -- is the same reservation happens at a time or the military is recommending, a surge -- [indiscernible] gene: that is his major military
disagreement and it comes from eisenhower. slows johnson's very escalation, so that the north vietnam could just well america was building forces, this is not what he supported. it was a massive innovative and so he recommended, said in -- send in more troops and we can win. but that is not what happened. now, i want you to listen to ronald reagan comparing eisenhower in korea, his model as to what you wanted to see done when discussing the negotiations with vietnam. >> my statements about what should be done, the reality is, many of them came from eisenhower. andidea that i will sit on negotiate with at con -- with a communist -- while more than
20,000 americans were killed and you have to recall, eisenhower come in and -- coming in and settle in the conflict, the united states with regard to -- ins and operation these negotiations, the enemy -- in the conflict. [indiscernible] use with force, the conditions that eisenhower that with, these conditions like here. -- there'll be more done to fight the war. the first two weeks of the
negotiations, this has gone up and set new records for the entire war. [indiscernible] is not done, in the meantime -- organizing forces. [indiscernible] gene: ronald reagan was recommending that the american navy should threaten invasion of the north, as well as threaten to use atomic weapons. he wanted the north vietnamese quaking in their boots, wondered what might happen to them. he wanted to win the war. if president johnson committed the troops, reagan and eisenhower wanted to win the war. in may of 1968, reagan said that
things were different when eisenhower was in charge. against berlins were disposed of without reinforcement possibly with a show of unwavering resolution. this would like to end section where ronald reagan reflects on the technological triumphs of the eisenhower years and all that the kennedy johnson years have squandered. he will go through a list of weapons that we have, not to glorify war club it to show that we were prepared under the is that under the eisenhower -- prepared under the eisenhower years. i would like you to pay attention to a phrase. eisenhower had complained when truman called him back to head it nato, that he was coming to help truman get chestnuts out of the fire. reagan will use that expression and he would only get that from
private discussions with dwight eisenhower. they have been warm and friendly, but i am wondering if they are smiling and laughing at us. we have a nuclear weapon treaty that will stop us from protecting our cities as there is are already protected by ballistic missiles programs. down onare raining saigon. we indicate that we can enter a treaty, and spite of the fact that indicating that it believes its right to a treaty with purpose. [indiscernible] armed --emy that is nobody can win with stupidity.
gift forvation as a intention. all of the commanding weapons systems in the american inventory, were developed or brought forward during the eisenhower years. , driven to completion by a man named shriver, a nuclear warhead made possible by the genius of dr. keller. made by thee general, the father of the strategic air command in one of the greatest and men of all time. -- weapons technology with a nuclear submarine. where are these men with their giant -- with their determination now? pulling chestnuts out of the fire in the 1950's, what do they
have to say about american technology? gene: to bring this to current times, would you think reagan and eisenhower would say about the advance we would tell pulling troops from iraq and afghanistan? there was very little opportunity and i would find fault with ronald reagan, that very little he publicly thanked eisenhower. i was able to find an actual moment when he did. listen to a reporter, his words are garbled, he asks ronald reagan is eisenhower's use of the term common sense might be a good campaign name. question -- given eisenhower, when he said that common sense would be a great slogan. >> i would tell you, with my campaign in california, i agree
with him. matter of fact -- he was the inspiration. gene: he was the inspiration for it, talking to the report about the critical importance of eisenhower to him. what happens in the summer of 1968, not much time in the convention, but eventually eisenhower will endorse richard nixon. he went to eisenhower to ask for his endorsement and the two families were getting together, eisenhower's grandson was about to marry richard nixon's daughter. what else could he do. but here is reagan reflecting on the endorsement. >> getting eisenhower's endorsement, which you mentioned. [indiscernible] >> i think he is taking great approval.is
he is a leader of the republican party. gene: i will not go to the last part of my talk. we will go be on his governorship into his presidency and even after, with the briefest of samples of the continuing influence of joy eisenhower throughout -- dwight eisenhower throughout the remaining years of ronald reagan. in 1975, hen reflects back on eisenhower -- war in korea that killed tens of thousands of our young men. dead in itsed tracks the advance of communism. the government did not get any bigger. " gene: in january 1978, while ronald reagan is running for the presidency for the third time, one big issue was whether the
panama canal should be returned to panama. william buckley, the person who is mentioned earlier, a conservative, was in favor of that. ronald reagan was against it. here is a little bit of a debate that ronald reagan and buckley had. i would like you to listen as to reagangan site -- whom cites. this is almost a decade after eisenhower passed away. presidentknow that a you did not mention that was engaged in the problems in panama, president eisenhower. he told me that the idea he had for the treaty was smart and different, anything in these treaties -- as a matter of fact, he was toying with the idea of forming an international corporation of shipping nations , that they would meet with all participating and
using those canals, and so there would be no possibility of one taking over the trade. he told me that. gene: of course again, it is the two of them discussing foreign affairs. to think of all the different areas of the world that reagan is discussing my being mentored by dwight eisenhower. during the campaign, reagan was asked them who is your favorite president? he answered, you cannot choose just wanted you mentioned -- just the one. he mentioned lincoln and washington. abouten he said, eisenhower, he was a darn good manager. the last really prosperous years we have known. there was certainly piece in the world. though have to climb over the seventh fleet. and there was no war.
paperis even an academic that was written during the 1980 campaign that ronald reagan used the term, common sense, to discuss the soviet threat. he also used those words during the 1984 state of the union address, directly from dwight eisenhower. behind'reagans desk, he kept a photo of ike. he kept a bust of him. and in his cabinet room, he arranged to hang a portrait of general eisenhower. ronald reagan liked to give speeches not with a teleprompter, but with index cards. one of his favorites was a quote, peace through strength of -- military establishment. while many historians prior to now felt like ronald reagan's role model was theodore roosevelt, you read a little bit fdr's policies,
but some thought it was him. i did a search through the search engine, at the reagan library, trying to find out the order of public speeches, press conferences, and any other utterances, who did ronald reagan actually cite of his predecessors. fdr, not listed, was only cited about 55 times by ronald reagan in public. lincoln, whom you would think would be a major influence, and he was, about 100 times. but the predecessor who he cited in public the most was dwight eisenhower. the reagan years, the 1980's, there were many programs celebrating the important anniversaries from the 1950's, programs that ike had started one of which was the sister cities program. in march of 1981, the silver anniversary of that program, president reagan said, i am sure
that ike is looking down and being very happy with what he has a conflict. similarly the 30th anniversary of his food for peace program. by the summer of 1984, that program in which america shipped to needy people in other billion pounds of food had been sent to over 100 nations which have helped close to 2 billion people. reagan reflecting back on eisenhower's program, said, "ike signed a piece of paper that changed the world. he would be very proud of what his food program has a complex -- accomplished." if you have one thing to remember out of today, remember this. eisenhower, when he was president, had made a very famous address to the united nations on december 8, 1963,
called atoms for peace. he proposed the complete elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth, done under a you an organization. hadcalm yet was, the soviet to agree. and they refused, so it never happened. the ronald reagan, years later, was having discussions with the soviet leader, prior to gorbachev. that particular day, they canceled the tops and ronald reagan left the meeting and was met by the press. he told the press it was dwight eisenhower's atoms for peace speech that his administration endorsed completely, and that is what we are dedicated to. -- thee president president had made dwight eisenhower's goals his policy.
day, 1984, the day -- d- ronald reagan flies to normandy to honor american troops. and eisenhower had been in charge of d-day. he said, i will forever stand areike's victims, they -- they are my heroes. and an aircraft carrier half by -- passed by while president reagan spoke. after he spoke, he was flown by helicopter over the aircraft carrier. formedlors on the ship the letters, ike. said, thegan detailing it was the heroic operation that was planned and commanded by general d eisenhower.
he spoken to the microphone, after they formed the ike, and he shouted, i like ike, i love ike. lastly, we will hear ronald reagan's farewell address from 1989. i would like you to listen to his reflections on his own presidency and him bringing back the years of dwight eisenhower. he does not mention eisenhower, but i would like you to hear his reflections back, the citizen politician, common sense, and a multiple times he honors ike's troops at the day and in korea. [indiscernible] and common sense. -- [indiscernible]
[indiscernible] emphasizeuld like to something, that ronald reagan's advice for the future was to study history. important aslly the audience knows, because that is where you learn not to review the errors of the past. his reflections back, not only on his time as president but it heralded back to how he started, along with the mentorship of dwight eisenhower, that first ike letter, mentioning common sense, that he continued to use throughout his presidency. ikeher historian noted that had looked to the future and that his ultimate aim was to get rid of nuclear weapons, but also that the west had to keep pressure on communism until it collapsed from its own internal contradictions. president reagan, one of president eisenhower's proteges,
is his major political air -- heir and he completed president eisenhower's goals. this cover you saw before, i hope that you will buy the book and i would like to end by quoting my own conclusion. " the eisenhower and reagan journey have begun when ike had mentored his student for his first campaign of the present -- presidency. in the end, president reagan would triumph. he had inherited from his heroes, lincoln,: melissa churchill -- winston churchill, but most of all, dwight eisenhower." please look at the official cabinet picture of ronald reagan and his cabinet in his is high up above -- who is high up
above, looking down with a smile on his protege, it is former president dwight eisenhower. thank you very much. [applause] >> i would like to get some questions. we do have a microphone that will be passed around. ok. thank you forr: your comments. i wonder, you talked about the policies and ideas that both president reagan and eisenhower had and how they overlapped, but what was the initial draw that brought them together as friends in the mentor and mentee relationship? what did you encounter, perhaps their ideas, or their personalities? gene: parlay their common ideas.
as notwer sees reagan only within the broad tent of republicanism club eisenhower felt a big lack of legacy. he had hoped that his negotiations with the soviets in the 1950's would lead to a major piece -- peace breakthrough. incident,e of the u-2 which i do not get into, but a greater problems and they were hard feelings between the countries. and then richard nixon is not elected, so he fell at that point, major despair. what was he leaving the nation and the party? there was nothing particularly of good signs in the future. he feels a little better with the publicity record and meeting
in 1962, trying to improve party outreach. entersn, ronald reagan, his life and i believe he thought ronald reagan as a major future for not only the republican party, but ike having a direct role in it. he was the understatement -- statesman of the party and he wanted to see his ideas carry forth into the next generation. and i think that he saw in ronald reagan who way to do that. and with random -- and with ronald reagan being the only candidate that felt like you do, if we are in a war, let's try to win it. and that is why he wanted to convey wisdom about specific policies to him and hopefully continue. i strongly think that ike for saw a day that ronald reagan was going to be in the white house.
audience member: you mentioned how eisenhower had ways of being -- causing people to underestimate him in the press. gene: yes. audience member: avoiding questions and things like that. and reagan was known for the same thing, he would tell a joke instead of answering a question directly. he had ways of avoiding issues, artfully fed did he learn that from eisenhower -- artfully. did he learn that from eisenhower? gene: i am not an expert on those. in my work, i make a point that my main story ends as the convention ends in 1968. i do continue in the epilogue these eisenhower aspects that i will leave for fute scholars to delve into much more deeper about the continued influence of
eisenhower throughout the reagan years. i feel like i have opened the door to the discussion, but something like that, other more export people then me need to fill in those gaps. -- expert people them you need to fill in those gaps. audience member: did you find that president reagan disagreed publicly with eisenhower and if not, where do you feel is the greatest departure between the two policies? gene: will say something they had in common. lebanon. outu.s. was asked to help in an operation that eisenhower direct it. american forces were not stationed on land.
and one of the sreatest foreign affair failures was in lebanon. suicide bombers came in and blew it up. he sent for files of what eisenhower had done. are not known. i would not say there was a disagreement. it was a different approach, because things were a lot different. ronald reagan did not comment directly about the influence, other than examples where he would make official policy. he did not have a press conference to talk about the
good old days in the golf carts. obviously, this was there. he was president and accomplished so much at the beginning, when he first considered running. eisenhower was a major mentor to follow the wisdom and that is what he did. >> what about domestic policy? a lot of this focuses on foreign policy. eisenhower inlow any situations? anything aboutve the reagan presidential years and this is an area that i feel
that the future has to reassess. -- eisenhower leg and see the eisenhower legacy continues. i did not address this in any way. whatuld you handicap -- the actionsd he would take in the 2016 elections? you his hands on it helping the republican party filter through candidate options. chaotic.it was >> as winston churchill's daughter would say, nobody knows. wideeneral philosophy is a tent and i have to mention the
11th commandment that you can read about. it was decided by the gentleman in charge that republicans should not speak ill of each other. unfortunately, that has not considered -- continued today. there was a press conference meeting where he wanted to get together all of the presidential candidates for 1968 and ask them , if they would not say something positive, to stay quiet. i feel that dwight eisenhower added to the 11th commandment. by how thee appalled republican candidates attack when the 16-17 were beginning the first of many debates. they should have concentrated on the policies they want to stop
in the opposition democratic party. win anatural to want to nomination. think that they would have hoped for less harsh tones used by the candidates this year. >> in your research, did you come across any accounts from family members? the presentation it was never expressed concurrently. can you talk about the ambitions regarding one another?
gene: reagan was no longer accepting interviews. she was too ill. i spokere a few people to who had no idea of the agan relationship. it had never been discussed before. what inspired you to explore this? gene: reagan had accomplished so worldnd, in the area of affairs, bringing freedom to many and defeating communism. it is the most important event of the second half of the 20th
century. we do not have thousands of nuclear missiles aimed at us so much life in the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, was involved in the fall of communism. korea and vietnam. many other examples. , thea defeat by reagan combination had to be there. communismation ended with the berlin wall falling and that when reagan tore down the berlin wall, many think it was when he said, teardown this wall. during an7,
international debate. it was a question at the end that ronald reagan answered with a call to tear down the berlin wall. so, thank you. >> thank you. i have an important question. how do we get a copy of the book? >> amazon. i hope you will go ahead and purchase it. on-demand. it takes about two weeks. thank you in advance. if you have any questions, do not hesitate to e-mail. .> thank you for being here if you are interested in
>> wrote to the white house rewind continues with more from the 1970 six campaign with the gerald ford campaign rally in tennessee. president ford went on to win the tennessee republican primary over for mark california governor ronald reagan by less than 1%. the rac president ford secured the nomination on the first rollcall. he lost the presidency to jimmy carter. this three-minute event is courtesy of the gerald r ford pres