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tv   The Contenders  CSPAN  August 10, 2016 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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i'll say what's not working. and eventually every single one of my kids makes a better piece than they did in the beginning, every single one of them. and eventually the kids who do really, really well that. >> internalize all this stuff. so i no longer have to say it to them. their own brain is saying these things to them. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." while congress is on break this week, we're showing american history tv programs normally seen only on the weekend here on c-span3. coming up, a look at the life and legacy of 1964 presidential candidate barry goldwater. in two hours, his 1964 republican presidential nomination acceptance speech. and that's followed by a look at barry goldwater's impact on america's conservation programs starting in the 1950s. the c-span radio app makes
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it easy to continue to follow the 2016 election wherever you are. it's free to download from the apple app store or google play. get audio coverage and up-to-the-minute schedule information for c-span radio and c-span television, plus podcast times for our popular public affairs, book, and history programs. stay up to date on all the election coverage. c-span's radio app means you always have c-span on the go. now "the contenders," our series on key political figures who ran for president and lost, but who nevertheless changed political history. over the next two hours, the life of former arizona senator barry goldwater, who was the republican candidate for president in 1964. this program was recorded at the goldwater institute in phoenix, arizona. wherever he goes, he speaks out, clearly and forcefully on the issues, answers questions,
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explains exactly where he stands on domestic and foreign policy. everywhere he goes, the people are responding with enthusiasm for this new and different kind of statesman. barry goldwater has been constantly on the go. it's a grueling schedule. and whenever he can, he catches a quick nap here with his daughter peggy and with his wife peggy. but soon it's back to the campaign where barry goldwater is calling for courage and integrity in meeting problems. he is calling for an end to do nothing policies, for progress based on the dynamic principles of the republic. he is calling for a rebirth of individual freedom. >> the free enterprise system. we reject, therefore, the ideas of the economic planners in washington that a group of people sitting in washington can plan what the country is going to make, where it's to be made,
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the quality of the product, the price of the product, the wages to be paid, the profit to be made, et cetera, et cetera. we know this program in simpler terms called socialism has never worked in the history of the earth, and is not working today in countries where it's been tried. >> republican presidential candidate barry goldwater campaigning in 1964. c-span's "the contenders" series coming to you tonight from the goldwater institute in phoenix, arizona. as we look at goldwater's challenge to president lyndon johnson and his political influence during the second half of the 20th century, we welcome you tonight. we welcome our audience here at the goldwater institute. and our three guests who will walk us through the life and political career of barry goldwater, beginning with rick perlstein, he's the author of the best-selling book "barry goldwater: before the storm." he's written for "the nation"
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magazine, "new republic", new yorker and london review of books and author of the book "nixon land." thank you for being with us. and darcy olsen who is also our host as the president and ceo of the goldwater institute. she previously served as the director of education policy at the cato institute in washington, d.c. her editorials appeared in "the wall street journal," "usa today" and "the national review." bill mccune who grew up here in arizona, served two terms in the state legislature, including one term in the arizona senate, he's produced more than 90 documentaries including barry goldwater and american life. thank you all for being with us. rick perlstein, let's begin with you. in your book and in his campaign, he called himself a different kind of a candidate for a different kind of election year. how so? >> i think that the thing that made him most different as a presidential candidate was that he was a reluctant presidential candidate. i mean, if we think of all the people running for president in 2012, we can't say that any of them are reluctant. it is a full time job. it is completely consuming. but ever since 1960, when the first kind of group of people came to barry goldwater and tried to draft him, and said we want you to be a presidential candidate, he would always say one thing, that's the last thing
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on my mind. i don't want to run for president. once he even told the chicago tribune i don't think i have the brains to be president. and over and over again they said, we don't care, we're going to draft you. that's actually what happened. he pretty much was drafted by incredibly vociferous, passionate followers who kind of raised money and built an organization on their own and he had to do it. >> we'll talk more about this later. the assassination of john kennedy, how did that influence his decision to go ahead in 1964? >> actually he was inching towards possibly doing it in the fall of 1963. and one of the reasons was because president kennedy had introduced the civil rights bill that was actually beginning to build a strong backlash. and there were people talking about president kennedy actually being vulnerable in 1964. and goldwater was close to kennedy, he liked kennedy, and kennedy was assassinated, it is very hard to kind of reconstruct
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this context in our minds now, but it was so harrowing for the american people. people blamed extremism. people blamed the kind of vociferous ideological politics that americans didn't want to believe was part of their political system. and barry goldwater immediately lost interest. in fact it was another month and a half before he finally answered the call of one more group of people coming to him, begging him and saying it was his duty to support the conservative cause that he had finally agreed to do it. >> darcy olsen, in this book that came out, we'll talk more later, "the conscience of a conservative," it was essentially the manifest of why he was running and the ideology that shaped him. in that piece of film that we showed at the top of the program, he talked about freedom and free enterprise and the failed socialist experiment that the democrats were pushing in the 1960s. >> right, well, i mean, barry goldwater stood for one thing and he was very clear about it, and that was freedom. and that book today is -- it is just as relevant as it was when
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it was written 50 years ago. and barry would say, circumstances change, principles do not. and when he was getting ready to run for office, he said, you know, as i survey the landscape and i look around at all the different questions that might occur to me, the most important concern that i will have, the most important question that i will ask myself is are we maximizing freedom? and that was the beginning and the end of his political analysis. >> bill mccune, take us back to 1964 and walk us through barry goldwater in the -- in the u.s. senate for two terms, what led him to this point on the national stage? >> really in a sense the simplicity of his perspective. i mean, simplicity as compared to more complicated politics. we have to go back. you got to look at barry goldwater in the context of his
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times. family came here in the 1850s, okay? he grew up, born in 1909 in dusty little phoenix, that had 8,000 or 9,000 people at the time, life was simple, life was simpler here than it was in the east. >> arizona was not even a state. >> when he was born, it was not a state for two or three more years. but just lifestyle was very -- this was part of the old west at that time. it wasn't new york city, you know, and whatever. so you have to look at barry, let's say, from his family history, which meant a lot to him, but from 1909 clear up through -- up to world war ii, what was life like here. it was very simple. it was very unsophisticated. it was black and white. it was right and wrong. it was the old west. it wasn't sophisticated east coast. i bring that up because that's what shaped -- where did he get
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these views, you know, which i call small "l" libertarian. but the very simple views of right and wrong, and this and that. and it was -- it was the context in which he -- which he grew up. you asked me a question, but i can't remember what the question was. >> what led him to 1964 and what shaped his ideology in the 1950s until he ran in '64. >> well, truthfully, it was what i just said. it was simple. and i don't mean that in a negative way, but i mean it was -- it was sort of simple. there was right and wrong and there was, you know, good and bad and this and that and the other. you get into world war ii, which he served in very much. remember world war ii was the major right versus wrong, good versus bad thing. and then you get into the cold war and us versus the soviet union. all of these things from goldwater's perspective and from the context of the times were pretty black and white, especially as compared to
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today's politics where you don't know quite who's doing what to whom and saying what. so i think that's what -- he was the personification of good versus bad, right versus wrong, whether you agree with him or not. that was -- he was sort of the personification of that. and i think that had a lot of appeal by the time the '50s and certainly '64 came about. >> you met barry goldwater. i want to ask you your impressions of him later. let's focus on the 1964 race. we had other names in the race like governor scranton of pennsylvania, who was in and out and then back in again. nelson rockefeller, who spent a lot of money to try to secure the nomination. walk us through how these candidates challenged barry goldwater and ultimately how he got the nomination. >> the republican party was a very different institution than it is now. it was controlled by moderates and even by liberals. and the whole ideology of the american party system was different.
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each party had within it both conservatives and liberals. the democratic party had very conservative members from the south. it had very liberal members from the north. the republican party had an isolationist conservative wing from the midwest and also a liberal wing in the northeast. people like jake javitz, ken keating, and what the barry goldwater presidential campaign was all about was trying to take over the party from the bottom up, the bottom up being these conservative ideological activists. we talk about the bottom-up, but often they had their meetings in country clubs and, you know, very fancy places. and it was presumed that someone like nelson rockefeller was the heir apparent for the republican nomination. the idea that a conservative could have won the nomination was absolutely seen as impossible by the pundits because the pundits then said that america was ensconced
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within a liberal center left consensus that when dwight eisenhower not only embraced the new deal, but even expanded it, opening up something like the department of health, education and welfare, you know, instituting the interstate which is a huge federal outlay it was just presumed that the conservatism of the 1920s, which was seen as something that had gotten us into the depression, was no longer relevant to modern life. >> in your book, you point out two key primaries that were critical in 1964. oregon in which nelson rockefeller won in california and in which barry goldwater won. >> yes. california was an absolutely fascinating knock-down drag-out political fight. and i talked earlier about how barry goldwater had these impassioned supporters who would do whatever they want, even if barry goldwater told them not to do it. these are people who were from groups like the john birch society, some were segregationists, they were full
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of far right, as they were called at the time, extremists. and they were basically willing to knock on doors until their knuckles were bloody. they were willing to sabotage other campaigns. it was seen as a fight for civilization itself because the other candidates, the liberal candidates, nelson rockefeller, were seen as the sort of harbingers of the socialism that they believed was destroying civilization itself. it was incredibly impassioned. >> and two years after richard nixon lost his governorship, he was still a player in the republican party in 1964 and according to your book was trying to figure out a way that the party might turn to him if they didn't want either rockefeller or goldwater. >> you mentioned the oregon primary. he actually established a secret boiler room in a basement. >> richard nixon? >> yes, richard nixon.
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people were hired to make phone calls to voters saying, hey, wouldn't it be a neat idea if richard nixon was drafted to be president. and this was richard nixon we're talking about, right? someone found out about it and a camera crew showed up and that became a cropper. but richard nixon was always scheming and scamming and hoping that goldwater and rock fell worry knock themselves out. there was this great herb block cartoon in which it showed rockefeller and goldwater having a shootout, you know, in the middle of an old western town. and nixon was rubbing his hands and richard nixon's political undertaker parlor. >> we, as always, want to hear from you. our phone lines are open. 202-737-0001 if you live in the eastern or central time zones. 202-737-0002 if you live in the mountain or pacific time zones. we'll also be getting questions from those here in the audience here at the goldwater institute. in just a moment, we'll show you some of political ads from 1964.
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you remember this campaign, how you did lyndon johnson run against barry goldwater? what was his tactic? >> rottenness. no, they -- johnson ran a very smart campaign because he made goldwater the issue as opposed to the issues being the issue. and barry was painted as a, you know, a crazy person. there were things put out by the johnson campaign that some group of psychiatrists in america came out with some statement that barry was mentally ill, some of you probably remember that, you know, and that he was crazy. and then, of course, the famous 10, 9, 8, 7, the nuclear bomb commercial, which only aired one time, but it got a lot of attention that was designed by bill moyers, actually. you know it was a -- it was a
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totally "do the guy in" kind of a campaign. >> yeah. i mean, it is important to realize the nuclear stuff didn't just come out of nowhere. in the conscious of a conservative, he made a very strong argument that of a craven fear of death had crept into the american psyche. by that, he meant people were so afraid of nuclear war that they didn't want to confront the soviet union. well, there was a good reason that people were afraid to confront the soviet union, because all-out war with the soviet union would have meant the end of civilization itself. but barry goldwater never flinched and this freaked people the heck out from the idea that -- if we're afraid of going to war with the soviet union, even if it means nuclear war we are on a path to surrender. that was very frightening to people, especially after the cuban missile crisis where
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people came within hours people thought of armageddon itself. he did have some very unconventional ideas about the necessity of confronting the soviet union head-on militarily. >> we'll talk a little later about that iconic daisy ad. we have put together some other 1964 ads to give you an idea of the issues and the personality in that campaign. >> this particular phone only rings in a serious crisis. put it in the hands of a man who has proven himself responsible. vote for president johnson on november 3rd. >> the people asked barry goldwater. >> i have a question for mr. goldwater. i'm cynthia ford. we keep hearing about hot wars, cold wars and brushfire wars. i have an older brother and many of my former classmates who are now serving in the armed forces. i would like to know what mr. goldwater will do to keep us out of a war. >> well, let me assure you here and now and i have said this in every corner of the land throughout this campaign and
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i'll continue to say it, that a goldwater/miller administration will mean once more the proven policy of peace through strength that was the hallmark of the eisenhower years. the eisenhower approach to foreign affairs is our approach. it served the cause of freedom and avoided war during the last republican administration. it will do so again. we are the party of preparedness and the party of peace. >> in your heart, you know he's right. vote for barry goldwater. >> on october 24th, 1963, barry goldwater said of the nuclear bomb, merely another weapon. merely another weapon? vote for president johnson. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> graft. swindles.
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juvenile delinquency. crime. riots. hear what barry goldwater has to say about our lack of moral leadership. >> the leadership of this nation has a clear and immediate challenge to go to work effectively and go to work immediately to restore proper respect for law and order in this land, and not just prior to election day either. america's greatness is the greatness of our people. and let this generation then make a new mark for that greatness. let this generation of americans set a standard of responsibility that will inspire the world. >> in your heart, you know he's right. vote for barry goldwater. >> darcy olsen is the president and ceo of this institute. you look back at those campaigns from 1964, your reaction.
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>> well, you know, somebody -- a lot of different thoughts come to mind when i see that array, including how many of these commercials inspired modern day political commercials. but what i take away from that is the slogan in your heart, you know he's right. i think that the american people proved that 15 years later when they elected ronald reagan. who campaigned on virtually an identical platform, but with a little bit different packaging, and a little bit more gloss. and this messaging, i mean, rick, you were talking about with the soviet union and how, you know, goldwater had too much bravado and it was scaring people, that is exactly what reagan ran on, won with and we have history to tell the tale that that was actually the right public policy to pursue. and i think that that speaks a lot about the timing and the -- what is happening socially when you were campaigning and how important that is and how much that influences ultimately whether or not you get through with your ideas. >> two very different approaches. tony schwartz was behind a lot
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of the lyndon johnson ads, as you write about in your book. a different tactic by the goldwater campaign. >> when i look at goldwater ads, i think how embarrassingly atrocious they were. the goldwater team was not very professional for all kinds of interesting reasons, one of them being barry goldwater being the reluctant candidate wanted to have people around him that he felt comfortable with. he hired all of his arizona friends who were not necessarily national political professionals. the johnson commercials were made by ddb, which was the most sophisticated advertising agency. they had done the volkswagen ads. and i interviewed one of the guys who produced one of the big goldwater ads, which was goldwater talking about eisenhower. and it was just a total bust and they got all kinds of telegrams saying i'm never going to give to this campaign again that was such a bad commercial. this guy's name was chuck lichtenstein. he is now passed away. he told me, well, you know, i didn't have a lot of experience with tv. i said, well, you mean, you never produced a tv commercial. he said, no, i didn't watch tv.
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so that was the goldwater campaign. >> we'll get to your calls in a moment. but bill mccune, we'll be showing during the course of this evening some of the documentary that you put together, some of the original work. and you worked with barry goldwater for how long to get this put together? >> probably -- specifically on the project, probably six months. >> was there one thing that you didn't know about barry goldwater and his politics that you learned in putting this together? >> his language? >> elaborate. >> barry had a very colorful language. i was going to tell a story, but i really have to clean it up. i will tell the story. i will clean it up. one of the last times i was with him, wasn't the very last time, but one of the last times, i walked into his living room and he was sitting in a barcalounger watching tv. i said hi, senator, how you doing?
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he looked at me and said -- now here is the cleanup part. he said the f'ing raccoons are s'ing in my fireplace. i said, what? well, people don't know, but we have raccoons in the desert in arizona. i didn't even know it until that day, actually. a mother raccoon climbed up on barry's roof and come down on the chimney, what do you call the thing in the fireplace. >> the grate. >> the grate and gave birth to a litter of baby raccoons. this wasn't in his house. this was in the ham shack, where he had his ham radio thing. it was a little building next door. and the raccoons were doing their business, so to speak, in the fireplace. and that was his comment. "the f'ing raccoons are s'ing in my fireplace." >> on that note, let's go to martin from fair oaks ranch, texas, as we look at the life and career of barry goldwater, and his 1964 presidential bid. good evening, martin. >> caller: good evening. the reason i'm calling in,
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veterans day, i happen to be a retired navy captain, civil engineer corps, from illinois, and i would like to tell my friends not so much the history of how many times i met goldwater accidentally, but the fact that i first was influenced, being a democratic, young man from illinois, where my cousins became the supreme court justice, head of the state of illinois, attorney general, i won't go on. but it was world war ii, texas a&m colonel in the air force -- excuse me, army, later air force, that influenced me to vote for goldwater. and interestingly enough i like to say to my texas friends, i'm one of the few guys left that reason on monday hearing fdr when i was 7 years old give the day of infamy speech. but i ran into goldwater a couple of times in a little
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restaurant he loved, the titles on connecticut avenue. one time i was there, my boss who happened to be a civilian world war ii pilot named stafford, i introduced goldwater to my boss. and my boss says, why did you introduce me to the senator? i said, well, he knows another robert t. stafford and he got such a kick out of this, and he said, how long did you know goldwater? i said, oh, i've only met him here a couple of times in the restaurant. but, anyway, the man was fantastic individual. the only time i ever went to the senate when i was a young naval officer was who was presiding, it was barry goldwater. and this guy was truly an interesting and a beautiful man. one last memory is that i went to wright patterson air force base, happened to be going there on business as a civil engineer, and my wife and young son were
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there, and i said, why don't you go down to the museum? well, that was the day that barry goldwater and jimmy stewart dedicated the first wing of the museum. and they both came by and shook hands with my wife and son. i wished that i had had that experience to meet the other brigadier general jimmy stewart. ncaa way, i just wanted to share that on veteran's day. what a wonderful man he was. >> martin, thank you for the call. he was a pilot, he was a ham radio operator, he had a lot of hobbies, took a lot of pictures. >> it is important for us to recognize on veterans day that actually a lot of powerful rich people, which is what barry goldwater was from one of the richest families in the city, used their influence to get out of military service. he pulled strings to get in the military when world war ii started, he was born in 1909, he was a pretty old guy. and he took up duty in a very dangerous air route and the china burma theater called the
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aluminum trail because so many planes went down. and he had this fascination with flying the latest military hardware and one time in 1964 he had this very sensitive meeting with lyndon johnson about how they were going to handle the issue of race riots and lyndon johnson spent hours and hours preparing and there was this whole memo that was going to guide his incredibly delicate negotiations. the meeting ended up lasting 15 seconds, but then barry goldwater was like, when do i get to try this new a-11 coming out? >> let's go back to the 1964 campaign. he received 38% of the vote. >> right. >> it was a landslide for lyndon johnson. why such a disparity and was barry goldwater misunderstood in the '64 campaign? >> well, a lot of reasons. first of all, people were terrified of the prospect of nuclear war, that he never really backed down from. lyndon johnson was dishonest on
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issues like vietnam. he said i'm not going to send american boys 7,000 miles away to do what asian boys should do. there was a bumper sticker that showed up the next year, if i voted for barry goldwater, there would be a war in vietnam. i did vote for barry goldwater and there was. by the same token, barry goldwater's ideas about the role of the federal government were not popular. when he said we should sell this -- the tva, that was seen as crazy. and, you know, his ideological time had not come. and also i mentioned the absolutely atrocious campaign he ran. i found a memo, they fired the research staff from the rnc and i found a form letter they sent out to political science professors in every state, said, dear professor, please send us any books or pamphlets about the political situation in and it said, insert state here. so this was not a very professional operation. >> in addition to your calls, we're welcoming questions from the audience here at the goldwater institute. we'll get one up front.
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>> i'm dennis mitchell, a retired cpa. i've lived in central phoenix for 53 years. as a person who knew barry and worked with him in the community, i knew him to be a man of impeccable integrity and who was dedicated to the proposition of personal responsibility. and when he ran for president, it seemed to me, from my perspective that the pundits that you mentioned earlier went out of their way to print and broadcast atrocious, dishonest statements about him. there is a national magazine to this day that i don't take because of the things they said about barry goldwater that were outright untrue. my question is why did the national press, so many people, prominent at the national level, go out of their way to be so vindictive against a man who based upon what has already been said was going to lose.
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>> yeah, i would say a couple of things. first of all, a lot of his followers were very, very frightening. which, you know, you can charge that to barry goldwater or say it wasn't his fault. but he didn't like to distance himself from people who were devoted to him. another thing was you have to understand the context of the times. fascism, naziism was a living memory for just about every adult. and the idea of people getting together with such vituperation, such rage against liberals, and when barry goldwater gave a very famous speech at the 1960 convention in which he said, conservatives, let's grow up, we can take this party back, he
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said we need to defeat the democrats who are working for the destruction of this nation. so the passions were very high, and political passions of that intensity, of that magnitude, were greatly feared in an exaggerated way. and he was kind of caught up in that, i would say in an unfair way, but it had to do with the context of the belief that if people's darker angels were allowed to give reign within the american political system, we would not be able to control the consequences, and this is a time, of course, don't forget, which there's civil rights terrorism in places like mississippi. people were burning down churches. people were assassinating civil rights workers, and people were saying why is it that a place like mississippi when all this stuff is going on and the sheriffs were not arresting these people was voting 87% for barry goldwater. >> of course, the 1964 civil rights debate and bill, a key process of that. we'll talk about that later in the program. >> he voted against hit. >> he did vote against it. we'll go to george joining us from manassas, virginia, welcome to "the contenders," phoenix, arizona and our look at barry goldwater.
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>> caller: thank you very much. thank you for doing this show. first of all, my parents lived in texas and volunteered for barry goldwater because they firmly believed in the ideals and what the man said, but my question to y'all is, was he more of a libertarian or more of a conservative? and there is a difference, if you look at it. >> darcy olsen? >> boy, right in it there with that question. you know, i -- i think that barry goldwater -- i mean, his book was called "the conscience of a conservative." right? he felt he was a conservative. that he was a true conservative who understood that this nation was founded on the concept of constitutionally limited government. and that was true in all spheres of life, that you couldn't pick and choose where you would have government involvement. if it wasn't in the constitution, then it wasn't constitutional and, therefore, the government shouldn't be involved. today there are a lot of libertarians who wear that mantel, but there are a lot of
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modern conservatives who share those beliefs as well. of course we see that coming up in a lot of different stripes of the folks in the tea party movement and different candidates for president. i'm not going to be the one to define him as a libertarian or conservative. he used the term conservative, and i think that what he stood for was as close to what the founding fathers stood for, as any prominent person in our history. >> rick perlstein, in this book "before the storm," what personality came through from barry goldwater? what did you learn about who he was as a person? >> i think what people have been saying. he was a guy who shot from the hip and didn't care what people thought of him and much to his detriment often. but again, people talk about him as an honorable man, and i think he was an honorable man. by the same token, i think ideologically, he could be very naive.
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i mentioned the civil rights terrorism that was going on in mississippi, the fact that people were being shot in cold blood for doing things like helping people register to vote. he never denounced that. he said his appeal to the south, i'm not going to as an arizonian tell people in mississippi what they should do. well, when civil rights are being that egregiously violated, i think there is a kind of "which side are you on" question. so, i think that his heart was in the right place and he believed that he was doing the right thing. but i think he had a certain myopia when it came to a real moral ordeal that he kind of avoided at that time. >> we have put together -- go ahead. >> i want to talk about the libertarian, capital "l," small "l," conservative, different thing. you have to look at goldwater and that subject in the concept
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context of his time. i wouldn't be surprised if, during his life and certainly while he was in the senate, he probably never heard the word libertarian. that wasn't even a word that was even heard of at the time. he was, i call him a small "l" libertarian, because he basically believed in, you know, freedom of choice as he came later in his career after politics, he was outspoken in favor of gay rights, of women's right to choose, of all sorts of things like that. and some of my friends would say, oh, barry got senile and changed and became a big liberal in the end, he changed. he didn't change. his philosophy was always it's up to you as an individual to have the right to decide. whether it was about gay rights, abortion rights, labor unions, that's the whole thing from the '50s where he was totally misunderstood, i might note. he was a small "l" libertarian.
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today we have all sorts of politicians and presidential hopefuls talking about libertarian this, libertarian that. you have to keep it in the context of the time. rick? >> let me jump in. you've done a perfect job setting up this piece of video we want to share with the audience to give with you the sense and personality and the style of barry goldwater. >> he talked so fast, you know. i said, you know, hubert sitting there trying to listen to you reminds me of trying to read "playboy" magazine with my wife turning the pages. i happen to think i'm in a very tough race. i'm spending the money i legally can. that's the answer. that's a stupid question, if you don't mind me saying so. >> couldn't even fly. now you come to the floor, and you say, an you say i'll redirect it. >> i never said that airplane wouldn't fly. >> you said you wouldn't fly it yourself. >> i flew it. >> you said you wouldn't. >> i flew it.
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♪ dream [ laughter ] >> people all over the country keep talking about legalizing gambling, and i thought we already had it. it's called election day. [ cheers and applause ] i now realize what it takes to become the president. apparently, it helps to have a brother who sits at a gas station drinking beer all day. [ laughter ] when i was campaigning in that razor-thin election in 1964, i should have told everyone that dean was my brother. >> rick perlstein, as you look
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back and you wanted to jump in earlier to bill mccune's point. >> he in that 1964 election pioneered what would later become social conservatism. he ended up going into a very different direction personally but he gave a very sharp speech about sort of the moral decay of the nation. it was actually at the mormon tabernacle in salt lake city, but he also towards the end of his life, used some of that salty language that we need to censor when he referred to the christian right. jerry falwell was a bete noire of his. jerry falwell said in 1981 that all good christians should be very concerned about sandra day o'connor. and if i may, he said all good christians should kick jerry falwell in the ass. >> we'll go to paul in algonquin, illinois. you're next. thanks for waiting. >> caller: thank you. >> go ahead, paul. >> caller: hi, i was just curious to know what your panel thinks. had goldwater got elected in
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'64, how would he have handled vietnam differently than lyndon johnson did? would he have escalated the war as lbj did, or would he have seen that conflict more as a civil war between the north and south vietnamese? >> thanks for the question. >> well, whether he would have been successful or not, i don't know, but you know, i was of that generation. vietnam war under lyndon johnson was gradualism, oh, we're going to tighten the screw and eventually they are going to give up. yeah, right. i think if barry had been president, and again, i'm not saying it would have been a good move or bad move, i'm not sure, but i think he would have come in with what later became the colin powell doctrine. in my documentary, he even says -- he says if you're going to go to war, you have to go to war with the attitude you're going
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to win it in the next hour. that's his attitude. then he said, we lost the war in vietnam for one reason -- the politicians tried to run the war, in his quote, and politicians don't know their ass from a hot rock about running a war. that was his quote. and i think he would have taken a far more aggressive approach to it, as compared to johnson's gradualism, which dragged out almost as long as our current wars. >> let me take his point and ask it one step further. what sort of a president would he have been, darcy olsen? >> barry would have been something we don't see too often today. i think he would have been a very honest president. i think he would have been very candid, as he was his whole life. that was the way he campaigned. it was the way that he sat in office. it was how he was after office,
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and i think just -- i think that candor is something that people loved about barry goldwater and it's, you know, it's one of the reasons that so many people sought out barry goldwater even after he was in office and he was so well respected and liked by so many people because, you know, you knew with barry goldwater where you stood. he always put his principles first. he kind of, as rick was saying, had a tin ear sometimes to messaging and what people might think, and he put his principles before partisanship, party, and before politics. it's hard to say whether he would have been able to work with congress that way, but it's an exercise that i for one would have liked to have seen. >> we are in week ten of cspan3's "the contender" series. we're coming to you from the goldwater institute in phoenix, arizona. we have an audience here as well. we'll get another question right up front. >> thank you.
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kevin lane, prescott, arizona. i recall barry was interviewed in the '80s when russia had just gone into afghanistan and i think this underscores the wisdom and how pressing it was in many issues. his quote was, he had been in those hills and a right-minded goat would not wander into those hills. he had forecast that russia would lose. and obviously, you know, we're quite bogged down in afghanistan. so my question to the panel is, maybe some other examples of his wisdom and prescience in his life as far as being ahead of his time. >> you're shaking your head. >> i think that is a great question. it goes back to, you know, what kind of a president would he have been. one of the things we know he would have done differently, he would not have vastly expanded the welfare state in america. he was fighting against that. he said there were all kinds of federal programs that were unconstitutional and needed to be repealed. he was unabashed about that.
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he certainly did not agree with the levels of taxation we had then, let alone the levels of taxation that we have now. he was very against the type of progressive taxation that was put into place and has become and more predominant. he felt taxation should be fair and it should be minimal per person. not rick is the wealthy, so he's going to pay 90% and you're not going to pay anything. so those are some major differences. also, since that time, and certainly lyndon johnson worked on this as well, but this vast expansion of government into all these social arenas, including education, for which there is no constitutional authority. all of those things are things that barry goldwater would have fought hard against. >> rick perlstein, let's go back to where your book begins and talk about his influence here in arizona as he tried to build the republican party in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
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>> it's a fascinating story. it was a democratic state. when he ran for the senate, i believe, in 1952, i think there were 92 members of the lower house, might have been 96, and two were democratic. he came from a republican family. his mom was a midwesterner. she was a republican. more and more republicans came after world war ii for the climate and also for the new defense industries that were opening up in arizona. >> before he entered politics, he did what? >> he was an executive at the family department store. he was, actually, interestingly enough, we talk about him being a straight-shooting guy, he was not into madison avenue stuff. he was actually the marketing guy for the department store. but he -- a guy named eugene pulliam moved to phoenix, and he was a newspaper publisher, dan quayle's father-in-law, and he
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really wanted to help build the republican party and non-partisan city government to clean up a corrupt town. it was called sin city. so barry goldwater was involved in both, and in 1950, he was the campaign manager for a guy named howard pyle who ran for governor. and being barry goal water, he flew howard pyle around the state in his plane. he would descend like a bronze god to these little towns and people would say, wow, which one's candidate? but here's the thing, when he ran for senate, he decided he would run for senate by building a republican party, so he recruited people for every office in the state. one quick point. someone said why should this guy -- why are you qualified to run for senate in arizona? he was such a first citizen of arizona, this was his answer. he said i can call 10,000 people in this state by their first name. he built the republican party in arizona. >> i'm going to call on you for just a moment, because you remember going to the goldwater department store. >> correct. when i first came to arizona in 1970, i worked for the old adams hotel, which was in downtown,
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and i bought a bathing suit at the goldwater department store on central avenue. and at the time, you talk about him being in marketing, they gave you, with every purchase a little vial of water that had gold flakes in it, and everybody that had flown in from texas to buy that hotel, all when i went back to the hotel, all ran down and bought a bathing suit so they could get a vile of water with gold flakes in it, so he was good at marketing. >> i just want to comment about the '52 election. barry -- barry ran against ernest mcfarland, who was the majority leader of the united states senate at the time. barry supported mcfarland in earlier elections, raised money for him and all that. barry didn't like or was upset with harry truman, which is
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ironic today, because what former president was barry most like? harry truman, actually, you know. give him hell harry, actually. but barry told me many times, he said i ran for president. i knew i didn't have a chance in hell in winning, but even in the senate, he didn't think he had a chance of winning that 1952 senate race at all, so maybe he was building a republican party, he had been on the city council for two years and sort of decided to run against harry truman, in most senses, in '52, but he didn't. he was not some big political organizer who said let's build a republican party here. it was sort of natural. but it wasn't like he had some big plan to do that. he was just running thinking he didn't have a chance in hell of winning. >> well, we came across some early film of senator-elect
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barry goldwater in 1952 after he was elected to the senate but before coming to washington, d.c. let's take a look. >> speaking of washington, sir, where of course, you're going. there was a great deal of talk on the part of the republicans during campaign about communism in washington and the mess in washington. do you anticipate finding anything like that when you take your seat in the senate? >> well, i don't know. i can't say. i think that there must be communism in washington, but i would hate to stand up and say there is without knowing more about it than i know now. >> well, let me put it this way. is there any fear or concern about communism and the so-called mess in washington among the people who voted for you out in arizona? >> i think the fear of communism is one of the underlying reasons for the success of the republican party in this election. all over the country. >> well, now that the republican party is in, do you think there will be any letting down of this concern, any complacency on the part of the people who voted for you?
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>> i think it's already happened. >> in what way? >> i'm amazed to walk around new york to find in my own communities. well, general eisenhower has been elected. the new deal's been thrown out. well can go back to our work the same as usual. as always happens in politics, the man who benefits the most from good government goes on with the least interest in it. that's the average citizen. >> are you going to do anything to point out the need for continuing concern in the situation in washington? >> i'll never be quiet about it. >> from 1952, never be quiet, of course, that became his mantra as senator. and kennedy in 1964. who helped him win the '52 race? >> he had a very, very slick operator for a campaign manager, a name that will be familiar to arizona in steven shadegg. he wasn't necessarily the most
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savory guy. he once wrote a book called "how to win an election." in which he said -- i adopted the techniques of mao tse-tung to take over villages. they did things like send out 50,000 the -- if the situation is propitious, you can get millions of people to vote for someone who has the absolute opposite ideology they do. so he was a very tough campaign manager. >> we have a question here in the audience. please introduce yourself and go ahead. >> good evening, my name is richard muser. i was 16 months old when we moved to arizona so i claim to be a native. it's a pleasure to hear the information about senator goldwater from so many experts. the reason i'm here is because in the second grade, i met a gentleman named bill mccune, and we have been friends since then. in 1964, i was a lowly specialist fourth class in the army in ft. bening, georgia.
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i wasn't old enough to vote at that time because arizona was 21 and i was only 20. when i listened to the senator discuss using low-yield nuclear weapons in vietnam, it made sense to me, as a military person, and it made sense to a lot of my fellow soldiers at the same time. the point that the johnson campaign exaggerated the impact of using huge hiroshima/nagasaki bombs was a total exaggeration. he was an air force man. he knew what low yield meant and what it would do, and my question is, what was wrong with the term "low yield," that i believe i only heard it once or
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twice. >> rick perlstein, you wrote about that in the book. >> i actually talked to one of the physicists at lawrence livermore laboratory who designed some of those low-yield nuclear weapons and he said it was absolutely insane to believe you could contain the explosions from those weapons. so i'm not so sure that's true. >> can i go? i want to comment, only because dick muser brought this up. he and i grew up in the same neighborhood on 25th drive north of thomas road. in about 1952, '53, '54, that period, my father would wake me and my brothers up at 4:00 in the morning on a couple of occasions. we would go up onto the roof of our house and sit facing north. my dad had his watch and he would tell us, one minute, 30 seconds. and we would see nuclear atomic
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bombs explode at the test sites. above-ground nuclear bombs exploding in the test sites in nevada, which was, what, 300 miles away. four or five times i saw it. i'm one of the few people alive today who's ever seen a nuclear bomb explode. maybe some of you have too. hopefully nobody else ever will again. this was sort of a ritual, we'd get up and watch the nuclear bombs going off in nevada. well, the point is, i thought -- first up, why are we dropping nuclear bombs on nevada? i thought they were on our side. but realizing that whether it was 250 or 300 miles away to those test sites, thinking, my god. it would light up, like summer flash lightning, if you know what that means, except the flash and the light would stay in the air longer than summer lightning, you know, and just -- wow, that's 300 miles away. think about that. that kind of thing is what
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contributed to the great fear of the soviet union and nuclear war. >> let me put a domestic issue on the table, rick perlstein, organized labor and the legislative record senator goldwater had in the 1950s. >> extremely important in barry goldwater's rise. of course, arizona, after the taft/hartley act of 1947 became the first right to work state. the circle he was in, his friends, people like denison kitchel, he was the labor lawyer for phelps dodge, the big mining company, he argued before the supreme court. so the idea that fighting labor power was essential to conservative politics was absolutely part of what barry goldwater was all about. and he became -- he basically rose to national prominence in the late '50s on two kind of wings. the first was, he gave a speech
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attacking dwight eisenhower for -- for a big budget, which he called squander bus spending. the siren song of socialism. the other was there was a big labor hearing in the late '50s run by senator mcclellan and it was meant to take on jimmy hoffa's corruption and barry goldwater kept interrupting and he would say things like, well, 'd rather have jimmy hoffa stealing my money than walter ruther stealing my freedom. that was the head of the united auto workers who basically pioneered things like the automatic cost of living increase. he was fighting to make the operations of corporations much more transparent. he was the most politically aggressive labor leader in history, and one of the most successful. and by taking on someone like walter ruther, businessmen all over the country flocked to barry goldwater's banner as their savior. these were the guys that ended
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up organizing the group, that again, under barry goldwater's nose, without him being involved at all, put together conscience of conservative and first put him forward as a candidate. >> let's get a quick call. >> can i halfway disagree with what he just said? >> you can all the way disagree with what i said. >> you see, my experience with barry in interviewing him and whatever is, he wasn't -- i'm convinced he wasn't against unions. i mean, he said -- bring back that small "l" libertarian thing. he said many times in our shows, i imagine being able to join a union, not join a union, it's their personal choice. he was most vociferous about corruptions in the unions and didn't like the -- what do you call it, the closed shop. where you had to join a union in order to have a job. >> he liked weak unions. >> yeah, but the -- well, okay. that's your view. >> i'll build on what you're saying there. i think that's absolutely correct, that -- >> see, it's 2-1, rick.
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>> he believed that unions were an expression of human freedom if you joined them voluntarily. he believed wholeheartedly in freedom of association. he thought that was great if you wanted to join. what he didn't believe in is what unionism has become, which is compulsory, forced membership. that's something he vehemently opposed. so, you know, you have a situation today where they're trying to take away the right to vote by secret ballot when you're forming a union. that was something that he opposed. there was the issue of -- what was his other big issue -- >> right to work. >> yeah, right to work, right, right. they were making membership compulsory and it was a condition of employment, which he said that is antithetical to everything that we believe in as americans. and so he fought for right to work laws in the states. but he didn't oppose the idea of associating and unions, he
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opposed this idea of what unions have become. which is forcing people to do things against their will. completely contrary to everything that barry goldwater believed. >> i'm going to jump in. marvin next in los angeles. good evening. >> caller: yes, thank you for your program. i'm wondering if barry goldwater were alive today with his lifespan of points of view, could he get the nomination of the republican party? that's the first part of my question. and number two, based on the extreme right-wing state of some leaders in arizona politics, as in the election last tuesday where jerry lewis defeated a leader in the senate, how would barry goldwater have stood in the ideas of the current republican party in the state of arizona? thank you very much. >> thank you. so two points. first, rick perlstein, could barry goldwater get the nomination today? >> no, because he would have
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been vetoed by the christian right. i'm looking over some of these quotes, they're stunning. this is what he said in 1981. can anyone look at the carnage in iran, the bloodshed in northern ireland, the bombs bursting in lebanon, and question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state? i mean, he believed very firmly by the end of his political career that people who enter politics from a religious motivation are so impassioned and so impervious to compromise that it made the give and take necessary for politics impossible, which is kind of ironic, because in 1964, you know, extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation and pursuit of justice is no virtue. that was what he was accused of at the time, but he really did seem to come to an extremely firm and impassioned notion. he didn't want pat robertson to run for president in 1988. he thought that was a violation of the separation of church and state. >> darcy olsen, let me begin with the first sentence and first chapter of "conscience of
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a conservative." barry goldwater said, "i had been much concerned that so many people today with conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them." he goes on to say to allow vice president nixon at the time and president eisenhower. >> this book, "conscience of a conservative," to this day remains the best statement of what it means to be a conservative in this country. it is -- he is so clear, and i think earlier on you had used the word "simple," and i think, for me, i was thinking principled. that's all it was. it wasn't that it was -- >> not simplistic. >> right. not simpleton or simplicity. but it was clean and clear and those principles are beautifully outlined in that book. it is just as good of a read today as it was back in the day. >> i've got to give some credit. as an author and writer i have to give some credit to the guy who actually wrote the book. which as fellow named brent bozell. barry goldwater might have read
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it, but he definitely wasn't involved in the production of the book, which is a fascinating story i tell in my book, "before the storm". >> let's go to the 1960 convention. there's an important point -- i'll come back to you, i promise. but as he spoke to the delegates at the republican convention, which nominated vice president richard nixon. >> as an american who loves this republic and as a member of the senate, i am committed to the republican philosophy and to the republican candidates. it is my belief the people of this land will return a republican administration to office in 1960, and i shall work to that end. >> that, again, is mrs. goldwater. >> but i might suggest, in all seriousness, that you and i will not have discharged our full responsibility unless we also return an effective republican congress. i would not imply that our party is a repository of all virtue,
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that only republicans can see the truth, that only republicans serve noble motives. but i must insist that those in control of the democrat party, through their platform, have announced their total commitment to what i regard as a lopsided concept of man which puts americans in a shameful condition of everlasting dependence upon the state. [ applause ] i have visited the people in the cities and towns and states of our nation, and i can tell you that the men and women of america face the future with courage. they are eager to accept their responsibilities. they are determined to work and sacrifice to defend our freedom.
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it's our task, as delegates to this 1960 republican convention, to make certain the american voter is provided with an opportunity to make a meaningful choice between the two philosophies competing today for acceptance in our world. the philosophy of the stomach or the philosophy of the whole man. >> bill mccune, you watched barry goldwater in 1960, how did that set the stage for his bid in '64? >> well, it fed red meat to the conservative movement, basically. you know. he ended his speech saying conservatives, grow up, let's get to work, you know, that's, i think, the last line of his whole speech there. he was, not again, he wasn't -- who's that republican guy who ran campaigns the last few
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years? >> karl rove? >> yeah, he wasn't a karl rove, organizing, da da da, that kind of thing at all. but he had feelings, let's get to work, let's take this back, let's do something for a conservative movement, as it were. he had no use for nixon, especially later, you know, and probably no use for rockefeller other than they were probably friendly, but ideologically, no use for rockefeller. so he was saying, let's get to work, let's do this. >> ed in morristown, new jersey, good evening. >> caller: wrote my senior thesis in 1971 on the press treatment of the goldwater presidential campaign and i had to good fortune to spend a full day interviewing the author theodore white at his home in manhattan. he had vivid memories of the weeks he had spent on the weeks he had spent on the campaign trail with goldwater in
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preparation for the 1964 installment in his famous series "the making of the president." white told me he'd come away from the tour with great admiration for goldwater and with contempt for the liberal media that he was a part of and that he thought was doing so much to demonize goldwater and distort or ignore the case that goldwater was trying to present to the people. white told me goldwater had tried earnestly to lecture the people about the dangers of concentrating more power in washington and what the proper limits of federal government in race relations should be, especially in the so-called public accommodations. the specific issue that led to his opposition to the civil rights bill that year. white also said that when goldwater eventually came to fear that discussing civil rights issues further on the campaign trail might worsen racial tensions, he met with president johnson and the two agreed to take those issues out of their campaigns. white said the agreement really cost goldwater a lot of votes among working-class whites and was one of the most selfless acts white had seen a politician engage in.
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one last thing, white told me how displayed he -- dismayed he had been when he got back to new york after his goldwater interval. he said his liberal media friends received him as if he were a jew just escaped from a nazi death camp. he astonished those friends insisting what a good man and worthy candidate goldwater was. thought you'd want to know. >> thank you for the call. sharing your story, darcy olsen? >> you know, it's really interesting on the civil rights issue. i think that barry did get a bum rap from the media and continues to do so today when you hear people talk about his civil rights record and they'll talk about how he didn't vote for the 1964 act, he didn't speak out enough, so really he must not have had that in his heart. that couldn't have been further from the truth about who barry was. barry, you know, in the goldwater department store, they had integrated that store long before anybody else had done that.
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he really did have a color-blind heart. anybody you meet will tell you that. anybody who met barry would tell you that. and one of the greatest stories that i love that relates to this, and we don't know if it's true or not, i was talking to his son, barry jr., i don't know if it's apocryphal or true, but the way it goes is that he went to a very fancy golf course in bel air. and wanted to play a round of golf. and they said, barry goldwater, you can't play here because you are jewish. and he responded by saying, you know, i'm only half jewish, do you think i could play nine holes? >> let me say something about civil rights real quick, because i was there. barry goldwater and harry rosenzweig, as city council members, integrated the airport in phoenix, which had been segregated before. after world war ii, the department of defense asked barry goldwater to organize the
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arizona air national guard, which hadn't existed before. he said, i'll do it on one condition, that it's racially integrated. and they gave in and said, fine. in the senate, he voted for civil rights legislation consistently through the '50s and into the early '60s. the only one he voted against was that final one. and he'd voted against it for one reason. and that was because of a thing in there that called the mrs. murphy law, which would have said that if mrs. murphy wants to rent her spare bedroom out, that she couldn't discriminate. he has a long history of pro civil rights activity. >> let me ask you about the relationship between barry goldwater and john kennedy. they both came to the senate together in 1952. >> yes, and they had affection for each other. in fact, when barry goldwater was kind of rising as a national star in the early '60s, he was very much compared to kennedy, also this handsome, charismatic
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guy. there's a very famous story they talked about campaigning together, riding the same campaign trail -- campaign plane, and debating each other lincoln and douglas style. this is often taken as a testament of this kind of more civil time. i actually suspect that john f. kennedy was thinking kind of cynically and thought if i could get this guy on a platform and force him to kind of mouth his, what were then, very unpopular views, i could wipe the floor with him. so i'm not sure it was this magnanimous act on kennedy's part. >> history changed in dallas, november 22nd, 1963, following the assassination of president kennedy. senator barry goldwater said this. >> well, he was a very decent fellow. he was a gentleman. he's the kind of antagonist that i've always enjoyed. he would fight like a wildcat for his points and his
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principles, but there was never anything personal about it. i imagine that i've debated with the president more on the floor of the senate than any other man, and it never affected our friendship. we had some rather violent arguments in sessions of committee and never affected our friendship. that's the kind of a man that you respect. that's the kind of a man you like to work with in politics. >> and so after the assassination and before he entered the race in '64, how ambivalent was he about running? >> he was ambivalent, but leaning towards running. and one of the reasons he was so ambivalent after the assassination was because he knew that the public would be so longing for stability and that the idea of having three presidents in the space of one year would just be too much for people to bear.
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>> a question here in the room. >> ray miller from phoenix. i had the good fortune to be involved in the formation of the goldwater institute, and as a result of that, i want to make a comment and a question. one of senator goldwater's unique features was he never sought publicity. that made him unusual for a politician. when we were trying to form the organization, even with the persuasion of senator kyl, congressman shadegg, representative jim scully and others, he was still reluctant, and after we got going, we wanted to have an award in his name and he was reluctant again to step forward and have the award named after him. he's unusual in so many ways. my question is, is there anybody to compare him with? i mean, we think of ronald reagan, maybe somebody like bob taft. is there anybody else we can compare barry goldwater to? >> who would like to take that one? >> not alive today. >> well, i would say -- i would say there are two people.
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ron paul and ronald reagan. i think he compares to ron paul in that ron paul is a very straightforward speaker who doesn't really care what the press thinks, but he just speaks from his heart about his ideas. it is his downfall, it was part of barry's downfall, but also reagan-like in that the core of his ideas that barry ran on, reagan later implemented, but he just had -- you know, reagan had a smoother style. he was mr. hollywood. he, not only did he not have a tin ear, but he had that wonderful smile and people loved him and he made people laugh. but he ran, basically, on the same ideas that goldwater did and brought over, you know, won in a landslide. so sometimes when rick says that people didn't like barry's ideas or weren't ready for them. i don't really think that is a very fair assessment. i think the assassination played the key role at that time.
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i think the poor messaging that barry did was a factor, but i don't think it was the ideas. i think it was the timing and the way that the ideas were sold. >> can i speak to a favorite politician who i think is in this mold? the think the liberal congresswoman from illinois, jan schakowsky is just as principled and speaks with equal forthrightness as barry goldwater. >> bruce is joining us from murrieta, california, welcome to "the contenders" program here in phoenix. go ahead with your question. >> caller: thanks for this program. it's great. i'm a liberal who only voted for one republican in my life, and that was barry goldwater. i guess my attitude at the time, kennedy was such a young, new generation, articulate and johnson seemed to be so much the old politics. two things i wanted to mention, haven't heard here. a choice, not an echo, was i thought was one of his big themes.
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and then the other point i wanted to make. there was a book called "none dare call it treason" that came out about the same time. and this was basically john birch society. we had the birchers then and have the birthers now, but barry never separated himself from that group. and the last point i wanted to make, the night before the election, reagan came on to boost goldwater's candidacy and a lot of the comment afterward was maybe we got the wrong man. >> well, thanks for the call. we're going to talk about ronald reagan in about 20 minutes and show you just a portion of what he spoke toward the end of the '64 campaign. but to the caller's first point, your thoughts? >> about "none dare call it treason." this was absolutely scabrous stuff.
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this was a book arguing every setback america had in domestic or foreign policy was because there was secret communists infiltrating every part of the government. 20 million copies of this book was circulated. rich businessmen would buy thousands and thousands of copies and hand them out everywhere. he's right, barry goldwater didn't denounce this stuff. he would rationalize it by saying people know that there's something wrong out there, and this is pushing in the right direction and maybe i disagree with it, but he never denounced the john birch society. he said some of my best friends in phoenix are part of it, and i think that was one of his achilles heel. he really did -- i think he humored extremists. >> he's been quoted so often, and you used the quote earlier, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." of course, that came from the 1964 republican convention at the cow palace in san francisco. we want to show you that but put it in context of what he said before and afterwards. so here is barry goldwater accepting the republican nomination.
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>> anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. those -- [ applause ] those who do not care for our cause, we don't expect to enter our ranks in any case. [ applause ] and let our republicanism so focused and so dedicated not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels. [ applause ] i would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
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[ cheers and applause ] thank you. thank you. thank you. and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [ cheers and applause ]
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by the beauty of the very system we republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this federal system of ours is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. we must not see malice in honest differences of opinion and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given each other in and through our constitution. [ applause ] our republican cause -- >> rick perlstein, how did that speech resonate among the republican electorate and the voters at large? >> richard nixon wrote in his memoirs at that moment he heard him say, extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, he literally felt sick to his stomach. the reason for that was, they
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had an incredibly divisive convention. barry goldwater won the most delegate votes by far because they organized it so well, his grassroots insurgency. but many people in the party felt like they had stolen the party. that the republican party was a moderate party, and a conservative had won by hook and by crook. what you were supposed to do, your role in an acceptance speech is to bind the wounds together of a divisive campaign so people could unite and go forward. instead, he seemed to be pushing in people's faces his acceptance of the notion of extremism, which in the context of the time meant things like the john birch society, the southern segregationists who are changing their democratic affiliation to republican affiliation. so the public itself, also in the context of this kennedy assassination in which the idea that the bottom had dropped out
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of america easily civility, and people longing so much for normalcy, it really just seemed like something, once again, that was frightening, that was strange, that was perverse, and his numbers went way down. and by the way, a week after that, there was a terrible riot in harlem, so it increased people's sense of barry goldwater was associated with these frightening forces in american life. our republic cause -- when people were rioting in harlem, people were saying, they're shooting black people. it shows the paranoia that surrounded barry goldwater in this atmosphere in which people felt the springs were being loosed in america's consensus. >> matthew is joining us from miami, florida. good evening. welcome to the program.
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>> caller: thank you for taking my call. in 1986 congress passed a scholarship named after barry goldwater, and i don't know if irony ever escaped them based on what i heard from the panel that goldwater's archeology and his federal shollar ship would go to -- i don't know too much about this scholarship, i wish there was a story of goldwater filibustering his own named scholarship but if that's the case, just comments on his views on public education and if there's any known feelings about his congress awarding him the scholarship? >> thank you, matthew. darcy olson? >> i had not heard that. that's something i would like to learn more about. certainly it would be ironic if it's true and if it is true it is ironic. he looked at the constitution. he didn't see any role in there given to the federal government to be
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involved in education and he spoke out against federal involvement in education. he said i don't want the federal government to educate my children. i don't want the state government to educate my children. i want to educate my children. and i think if we can bring this up to modern times, what's so interesting and i think is a great tribute to barry goldwater is that arizona is one of the leading states in offering choices to parents, school choice so people aren't forced to go into government schools but can use some of their tax money and take that to private schools or use online tutoring and things like that. i think barry would have absolutely loved that and been crazy about that because this was something that he believed. look, at bottom he believed in freedom. and nothing is more fundamental than being able to direct how your children are educated. so certainly i would love -- do you know if the scholarship part is true? have you heard that? >> i've heard something or i remember after the senator died there was something about
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congress passed something in science and technology in his name, i can't remember what it was whether it was a scholarship thing -- it's vague in my mind. >> you cannot talk about barry goldwater and the 1964 campaign without bringing up the ad that you mentioned before. it aired once on september 7, 1964, labor day monday. it aired on nbc, cbs and abc. then used it as subsequent stories and it is infamously known as the daisy ad. >> one, two, three, four, five, seven, six, six, eight, nine, nine -- >> nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. [ bomb blast ]
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these are the stakes. to make a world in which all of god's children can live or to go into the dark. we must either love each other or we must die. >> vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> 50 years later they are still talking about this ad. why? >> well, it was devastating at the time. he never mentioned barry goldwater's name. he didn't need to. keep in mind that the whole campaign up to even up to that point focused, focused on the word extremism, extremist, extremist, over and over again. this was just another little
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piece of goldwater is an extremist, he's going to get us into a nuclear war. that ad was written and designed by what's his name -- >> tony schwartz. >> no. >> bill moyers. >> that's not true. that's absurd. >> no, no, let me finish. barry goldwater in my show is on camera. he said, yeah, bill moyer was behind that. okay. and he said i tried later, years later, afterwards to talk to bill moyers about it, because barry thought it was pretty rotten deal. and i tried to talk to bill moyers and bill moyers never returned my phone call. after barry passed away, susan, his second wife told me after, later, she said, you know, bill moyers was in town for something not related to politics and she had occasion to talk to him and bill moyers said to susan, this is susan saying
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this, she said bill moyers said yeah gee it was a shame i tried to get a hold of barry to talk to him about that a lot of times but we could just never meet up which susan was implying that was baloney. >> i can state categorically having read through every memo of how the advertisements were created in 1964, that bill moyers had nothing to do with creating that ad. >> he was white house press secretary at that time. >> yes. he was involved in the campaign. he wrote memos about the ad. and he, you know, was involved in the media strategy but the idea that he created the idea is not -- -- is an solecism. >> i'm ron from minnesota and arizona, depending on the season. the sub title for your book is "unmaking of a consensus." i'm interested in what makes something a consensus, what was it that was unmade and did we make a new one? >> excellent question.
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i think that in a sense the word "consensus" would have to appear in quotation marks. there was a myth after world war ii, certainly since the eisenhower administration accepting the new deal as a basic template, eisenhower saying anyone who fiddled with social security would never live to another political day, him expanding the welfare state in certain ways. this idea that, you know, i might even sort of read just a classic statement of how the american consensus was a thought of at the time. the dean of rutgers wrote in the magazine "partisan review" in america there's no basic disagreements between intellectuals, bankers, artists, trade unionists, big businessmen, beatniks professional people and politicians to name a few. or between the economic classes. there's no real critics, no new ideas, no fundamental differences of opinion.
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the idea that the western world not just america had converged on the idea of the welfare state as the way to organize the world was just seen as permanent. and what is so fascinating to me and why i called the book "before the storm" is almost immediately the 1960s gives lie to that notion. americans are at each other's throats. we're debating over the role of the state. in the most fundamental ways. that was the american consensus. in 1964 is where we begin to see these fissures come apart and barry goldwater is central in that. >> if you could in just a minute, because it's a huge topic, but the issue of civil rights in the 1964 vote, barry goldwater voted against it and it became one of the issues of that campaign. >> now, a couple of very fascinating points about that. we talked about the lyndon johnson television commercials. they had a bunch of commercials in the can boasting about that civil rights bill and
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excoriating barry goldwater voting against it. they didn't run those because the idea of a backlash against civil right was already present. and in california -- in the book i publish a headline in "the new york times," backlash did not develop. maybe people would vote for barry goldwater because they were terrified of blacks having civil rights. in california on the same day that lyndon johnson won by a million votes there was also a vote for a referendum and that was on open housing. by 1 million votes californians voted to reject the vote of open house, to reject a law that you said you cannot discriminate on the base of race to whom you rent your home. the idea of a backlash against civil rights was latent at the time and became the most explosive issue in decades to come in american politics.
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>> if you look at what happened in 1952 when dwight eisenhower won and you look at the south and the impact the civil rights vote had for democrats in 1964, what's the difference? >> of course, no one in the republican party, because that was the party of the carpet baggers, that was the party if you voted for the republicans and they got a toehold they would, you know, monopolize the black vote and there were all these panics and we've all seen "gone with the wind." the shift began in 1964. five southern states voted for goldwater. 87% of mississippi voted for goldwater. when lyndon johnson signed the civil rights he said i'm signing away the south for the democratic party for a generation. that was one of the most profound hinges in the entire electoral alignment of the united states. the south now is a primarily
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republican region and that's because conservatives led by barry goldwater decided to retreat from the idea of the federal government advancing civil rights for african-americans. >> two years after ge ended the program, the ge theater that ronald reagan was hosting and two years before he became governor of california he was involved in this campaign and we have just a portion of the speech the heat delivered, titled "a time for choosing," late in the campaign as ronald reagan talked about the virtues of barry goldwater. >> but i think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended to us by the founding fathers. not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a cuban refugee, a businessman that escaped from castro. in the midst of his story, one of my friends turned to the other and said you don't know how lucky we are. how lucky you are? i had some place to escape to.
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in that sentence he told us the entire story. if we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. this idea that government is beholden to the people that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people is still the newest and unique idea of all of history in man's relation to man. you and i have a rendezvous with destiny. we'll preserve for our children the last best hope for man on earth or sentence them to take the last step into 1,000 years of darkness. we'll keep in mind and remember that barry goldwater has faith in us. he has faith that you and i have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> from october 22nd, 1964.
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what's the history behind that speech? why did he deliver it? >> i don't know -- reagan you mean? >> why did he deliver it? >> here's why. first off i don't know who actually drafted the speech, he probably knows. but that's okay. that's okay. barry himself, i have to give a little background. barry himself was a great extemporaneous speaker. i mean dramatic. he was wonderful. he didn't like prepared written speeches, okay. somebody wrote that speech for barry. and submitted it to him. my source on this is bob goldwater and john shadegg, and some other historian types. they wrote it and gave it to barry. barry read it and said this is a great speech but i'm not good at giving written speeches. ronnie reagan can do it better and they sent it over to ronald reagan to deliver it on tv or wherever it was and reagan did it and somebody said that was the beginning of reagan ending up as president was that speech which was written for barry.
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>> which also led a number of california executives to coach him into running for governor in 1966. >> yeah. that was a little different. he had given a similar speech through the early '60s, and the people who had been in charge of basically handling the money for goldwater's television account were so fed up with the terrible tv commercials, they basically said unless you let us spend it the whole way, we'll spend it the way we want to, we're going to basically sequester this money. they played hardball. that's how they got ronald reagan on the air. and after he gave that speech telegrams poured into the campaign and money poured into the campaign, and people started talking about ronald reagan as a gubernatorial possibility. and david broder said it was the best political debut ever heard
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of since the cross of gold speech by jennings bryan in 1896. >> one quick sidenote. the relationship in 1964 between barry goldwater and ronald reagan, was it a close relationship or more of an acquaintance? >> well, ronald reagan vacationed in arizona. his father-in-law was a wealthy chicago physician who knew the goldwaters. and there's a whole fascinating soap opera i write about in my book about how the people around barry goldwater who were running his campaign what they called the arizona mafia didn't want ronald reagan to give this speech. it's a little different, because he had said things about social security that goldwater had gotten in trouble for earlier in the year, and basically ronald reagan said to goldwater, why don't you listen to it and if you object to it we don't have to run it. and goldwater heard it. he said, this is great, i don't
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see what the fuss is about. and the rest is history. >> we'll go to dan joining us from cambridge city, indiana. good evening. >> caller: good evening. you pretty much answered my question. i wondered what goldwater thought of the way reagan gave the speech that night and also mr. goldwater and mr. reagan and william f. buckley, did they ever have any difference of opinion as far as conservatism or they were pretty much in accord? and with that i thank you for taking my question. >> thank you. >> william f. buckley was shut out of the goldwater campaign. late in 1963 by a power play by a fellow by the name of bill barude. he was the head of the american enterprise institute. it was power politics. he leaked the story that bill buckley was trying to take over the campaign. william f. buckley on several different occasions said he didn't think barry goldwater would make a good president.
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that he wasn't ready to be president, that he wasn't smart enough to be president. that -- in our now, ronald reagan's relationship to william f. buckley is fascinating, complicated, they went to logger heads on a lot of major issues. for example, the panama canal, they had famous debate in which william f. buckley argued the panama canal treaty of the late '70s was a good thing. ronald reagan had basically run his 1976 campaign on the idea it was a bad thing. these are these kind of personality clashes that any movement will have. >> can i just recommend a great book for this questioner? william f. buckley, his last book published after he passed is called "flying high." it's a book about barry goldwater. it's a wonderful book. one of the best books ever written about goldwater. so if that is your interest, i strongly recommend it. >> along with but before the
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storm," right? we'll get a question here. >> two quick questions for the panel to address. first, i wonder whether by engaging more directly over the issue of vietnam in 1964, barry goldwater could have perhaps forced lyndon johnson to define victory in vietnam and dictate some kind of exit strategy. and perhaps hasten that war's conclusion. the second -- >> let's get that point and follow up on your second one. >> i'm not sure that -- there were forces trying to persuade lyndon johnson to do lots of things about vietnam and none of them prevailed. i'm not sure that he could have had much influence on lyndon. i don't know. i'm not an expert on that. we have some vietnam veterans in the crowd here. maybe they know. but i don't know. >> your second point? >> my second question we heard a lot about barry's consistency. in the 1996 election he endorsed bill clinton for president. i would love the panel to speak to the motivations behind that endorsement.
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>> he was a guy who could bear grudges. bob dole had been around a lot. in republican politics. i wouldn't be surprised if bob dole angered him somewhere along the way. i don't know the back story behind it. i would love to know. >> he also endorsed a woman named karen english for a congressional seat in arizona, a democrat. she won and served one term. >> along those lines, when you ask about his consistency, one of my favorite stories is about that. he endorsed someone who he believed was a fiscal conservative but was a democrat over the republican who he thought was a profligate big spender. and so the republican party chairman in arizona -- this is how the story goes -- called him up, and said, barry, you are speaking out too much and you need to get in line. if you don't, you know, if you
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don't stop endorsing this democrat we'll take your name off of the republican party headquarters. and barry said to him, if you republicans don't remember the principles that we stand for i'm going to make you take my name off that building. [ laughter ] >> over the years especially as he was in retirement a number of public figures, democrats and republicans, you talked about bob dole and bill clinton would come out here to meet with barry goldwater. why? >> they admired him. he was one-of-a-kind, a person of integrity. they may not agree with him on this, that or the other issue. but he was one of a kind. they admired him. keep in mind, when barry died bill clinton, the democratic president had the flag of the united states lowered to half-staff for a day on the day of goldwater's funeral of the opposite party. that never happened before. probably never happen again. >> one quick point about clinton, hillary clinton being a
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goldwater girl in 1964. >> he had a very fascinating rehabilitation kind of in the '70s. there was an article in the "new york times" magazine in 1974. in 1964, he was bela lugosi, but the liberals love him now. it's about the unfairness we're talking about and the reconsideration centered around the fact that he was so forthright in excoriating richard nixon for his lies. >> we'll go to judy next in san francisco. welcome to the program. >> caller: thank you so much. i was raised in phoenix and my family worshipped goldwater. we were active in his campaign and later my brother became a libertarian. he said there never needs to be a libertarian party if goldwater
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had just become president. then i was a '92 delegate to the republican convention and there was going to be a big fight that year, a platform fight over putting abortion in the platform. a week before the convention barry made a statement to the press there was no blank, blank, blank way that should be in the platform. when i got to the convention a week later there was all these paraphernalia tables and a big blue button that said, "barry's right." i wore it the entire week and to this day it's my most prized position because barry is still right. >> thank you for the call. darcey olson? >> you know, that is -- i think that is a difficult issue and i think a lot of people liked to use that to call -- i'm not saying your caller did this but
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to position barry as a libertarian. i think that they know 2% of the public considered themselves libertarian and they tried to marginalize him that way. but the truth is that a lot of conservatives believed that the federal government should not have any role in the question of whether or not abortion, for instance is a crime. william f. buckley is a pretty strong conservative. i don't think anybody would quibble with that. he also believed that that was not the role of the federal government. marketing comes into play. what people took barry said is not the way they took what william f. buckley said. they were saying the same thing. >> we should point out that he left the senate in 1964 because his term expired, he came back in 1968 and he had a very important role in august of 1974 as he met with richard nixon two days before his resignation. what's the story? >> well, he was the guy who led
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a delegation of republicans. it's very simple, actually. you know, impeachment is a political process. he said that you do not have the votes in the senate to win in a trial and, therefore, you don't want to be the first president to be thrown out on your ear by the senate, you ought to resign. and nixon took his advice and richard nixon resigned on august 9th, 1974. >> the relationship between the two? >> testy. barry goldwater, as i mentioned in this article about the liberals, you know, lionizing him, consistently throughout watergate would prod richard nixon to tell the truth. he said this is beginning to smell like tea pot dome.
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there was a very famous showdown between barry goldwater and richard nixon at the 1960 republican convention, one of the most important kind of set pieces in conservative history in which nelson rockefeller basically threatened a floor fight unless he could dictate the terms of the republican platform and forced richard nixon to fly to new york to negotiate the terms of the platform. it was announced in chicago where the convention was as a fait accompli. and barry goldwater was so mad he gave a speech calling it the munich of the republican party. that was when people started to campaign for barry goldwater to usurp the nomination from richard nixon. so every since that point i don't think he really trusted richard nixon.
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>> jumping ahead to watergate, which is what brought on the resignation. barry told me and in my show barry told me and in my show bob goldwater reiterates there, he said the reason why barry was so angry at nixon leading up to the resignation was because, quote, nixon was a gd liar, lying about watergate. the thing in their family -- bob goldwater talks about this in some length in the documentary that from childhood he said if we did something wrong and we told the truth we didn't get punished. if we lied, we got punished. and there's just this very strong thing on the part of barry and others about lying and he was so angry at nixon for lying through the watergate period. that's why he was so angry. >> edward is joining us in new orleans. go ahead, please. >> caller: this is ed clancy in
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new orleans. in 1968, i was covering the republican convention in miami and i was able to meet, of course, barry goldwater who was there and he was extremely nice. he struck me as totally different from his national image, and i also discovered ronald reagan in the back of the news section of the auditorium being interviewed in the booth by nbc. i was the only one to see him there. of course ronald reagan was making noise about running for president at that convention. so i stood outside while he was finishing the interview, i believe it was with david brinkley, and then he came out and by that time a whole bunch of other reporters had gathered out there and mr. reagan came out and i asked him a couple of questions and then these other reporters circled him, about 20 or 30 of them and we just went as a circle with mr. reagan in the middle and i was throwing questions over the top of him. he was very nicely yelling his answers back to my microphone. then we went around the corner
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and where the tables were of all the reporters and their typewriters and the whole gang of people swept into this table at the end of it, knocking over a little man at his typewriter, all his books. i let them go. i stopped and helped this little man and i looked into his face and it was theodore s. white. and that stopped me right there. and he was just so -- he apologized actually to me for that. so i got to meet three nice people right there, barry goldwater, ronald reagan and theodore s. white. >> thank you for the phone call from new orleans. of course conventions were quite different in 1964 and 1968. >> by the day, i do think in "the making of the president" in 1964,
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teddy white was pretty patronizing to barry goldwater despite what the earlier caller said. the 1964 convention was angry and violent. and he mentioned david brinkley. alan brinkley who is david brinkley's son, a professor now at columbia, told me that so kind of impassioned and angry, violently angry at the media, you know, the establishment press or the goldwater delegates and supporters, that david brinkley told his son alan brinkley who was a teenager at the time, you are under no circumstances to wear your nbc insignia around san francisco. so that's why people were afraid of this idea of the goldwater movement as this kind of quasi fascist thing. it was a very dangerous frightening time. >> in 1984, barry goldwater in his final two years in the us senate before retiring, he put forth ronald reagan's nomination
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to serve a second term and be the republican nominee in '84. >> a month ago i sat in my den and watched the democratic national convention. speaker after speaker promised . speaker after speaker promised the moon to every narrow self-interest group in the country. they ignore the hopes and aspirations of the largest interest group of all, women and pre-women. [ cheers ] so tonight, i want to speak about it. let me remind you that extremism is defense liberty.
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[ applause ] >> darci, of the gold water. >> people love berry goldwater. what he was expressing was give me liberty or give me death. you know in america, we believe this and i think sometimes that you know the lost of the 64 campaign is mistakenly interpreted as an out right rejection of those ideas. it was not anything of the sort. you can hear it from the cheering and you can see it from the reagan revolution and you can see it from the ideas being alive today. that's what the liberal press at
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the time. when he lost that campaign, james rustin, has said goldwater has lost the whole conservative cause. that's wish full thinking on the part of the press. that's classic barry goldwater and reflects what many americans believe. >> jay is joining us from new york city go ahead, please. >> caller: i am trying to look at the back splash.
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you look at certain organizations, they praise these conservatives but when you look at the record, i saw african-americans not voting for conservatives. you look on civil rights and ronald reagan and mississippi where the civil right rights -- conservatives at least understand that when you keep on trading people like ronald reagan and barry goldwater, all you have to do is pick up a book and the record is right there. a whole segment of society feels like they are alienated. i would like to take that there and thank you for taking my phone call. >> thank you, jay. >> well, i certainly understand what the caller was saying in his views. with barry goldwater more of
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what he's referring to whether he realizes it or not was the image of barry goldwater put out there as a crazy guy or whatever which he was not. barry goldwater was never a hateful person or an avenger person. >> yeah, it is important to also know that by the end of the 1964 campaign, barry did make an important shift on the civil rights. he would always say and he showed it that he was for integration. that was his goal for society. by the end of that campaign as
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he was trying to win those southern states, he did say our goal is neither to have an integrated society or seg grare society. >> quick about the debates, there were four debates in 1960s and no debates in 1964, why. >> that was a dirty trick. in order to have a debate, you have to suspend the federal communication so that every candidate and like the beekeepers party would not have to be on stage. >> the question from somebody here. >> abraham from scottsdale. do you see the tea party is a
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goldwater movement? >> yes, the tea party, i guess, the best way to answer that it is not monoli-- there are a lot people constituting it in the tea party. if you look at the tea party as a group of people who have fought these gigantic bail outs in washington, they fought the raising of the debt ceiling and the take over of health care. all of those things, barr barry goldwater, would have been along with them. we see some of the major pieces of what the tea party folks are working on. >> franklin is on the phone, we
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welcome you. go ahead, please. >> caller: i would like to make a comment, if we were to elect barry goldwater in '64, we would have won the war in vietnam. >> i would also like to say that barry goldwater told mr. knicni that he could not hold the south for him. the nation of the south would stay for him so that they asked him to resign instead of be impeached. >> thank you. >> franklin, thank you. >> the stuff about barry goldwater, somehow can win the vietnam war. the united states and the land mass of north and south vietnam is a quarter inch of steel. i they that's a fantasy, a pleasant one. i think that's a lived position.
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>> we have a minute or two left. did barry goldwater view change as he got older. >> absolutely not. his core of philosophy and the way he looked at life and politics. i had battles and pages whe where -- he got senile and turned liberal at the end. he did not. he was always a matter of, i call small libertarian and freedom of choice whether it was abortion issues or gay rights or any number of things. he was totally consistent of his whole life. >> i aglree with that. >> any questions of barry's life, was it constitutional or not, that'll give the answer to his position. >> absolutely. you know people look around to
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find politicians who are honest and stand for principles. there are few far between. that's some of the reasons he gave us his blessings. he knew that you could not count on politicians to stand with principles all the time. >> with women supporting organizations that believed in those ideas that you would always have a voice for freedom. >> rick royce, i am going to give you the final word. >> it was the formation of organizations that became a conservative movement that lost the battle in 1964 but lived to fight dozens of battles more. >> i think his legacy is to have inspired these people to become something, apart of something greater than themselves. inspire people who felt freig
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frustrated. the book is called "before the storm" by rick pearlstein. >> thank you for all of you being here and the producer of the documentary on barry goldwater. >> and the american life. >> thank you all of you for being here with us. we want to live yeave you some e words of barry of the interviews we did with him in 1985. i don't think i have ever told politicians coming into washington, your reelection is not done yet or mistake or break the united states. do the best job you can do. that's what you are here for, to nd

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