tv Book Discussion on The Greatest Comeback CSPAN August 20, 2016 4:00pm-5:21pm EDT
comeback come cohead richard nixon rose from defeat to create -- comeback," how richard nixon rose from defeat to create -- mr. buchanan spoke at the richard nixon presidential library about an hour and 20 minutes. >> tonight is a great night because we have a special treat for you. a have someone who spent number of years at richard nixon's side, and her member when he lost the presidential in 1960 andernatorial in the gubernatorial in 1962, people wrote him off. they said, richard nixon is gone. he said this is my last press conference.
not so. time, and yourme men left columbia university, graduated from columbia, joined the st. louis post-dispatch, became an editorial writer, and along the way, he met richard nixon. that began a magnificent journey. carpet rideargin from richard nixon's defeat through years of what richard nixon described as the wilderness years, to the achievement of the highest office in the world, president of the united states. pat buchanan was with him every step of the way and it's reported in this great book just this is thet week, pacific coast launch of it, the greatest comeback, of how richard nixon built the new majorityand the silent
much, sandy. i was going to mention all the folks i served with over the years, even going back 4 and 5 decades, and i'd like to single out one who is with the richard nixon for the campaign of 1960 before i was there, campaign for governor in 1962 before i was there, and who rode richard .ixon on that plane around and that is shelley buchanan.
want to stand up, shelley? [applause] i would also like to say a few words about sandy quinn, who i got to know richard nixon up in new york. told me, cats, when you get to washington, there's three people you want to see. sandy heston i magnificent job for the foundation and everything, and i know you heard him tonight. i think he deserves more than one round of applause. [applause] "the greatest comeback" is not definitive history of that's my timebut a memoir of
and those three years of richard nixon before he became president. man whos the story of a rose from one of the worst defeats in american political history and the worst occasions and came back from basically a broken career to lead a shattered and ruined party, not only to victory in 1968, but to thate a great coalition exceeded fdr's coalition and dominated the presidency. i've often told friends that what richard nixon did in the 20th century is matched only by fdr.ther man, let me tell you a little bit and
go back and try to tell some of this story, as much as i can do in the limited time we have available. the first words i heard from the president of the united states where these, buchanan, was that you throwing the eggeggs? [laughter] been inaugurated, delivered his inaugural speech, was coming up pennsylvania avenue, and his limousine was showered with debris and rocks and eggs and everything and he showed up at the white house, and shelley and i were walking into the reviewing span along these doors the secret service had put down because it was so -- boards the secret service had put down because it took was so muddy. i stepped off the boards and in came the president of the united states, and that's what he said.
buchanan, was that you throwing the eggs? [laughter] that incident is a metaphor for the city that president nixon came into. loathed orither detested richard nixon by a large. the bureaucracy had been built up and the new deal, fair deal, and great society, it was overwhelmingly democratic. it was a hostile city that that hadixon came into just broken the presidency of lyndon baines johnson, who after winning a landslide 1964 had stood down in 1968. men.was the america of mad the america we saw on that film,
take a look at what happened in those years before i got to meet richard nixon. 1963, john f. kennedy assassinated. 1964, first uprising at berkeley of the great campus disorders of the 1960's. this was the beginning of the revolution, in 1965 folks out here will remember the watts riots, the worst race riot at its time since the civil war. of the the beginning revolution. i was a young man, editorial writer in st. louis. i drove back to washington to delivertin luther king famous speech at the lincoln memorial. i was up in the memorial with him. agoyear later, 50 years this month, i was in what shobha county, mississippi before they found the bodies of the three civil rights workers.
the civil rights revolution of those days which started off so well was rapidly disintegrating into disorder and riots and black power and black panthers and all the rest of it. that was the world we came into. let's look at what nixon himself was in that period. talk about 1962 in 1964 and they are correct. but you go back to 1950. that was the last election that richard nixon won in his own right. he won the biggest victory california had ever seen over kill and the hagan douglas. eisenhower could have been elected on any ticket trade 1954 when the was leading the republican party, the republican party lost both houses of congress. they lost 13 senate seats in 1958, 1960 he lost narrowly in a we all heardction
of what happened in chicago and texas. 1962, he came out and ran for governor and was defeated by governor pat brown. then he had that famous press conference where he said, this is it. he had had it with the press. he said, think of all the fun you will be missing. you won't have richard nixon to kick around anymore. this is my last press conference. he was finished, down and out. in 1964, even though he was out of it, he not only introduced barry goldwater at that convention, richard nixon went campaigned all across america for barry goldwater harder than goldwater campaign for himself. look at where the party was in 1965 when i arrived. had 140 seats in the house, 32 in the senate. outnumbered more than 2:1.
they had 17 governorships outnumbered 2:1 and governorships. state legislatures were outnumbered 2:1. talking about the republican party as the party that had lost its head. it was split between the goldwater win and the rockefeller-rodney win. that is what nixon inherited. that's when he began his great comeback. that's a situation i encountered when i joined richard nixon. how did i get aboard with richard nixon? i was an editorial writer at the st. louis globe democrat. and having some difficulty with my publisher at the time. i thought maybe i ought to get out of this office and get into the real world. invited by derksen to fill in for him at a speech in belleville, illinois. but across the river, 15 miles
across the river from st. louis. he was going to speak there and then he was going to go to a cocktail reception given by don the cartoonist at the globe democrat and a good friend of mine. i said, you've got to be invited to your party and you've got to get me to meet richard nixon at your party because i want to meet him. he said, i'll do it for you. house, ando hess's me into the he got kitchen, introduced me to richard nixon. i said, mr. vice president, how are you? if you're going to run in 1968i like to get aboard early. direct approach was best. and he said, what you do? i'm the assistant
editorial editor of the st. louis globe democrat. he said, i don't want to know what your title is, i want to know what you do. i said, i write editorials. we have two editorial writers and the st. louis post-dispatch has 8. i write on everything. local politics, statewide, county politics, foreign policy. i write on everything. he seemed pretty impressed and just to convince him i was not putting him on a bit, i said we've met before. he said, what? i said, we met before, sir. caddy at the country club when i was 14 years old. i was on a caddy log. pete cook and i integrated the caddy bench at the country club. they were all black folk folk
kids who were unhappy. we never got bags and the black kids would go out in the afternoon in the morning. outcomes this golf bag. i said, it's a vice presidents bank. -- bag. the two of us were sitting there. he said, come on over. we went around with the vice president of the united states for 18 holes, 4 hours. wasn'tince the and i making this up, i gave him the name of the pro-and assistant pro at burning tree. the next morning, after this meeting with you in, he's driving out to lambert field for an hour and the cartoonist says, nixon talked about you all the way out to lambert air force. that's a good sign. then i didn't hear anything from him. two weeks later i get this phone call and it is the familiar voice.
can you come to new york and continue our conversation? i said sure, and so i went to new york. for three hours i sat in richard nixon's office. he quizzed me on everything i could think of, foreign policy, domestic policy, tax policy, congress. it was exhausting for three hours and when we were done, he said i'd like to hire you for one year. if we don't pick up seats in 1966, the nomination will not be worth anything in 1968. then he offered me a salary, which was 50% higher than what i was making. . said, i'm interested in this i said, i will take it, but you'd better call my publisher first because he doesn't know that i'm here. richardow i got aboard nixon in 1965. the first with him,
thing he said -- my three assignments were, you're going to help write a column for me, you're going to travel with me in 1966, work for me in a 1966 campaign. i said fine, but i had larger dreams of what my functions would be. i said, the first thing we have to do, we're going to win the nomination. you have the center of the republican party. you.re still with i'm a member of the goldwater movement. i said, if we can put together the goldwater movement with the the republican party, there's no one that can stop you from getting that nomination. rockefeller is too far out on the left. did -- nixon had said something about bill buckley and the buckleyites
being more dangerous than the birchers. i said, we are going to have to clear this up great and so i wrote this letter explaining what mr. next had meant to the publisher. we healed that breach. with my friend tom charles houston, we started holding meetings, all during 1966 with leaders of various conservative groups nixon had not met and i certainly had not met. then weith them, started inviting every columnist who was a conservative to come up and meet richard nixon and have an interview with him and give him time. we kept building this alliance with richard nixon and the conservative movement. the center of the republican party and the conservative wing of the republican party. then nixon went out on his own in 1966 and campaigned in 35
states, 80 congressional districts, every single republican who asked for him, he went in all 11 southern states, working for the republican party . itwas a move that -- i set in my book. it was an nixon's interest to do this, but it was also consistent with what he believed. n was a fighter. he loved his party, he was loyal to it. i traveled with him that whole time. he was a spartan. worknever seen anybody harder than that. there were occasional incidents. mr. nixon had some trouble with the rockefellers. let me tell you one story from the campaign of 1956. we were in fort smith, arkansas. nixon got up and he had a press conference and did an event for
john paul hammerschmidt, who eventually was the one guy who congress clinton for -- he bill clinton. we're in fort smith. nixon goes to the motel and it's a rectangular thing. it's on the inside, but only one story. here and heis room says, i do not want to be disturbed. i've got a nap. i've got a big speech tonight. i said, you got it. around my moseyed own room. i saw this huge fellow marching straight across the quadrangle of this motel straight towards nixon's door. he was yelling, hey, dick. nixon was sleeping. i started running and i did not get there in time, and this guys pounding on the door, and the door opens and richard nixon let him in. i thought, that's the end of
that buchanan. says, have you met when rockefeller? this was the brother of nelson and david rockefeller, the youngest of the brothers. he was a great war hero. a great fellow. that was my first introduction to the rockefellers in that campaign. we got to was -- oregon and during this campaign, and helling's comes up to me. my views of nelson rockefeller just -- it's hard to describe how harsh they were. helling's comes up to me and says, hey pat, the old man is going to endorse old rockefeller. i said, what?
i took off down the hall, i get to nixon's suite and open the door and he's not there. bathroom. door to the he's about to get into the shower. i said, you're not going to endorse that blanket he -- blankety-blank, are you? he said, don't worry pat, we will get something for it. this tells you something about the man. he had been treated brutally by the people in new york. practice, they did not invite him to any advance or anything. here he is con -- here he is, comet to endorse rockefeller. to have to come together, we've been deeply divided, goldwater and rockefeller. this is the right thing to do. rocky.rsed
richard nixon -- we were in we heard word that lyndon johnson coming back from the manila summit, summit meeting 1966, october. he was going to campaign in all of these states, in a dozen states. i mistakenly went in and told the president is coming back. said, we will have to see about that. but he was clearly shaken. he went out that night and he endorsed tom a call -- except he kept calling him bob mccall. until the audience finally said, it's tom. so that's a lesson if you are in politics, do not give your candidate that news before he's about to go make a speech.
but i will say this, nixon came back and he was very down. he said, if johnson comes back, we could be cut from 40 seats. he was down, and i went back to my room. about midnight, he called me in. he said, take some notes. he dictated a speech on vietnam great i must've taken 12 pages of notes. he said, you work on this speech and prepare it for me. i'm going to go campaign in the state of washington. i'm going to come down to boise. we worked on it as we flew around the country, and just before the election, nixon dropped it in the new york times and appraisal of the manila communique by johnson prayed johnson showed up at a press conference. november 4, 19 66, critical moment in the comeback of richard nixon.
it was in the front page of "the new york times." from lyndon johnson's tapes, he called hubert humphrey and said, did you see what that sob said about us in "the new york times" this morning? johnson went out in a press conference and slammed bench richard nixon as badly as any president has ever attacked a leader of the opposition party. those of the world's -- words of jewels would cover. mike wallace had been at the airport. i was reporting to nixon on what i heard. i was on the plane listening on radio. nixon came out to the plane. i said, you're not going to believe what the president is saying about us. we flew up there, and mike wallace flew after us. out and handled it beautifully, was gracious to johnson.
ssaid, he's a little tired from his trip right we have questions on vietnam that need to be answered. the whole country, the media said, richard nixon is saying the right thing. all of a sudden, end of 1966, richard nixon's vaulted up into contention by lyndon johnson for the republican nomination. however, 1966 election win, we won. big time. get to the weekend after that, our celebration at the drake hotel. richard nixon took us to the restaurant, out with the wife and everything. we had a good time. wsweek" come out after the election. who's on the cover? six republicans. the new republican leaders. governor reagan, rockefeller, romney, senator percy, center
brook, senator hatfield. no richard nixon. a real downer for us that he had been left out after all the work he had done. they did us a favor by leaving .s out of the news just before that election day, nixon told the national press that -- after the selection is over, i'm going to take a six-month moratorium from politics completely. laternixon a day or so and i said, is this wise? governor romney, george romney is ahead of lyndon johnson by eight points in the national polls. he's running far away first from the republican nomination and we are going to drop out for 6
months and do nothing. nixon said in his own manner, pa t, let him chew on him for a little while. i gather he meant the press corps. that isead my book, exactly what the press did. in myrness, i put a line name about mitt romney, how tough it must've been when he was 20 years old in paris, seeing how it happened to his father's launch in the presidency. i've never seen, it was not an outstanding performance. and he got out, caught up on the vietnam issue and the press went after him and there were one after another attacks from the press. it was one of the worst things i've ever seen. i told nixon one time, i sent in that editorial and said, i've never seen anything that
vicious. just terrible. murray kempton, a great writer of "the new york post," everybody remembers that george romney was a huge success. he brought out the early nash rambler. that was one of the things that vaulted his career. kempton and i -- i slipped into the meeting myself. romney was speaking in new york at a large jewish community gathering. i wanted to see what he said the next morning in his paper. he had listen to romney speak at ine,conclusion was, first l nash rambler must've been a hell of a car that george romney was able to sell it. [laughter] [applause] mean, that was typical of what
was being written about romney. you almost feel badly about the guy, except we were benefiting from all this. then we really got into the 1967.1960's, people might remember the places, but newark and detroit. we've seen what happens to detroit as a consequence. new york and detroit went up in horrible race riots. they had many dead, thousands and thousands arrested, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. this was part of what was happening in that decade for which we were not responsible. there's no doubt about it, we benefited from this. the revolution was on in america. social, cultural, moral. campuses were ablaze. rising.war movement was
by now it was ablaze. the civil rights movement was degenerating. all the rest of it. all of these things caused more and more americans to say, the great society, we supported this, we supported civil it's not turning out well. and something is terribly wrong with our country. this is what middle america was saying. and then romney, governor romney in his famous statement on lou gordon's tv show, in, i believe it was in late he got on and he august, made a terrible mistake, maybe it was what he believed. he said, i was all wrong on vietnam, we should never have gotten in there. i went over to vietnam in 1965, i got the greatest brainwashing you've ever seen. and i was brainwashed by american military and the
american diplomats. and after four days, "the new york times" picked up on it. romney says he has been brainwashed. it was not a good thing for his candidacy. and gene mccarthy, who became a friend of mine, was brutal on governor romney. he said in romney's case, a full brainwashing was not needed. [laughter] that a light rinse would have sufficed. [laughter] pat buchanan: this is brutal, but you have to remember in those days, that is how tough governor george romney had it in those days, to the point where we're rung against him, and i'm feeling sorry for the guy. so then we come up to 1968, which was a real year of tragedy. well it was a year of real , tragedy. most of the year, i believe, in american political history since the civil war.
my friend, tom brokaw, wrote a book called "boom" about it. and other books have been written about it. i have got them now, 1964, 1965, 1966, you almost had to go through that era to experience it. we began the campaign -- dwight campaign. the three of us flew in a small plane out of laguardia, february 1, 1968 into logan, and then we took a car -- nick louis was the advance man -- took nixon up to new hampshire, where we got him name, room under a phony gentlemen chaplin. he was going into manchester the next day and sign up for the primary. and remember when we were going down the hall in this motel, chapman, of course
richard nixon was going down the , hall, and this inebriated fellow was walking toward him. and he was oning toward him and he kept looking at him and looking at him, and as he passed by, and you could see there was some recognition on his face but not a great deal. so, that is how we got nixon into new hampshire. but that very day, the first day of the tet offensive in vietnam, and i was concerned because my little brother was with the 101st airborne in vietnam, had just gone over. but in that month, the tet offensive dominated the news. you got to take a look at the new york times. a picture of richard nixon, he announced, and he got one column in the new york times. it had eight columns in those days, and the four-column photograph was of the saying -- saigon police chief shooting the fellow in the head. the terrorist who was murdering people, but the saigon police
chief -- it won the pulitzer prize -- but that's the beginning of that year, within february also, you had the massacre at whey. 3000 were killed. the viet cong and north vietnamese walks through the town with lists, murdering anyone who was loyal to the saigon government or working with americans. before february was out, governor romney quit the race, dropped out. again, i was with dwight chapin. i got a call from a friend i was going to journalism school with, and he said romney is dropping , out this afternoon. so nixon was speaking at what we called the little towns tour, and he came down -- i grabbed him, and we took him into the men's room, and dwight and i , i said romney is going to drop , out this afternoon. i got it on good authority from my buddy. my buddy from journalism school is covering him. so nixon walks out and mike wallace asked what he had to say about governor romney dropping
out of the race, and mr. nixon carried it will. he said, that's the first i heard of that. [laughter] pat buchanan: sometimes you would just stop cold. but anyhow, romney was gone from the race. but what happened then two weeks , later they had the new hampshire primary, and richard nixon, while he won, got over 70% of the vote -- of course we , didn't have an opponent then , but people, you look at the total votes, you had nixon, write-ins for rock feller and romney, and bobby kennedy write-ins on the democratic side. eugene mccarthy and lyndon johnson. nixon got more votes. people weren't looking at it -- than all the others put together. because of a little project we had, he got four times as many write-in votes on the democratic ballot as bobby kennedy. if people didn't notice, they should have looked closely at that because what it said was
the country is turning toward , this party and somewhat toward this man who is supposed to be the greatest loser of all time. the big news though was eugene mccarthy, who got 20% of the vote against lyndon johnson, and states.t of united and johnson -- i don't know what people are thinking of -- johnson's name wasn't even on the ballot. the president of the united states was running as a write-in candidate in new hampshire. and so i was astonished that he did this, and half the mccarthy votes were from hawks, people who wanted johnson to be tougher on vietnam. so johnson's people handled it horribly. three or four days later, robert kennedy jumped into the race. against johnson, and began to savage him. he said johnson is appealing to the darker impulses of the american spirit. just brutal stuff. and he jumped in, and murray kempton, who loved bobby kennedy, called him a complete
opportunist who comes down from the hills to shoot the wounded, it was just an attack. so then rockefeller, rockefeller didn't -- we expected rock efeller to come after us because romney was gone. so, rockefeller did not get -- he holds a press conference, and again dwight and i are in -- mr. next then, he had a habit. -- nixon, he had a habit. he didn't watch television and would ask dwight and i to watch and it come in and tell him our impressions. it's a very smart thing to do, i think, because he wants to know what other folks from different viewpoints are thinking about what they see. he knows what he thinks. and so rockefeller did not announce or announced he one -- he was going to run. he had no desire to be president, and i hope y'all take this seriously and everything. so, we went in and told richard nixon, and i was for years they asked me what nixon said, and i didn't tell them. what nixon said was it's the
, girl. at that time, drew pearson had put out these reports through his newsletter that nelson rockefeller had a girlfriend, and after his marriage -- his initial marriage broke up, this would have killed him. and so the rumor was floating all over the place. so we thought that was the reason he didn't announce, not going to run. so that didn't turn out to be true. so then -- that's march. we are still in march. that's around the 21st. on the last day of march, we were going to give a speech on vietnam, which i was very opposed to, and we had to cancel it because johnson announced he's going to speak on march 31. we were going to speak on to the 30th. so nixon told me go out to the airport, get in the limousine, and stay at the airport. i'm going to go to wisconsin, which is the primary was on the 2nd of april. and get on the runway, and when my plane comes in, i want you get on the plane, run down, get on the plane ahead of the press,
tell me what johnson says, so i'll be able to respond. so i said, sure. so i was in the limousine, with this black driver who was nixon's driver, and we're sitting there in the limousine, and here comes johnson is talking away about vietnam. he was bombing halts and things like that. we knew were going to come, we thought were going to come. and then he says, i will not accept, seek, nor will i accept the nomination of my party for another term. lyndon johnson was basically saying he wasn't going to run again. it was a whole new ball game. so i told the driver, move this car down the tarmac and get me right next to the plane before the press gets on there, because the vice president doesn't know he doesn't -- what is happening. so i got on and ran in there to the plane and told him what was happening, and nixon walks out and says, i guess it's the year of the dropout. and he admitted in his memoirs that he should not have said
that. but it wasn't -- what could you think? romney drops out, rockefeller drops out, johnson dropped out, all in one month. they're gone, and it's brand new picture. with a brand-new picture, meant i thought we were in trouble. i thought we could beat johnson. i thought we could beat bobby kennedy, i always did, because he was on the left wing of then democratic party, savaging the president, and if we got the nomination, lyndon johnson would be working for nixon. rather than bobby kennedy. but hubert humphrey was a different story. humphrey was a committed liberal democratic liberal in tight with , the democratic establishment as vice president. i said we could have a real problem beating hubert humphrey, who i think is their strongest candidate. so that's march 31. four days later, dr. king was assassinated in memphis. 100 american cities went up in flames and smoke and fire and violence, and looting and burning, and there were federal
troops in my hometown of washington, dc, places i'd grown up and i was very familiar with as a kid were being burned down. it was the worst series of racial violence in american history. 100 cities burning, and it was horrendous. and that tremendously influenced the politics that year. the american people came to see -- were beginning to say this country is coming apart, and over in baltimore, which burned badly, stokley carmichael, who -- a racial incendiary who became a communist and went to ghana -- or guinea, he was encouraging the burning and looting, and the governor named spiro t agnew called in the civil rights leaders and read them the riot act for not condemning the racial insend -- racial incendiaries. he said i condemn all these white racists. now you have to condemn these guys that are burning down our city. and agnew was known as a liberal
governor. he had been a rockefeller man. but he did a tremendous job, and i have notes of all of this and clippings and i sent those to , nixon because i was very impressed with what agnew was doing. and nixon was equally impressed, as we would find out later. and then my alma mater, columbia university, before ail april was out, exploded in the worst violence of any campus in the 1960s. mark rud, you hear about it now. they took over the campus. took over the dean's office. they trashed the dean's office. and it took a week, they finally called the new york -- nypd out to clear the campus. they were black radicals and iite radicals both, and nixon will say, there was a division inside the nixon camp. i was in the goldwater conservative and our research writing group was very conservative. the most conservative element in the whole nixon campaign, but we had liberals in there, too, and we were deeply divided over how we should deal with that, and
sort of nixon was going along with my proposal, which is the american people want to crack down on the nonsense. you know they supported civil , rights and supported all these initiatives of the great society and see this happening. now they say the laws have got to be enforced. a poll taken found only two percent of the people in oregon, where we were campaigning, agreed with the students on the campus who were demonstrating, agree that they have a just cause and what they were doing was the right thing. so we had the country, the future silent majority, was being formed right there in 1968, in april. so then we move to may. may. in 19 -- in may, richard nixon was in the oregon primary. it was the last of the contested primaries. he had no opposition. so he wiped up the floor with everybody. reagan, who had a film running up there, got 22%.
rockefeller, 4% for nelson rockefeller, and i remember, shelly and i were at the oregon primary that night nixon won. he went down to dinner at the benson with pat nixon, he had a dinner. and i went off because first in history a kennedy had lost an , election. bobby kennedy was beaten by eugene mccarthy in the oregon primary. and so i said, i've got to see this, because bobby kennedy was coming up from california where he was campaigning to the benson hotel to concede defeat. and so shelly and i went down, and just as he got out of the car, i could see teddy white with him, and freckles, his dog, with him. i went to the room dressed like this, where he was standing up like here, conceding defeat. and i will say i was not a fan , of bobby kennedy. he was the most gracious concession speech i'd ever heard. i said this is really a class act.
he handled it extremely well, robbie kennedy did. he said gene mccarthy has run a fine race. we're defeated here, but there's another race in california in a week, the california primary, and we'll congratulate him. it was just a lovely speech. and that was over, and we went back to new york, and one week after that night, i got a call from jeff bell from our campaign headquarters, at 3:00 in the morning, woke me up in my apartment. and it said simply, bobby kennedy has been shot. and so i called mr. nixon, and he was already awakened. julie and i think david were watching returns over there at the time, and they had apparently seen the news stories, and mean, it was that kind of year. and so nixon went to the funeral, but then we had a battle inside the nixon
campaign basically over a real issue was -- which was, which way do we go? how do we defense against governor george wallace? let me go back a bit. the benefit nixon got was the republican party, which i ase described to you as twice the size of the republican -- the democratic party, was splintered now three ways. george corely wallace, the governor of alabama, was leading in seven or eight states, and at one point, he was holding 21% of the boat. you had the bobby kennedy, george mcgovern eugene mccarthy , wing of the party, antiwar, and then you had the johnson-humphrey center of the party. and in the battle inside the nixon camp, we had to find out a way who was going to defense against wallace to take away votes from him while nixon held the center fought against hubert humphrey. and so that went on for a while , until i wrote nixon a memo, in my book.
monthsyou know, for two we have been five points behind , humphrey. in those days, you didn't gain five points overnight. it almost told you how it was going to, now. i said we have to be bold to win this thing. and so there is nothing i can think that is bolder than if you bonzo on theor ticket, and that was the governor of california. ronald reagan. and the next and campaign of nineteenths -- nixon campaign of 1968, it was a tremendous drive and a move to conscript the governor of california, ronald reagan, who was impresencely popular and could contest for the conservatives and northern catholics, and half of us wanted to put ronald reagan on the ticket. then we got to miami, and we didn't get reagan. we didn't get reagan because the polls, as we arrived in miami, showed nixon ahead, so then we said, you don't want to take a risk now, because we're ahead.
so you take someone who is not the big risk, and nixon can win it himself. so that's how spiro t. agnew was chosen by mr. nixon, and i tell you, the press corps, because of that incident in baltimore where he read the riot act to the civil rights movement the , press was outraged. mike wallace came up to me cursing, what do you so and sos think you are doing? you just lost the election. wallace was a friend of ours. he traveled with us, he was not a hostile threat, but he was just outraged. so i go upstairs, and there's nobody up on the 17th floor but richard nixon himself, and he says, hey pat, let's watch , agnew's press conference. so i said, right right you are, , and so i go in and we're watching tv, and agnew is up there being as tougher as he can be in the press conference, and the press is going after him, and agnew is really holding his
own. and i'll never forget what nixon said to me. he turned to me and said buchanan, i think we have , ourselves a hanging judge here. and he turned out to be. so then i had one more , experience i want to tell you about. and that is when we got this mission bay out here after our own convention where nixon was nixonted, i told issue -- , i said, it's important i think we have eyes and ears at the democratic convention. so, can you send me to chicago? and i want to observe, and i'll be your eyes and ears, sir. because he was going to key biscayne because those days a candidate whose convention was over would get out of the way while the other candidate had his convention. it's a courtesy that is not done anymore. so nixon went to key biscayne and i went to chicago. , and i stayed at the -- i was right there at the main center hotel, which we called the comrade hilton. [laughter] pat buchanan: on michigan
avenue. and truth be told, i was gassed there. i went across the street in grant park, and i was accused of being an fbi agent by all the radicals, and then when the big night came, i was in -- alone in the 19th floor of the comrade hilton, and i heard a commotion down on the street at the same time somebody walks in, and its the novelist norman miller. he says, hi, pat. i said, hello, norman. he had a friend with him, the lightweight heavyweight -- champion of the world. and we're having a drink and he is telling me what a conservative he is, and we hear this noise no front and we sat there and witnessed those cops coming down balboa, going into grand park, using clubs, chopping people down left and right. norman mailer has it all in his
book on miami and the convention in chicago, and he mentions he was on the 19th floor. he does not say who he was looking out the window with. but it was an incredible event, and hunter thompson, who later became a friend of mine, he wrote that richard nixon is president of the united states because of what happened at michigan and balboa that evening, and there's no doubt it's a major contributing factor, but it was unbelievable. i will call -- nixon called me there one time. it was about 2:00 in the morning, kept calling me. what's going on now, pat? he is watching this on television down there in miami or key biscayne, and one time i said, sir, it's 3:00 in the morning, you want to know what's going on? i opened the window and held the telephone out, and you could hear these of 70's about richard daley which i cannot repeat -- these obscenities about richard daley which i cannot repeat, and i held it out for 30 seconds and i said, that's what's is going on here, sir. and that was almost fatal to hubert humphrey inch closing,
-- hubert humphrey. in closing let me talk about the , fall campaign, which -- i think is a testament to hubert humphrey. he had a hellish time in september. the demonstrators were constantly on his case, dumped hawk and all these things. he couldn't speak, he wasn't allowed to talk, and he was just broken-hearted over it until finally he gave his speech in salt lake city saying basically hot -- i will hold the bombing, i will move our troops out of vietnam, bring them home, and goodbye to the war, and the left came home. and at that time the george wallace voters -- let me tell you what the polls were on october 4, one month before the election. george wallace was at 21%. hubert humphrey was at 28%, and we were at 43%. 15 points ahead of humphrey. election ended four, five weeks later, 43-all. hubert humphrey almost put the boss, the old man, as we called him, into the history books
alongside tom dewey, the stake was the democratic part and all those democrats started coming home from wallace to humphrey, and we got them all. it wasn't until four years later after the white house that we put together the 49-state new majority. we did have a final nixon belief, and he wrote, that the final telethon that we had -- let me tell you how that worked. we had a telethon four hours before the election. they would get the questions would come into the nixon girls and the volunteers, and they would write the questions down, and they'd take them into a back room where i was, and where shelly and rosewoods and major -- rose woods and major acker were, and the questions would come in and i'd say, well, we i -- we can frame this question a little better. and then they would type them up, then send them out to bud wilkinson, and he would pitch the fast balls down the center for richard nixon.
and it was produced by someone, a 28-year-old who had broken his foot in a jump parachute jump ,, in the past four hours, and his name is roger ailes, who has become fairly well flown today. but he was 28 years old that last night. so this is what the whole story and the book are about. and it's a -- to me it was an incredible history, with an incredible man who just -- i mean, his perseverance, his courage, his ability to get up from defeat, again and again and again, is just unbelievable. it really is a testament. i don't care which side of politics you're on. the fact that he came back the way he did -- and let me mention, we all know, we were talking at dinner tonight, that people say, what do you remember nixon for? and one says, china. or watergate. those two things. let me just list some of the things he did very quickly. in his first term before
watergate, he ended the vietnam war brought our troops home, , brought all the pows home. he opened up china to the world and west. he negotiated the strongest strategic arms agreement since the washington naval treaty of 1922. he rescued israel in the yom kippur war. he brought egypt out of the soviet bloc into the west. he ended the draft. he gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. he desegregated the south. it was only 10% desegregated when johnson left office. 70% when nixon left office. he created the epa, osha, and the cancer institute. he named four justices to the supreme court, including two chief justices, the latter one, william rehnquist, one of the great justices of the 20th century. he then won a 49-state landslide, unbelievable.
here is the biggest loser of all time 49-state landslide, and he , put together a political coalition that dominated presidential elections for 20 of the next 24 years. had it not been for watergate, i think people would be talking about whether he is a near great or a great president. but that's the man i knew as the boss, and the old man. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, pat. thank you. thank you, pat. pat has agreed to answer a few questions which we'll do before the book signing, so if you have a question, please raise your hand, and i'll come to you and you can speak into the mic so
we'll get it on television. i'm going to start with this young lady from ucla. come on over here. and she lives in anaheim. >> you said that president nixon created the new majority. what would you think the current republican party can do to shift the majority back to the right? pat buchanan: i don't -- you know the question is whether the , -- a republican today can replicate what richard nixon did in creating the new majority. that 49 state coalition that reagan re-created in 1984 when he won 49 states, and he won 44 against jimmy carter. i don't know that you can because the truth is we're another country right now. we have changed dramatically. demographically we're a , different country than we were . today you can look at 18 states, , including four of the mega
states, california, new york, illinois, pennsylvania, and going democratic, six straight times. then we get those states back. you also have a situation where the great society and the welfare are the same thing. you must have 100 million more americans but depend on government benefits of one kind or another while half the country is no exempt from federal income tax. wheno you get folks who, you say your going to cut government, we are going to cut taxes, but they don't pay taxes? call.a much tougher i think republicans can win in 1914 -- 2014. here we are right back where i was. , i think they will win the senate, but 2016 is an uphill run. >> thank you.
woody, an attorney that produced that great map that shows richard nixon's history in orange county. he is writing a book about richard nixon, and i will give you a good plug. >> i was wondering if you could give us your thoughts regarding president nixon had a so-called southern strategy. pat buchanan: well clearly, we alled to -- nixon went into 11 southern states in 1976. he had a campaign against george wallace. and i have described that in my , the libel against richard nixon is he used racist texas -- tactics to win the south. that is false. the people that did that were the democrats -- woodrow wilson
in segregated the government fdr government carried all 11 states. fdr put cactus jack who was on the ticket. fdr put a klansman on the supreme court. he put jimmy burns on the supreme court to block the anti-lynching law. so using issue of race to maintain the solidity of northern liberal southern coalition -- what happened was advised evenson, who -- adlai stevenson, was that because stevenson was a tougher guy on former policy then eisenhower? no, he put on his ticket the spark of alabama, who was a shiner of the dixon manifesto that called for massive resistance to immigration and
massive resistance to the supreme court decision. i was a senior in high school. wrote inmocrats as we that piece, look at the column for next and that shows neck's and went south and he said, let's leave it to the dixiecrats to squeeze the last ounce of political juice out of racial injustice. voted for the civil rights act of 1967, 1964, 1968, anti- desegregated the south. and once the south was desegregated, naturally the south moved from the conservative convictions straight into the republican party, but only after it was desegregated. so it is a libel, and i am happy to take that on in that book. people are complaining.
i am not whining or complaining, but fdr had all confederate states every single time he ran, all four times. >> we are live streaming this program tonight, and we asked viewers to submit questions on e-mail. i am going to ask one of them from gary kim of denver, colorado. what are your memories of election night 1968? pat buchanan: well they are , fairly terrifying. [laughter] pat buchanan: no, and teddy white in his book says cutting -- and some of you will know the fellow's name, he says coming across the country, what we did is after we had our telethon that monday night, we got on the plane, and nixon flew across the country. and my hands broke out in hives
really, i was not sure of it was nerves, but teddy white in his book, on the night of the election, buchanan and finch were the most nervous, and bob holtman the most confident. i think that is right. let me tell you a story. before the election, i got a call from john sears, one of our political guys. pat, tell the old man that michigan is gone and we are three down in harris. poll had us at 40. if that were true, the election was over. so i went in on saturday, went into nixon's sweet, and he and bebe were in front of the tv watching the oregon ducks playing usc. and i explained it to him and he said, ok, thanks.
really, i honestly thought we were going to lose the election. until the returns started coming in, and you saw more and more -- but humphrey couldn't win because wallace was taking all of these votes out of the democratic base. all of these states, and neck sent, once we went to -- an nix on, once we went across the mississippi, where the democrats were still dominant. that night i was at the waldorf-astoria, and i stayed up all night long until six or seven in the morning, and then i fell asleep. nixon up, and they said, has gone to key biscayne. so they left me there. but i waited intel 8:00 in the morning until they finally decided illinois, but we did not need illinois. >> thank you, pat. a business graduate from usc, we
had a question from ucla, so i will balance it with this person from usc. >> of all the daily press summaries that went from your office to the president was the , most positive news that you delivered to mr. next and other -- mr. nixon other than the election of 1968 and 1972. ? pat buchanan: all of the news summaries? there were an awful lot of -- i cannot even think of any particular one. that went into next and -- nixon. but let me tell you a story. his press to conferences. by the time i got there, i would figure out a system. ziglar and i would work on the press, the issues that were up, and i would write 25 to 30 questions.
reducednted the answers to 120 words. and at the end of that, zigler and i would get together and ,end a memo called the bz buchanan zigler, memo. we would have the most likely 15 questions we thought he would get. went out, and we did very well. we had a good record. so one time, i sent him the bz memo, and i predicted the questions, and i had all the questions in the book, every single question the press asked on every issue, i predicted and had an answer in the book. 100 on your test, ok? so i get a call after the press conference was over, and nixon says, the president says, buchanan, i see you predicted
every single question they would ask. i said, yes, sir, we did. he said, that's good. but there were some questions in the book they did not ask. leave those out. , [laughter] pat buchanan: you know, click. [laughter] >> a question from former state senator mountjoy from -- pat buchanan: you got old. pat, i'm really concerned about the country, and i am concerned basically about the invasion we have coming from the south. my question is this. kind of off subject, but do you know of any other leader of any country that ever applauded
plans and encouraged the invasion of their own country? [applause] well, i don: well,, believe one of the first responsibilities of united states is to secure the borders of the individual states of the union. and i regret to say performances of presidents and congresses over the last 25-year's have failed to do that on our southern border, and we have a hellish problem with the nationl cohesion of our from an invasion that is now running up to 12 million or more people in the united states. i think unless we get control of it, we are in peril of losing the country we'll grew up in. that has been the issue, as you know, since i first launched my own academic -- my own political
career, which was not always successful. but always, i am very apprehensive about that, and i do not understand why the incumbent president of the united states cannot even go down and take a look at the crisis on the border, shooting pool when he should be down there. that is my view. [applause] >> hi, mr. buchanan, my question is a counterfactual history question. if nixon won the election rather 1960 rather than jfk, would we have had a cuban missile crisis? would we have had a bay of pigs? we know from khrushchev, he thought john f. kennedy was a lightweight. i don't think he would of
thought that way about nixon. what you believe? pat buchanan: i do believe khrushchev sought kidney -- kennedy being hesitated, launched the bay of pigs which was a complete debacle. and he ran into kennedy and vienna, and even kennedy himself said khrushchev brutalized him. he did not put up the berlin wall. kennedy called up my friends for one more year in the service, and i think that persuaded khrushchev to get a way of putting missiles in cuba. he would never have done that under eisenhower, because of world war ii. and i don't think he would have done that while richard nixon, if nixon had he won that election at all. i don't think richard nixon would have sent those fellows into cuba unless he was determined that even -- invasion would work.
but i can't know. i will be honest, as i point out in my book, you know, i supported the vietnam war as an editorial writer from 1962, supported kennedy in a missile crisis. and i think the whole country at one point when johnson, maybe it had1965, but lyndon johnson support of 70% of the country and the vietnam war was supported by 80%. so i don't know with regards to vietnam, but i don't think khrushchev would have trifled with richard nixon the way he did with john f. kennedy. -- brezhnev,enose who we all met, he threatened during the war, jumpoff bases. the soviets we were hearing, i don't know if it was true, soviet troops were coming through the dardanelles, and
some of them were armed with nuclear weapons. you saw nixon had an all out airlift to save israel in that war. it was a very tough time. i was in the president's oval office just before the so-called saturday night massacre where richardson was right outside. and nixon said there is no way i can be defied by a member of my own cabinet. so richardson was looking at him, wondering if he would stand tough in the middle east. so the ball had started rolling. i was there, spend 45 minutes. then i went out and saw my old friend elliott, broken into get his head chopped off. >> pat, over here to your right, a professor from beijing. he wants to ask a question about the future of u.s.-china
relations. >> thank you, mr. buchanan. china, and isor in know that you were there from the very beginning of the relationships with china. if nixon were alive today, what do you think he would say about where the future relationship of both china and the u.s. are going? nixon, president nixon, again in my book, and some of these things going back into my files, i had to realize what was in there, hints and suggestions of things i wrote to neck's and -- to nixon. this was 1967. it said on china, so what? so when we ran it down, he wanted to know if people were in favor of recognizing china or engage. nixon believed very much in the
united states and the soviet union, and the united states and china, had to manage this relationship which was going to be troublesome and have a lot of rough spots in such a way that we never went to major war against each other. i mean, he really believed that, you know, he believed in his own capacity to achieve this. of a skeptic more than richard nixon was. he did believe he created a generation of peace. and i think china was a very large part of it. how he managed relationship now with china and japan, i think he would be, he would be talking seriously and strongly and directly to the chinese, not to ruin all the benefits that are cut out the relationship as it yearsown in the 40 plus
since he went there. was is all i can say, he very proud of the fact that he had opened china up, that he had gone there to the people's republic. >> pat, in the middle of the room, our final question from laguna. >> thank you. with what is going on in the middle east and where the united states and russians seem to be playing this game of tactics or whatever you want to call it, you mentioned before that egypt was removed from the eastern block and into the west. now it seems that is either going to be slowly going back and the other middle eastern states are going back to russia. how do you see all of that playing out? when you watch these things what , goes through your mind? you saw it go the other way. pat buchanan: my view of the
russians is different than a number of folks. no question, putin wants crimea back. he is responding to what happened when his guy basically in kiev, whom he had cut a deal ukraine come into his own economic union, was dumped over by the crowds in the streets of kiev that were encouraged by the united states and the u.k. and all the others. he saw that as a coup d'etat managed by the americans, which tore away -- he said i will not get my naval base fast enough. i am not going to a russian naval base and salute nato soldiers. he got that back. but i don't see him as the big player in the middle east. i don't see russia in the middle east at all. i think the middle east is going its own way. it looks to me you can find out
more what is going on in the middle east by studying the 30 years of war in europe -- the catholics and the protestants and the turmoil of religion and states which carried off a third of the population of germany. and i think that is going of its own -- that started off on its own track. the middle east. but ukraine, i am a little apprehensive over this or that took lace with that downing of that aircraft. the downing of that aircraft, it was not deliberate mass murder. but somebody made of plunder to -- made a horrendous military blunder, and now patent is on the spot. many are calling for weapons to ukraine. if you can encourage the ukrainians to go grab those two provinces militarily and embarrass the russians, you are putting putin at a point where he is going to have to respond.
if the ukrainians take back crimea, there is going to be a war, and the ukrainians are going to lose it. you are going to find the united face to facessia it there. i am very apprehensive with what is going on in ukraine with regard to the middle east, i just don't think the united states should go back in there with more and more troops. why the iraqi armie? why should american troops have to fight and die to retrieve it? [applause] pat buchanan: anyhow, that is my view. he is the ron ziegler who stops the press conference. , thank you, pat buchanan. let's show our appreciation for a great presentation. [applause]
>> don't leave before i present -- what our great gift ? uld nixon do mug we expect to see you using that on fox and the mclaughlin group. thank you for coming and let knowing this is your home away from home. please come back. ladies and gentlemen, pat will be in the front lobby signing your books, which are now on sale in the museum store. for those of you on television, if you would like an autographed book, you can order it via www.n ixonfoundation.org. thank you all for coming, god bless you and god bless america. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] bookshelf,on history hear from the greatest writers of the past decade. you can watch any programs at any time if you visit our
website c-span.org/history. you are watching "american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. tv" allican history weekend every weekend on c-span3. >> we need serious leadership. this is not a reality tv show. this is as real as it gets. donald trump: we will make america great again. announcer: live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debate on c-span, the c-span radio app, and c-span.org. september 26 is the first presidential debate from new york. and tuesday, october 4, vice president of candidates mike pence and tim kaine debate in virginia. and on sunday, october 9, washington university in st. louis hosts the second presidential debate, leading up to the final