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tv   The Contenders  CSPAN  August 12, 2016 4:54pm-6:57pm EDT

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in montgomery alabama wartime political candidate george wallace. elected governor of alabama good evening. and welcome to "the contenders." tonight we come to you live from the governor's mansion in montgomery, alabama, as we look at the life and times of four-time presidential candidate george wallace. elected four times as governor of alabama, george wallace called this house behind us home for 20% of his life. now, before we begin our conversation on george wallace and his legacy and introduce you to our guest, here's a look at his political style. >> i said if you can't distinguish at harvard between honest dissent and overt acts of treason, then you ought to come on down to alabama and we'll teach you some law down on that. y'all don't know. [ applause ] both national parties in the last number of years that kowtowed to every group of anarchists that have roamed the streets of san francisco and los angeles and throughout the country. and now they've created themselves a frankenstein monster and them chickens are coming home to roost all over this country.
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>> i love you, too. i sure do. oh. i thought you were a she. you're a he. oh, pie goodness. when he was in california, anarchists laid down and threatened his personal safety. the president of the united states. i want to tell you if you elect me the president and i go to california, or i come to arkansas, and some of them lie down in front of my automobile, it will be the last time they want to lie down in front of it. >> we're joined here in the governor's mansion, in front of the governor's mansion, in montgomery, alabama, two miles south of downtown montgomery by dan carter. biographer of "george wallace: the politics of rage," his book. dr. carter, in your book, you describe george wallace as the most influential loser of the 20th century. what do you mean by that? >> well, certainly of the 20th
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century, and the period since world war ii, to the rise of conservatism, i can't think of anyone who was more influential, not so much in creating ideas but as showing that there was a tremendous amount of support in the country for what was at that time not seen as very important. the new conservatism as it ultimately evolved. >> what is the new conservatism? >> well, it went through several -- it went -- metamorphised over the years. at least in the early stages, it was very closely linked with the activism of the federal government, and particularly the flashpoint was the civil rights movement. i mean that's where it -- george wallace got his start. but it was something that was far broader than simply what was happening in the south. >> george wallace was first elected governor of alabama in 1962. where did he come from? >> barber county, a -- one of the most politically active counties in areas of alabama. somebody said there wasn't much
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to do except get involved in politics. that's what george wallace did. he turned out to be very good at it. coming back after world war ii, having served as a b-29 engineer flying in the pacific, he ran for the state legislature, easily won. was an up and coming figure. then was elected judge. and was so popular he decided to run for governor. >> this is 1958? >> 1958. and the problem was he ran as a moderate. and -- >> what's a moderate in 1958 -- >> moderate in alabama in 1958 was somebody who emphasized law and order. certainly governor wallace or as he was later to be governor wallace was a segregationist as much as his opponent, john patterson. but there were -- there were nuances you had to listen for. when judge wallace as he was then emphasized that he was
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going to uphold the law and criticized his opponent for having the backing of the ku klux klan that was a way of saying to voters, look, i'm a segregationist but a rational segregationist. i'm not going to lead us into violence. and that was essentially the way he was perceived and he lost. >> he lost in the democratic primary -- >> that was tantamount to being elected. john patterson ran as he said himself later on as a stronger segregationist candidate. that's why wallace lost. and at that point, i think he faced a critical kind of crossroads in his career. there's no place for him to go except to tap into the rising tide of anti-government conservatism which was at that time built around the civil right movement. then he's elected easily in 1962. >> what did he change?
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>> well, he became the stronger, much stronger proponent of segregation. and essentially -- later on we associate him with the stand at the schoolhouse door. i will stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent the integration of any schools, higher education, lower education, in alabama. and that's exactly what he did. although he had to back out of the door pretty quickly. >> dan carter, he ran for president in 1964, after two years as governor, as governor of alabama. >> right. right. >> when he ran in 1964 in the democratic primary, lyndon johnson had become president after the assassination of john kennedy. and johnson insisted he was too busy. so he didn't actually run as a candidate. he had a series of surrogates around the country in the democratic primaries. when wallace announced that he was going run in the democratic primary, no one paid any attention to it.
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got about two paragraphs in "the new york times." and when he went to wisconsin, northern state, in 1964, the governor predicted there, the democratic governor, he won't get 1% of the vote. well, he got 33% of the vote. it stunned everyone. i think it was at that moment that the pundits, political observers realized that the separation between the south, what was going on in the south was not just southern because clearly there was a constituency for someone like george wallace, an avowed segregationist from the south. >> george wallace ran for president in 1964. in 1968 and 1972, in 1976, 1968, he won five states and 46 electoral votes. that's the last time an independent candidate has won any electoral votes. here's george wallace announcing
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in 1968. >> over the year i have repeatedly stated that one of the existing political parties must offer the people of this country a real choice in 1968 that i would lead a political effort which would in fact offer this choice. i have traveled throughout our country in the last year, literally from concord, new hampshire, to los angeles, california, and to miami, florida. and the american people are hungry for a change in the direction of our national government. they are concerned and disturbed about the trends being followed by our national leadership. there has been no response from either of the parties which would show the american people that they are heeding the growing disillusionment with what amounts to a one-party system in the united states. no prospective candidate of the two existing parties nor anyone in party leadership positions have come forward with any indication that there will be any difference in their
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platforms. no one has suggested that the wishes of the american people will be heard. so today i state to you that i am and candidate for president of the united states. my wife, the governor of alabama, joins me in this decision. my wife and i together in making this announcement are carrying out our commitment that the people of alabama made during her campaign in the year 1966. i am in the race, i will run to win. we will discuss of course in depth as time goes on the issues and problems that face the american people and the solutions. >> dan carter, why was george wallace so successful in 1968? >> well, he was successful for reason that he was usually successful. that was he had a -- an almost unnatural ability to size up both the audiences he spoke to, and public opinion.
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a couple of pollsters used to say i always listened to what governor wallace was going to say because a i knew the next time i polled, it would be the way i would poll. that may be a slight exaggeration, but he was aware whereas '64 may have seen a flash in the pan, revolving around the passage of the civil rights act in 1964 -- that was the main issue then. by 1968 you had the riots in the city. you had the anti-war movement. you had a general reaction throughout the country as americans realized that the civil rights movement not only was having impact in the south, but the passage of the civil rights act of 1965 was going to affect the rest of the country as well. everything from housing to jobs. and suddenly there was this constituency that he knew that was out there, opposed to the activities of the federal government. and particularly the role of the courts, the role of the presidency under johnson, and
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his various great society. and he knew that -- that as an independent candidate he also had the possibility, and it was a long shot. he didn't think he was going to win, secretly, i think. but he knew there was at least a possibility that he'd be able to get enough votes as a third-party candidate to throw that election into the house of representatives. something that hadn't been done in well over 100 years. >> was that his goal? >> publicly he was always running for president. he was going to be elected. but i think deep down he was pretty realistic. and he realized that was a long shot in 1968. but he was also thinking about 1972. so even if he didn't win in 1968, he saw himself as stronger by '72. >> he was not governor at the time in 1968 when he was running, correct? >> no. his wife, lerlean wallace, who had been elected in his place in 1966, because he couldn't succeed himself at that time,
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tragically died in office. albert brewer succeeded her and supported him in that campaign. he wasn't governor but did have the support of the state of alabama, pretty successfully. >> what was -- what was happening in april, 1968, when martin luther king was assassinated? what was george wallace's reaction? what did he do? >> he made perfunctory remarks about how tragic this was. and talked about it a couple of times. he really didn't respond publicly very much. he responded earlier, much more to the assassination of john kennedy. despite the fact that he always saw -- used kennedy as a foil, for example, in the stand in the schoolhouse door, trying to keep out black students in 1963.
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he admired kennedy. and really respected him. and when kennedy was assassinated, it -- it disturbed him deeply, i think. in part because he realized that the assassination of a public figure like -- like kennedy could happen to him, as well. >> well, you've got a picture in your book, "the politics of rage, "dan carter, of president kennedy touring alabama in 1963. >> right. right. >> not a picture that jfk wanted to have published. >> no. he made every effort to make sure that he was not photographed side by side with george wallace. and for him, it was politics. i mean, it wasn't -- he may have not have liked wallace. in some ways, his brother particularly, robert, admired his political skills. didn't like him, but he realized that politically this was not going to do him any good to have his picture next to governor wallace there. >> and there is the picture.
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you see it was taken by a long lens. jfk getting off the helicopter and greeting governor wallace. what was his reaction in june, 1968, when rfk was shot? >> again, he really didn't like robert kennedy. they had had a number of -- of disagreements. they had met actually at some great length in the months preceding the stand in the schoolhouse door. once again, he -- he used it to talk about the rise of lawlessness in america. but i don't -- i don't think he was really deeply touched by it at all. >> dan carter, in 1968, how serious did president nixon and hubert humphrey take george wallace? >> well, humphrey, of course, worried about him because he saw him as potentially pulling votes. but as time went on in that campaign, he's a third-party candidate. hubert humphrey is the democratic candidate, richard
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nixon the republican candidate. i think humphrey came to realize that wallace was going to be pulling votes from nixon. so he didn't worry about him as much. nixon was the one that came to be deeply concerned about it. as the campaign opened, nixon was so far ahead in the polls that it was only by the time you got to late september that he began to realize, whoa, humphrey's moving back a little bit, coming up in the polls. and now wallace is pulling close to 20% of the vote in the polls. and these are my voters, his political advisers felt. so he had to try to figure out a way to get the support of the wallace voters without directly attacking him. >> president nixon won in 1968. 31.7 million votes. he got 301 electoral votes. hubert humphrey, 31.3 million votes, and 191 electoral votes. and george wallace received
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nearly ten million votes and 46 electoral votes. here's george wallace discussing the '68 campaign, the road to victory. >> the strong support we have in our region of the country by whence this movement originated gives us an excellent base to go forth on the day of november 5th, and in my judgment, we will go forth in the beginning with at least the 177 electoral votes that comprised the state of the south and border. and when you couple that with just a few other states in the union, then you have the 270 odd electoral votes necessary to win the presidency. so let -- [ applause ] >> no new party movement has ever had the grassroots support that our
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movement has. the other movements are movements of personalities, some small group who represented only a small fraction of the voting public. our movement does represent, in my judgment, the majority thinking of the american people at this moment and will represent it. >> we are back live in montgomery, alabama. that's a live picture of the governor's mansion. two miles south of downtown montgomery. dan carter, how is it that george wallace got 10 million votes and 46 electoral votes and which five states did he win? >> he won all of the states that he won were in the deep south. to him, actually that was a disappointment because he had hoped to break into some of the border states. he was close in a number of them in north carolina, in virginia. and particularly in tennessee. he was within striking distance. so although he -- he was
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disappointed, it's an extraordinary showing. i mean, no political candidate had third -- third-party candidate since strom thurmond back in 1948 had even carried enough votes in a state to take the electoral votes. and he saw it as a strategy that didn't succeed but one that was sound, i think, in 1968. >> we want to get you involved in this program on "the contenders." this week "the legacy of george wallace." 202-737-0001 for you in the east and central time zones. 202-737-0002 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zone. start dialing in, and we will get to those calls in just a minute. last week on "the contenders," we talked about hubert humphrey. and so much of the discussion was about the vietnam war. can you talk about george wallace without talking about segregation and civil rights? >> sure.
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i mean, he had positions and -- often quite popular positions on social issues, for example. he was the first -- he was the first candidate -- first person, i should say, to testify in favor of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing school prayer against the supreme court decision. he talked an awful lot about pornography and the dangers of pornography. but it was a mixed -- you have to remember, this is the 1960s and '70s. for example, he supported roe v. wade. he came out in favor of the equal rights amendment when it was first proposed. so at this time, yes, there were these social issues. but they didn't have that hard edge that they were later to have in the 1980s and 1990s there. the vietnam one was particularly interesting one, because most conservatives took the position that barry goldwater did, victory at any cost.
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and wallace, i think -- governor wallace sensed that the american people were very ambivalent about that war. on the one hand he wanted to appeal to the hardliners, and the way he did it was by coming up with this formulation. either we go in, we win at any cost -- or we pull out. and that way he sort of had both sides of it. >> what was he known for as governor of alabama? he was elected four times. did he ever have a close contest? >> lot of the support of course stemmed from it the race issue. there is no question about it. he was -- alabamans and i think many white southerners felt besieged. and here you had someone, governor wallace was their champion. and they saw him as the kind of person who would speak up on their behalf, not apologetically, but very forcefully. so i think that was part of it. the other part was that he -- you have to remember, george
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wallace came out of the 1930s and a franklin roosevelt liberal. he had been very liberal in the state legislature. so he did have a program, which was often abused, but it was a program which emphasized increases in education, the establishment of community colleges around the state that would give access to individuals who couldn't afford to go to auburn or the university of alabama, but they could attend a community college for a couple of years, maybe get a tech degree. so education was a big part of it. but i think the sort of underlying force for this passion for governor wallace, a -- at least in the '60s -- was the race issue. our first call on george wallace comes from freeland michigan. >> caller: thank you very much.
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what appeal did governor wallace have to white ethnic and religious groups like italians, jews, irish, et cetera, outside of the south in the urban areas. and also, what did he think of senator goldwater? senator goldwater was also against the civil rights stuff. thank you very much. >> he did have a remarkable appeal to ethnics, particularly first-generation eastern europeans, other ethnics. he didn't have the baggage of being an anti-semitic and being anti-foreign. what he found was, particularly in many of the urban areas of the north, was he found that the very prosperity of the 1950s and '60s had created tension between blacks and ethnics in these working class communities in which african-americans were finally getting jobs, finally getting housing, and they were
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often moving in and conflicting directly with these working class ethnic neighborhoods. >> dan carter be with so much was going on with civil rights in alabama during his first tenure as governor, 1963 to 1967, including the bombing of the church in birmingham and the killing of the four young girls. what did he do? what was his reaction to that? >> that was one of the most difficult moments i think for him at the time. and i don't doubt one moment that he was genuinely horrified, particularly when it happened. and he did -- he told al lingo, who is head of the state police, "do what you have to do to find out who did this." it changed. i think partly because governor wallace reacted as he often did when he felt under attack, and that was to fight back. and so after a few weeks,
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although he continued to insist that he was trying to get to the bottom of this, he often then claimed or at least privately claimed to many individuals that maybe blacks had set these bombs, or communists had set these bombs. and it showed how difficult it was i think for him to deal with it. but it was not his finest hour, i don't think. >> what was his relationship with bull connor? >> an ambivalent one. partly because connor was a kind of loose cannon. wallace liked to feel like that the people he was working closely with he had control over, at least could control them. but he certainly found connor a very useful kind of ally during the height of the civil rights movement
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and the birmingham demonstrations. he never made any real effort to rein connor in during that period. >> george wallace served as governor of the state of alabama from 1963 to 1967, then again from 1971 to 1979, and his final term 1983 to 1987, total awful of 16 years. he died when he was 79 years old. so he lived in this mansion behind us for 20% of his life. next call comes from ken in san diego. hi, ken. >> caller: good evening. i wanted to know what kind of relationship did governor wallace have with lyndon johnson. apparently lyndon johnson was known to persuade people. and when did george wallace finally abandon his philosophy of segregation? thank you. >> lyndon johnson won i guess the most famous moment between lyndon johnson and governor wallace came in the midst of the
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selma crisis, the march to selma in which president johnson brought him to washington or actually governor wallace very foolishly volunteered to meet with him where he got the full treatment from lyndon johnson was pretty intimidated by the whole process. he wasn't alone in that respect. lyndon johnson intimidated everyone. and that was in the early '60s. the last hurrah for the kind of racial campaign came in 1970 against albert brewer who had been actually one of his proteges who replaced his wife as governor, and in the wake of that campaign, it was a pretty all-out use of the race issue, attacks that brewer was a candidate of blacks. in the aftermath of it, politically he said to many of his aides he said this is the last campaign we'll ever be able
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to run like this. the mood was changing. white voters were changing to some extent. black voters were fully enfranchised at that point. as to when he emotionally changed that i think comes later on. >> as we discussed with dan carter earlier, george wallace ran for governor in 1958 and lost, won in 1962. here is a little bit from his speeches in '58 and '62. >> i want to tell the good people of this state as a judge of the third judicial circuit, if i didn't have what it took to treat a man fair regardless of his color, then i don't have what it takes to be the governor of your great state. >> today i have stood where once jefferson davis stood and took an oath to my people. it is very appropriate that from this cradle of the confederacy, this very heart of the great anglo-saxon southland that today we sound the drum for freedom as
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have our generation of forbearers before us done time and again down through history. let us rise to the cry of freedom loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains in the south in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, i draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and i say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever. >> dan carter, the power of those words from january 14, 1963. >> pretty amazing. and it really got him the first serious national attention. he -- his aides worked very hard to make sure that all the networks were there. and it transformed -- it was the first stage along with the stand
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at the school house door that i think took him out of the position of being a narrow parochial southern politician and put him on the national stage. that speech of written by asa carter, one of his unofficial aides who had been a plansman and political right-wing activist in the citizens council in the '50s and later came on to the name of forest carter, the writer of a number of best-selling novels. he wrote the speech pulling together ideas from a lot of other people. and it caught people's attention. >> danny in mississippi, you're on "the contenders." please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: thank you, gentlemen. my question is -- as farfetched as it might seem, what is the -- when was it that george wallace would have been elected president?
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and i know there would have been compromise on both sides, but do you think that he would have been a good president? would the people have supported him? i'll hang up and listen to what you gentlemen say. >> the only time that i think he stood a chance of being elected was not in 1968 but '72. it would have been an extraordinarily long shot. certainly he would have been a different president than he was a campaigner. i can't imagine him being an effective president. there were always 20%, 25% of american people, mostly white americans who supported him, he always had the great hostility of well over half of the american people. it would be hard to govern under those circumstances. no matter how well intentioned you were. >> dan carter, was george wallace religious? >> oh, yes.
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he was a lifelong methodist. it's interesting, during these years, the '60s and '70s, he did -- about the only time he ever talked about religion even in an indirect way was when he ran in '62. he did talk about, he was taking liquor out of the governor's mansion because big jim fulsome, his only mentor, had not taken liquor out of the governor's mansion. so he talked about it in terms of being a christian, that he was going to do it -- but it's a totally different kind of use of religion in the '60s and '70s. politicians just didn't do that really during that period. >> with all the campaigns he ran, did he enjoy politics? hubert humphrey, the happy warrior, al smith, unhappy warrior. >> yeah. absolutely. i mean, he wouldn't have been successful i think.
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any kind of real politician i think has to more than tolerate it. and in his case, you'd have to be a psychiatrist to follow out each politician. i think he loved the adulation of the crowd. it was a kind of love affair between him and many of his constituents. he was enormously popular, among particularly in alabama, and he loved that feeling of people supporting him. >> here's more from his 1963 first gubernatorial inaugural address. >> each race within its own framework has a freedom to teach, to instruct, to develop, to ask and receive, deserve help from others of separate racial station. this is a great freedom of our american founding fathers, but if we are one unit as advocated by the communists, then the enrichment of our lives, the freedom of our development, is gone forever. we've become, therefore, a mongrel unit under an single
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all-powerful government and we stand for everything and for nothing. the true brotherhood of america, of respecting the separateness of others and united in effort has been twisted and distorted from its original concept. it's small wonder that communism is today winning the world. he invite the negro citizens of alabama to work with us from separate racial stations as we will work with him to develop, to grow an individual freedom and enrichment. we will have a good future for both races. this is the basic heritage of my religion of which i make full practice for we are all the handiwork of god. >> dan carter, that was from the same speech as "segregation now,
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segregation tomorrow." was he moderating? what was he doing? >> it's hard to know. he did make a few changes from the original. that doesn't sound like asa carter. that sounds more like george wallace. but it is an attempt to, i think, take a little bit of the edge off the harshness of the speech itself. an interesting part of that speech. and it only has one line there. but it becomes a constant motif. that is the reference to communism. we don't think about that so much today in terms of anything except the cold war and spies. but to white southerners and to many americans around the country, the civil rights movement was the hand work of communists.
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it's hard to re-create today just how frightened americans were and how much they believed that communist infiltration had taken place, and civil rights seemed to be a logical place that they would be operating. it became a very useful weapon against the movement to emphasize that. >> george wallace's running mate in 1968 was air force general curtis lemay. our next call comes from harry in oakland, maryland. good evening. >> caller: how you doing? >> okay. >> caller: the reason i'm calling is i can remember in '72 as a college student at allegheny college in cumberland, maryland, i didn't see him, but he came to the campus one day. then it was the following day he was shot at the laurel mall. and what i can remember of that was i read it something that doesn't seem to be talked about much, you hit on it a little bit. he did go through a major transition, after that and things i've read since then, was to talk about religion that he did talk much more openly about it. and actually some sort of religious conversion or -- because of the problems he had.
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but also i can remember seeing him receive an award from alabama's naacp. that was his last term as governor. am i wrong on that or not? i can remember watching that, and i was amazed to see the transformation from a segregationist to basically receiving that type of recognition. >> all right. thank you very much. that's -- we're going to be discussing all of that throughout the evening on "the contenders." dan carter, give us a snapshot of what harry was asking about. >> well, it is clear that if you want to know what happens in terms of whites' attitude toward race, simply follow george
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wallace's career. yes. he was a hard segregationist using the race issue in the 1960s. but by the '70s and particularly after he was nearly assassinated, was wounded, and as the whole political structure changed and blacks came to play a larger and larger role in the democratic party, both politically and i think in his own thinking, yes, he was a different person. >> very quickly, the 1972 campaign, how was he doing prior to getting shot? >> it's amazing to think about it. george wallace in 1972 was out polling everyone up through may in the primaries. george mcgovern had emerged as probably, in the eyes of the national media, as the candidate. he had sort of brushed aside the other candidates. but in terms of votes, until the day he was shot, governor wallace had considerably more
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votes than george mcgovern did. >> next call for our guest, dan carter, author of this book, "the politics of rage: the origins of the new conservativism and transformation of american politics." comes from sealy lake, montana, charles, you're on "the contenders" on c-span. >> caller: yes, i was wondering if he was influenced by huey p. long at all or did he think of running for federal office, like senate or the house, most likely the senate? thank you. >> no. he claimed he wasn't influenced by long at all. i think that's probably unlikely. he was certainly familiar with the career of long. he really wasn't interested in running for the united states senate. i think he could have easily been elected. he talked about it and thought about it. he was really much more comfortable in alabama. as he said, why would i want to go to washington and be one of 100 senators when i could be governor of alabama. >> did george wallace use the "n" word? >> oh, yes, yes. that would have been pretty common.
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lyndon johnson used the "n" word. it was pretty common along figures in southern politics privately. there were a couple of times when he slipped up and used it publicly, as well. that was not typical at all. i think much more important than whether you use the "n" word. as i said, lyndon johnson did but often in a different context. i think the real problem was the extent to which the early 1960s, this man who had been a racial moderate had been on the board of trustees at tuskegee university, black university -- >> when -- >> in the early '50s. he told someone that blacks are going to vote in this state, and i want to be on the ground
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floor. of course, currents change. that was by the late 1950s. and i think the tragedy is someone who had these empathetic feelings for both black and white, let himself be caught up politically and emotionally in the racial currents of the 1960s. and yeah, this was a period of time there, it was nasty business i think. >> right here in alabama, florence, alabama, tina. you're on "the contenders," the topic is george wallace. the guest is dan carter. >> caller: hello. i enjoyed mr. carter's book and i would like to ask this question about mr. george wallace. that is deceased. is his shooter still in prison and if not, did they gas him or was he shot? >> arthur bremmer, you're talking about. yes. arthur bremmer was the very mentally disturbed young man who shot governor wallace. he actually wanted to shoot president nixon, but he couldn't get close enough to president
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nixon. and he eventually was released and is now after many, many years -- i can't remember the exact date, but the late '90s, maybe early -- >> 2007. >> it was that long. i remember that i was approached in '99 about a statement for his parole hearing. and he was turned down at that time. it's only in the last four years after all those years that he has been released. >> just very quickly, let's go back to 1965. george wallace is governor, he's living here in this governor's mansion in montgomery, alabama. and there are -- dr. martin luther king had been pastor of the dexter avenue baptist church, a block from the alabama state capital. and there are marches from selma to montgomery. quickly, why are those marches happening, and what was their effect? >> well, the broader context is
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-- is the voter registration efforts on the part of african-americans. but there were a whole series of violent incidents. there was an assault on dell demonstrators in marion, alabama, in which one young man was killed by a state trooper. that was really the triggering episode in which they began to talk about some way to demonstrate how angry and frustrated they were. there was the first attempt to march from selma to montgomery. that was the so-called pettis bridge incident in which turned out to be disaster in some ways, at least nationally for george wallace, because there were television cameras there. violence doesn't happen there. at least in terms of the great impact that it has. when john lewis and others attempted to walk from the brown's chapel in selma across the pettis bridge to montgomery,
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they were met by the alabama state troopers who -- >> under the orders of governor wallace? >> under the orders of governor wallace. there's never been clear exactly what those orders were, but he said to stop them. the state troopers and major cloud thought that meant stop them by any means. you also had a bunch of deputies on horseback anxious to do a little head cracking and that's what happened. >> in a second we'll show news reels from 1965 and show you some of the news about those marches from selma which is about 100 or so miles, i would say 100 or so miles, less than that, from where we sit in montgomery. we're going to show you newsreels about that. then we're going to introduce you to george wallace's daughter, peggy wallace kennedy. she's inside the mansion, we'll
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be joining her in there. here's the 1965 newsreels. >> selma sprang overnight from an obscure southern town to the front pages of world newspapers. this church was headquarters in the negro drive for the right to vote. it was here that martin luther king came to lend his support to the campaign. he pointed out that from selma's 14,000 negros, only a few more than 300 had had been registered at the polls. when one group set out to march to the capitol at montgomery, the procession was broken up by state troopers and sheriff's deputies. dr. king led another contingent through the town. this time there is no violence. the ministers and civil rights workers reached the end of the bridge where the cordon of troopers stand. they are ordered to turn back. dr. king confers with the police
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as the marchers hold their ground. he requests that they are allowed to pray. there are a few moments of mounting tension. a request to pray is granted. and they kneel in the streets. the long-anticipated free speech march from selma to alabama's capital of montgomery finally gets underway as dr. martin luther king addresses the crowd at the starting point. twice before the marchers had been turned back by state troopers. now they march under a federal court order and with the protection of federalized national guard units and regular troops. a total of nearly 3,000 men. for the first day, there are 3,200 marchers in line. half of the four-lane highway 80 is closed to traffic. later, where it becomes two
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lanes, the marchers have been ordered to reduce their number to 300, a measure designed for their safety. there are a few isolated flare-ups between whites and negros, but otherwise things are peaceful. the first day the marchers tramp a little over seven miles. those who have been assigned to complete the 54-mile walk hope to present a petition to governor george wallace. >> you are looking at a picture of the conclusion of the third selma-to-montgomery march. it happened -- finished up on dexter avenue right in front of the state capitol. the dexter avenue baptist church where dr. martin luther king pastored in the '50s, is located just a block from the state capitol. and just recently, c-span took some video of the site. the picture was taken a month or
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so ago, and it is about two miles north of where we are now. and we are right now at the governor's mansion in montgomery, alabama. we're inside the foyer. and we are joined by george wallace's daughter, peggy wallace kennedy. mrs. kennedy, we were playing those newsreels from 1965. what are your memories? you were living here in the house at the time. >> yes, i was here. and i was 15 years old. and i can remember what went on and everything. and of course at that time i didn't really have an opinion, but i did go to selma in 2009. and marched across the pettis bridge with congressman john lewis. and so even back in '65, i knew that their cause was just. and i was able to walk across the bridge with my husband and my children. >> what was life like here in the governor's mansion?
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>> it's a great house as you see, and when we moved in, my mother made it a home. >> lorlene? >> yes. she made it a home. we had a lot of happy times here. we came from a small town. we moved from a small town to the big city, and of course had wonderful, wonderful house that my mother made a home. and it was wonderful. it really was a wonderful place to live. >> how aware were you of your father's reputation outside of alabama or some of the controversial things that people thought about him? >> well, i really wasn't aware of -- of that part of it, i just was trying to live a normal
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life. if you can imagine. and my mother was the kind of person that tried to keep us as normal as we could be, normal life, every day life and school and that kind of thing. i really wasn't aware of his -- >> did you as a child of the governor, did you have a state trooper following you at all times or were you free to come and go as you wanted? >> we were free to come and go as we wanted. but before i could driver i had a trooper take me to school. after i learned how to drive, i was on my own. >> how often was your father around? he was running alabama, running for president throughout your childhood. >> well, he was in and out, but i grew up in this political family. so it was all right for me to not see him often. when you don't know any different, it's okay. and that was all right. my mother was gone a lot, too, but that was okay, too. >> we're talking with peggy wallace-kennedy here in the foyer of the governor's mansion in montgomery, alabama. these steps meaningful to you. there's a couple of different incidences on the steps.
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let's begin with santa. >> i believe this was in 1970 or '71. it was '71. my father dressed up like santa claus and sat on the steps, and i sat on his knee. and that's a picture that i'll always -- always cherish. >> what was he like? >> he was always busy, he ate fast, he walked fast. but he was a wonderful dad when you could get with him, you know. you had to get the time you had with him, you had to get the quality time, we were used to that. >> something else happened on these steps. what was that? when you got married? >> yes, i got married, and also when we first moved in here, my brother and i slid down the banisters and into a tour group -- my mother was very, very angry about that.
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i got married and had my wedding reception here. >> we would be remiss if we didn't talk a little bit more about your mother, lorlene wallace or governor wallace. >> yes. >> he did she get elected governor? >> well, i think the people just loved her. >> were they voting for your dad in surrogate? >> i think that probably -- he thought so. when she was elected, she certainly let him know who was governor, i can assure you. >> what happened to her, mrs. kennedy? >> well, she had cancer and died in may of 1968. she did serve 15 months in office. >> after that, between '68 and '71 when your father was re-elected -- '70 when he was
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re-elected, moved back in in '71, where did you live? what did your father do? >> he remarried in '71. we moved back in, and then i lived in an apartment in back of the governor's mansion. and i married in '73. i was only here for two more years. >> between '68 and '70, where did you move to? >> we had a home in south montgomery. my mother and father had bought, yes. >> was he practicing law or running for president? >> he was running. running, that's what he was doing. >> we're going to surprise folks here. we have your husband and your son. if we could turn the camera over, rob, and show them quickly so we can wave at them over there. tell us about your husband. mark -- we've been married for
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38 years. he's spent 22 years in public service. he retired from the alabama supreme court in 1999. he's now state chairman of the democratic party. and my son -- my youngest son, burnes, is a history major at the university of alabama. our oldest son is serving in afghanistan right now. >> peggy wallace-kennedy, has anyone ever pointed out the fact -- the irony of a wallace marrying a kennedy? >> yes, they have. in fact, when we got engaged, senator ted kennedy wrote my father a letter saying that he was really glad that the kennedy and the wallaces could finally get together. so i had that -- i had that letter.
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>> peggy wallace-kennedy will be joining us later in the program. thank you for spending a few minutes with us. we're going to work out to the set and be joined by george reeves, chairman of the alabama democratic conference along with our other guest, wallace dan carter as we take the next call from houston. joe, you're on the air, hi, joe. i'm sorry, we're talking to joe -- caller. sorry about that. go ahead, joe from houston. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a question. had george wallace not been shot in 1932, do you think he would have ran as a third party candidate? i have another question regarding in 1976, had he defeated jimmy carter in florida, how far he would have gone in the democratic 1976 nomination process. >> thank you, joe. start with the third party in '72, and what could have
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happened in '76. >> well, '72, of course, he was shot. and severely wounded. he did go to the democratic convention, but i think it was pretty obvious that his health was such from being shot that he was not a serious factor in '72. and in '76, americans have a pretty short life span as far as politicians are concerned. that was part of it. the other part was everybody kept talking about the relationship between governor wallace's campaign and president roosevelt who, of course, campaigned from a wheelchair and was president from a wheelchair. the difference was that in the 1930s, there was this gentlemen's agreement on part of the media that he never be photographed in a wheelchair. and most americans simply didn't realize how severely crippled he had been by polio. after 1972, particularly in 1976, every single moment the cameras were on, there were a couple of incidents, one in which he was dropped. and it re-emphasized the fact
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that he was in a wheelchair. and it also -- it wasn't even apart from that, but one of those thing that made governor wallace effective was this feisty banter kind of bravado that he had. and he did walk across the stage -- he strutted across the stage with a stick in his fist -- he was a boxing champion as a young man. in a wheelchair, it was not possible to do that. >> dr. joe reed is the chairman of the alabama democratic conference -- he also works with the alabama association. what's your first memory of george wallace? >> first memory i had of george wallace was really -- back in 1958. i had just come from korea.
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and george wallace was running for governor. he was a candidate for governor at that time because john patterson had -- had pretty much patterson had -- had pretty much defeated -- it was '58 when i first heard of him. that's when i first heard of george wallace back at that time. >> do you remember what the merp is? memory is? >> he was very vocal. and at that time, he didn't have any particular claim, anything -- any other southern politician had at that time. all were, most times, running on plat fors against account u.s. supreme court decision of 1954. they were all saying they were going to maintain segregation. they were all claiming that they were going to do what the law insisted that they would do, they claimed they could get around the law. at that particular time, he was
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look not any different from the rest of them. >> what was your life like in alabama in 1958? >> like most black folks in the south and to some extent this country. for example, segregation was -- at least the law for practical purposes, even though the supreme court had ruled in brown versus the board of education. for all practical purposes alabama was still arguing and fighting that particular issue. we were all mindful of strom thurmond's dixiecrat ticket in '48. and blacks were becoming more sensitized to that. the montgomery bus boycott occurred and the blacksing had achieved a great victory there. so things were looking up. >> and were you able to vote in 1958? >> 1958, yes.
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i was able to vote in '58. i was from a small county between montgomery and mobile. blacks were not a threat to whites politically in the county. and plus, the fact a veteran -- veterans didn't have a problem getting registered to vote in '58 in the county because they were not a threat. also there was a sheriff there who was named john brock. john brock took on the establishment in kinetka county. and john brock went out and got blacks to -- to get blacks registered to vote. before '5 because john brock died in '56. before '58, there were efforts made to get blacks registered to vote. again, blacks did not constitute a threat. the votes were more captive votes than anything else. so that -- at that particular
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time, being a veteran, that was not a major problem, getting registered to vote. >> dr. reed what do you do with the alabama education association? i'm the associate executive secretary of the teachers union and of course -- and our professional organization. i have been privileged to serve that organization for some -- since 1964 when the black and white association merged in '69. i came with the black association in 1964, the alabama state teachers association. there were some 11 southern states had dual associations in the south stretching from virginia to texas. i came on as executive secretary at that time. so then in 1969, we merged. and i've been there for 47 years. >> well, it was in 1963 -- and dan carter, you referred to this a couple of times -- the schoolhouse stand. let's see this video of george wallace followed by president kennedy.
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>> the unwelcomed unwanted unwarned and forced intrusion upon the campus of university of alabama, today the might of the central government offers a frightful example of the oppression of the rights privileges and sovereignty of this state by offices of the federal government. >> this afternoon following a series of that's and defiant statements the alabama national guards man was required on the campus of university of alabama to carry out the final and unquib cal order of the united states district court of the northern district of alabama. that order called for the admission of two clearly qualified young alabama residents who happen to have been born negro. >> dr. reed, what do you remember about that incident in 1963? >> we were just glad to see
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president kennedy come on and make wallace behave. it was very simple. we always thought he was going to lose. he had lost some -- some races before that time, particularly in the -- in 1959 and '60 when he had a confrontation with judge franklin johnson over some voter registrars and voter registration records. see, a lot of folks forget that there was a civil rights bill in 1957 it, civil rights bill. that particular civil rights bill which came out with president eisenhower allowed the president to appoint a commission to come in and investigate voter discrimination. and because blacks in tuskegee, alabama, and particularly in barber county and other places, could not get registered to vote this commission came in dan its investigation. in the course of that, george wallace refused to turn some records topher them. they went into the united states middle court where judge
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franklin johnson junior was the presiding judge, and judge johnson ordered the records to be turned over to the civil rights commission so that they could complete their investigation. that being the case, we found that that one an earlier time with george wallace also misled the voters again in alabama, thinking he could do things he couldn't do. >> carrie in parkersburg, west van, you're on "the contenders." the topic is george wallace. we're live from montgomery, alabama. >> caller: yes, i want to thank c-span for showing the exquisite governor's mansion. i'd like to know be wallace's relationship with j. ed war hoover so i was so contentious and inflammatory, how was qual what is monitored and did wallace have an opinion of hoover. >> i'm sorry, i didn't here you. >> about his relationship with j. edgar hoover and whether or not george wallace was
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monitored. >> no, not in the sense the subversives were. they kept a complete file on governor wallace as herbert hoover did on virtually anybody. and it's interesting because although governor wallace constantly praised mr. hoover and relied upon him particularly for information about the so-called links between civil rights activists and communities, hoover was always leery of wallace. in part because i don't think he could control him. so as a result, hoover also told his men to keep hands off. as a result, there was a distant relationship between the two of them. >> dan carter is the author of "the politics of rage," about george wallace. what's this picture on the cover? >> that is from the inaugural address in 1963. >> january 14, 1963. >> that's right. >> steps of the state capitol, two miles from where we are now. randall in stockton, california, good evening. >> caller: how you doing?
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the question i need to ask is as the son of a civil rights leader who came across the selma bridge in 1963, i wanted to know why wasn't he allowed to come across? i heard flings my father but i need to understand as a young person now is why govern wallace wouldn't let the rest of us come across the bridge. and when we did come across the bridge, why were we attacked. what kind of threat did we pose? so the bottom line is i want to know was governor wallace and the congress were they in cahoots with each other to conspire for us not to come across the bridge? so i want to know the answer to that. >> joe reed? >> i didn't get the full question. >> dan carter, did you hear it? go ahead. >> yes. the real reason was that if the marchers had crossed the pettis
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bridge, regardless of the television cameras and there were all these television cameras set up there, it would have been a face-saving loss for governor wallace. and he had made it clear that he was not going to allow it. he told al lingo, who was the head of the state troopers and he also told colonel mcleod, major cloud who was in charge of the troopers at that time that they were not under any circumstances to be allowed to march. and they took him seriously. at that point, they were ready to go with tear gas, dogs not dogs horses. mounted men from a posse, and they didn't. >> i think that governor wallace was more concerned at that time about showing his fellow travelers, his supporters and
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friends, that he was going to make the black folks behave. i'm going to stop them -- if he had just allowed the march to continue, a lot of things would not have happened including the passage of the 1965 voting rights act. i think that when nbc news, i remember that one. i'm sure other news stations carried it too, show that the -- how those ladies were being beat in selma and also a couple of other things happened during that same time. when those two white ministers were killed reverend reeve and james reeve and i forget the other's name. at any rate, when that happened and when the white clergy -- see, the white clergy also got involved in this. and they started demanding that something happens. they started coming into alabama. then when the white clergy got upset, the white house got even
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more upset. so those things in my opinion were the major factors also in terms of responding to wallace's resistance to the march. but if he had just left it alone, it probably would have turned out differently, much differently. >> joe reed, was what your level of activity of the civil rights movement in the '60s? >> my level of activity, i was not at the bridge. i was -- this was in 1965, the alabama state teachers association. we supported the movement, provided resources for the movement. we were actually involved, in fact, our local chapter in selma, alabama led by a reverend reese was the leader in the small to montgomery march. he and andrew durgin. in fact, they came to the alabama state teachers association, and we went to
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washington to solicit help from the national education association to get involved and protecting and ensuring that our members got the right to vote. we were deeply involved in that. >> we just show the clip from 1963, the schoolhouse incident. here's george wallace in 1967 talking about that incident and a little bit on the newark riots that were occurring. >> as i have said we are further 0 obligated to oppose the enemies of freedom wherever we find them. a little over three years ago we stood at the university of alabama. we went back with the purpose of cause and freedom and to use that stand as a national forum to warn the people of this nation that if men in high places in washington can break the law of our constitution, then other revolutionary, every thug who can assemble a mob will feel that they, too, can break them all. we warned of the coming lawlessness that would sweep our nation, adversely affecting all
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citizens. >> the worst race riots since those two years ago in the watts section of los angeles rock the new jersey's largest city newark, for five consecutive days and nights. at least 24 persons are killed. more than 1,800 wounded. some 1400 arrested. despite patrolling by city and state police millions of dollars in property damage is done. looters wrecked and cleaned out scores of shops in the negro ghetto district. the fury of the mob makes any official looking vehicle a target. two days after its beginning, police are augmented by national guardsmen. snipers makes the streets a battlefield. governor hughs terms the rioting open rebellion, just like wartime. sniper fire from open windows kills two policemen.
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a fire captain shot in the back. scores of police, troopers, guardsmen and civilians are wounded. officials said the snipers some believed not to be newark residents, used guns stolen from a local factory. even machine guns were used. because of widespread looting, eight emergency food centers are set up to supply milk, bread, and cereal to besieged and terrorized residents. looters arrested by national guardsmen are dealt with swiftly. a 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew is clamped on fully one-third of newark. while newark struggles to restore peace and order, the racial bitterness spreads to four nearby suburban towns where a policeman is beaten to death, guns are stolen, looting and violence are reported. new jersey, a state under siege. >> and back live in montgomery,
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alabama, dan carter, the race riots of the '67, '68 time period, what effect did they have on george wallace's campaigns for governor and the national conversation? >> listening to the clip, i think you can get some idea what effect that it had. much of it is very hyper bol lick. we know that a lot of the claims that were made during the racial riots are extraordinarily serious, but all the talk about snipers and so on has been prut much disproved. there was a lot of shooting, a lot of violence. but even the music, everything about it gives the impression that the nation is under siege. and although there was absolutely no connection between the race riots which had to do with poverty which i think had to do with poverty health care had to do with conditions in the inner cities, in the minds of
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both of them are rebellions against authority and the distinction of one which is the civil rights had movement is going to be nonvi lebt it's going to rely upon nonviolence and the other this kind of spasm of outburst of violence quite different. they're both black. and the connection is there. >> joe reed what do you remember about april 4th 196? the assassination. >> dr. king was shot. i remember. i was visiting really dr. levi watkins office president of alabama state university when i walked in his office. >> here in montgomery. >> montgomery. i walked in his office, he said dr. king has been shot. that's what i remember. you asked me a question awhile ago some other things about the civil rights movement. i was also involved in the sit-in movement as another effort on the part of this whole
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growing resistance on the part of black folks and the unwillingness to continue to accept segregation. you had the montgomery bus boycott. you had the sit-in movement. freedom rides all of these things collectively where blacks were demanding it now and, of course with the riots that had taken place in certain places which, of course dr. king always condemned, there were those who saw this as a threat to white well-being. >> joe reed did you ever meet george what is? >> oh, yes, i met him many, many times. i met him, i don't remember the first time i met governor wallace. i really don't. but i do remember him speaking to the alabama education association. i think -- i think that may have been the first time that i shook his hand because he had signed a bill -- >> in the '70s?
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>> in the '70s when we did that. >> right. >> but i was always critical of governor wallace. in fact, he said one time, he said, george, you have been critical of me, but you were never nasty to me. because we had a bill we was trying to get him to sign. and that bill had to do with assigning deputy registrars to register people to vote any time. and the boards of registrars across the state of alabama were against it. >> and, of course, we went to him and asked him to sign the bill. he said, yeah, joe, you criticized me, but you were never nasty, and went on and signed the bill. i said all that to say yes, many, many times we talked. his last four years we talked even more. >> we'll get into that later in our "contenders" program. sun in chase city, virginia, thanks for holding. you're on c-span. >> caller: hi, thank you very much. i just wondered if mr. carter could comment on how the racial politics of rage in the 1950s, 1960s may have morphed into the
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current hard right stance of the tea party and the other republican candidates on issues like gay marriage and illegal immigration. and these might not be actually surrogate issues for people whose racial attitudes really haven't changed but it's just no longer in fashion to speak publicly about that. >> dan carter. >> wow, that's really a tough one to draw the direct connection. we certainly don't -- don't have the same kind of language about race that we once had. we can scoff all we want to about political correctness. the fact is that it's politically incorrect to engage in any kind of racist language. but we do have -- we do have this long tradition in the united states in this very cantankerous democracy at times of selecting scapegoats. and particularly groups that
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seem to represent a violation of what the cultural norms are that are so profoundly felt and whether it's the issue of prayer in the schools or whether it's the issue of gay marriage and. economic hard times, whether its the issue of the immigrants and so-called job challenges that is threatening the jobs of americans, yeah. there is a connection in the sense that we want an enemy. and that enemy may be african-americans at some point. it may be other groups. but unfortunately, it's one of the darker sides of american history. >> george wallace ran for president in 1964. in 1968, that year he captured five states and 46 electoral votes. he also ran in '72 and '76. next call, tampa bay, florida, hi, mike. mike?
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please go ahead. >> caller: yes. >> we're going to move on -- >> caller: yes, i had an experience tonight -- as a young american watching these old clips of -- being played. it really gives me hope to see how two divergent cultures have come together in the clips and gives me great sense of hope to see how our political differences might be able to be bridged today. >> joe reed, have politics changed in alabama? >> yes. politics in alabama have changed. i think one thing we have to keep in mind, racism, racism, i don't think as martin king called the good thinking and the whites of good will in this country realize yet the depth of race yx. and the gentleman who called and asked question earlier, i think all of these things are still part of the dyed in the wool racism that still exists to this
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day, not only in alabama, but in other states of this country. i think that's part of it. now the question that the gentleman raised there about -- i missed that part. >> he was talking about how politics have changed and that leads me to ask you, what is the alabama democratic conference? >> the alabama democratic conference founded in 1960 for the purpose of helping john f. kennedy. blacks were shut out of the democratic party in alabama at that time because you know we got smith versus albright back in the mid-40s. we were still struggling and hadn't gotten the right to vote until the mid-60s. blacks were struggling. arthur shores and other leaders really were trying to get a voice in the democratic party. the alabama democratic conference was set up for that purpose. and then as time move on the alabama democratic conference set out to do two things
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fundamentally and that was to get white political leaders' attention. that was one of the things and also to unify the black vote so we co what we call make the white politicians behave. it was that kind of thing that we were working on. that's what the alabama democratic conference was about and still about to this day. >> 1968 was george wallace's best run for president. here is part of his announcement. >> one of the issues confronting the people is the breakdown of law and order. and both national parties are apologizing today and saying that it comes about as a result of welfare payments job opportunities, education, et cetera. and the average man on the street in this country knows that it comes about because of activists, militants revolutionaries, anarchists and communists. if i were president, i would give my strong moral support to
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the local police officers of this country and local law enforcement and say, you you enforce the law and i can tell you that if i were the president of the united states you could walk on the streets notice any section of washington, d.c. at any time, and i would make that possible if i had to bring 30,000 troops to washington and put one every 30 feet with a two-foot bay in it on the end of a rifle. we are going to make it safe for all the citizens of washington, d.c. it is a sad commentary that in the nation's capitol, you are fearful of walking out of this hotel. this is not race i am talking about. every time i mention this they say this has racial overtones. when does it come to have racial overtones to stand for law and order? but newsmen have indicated so long that the people in our state who have defended the right of the state to determine the policies of their local school systems
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believe in separation,that is, racial separation. we have had more mingling and association of the races in alabama than i would say in any largetarily state bob the mason dixon line. when you talk about segregation, we have supported in the past a separate school system. but as far as working and mingling and living close together, we have done more of that than the people of any other region of the country. one reason we have had more peace in our region has been that people of all races are needed and wanted in alabama. so i still stand for the right of the people of alabama through their elected representatives to determine the policies of their school system. >> joe reed, want to get your reaction to governor wallace speaking in 1968. >> if he is talking about
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desegregating public education, it is not old to his effort. -- it's not owed to his efforts. it's because we had judge johnson in montgomery alabama who was the architect, who did more than anybody else in my opinion. then, of course, we had the lee versus macon decision, which counted for 100 school systems, in one fell swoop, we desegregated public education. it cannot be attributed to anything governor wallace did but to the fact that the federal government and black leaders naacp and other organizations went out and fought and marched to desegregate public education in this state. >> dan carter, when you hear the words law and order, welfare, militants, are those code words? >> yes, absolutely. this is -- they don't like this here no, the fact is that once television plays such a critical
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role in the political process, you do -- you are aware of the fact that every word you are saying is being captured on film or whatever. you have to be careful. as the sense of, as i said, whatever you want to call it, political correctness, then you have to be careful about how you say it. you learn a different language. it is a language in which you, without ever referring specifically to race, you talk about race. nobody was better at it than governor wallace. whenever he wanted to complain about the federal government enforcing housing, nondiscrimination, he didn't talk about making african-americans live close to you, he talked about blue-eyed chinamen that they were going to make them come into your neighborhood and everybody knew exactly, of course, what he was talking about. >> 1968 richard nixon, 301
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electoral votes, humphrey 191 electoral votes. humphrey won 13 states plus d.c. and george wallace won nearly 10 million votes, five states 46 electoral votes. dan carter who won the black vote in 1968? >> it was hubert humphrey. >> do you remember how voted for? did you vote for hubert humphrey? >> not only that he was humphrey's national committee. i was a co-chair of the national committee of educators to support hubert humphrey. that was the first time in 196 that blacks went to the democratic national convention. and it turned out that i was printed and lucky enough to go because account chairman had arranged that. >> it was quite the wild convention wasn't it. >> yeah that was the convention in 1968. yes, i was a pro-humphrey person. i knew him personally. so yes we achieved what we wanted to achieve to get him nominated but didn't achieve what we wanted to to get him
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elected. >> we are out in front of the of the governor's mansion innings montgomery alabama, where george wallace lived for a good part of his life 16 years he lived here. this is the contenders. we have two more weeks after this. our next call comes from jackson, mississippi, jordan you're on c-span. hi. >> >> caller: i have a comment and a question. i began my interests in politics when i was 10-year-old working for the american independent pennsylvania as a wallace volunteer. and even he didn't have a great deal of support in pennsylvania he certainly had a strong base of support in the philadelphia area. my question for dr. carter is, what was his relationship as far as richard nixon? did he -- i know the alabama republicans backed him during
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the civil rights crisis. pretty much congressman bill dickerson of opalocka was a strong wallace supporter. and he was one of the early goldwater republicans in alabama. i was just wondering, you know what did wallace think of nixon and did he actually ever endorse richard nixon for president? >> dan carter. >> no, he did not think much of nixon. and particularly after 1968 because in 1970 when governor wallace was running, his wife had died of course in office. hoover was going to run against former governor wallace. richard nixon put $400,000 in secret cash into the brewer campaign, and it didn't stay a secret all that long. moreover governor wallace always suspected that richard
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nixon was trying to destroy the him, which he was because nixon saw wa las as his greatest threat in 1972. so he made every effort that he could and certainly governor wallace was aware of that. >> dan carter in your book of "the politics of rage." 1972 campaign, george wallace started strong correct, before he was shot? slug >> absolutely. yes, he got more votes, by the end of the day he was shot he had more votes than any democratic candidate at the time. i don't think he would have gotten the nomination. it was a tremendous problem for the democratic party. >> after he was shot in 1972, richard nixon went to see him, correct? >> that's correct. that's right. >> who else went to see him? >> just about everybody. hubert humphrey went to see him. george mcgovern went to see him. ethyl kennedy went to see him. and in her case, i think it was
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a sense of compassion after what had happened. in other cases, it was the politics of it. they realized they would like to have his support. nixon did more than good-bye to see him. he also really manipulated the shooting of governor wallace by trying to blichk the -- trying to link the man hob had shot him to george mcgovern. >> joe reid, do you remember when george wallace was shot? >> yes, i remember it and i learned it in my office. and of course, you know, regardless of whether you like a person, differ with them, you don't want anybody shot or hurt. and, of course my sympathy went out to the wallace family as well as everybody else. it was one thing you did not want to happen. i remember it very well and of course, went to the democratic convention in 1972, george wallace was and he was trying to make his way, but as it has been
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said earlier, when he was shot and paralyzed, that pretty much ended his political career as a presidential candidate. on the other hand, he continued to run for office and hold office in alabama as governor. and, of course i think after that shooting and he was paralyzed so long you're maybe going to get to that later on i think that's where he really got his political, i call it the conversion and i'll hold that for later. >> we'll get into that. governor wallace served in alabama. 1963-1967, 1971-1979. and finally 1983 to 1987. dan carter, george wallace went ahead and ran in the 1976 campaign. how long did that last? >> he made it through several years of his primaries.
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the problem was, not only the difficulty of campaigning from a wheelchair, but there was another southerner in the campaign, that was jimmy carter. carter did not have some of the baggage that governor wallace had. moreover he was running in the aftermath of watergate. and this is when religion really gets into the campaigning. he ran as this highly moral person who was going to restore moral integrity to the white house. i'll never lie to you, jimmy carter. and in so many different ways with his own progressive record as governor of georgia, he proved a better candidate to then governor wallace, and the big example was that big primary in florida where governor wallace lost to jimmy carter and that pretty muched him. >> you are on the contender of the topic of this week.
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>> caller: i remember as as 10-year-old boy when george wallace got shot, it was a very devastating day for me as a youngster. my question is when governor wallace was running for president in the '70s, who was his endorsements? you know how presidential people have their money backers and how did he raise money to run for office? i know he has a son in political office with him. does he have any endeavors running for governor and all? and i'll listen to you. >> there were some big money but by and large, george wallace, you can like him or dislike him. but he was an extra narrowly successful fund-raiser of small contributions. he got millions of dollars from people in small 10, $25, $50.
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he was never really backed by the big money individuals. and i'll let dr. reid talk about george wallace junior there. >> who is george wallace iv or george wallace junior? >> he ran for state treasurer. >> he's a son? >> he's a son. he ran for state treasurer twice and got elected. alabama congress endorsed the son, later on he switched to the republican party and we opposed him. but overall, he was a nice fellow. >> he's currently a republican, correct? >> yeah, he's currently a republican. >> and peggy wallace kennedy is honorary chairperson of the democratic party, is that correct? i think that's what she told us earlier that she's honorary chair, she and her husband. >> yes, she was chair of the democratic party of the state of alabama and he's done a good job and he's got a uphill fight like all of us. democrats have in the state of
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alabama now. but the bottom line is that george wallace jr. did run for state treasure esh. in fact the day we endorsed him, george wallace senior came to the alabama democratic congress convention and, of course, the rest is history. >> well, we want to show you one more ad from our one more piece of video from 1968. this is an ad that george wallace was running. >> why are more and more millions of americans turn to governor wallace? follow as your children are bussed across town. as president, i shall within the law turn back the absolute control of the public school systems to the people of the respective states. >> why are more and more millions of americans turning to governor wallace? open a little business and see what might happen. >> as president, i will stand up for your local police and firemen in protecting your
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safety and property. >> why are more and more millions of americans turning to governor wallace? watch your hard-earned tax dollars sail away to anti-american countries. >> as president, i will halt the giveaway of your american dollars and products to those nations that aid our enemies. >> wallace has the courage to stand up for america. give him your support. >> and our next call comes from tony in pleasantville, new york. tony you're on "the contenders." hi. >> caller: thank you, happy thanksgiving everybody. you was 21-year-old old just out of the navy and looking back i am 65 years old right now. over the years, i supported wallace and ross perot. i learned and i went to a rally, ralph nader and currently a ron paul supporter. i learned, i went to a rally 1968 at madison square garden, george wallace and his vice
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pressure candidate curtis la may. 20-minute standing ovation by a sellout crowd. during the presentation there were some heckerlers way up in the far-reaching seats. about six or seven of them. you could see the lights of the cameras. when the event was over, the local news, we only had three channels those days and the only thing they reported was the hecklers that were heckling george wallace. outside madison square garden were police you. what i learned at this rally and over the ensuing years is how unfairly the media treats third party candidates. c-span was not around in 1968. but, if it was around in 1968, george wallace would have done even better. and i think in '72, if he wasn't shot, he had a good shot at winning.
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>> tony, lets leave it there. dan carter, that was the, of course the independence party george wallace was running on. the role of the media. >> congratulations, you are the first person that i talked to over television who was at that rally, which was a pretty remarkable rally. there is a lot of film footage from it which we were able to use in a documentary we did on governor wallace. although i think you're right, most of the time the media does tended to dismiss third party candidates. part of it is, they like confrontation. there were about 20 i've looked at the film very closely, about 20 demonstrators shouting and giving the hitler salute and with a swastika. well, that's colorful news and that's often what news media
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like whereas the speeches themselves they obviously were going to give a 21-minute ovation, which you're exactly right. he received a 20-minute ovation. >> doctor reid, would you like to add something. >> no. >> we'll move onto our next call, john, in north carolina. >> caller: i had a question about george wallace's prelegislative activity, before he got involved with the legislature of alabama wasn't he the lawyer for some of the people that were involved in the assassination of attorney general john patterson and some of the feech city gambling interests and things of that nature? >> no >> does that ring any bells to you? >> no, it doesn't ring any bells at all. >> dr. reed, if george wallace were alive today would he be a everyone had alabama or a democrat. >> >> i think he would still be a democrat. i really do. he was just -- i don't think he
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liked the republicans. out of all his running, he was always a democratic in alabama even when he was running in other places he was a democrat in alabama. grz so i think he would have stayed a democrat in alabama. i don't think he would have changed. >> i don't know. >> i think it is clear that it his heart in some ways with the policies of the democratic poll party. on the other hand he was pretty hostile toward the national government and its activities. and it is possible that may have led him certainly if he's running for office in alabama, lived a long time, he would be run is as a republican because that's the way you're going to get elected. >> joe roid, joe wallace wlaektsed in 1970 and 1974 to the gubernatorial office here in alabama. he ran for president in '72 and
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'76. in '82, he said, "i have been wrong about the race issue". what happened? >> yes, i think after he was smot george wal lease lal's entire political career was based, embedded sanctioned, guided by race, period. i don't think he lost the race to john patterson because he was -- the "n" word was used too much. i don't think that. i think john patterson won have defeated wallace anyway for one reason and that's because john patter's son daddy, was shot for trying to clean up phenix city. i think governor wallace was not going to beat him either way. john patterson was a prosecutor and he knew how to go after
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things so i don't think governor wallace. >> but back to 1982. >> back to 1982, your question was weather or not. >> george wallace said he was wrong about the races. >> i think he meant that. i think he meant it because he felt i had been punished. you being in a wheelchair you say why am i going through this. so i really believe he went through this conversion. george wallace is one of the few politicians who had run on segregation platform that publicly publicly repudiated segregation and said i was wrong. >> so in 1982 after that, did you vote for him for governor. >> i voted for the straight democratic ticket straight out. >> so george what is was on that
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ticket. >> he was on that ticket. the alabama democratic conference supported george mcmillan. george mcmillan lost in the primary, wallace was on the train, anyway. there were blacks, blacks running for the county commissions and legislatures and everything. we told people to vote a straight democratic ticket because we did not have -- there was nos republican out there, and i can tell you right now someone raised a question il try to be brief about this. somebody raised a question that both of them are racist. one is a rising sun and one is the setting sun. that's what happened, but the alabama democratic congress never endorsed wallace. >> we are out in front of the governor's hangs in montgomery alabama, where george wallace lived for 16 years. don, in clermont, california, good evening. you're on the c-span contenders program.
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>> it's a great honor. i love the way you handle the tony morrison quote on envy of the world. that was priceless. >> i went in the marine corps in 1970. lester lesterie, pennsylvania, got down to the south and i was amazed how the southerners were treating, you know, everybody and i saw the movie "help" which i thought was absolutely a picture shot of what the south was like and the way that the blacks were subjugated. it's phenomenal. terrific movie. another movie that has to be mentioned is "waiting for superman." and you hear that about how the unions, the teacher unions are giving this idea of what's happening. ty teach out here as a substitute teacher in california and i try to bring up what the democrats were in control of the south that caused all this. i mean the deaths in mississippi, the complete destruction of society, i look
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at detroit, i look all over. and there sits joe reed. i would like to ask how much of his retirement salary after 47 years as a teacher. you look at what the teachers' unions have done to this country and how they don't do one thing -- >> don, you're getting a little off-topic. we appreciate your call and we'll get an answer for you very quickly. speak about the education association and respond to his comment, but very quickly. >> the alabama education association as it exists now is a combination of the black and white coming together in 1969. for years, we have been merged, we have successes and some of those being bringing in to our organization, protecting tenures. defending our members' rights in court. we suffered some set backs in the last election but we're
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still fighting for the rights of teachers and alabama is considered one of the most effective associations, aea, in the country. >> well, i can tell you one thing. if george wallace was still active in politics, he would not be attacking the teachers union. for one thing politically. he saw them as important. i think it is a reflection of how there are many similarities between the kind of conservatism that george wallace helped create and the way it's become today in which suddenly teacher who's really aren't paid that much who already don't get vast pensions suddenly become another one of the scape goetz of society. governor wallace wouldn't have done that. >> that caller also mentioned the movie "the help." i want to ask you both. did you see the movie "the help"? >> yes, i did. >> what was your impression of it? >> i read the book. >> you are from the south. >> from the south. as the a re-creation of what it
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was like in this world in which black and white particularly middle class, upper middle class white southerners often had connections to blacks. but it was always in this subordinate position as "the help." i think the film has been criticized by some but i think it does a good job of explaining the unfairness of that relationship. >> the city of montgomery, alabama is full of history. the jefferson davis white house from the confederacy is here. row ca parks began her bus boycott here, as well. dr. martin luther king jr. preached at the dexter avenue king memory it will baptist church which is one block from the state capitol where george wallace announced in 1963 segregation now, seg gagration tomorrow and segregation forever. it is laid out. you can see a lot of the different exhibits here in the city as well.
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next call for our two guests, dan carter and joe reed. new york, nick, you are on the contenders. nick you're on "the contenders." we're going to move on from nick. we're going to get rid of nick and move south to dmaenon to kennesaw, georgia. john you're on the contenders. please go ahead. >> caller: my question is for mr. carter getting back to the '72 election and his choice of curtis lemay, i am curious of what motivated him to make that selection, what their relationship was. thank you very much. >> that was in '68, right? >> well, he thought that general lemay would bring in a lot of veteran voters. remember now, in the 1960s, there were still a huge number of vets from word war ii and everyone korea, and even vietnam. and he thought putting a
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respectable general like lemay on the ticket would help him draw a lot of these voters in. and it would also draw in the hard liners who wanted to press on the war and vietnam even though governor wallace was sometimes a little am bib lent. i think that was the main reason. it turned out to be a disaster, but that was another story. >> he did not get close to picking the vice president. >> also, governor of kentucky, happy chandler and some of his folk opposed chandler because chandler had he ever welcomed at least went along with bringing jack i robinson noon baseball because chandler was the commissioner of baseball. so when branch rickey brought jackie robinson in, chandler was with it and some of wallace' supporters did not want chandler on the ticket because of that. he's out of kentucky, of course.
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>> joe reed, do you remember your last conversation with george wallace? >> i was trying to. >> you think about that. >> okay >> as we go back, we want to introduce george wallace's daughter, peggy wallace kennedy who's joining us from inside the mansion. mrs. kennedy, you have been listening to our conversation for the last hour and a half. what have you heard? >> well, i've heard a lot about my father. >> i'm sorry. we're not able to hear peggy wallace kennedy at this moment. mrs. kennedy, okay, go ahead, now we can hear you. >> well, i heard a lot about my father and i have enjoyed reminiscing a little bit. my father, to me, in my heart, he was not a racist. he was a politician. and he is the man that i want to
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remember and that i want my children to remember is that this is a man that in his later years, he reached out for forgiveness and he received that forgiveness. >> do you think that he did have some racist tendencies in the '60s? >> i don't -- in my heart, i don't think that. i think he was just a politician. that does not make it right of what he did. so, like i said, the man i want to remember is one that reached out for forgiveness and received that forgiveness. >> mrs. kennedy, can you tell us about the day your father was shot, where were you, et cetera? >> yes i was in college. i attended detroit university. and i was sitting in a classroom, and i remember looking up at the clock.
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i was in the classroom waiting for the class to start and just remember looking at that particular time. and then when the class was over one of my friends came to me and she felt like maybe i had already heard that my father had been shot and that he was okay. but she said well, your father's okay. he's been shot. so he must be okay. i said, well, i didn't know that. i was brought here to the mansion and then flown straight to maryland. >> we just want to be clear because we were talking about you a little bit earlier here. you are the honorary chair of the alabama democratic party, correct. >> >> no, my husband is the chair of the alabama democratic party. i sort of stand by him and help him when i can. i do make some speeches at the democratic party functions. >> and your brother is now a republican, correct? >> yes, he is.
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but i still love him very much. [ laughs ] >> the same question to you that we asked dr. reed and dr. carter. if your father were alive today would he be a democratic or a republican. >> >> i think he would be a democrat. >> if your father were alive today, who would he have voted for in 2008? well i think he possibly could have voted for president obama. i know that he would have been proud that i endorsed president obama and i think he would have been very proud that i marched across the edmund pettis bridge in 2009. >> with john lewis. swlul congressman john lewis. >> peggy wallace kennedy wrote a piece for cnn the day after the election, november 3rd, 2008. if you are interested, you can go to cnn and read it. it is about her visiting her father's grave and have agobama
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bumper sticker on her car. albany, georgia, tim, you're on "the contenders." george wallace is the topic. >> caller: hello? >> hi, tim, albany, georgia, go ahead. >> caller: just a couple of things real quick. i know my time is limited. number one, selma is only about 40 or 50 miles from montgomery. i grew up in selma at the time of the march. my question is for mr. carter. at the time of the march, rumors were running rampant. a woman by the name of viola louso, i believe i have my pronunciation correct -- was giving marchers a ride back in her car when she was ambushed. it was rumored that one of the marchers she was giving a ride to was an undercover fbi agent. i wondered if he had ever heard of this rumor. thank you very much. >> it wasn't her passenger, it was one of the individuals in the car that did the shooting was an undercover agent. and it was his testimony that
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made it possible for the immediate arrest of the people who did the shooting, even though nothing, as usual, nothing much came of it. but, no, that was the situation. the person she was taking back, and i'm embarrassed to say i have forgotten his name -- faked being shot. he fell under her when she was shot and the car wrecked. she fell on top of him. he was covered in blood. and they stopped and realized that she was dead and thought he was, too. >> now dr. carter, in your book, "the politics of rage: the 1972 shooting," arthur bremer, there's quite a discussion about potential conspiracy with the nichen campaign have shot governor wallace. jack nelson, former ertswhile bureau chief for the "new york times" it, pulitzer prize winner came down and investigated it. what's your conclusion? >> i don't think so, i don't --
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i do not believe richmond nixon and his entourage tried to exploit the shooting. but arthur bremer, we have a lot of information, including his diary, all the diaries he wrote during this period. and it's clear that this is a very mentally disturbed young man. >> peggy wallace kennedy, after your father was shot what was his life like as governor and his personal life? >> well, of course he slowed down quite a bit. and i think that -- even though that was such a tragedy for him, i do think that it, it helped him in a lot of ways, to stop and look around. and appreciate his family more and appreciate what he had more. unfortunately it had to happen in that way. >> and your father was married twice after your mother died, correct? to cornelia.
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>> right. >> and then also to a lisa tailer? >> right. >> okay. and divorced from both. >> right. >> and one thing i do want to point out is here at the governor's mansion here in montgomery, alabama, in the back is a pool. and i guess it was put in as a gift to governor wallace after he was paralyzed. because swimming would be good for him and it's in the shape of the state of alabama. dr. reid, did you remember your last conversation with george wallace? >> no, i was trying to, i just do remember one, one of the final statements we had with him. and that was, he was saying that he said to me, he said joe said a lot of the folks said that i didn't believe in what i was doing. he said i believed in segregation. he said we were all taught that way. he said, but i was wrong. and said therefore, he came to folks for forgiveness. so i accept his decision.
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and accepted his sapt that he was wrong because he was one of the few southern politicians ever to repudiate that. and i finally, in fact i was and i finally, in fact i was invited to come to his funeral and i did go to the church where his funeral was and i think that as a christian he should have been forgiven and was forgiven. >> peggy wallace kennedy, where are your parents buried? >> they are buried at lake memory cemetery, and they are together. >> is that here in montgomery? >> it's here in montgomery, yes. >> okay. >> and finally, dr. dan carter. how did george wallace change the national conversation? >> well he certainly identified this mood that was in its very early stages of conservatism. and it was made possible not only by his great skills, but by circumstances over which he had no control. but which he was able to exploit.
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i think because of that. to me, though, the great tragedy is that here was a person of enormous ability. but was caught in the time warp that he was. >> "the politics of rage" is the name of dan carter's book. he has been our guest for the next two hours. as has joe reid, who is chairman of the alabama democratic conference as well as the executive secretary of the alabama -- >> associate executive secretary. >> associate executive secretary of the alabama democratic association and we're happy to have joined with us, peggy wallace kennedy, the daughter of george wallace. and we thank you all very much. we also want to thank governor robert bentley for opening up his temporary home for us to broadcast from out front. it's a beautiful night in montgomery. it's been wonderful. so thank you, governor bentley who is the current governor of alabama. we also want to thank, from the
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governor's mansion staff, james camp and heather hannah and thanks to everybody at the alabama state capitol building for all their help in setting up this contenders. and we're going to leave you with governor wallace in 1986, his last address to the alabama legislature. good night. >> i feel and i must say that i'm climbed my last political mountain. but there's still some personal hills that i must climb. but for now i must pass the rope and the pick to another climber and say climb on, climb on to high heights, climb on until you reach the very peak, then look back and wave at me. i, too, will still be climbing. my fellow alabamaens, i bid you a fond and affectionate farewell. [ applause ]
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coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday evening at 6:00 eastern on the civil war, history professor at the university of massachusetts talks about how photography can be used to chart the history of american slavery, both before and after the emancipation. >> we had to spend a fair amount of time with frederick douglas, wrote about the power for african americans to be able to present themselves as they saw themselves. right, as they experienced themselves and each other. >> and sunday morning at 10:00 eastern on road to the white house rewind the first of the three 2000 presidential debates between al gore and george w. bush. >> step one is to make sure that we reform the system to make
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sure that we have the system in place to leave no child behind. to start ask the question what do you know and if you don't know what you're supposed to know, we'll make sure you do early before it's too late. >> parents ought to have more choices with charter school and public school choice. i think we need to make education the number one priority in our country and treat teachers like the professionals they are. >> also this weekend 8:00 p.m. eastern, c-span series "the contenders" key figures who ran for the presidency but lost. saturday 1972 democratic nominee george mcgovern. >> i believe it is yet possible that we'll come to admire this country not simply because we were born here but because of the kind of great and good land that you and i want it to be and that together we have made it.
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that is my hope and reason for seeking the presidency of the united states. >> and sunday, former texas businessman ross perot who ran as independent in 1992 and 1996 races. >> we must set the highest ethical and moral standards for the people who serve in our government and all of that has got to be changed from rules to laws in the next four years and we're going to have to stand at the gate and keep the pressure on and we will. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go to road to the white house rewinds brings you, a 1968 campaign film by george wallace, a former alabama governor and democrat, best known for staunch support of racial segregation.
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he chose to run for president under the banner of the newly formed american independent party and the film chronicles his push to get on the california ballot. eventually governor wallace succeeded in getting on the ballot in all 50 states. he came in third in the general election, receiving 13.5% of the vote and winning five states. republican richard nixon won the presidency that year in a tight race over democrat hubert humphrey. the half-hour film is courtesy of the alabama department of archives and history. i'm pleased to announce this morning that more than 100,000 californians have registered as members of the american independent party, in order to give us assistance in gaining a place on the california ballot in next year's general election. i want to thank the countless thousands of californians who have done so much to assist us. i point out that these people are


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