tv Washington Journal Patrick Buchanan Barbara Perry CSPAN March 30, 2018 8:00pm-9:34pm EDT
we have traveled to u.s. cities, bringing the literary's and historic sites to our viewers. you can watch more at our website. tonight, former presidential on thete pat buchanan 1968 presidential campaign. and an economist on taxes economic growth. senate hearing on opioid addiction and its effect on american families. up next, american history tv. , 1968. back 50 years ago we are calling this series, "america in turmoil."
nixon, here is barbara perry. former staffer, author, and columnist pat buchanan. we first want to take you back of 1960 81ric moment president lyndon johnson stunned the country when he announced he would not be seeking another term as president. you will have behind-the-scenes footage as well as -- for what that moment was like from the oval office fifth is ago. -- 50 years ago. last evening in march, 1968, the stage was set. shortly before 9:00 p.m. washington time, in the mists of last-minute electronic reparations, president johnson put the finishing touches on his address to the nation. finally, with a reassuring presence of his family seated nearby, the president was ready
to deliver one of the most important speeches of his entire life, a speech that would alter the course of world history. >> good evening, my fellow americans. i want to speak to you tonight of peace in vietnam and southeast asia. so preoccupieson our people, no other dream so absorbed the 250 million human beings who live in that part of the world. motivates american policy and southeast asia. >> first addressing himself to the continuing problem in vietnam, the president outlined plans for unilateral de-escalation of the conflict here it -- conflict. >> i ordered our vessels to make no tax on north vietnam except
in the area north of the demilitarized zone where the continuing enemy buildup directly threatens allies forward positions and where the suppliesof troops and are clearly related to the threat. arearea in which we stopping our attacks includes almost 90% of north vietnam's population. and most of its territory. attacksere will be no around the populated areas or in the food producing areas of north vietnam. bombings very limited of the north could come to an isly end if our restraint matched by restraint in illinois. >> the president issued an appeal for unity among the american people and went on to
speak and moving words of the future he foresees america obtaining. it was in the final moments of his speech that he voiced the syllables that stunned the nation and reverberated around the world, to an audience of countless millions, president johnson announced a decision many months in the making, but only resolved within himself in the final hours of march. >> with american sons in the with america's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, i do not i should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the the -- thises of
office, the presidency of your country. not seekly, i shall and will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. as we look back 50 years on c-span and c-span3 passes american history tv, 1968, america in turmoil. we want to begin with the announcement by senator eugene mccarthy in 1967 to seek the democratic nomination. that offensive began in
april work, dr. martin luther memphis,ssinated in tennessee hubert humphrey the vice president entering the race in 1968 and senator robert f kennedy shot after midnight on the day of victory and dies on june the sixth, 1968. excepting the nomination in august. in chicago missed the riots. richard nixon is elected president november 5, 1968. we want to welcome our guest, barbara perry. thank you for joining us. and pat buchanan, for the purposes of this discussion, was in 1968.ide
let me begin by asking you about the announcement of lyndon johnson, march 31, where were you? >> on the saturday before that sunday, i was at nixon's apartment. he was going to give his speech on vietnam. we were there and having an argument. net's and was moving toward a more dovish position on the war when we got word from cbs that lyndon johnson had asked for and when mixing was going to wisconsin the next day and he told me, pat, i want you to be out at the private terminal, when i come back from wisconsin, he was making an appearance for the primary, to brief me on what johnson said before the press gets to me. i am sitting in a limousine at andtarmac at laguardia, nixon's african-american driver was there and a new it would
happen when lbj announced i'm not going to run again. i got out of the limo and i ran down toward the jet nixon had come in on and he was walking through the jet and i got on the plane and i said johnson is out and he will not run again. nixon stepped out to this top -- to the top of the steps and he said i guess is -- it is the year of the dropout. george romney had dropped out of new hampshire on him. so, we drove into -- i did not think kennedy would win the nomination either. >> was go back to the announcement of eugene mccarthy.
who was he and why was his voice so important in the 1968 campaign? >> gene mccarthy was a senator who had been at professor of economics and sociology. aloof and he entered the race as the piece candidate. him.t students to support he got them to shave their heads and cut their beards. he was the young people's candidate, the upper-middle-class bang candidate for the democrats. if you put the personality of gene mccarthy next to lyndon johnson, they thought they would be running to get the nomination, you could not have found two more different personalities.
but he was definitely the and comes withte an seven percentage points of the reason johnson dropped out. guest: johnson's name was not on the ballot. he won the race with 49% as a right in. write in. half thought that johnson had not been tough enough on the war. i think they knew it was coming that johnsonknew was coming at 35% approval rating at that point. it was just not looking good. he suffered a heart attack.
>> we flew up secretly on the undernd nixon registered the name benjamin chatman. we took -- we took him into a .otel february 2, it is a single story of the new york times. is about there police chief who has got a revolver at the head of the viacom where he fired and killed him. he wanted feel it's her for the photograph and -- that really .ramatized it >> it was galvanizing moment. host: he loses his bid for governor in 1962. he moves back to new york in the mid-1960's p or why did he run in 1968 and what was the state
of the republican party? basically a was two-time loser and was considered a political loser. , 1965,to work for him 1966, and january of 1966. he said i will hire you for one year and if we do not do well, the nomination will not be worth anything. in 1966, nixon himself,d, pay for it he must have been 35 states. it is a great comeback, nixon helped pick up 37 seats in the house, three seats in the senate , hundreds of legislators, greatest republican victory since 1946.
i remember tom evans came up to me and said, an editorial writer in st. louis, i said you i do not think you're going back to st. louis. so what nixon did is he declared a six-month moratorium on politics and set i have been in the limelight and went into a straight battle with johnson and johnson attacked him in the right -- in the white house. nixon pulled himself completely out. running firstwas in the polls ahead of johnson and the sin. give him that space and time when you're going nowhere. nixon says you know, i think any public arena the for a while and let him shoe on him a little while which meant the press, and the press went after romney because he was the only one out there. 1pecially around september were romney made his famous
statements, when i was over in they were trying to and me how is rain washed member mccarthy in character with him who said an's case, you would not need a complete brainwashing. i want to take you back to that time and a very young patrick e cannon with richard nixon, the former vice president. we will watch this. >> somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 go by already. i would estimate more than 3000 for the total. >> are they republicans or are they a mixture? >> i couldn't say.
are you on his payroll? [laughter] >> no. i'm retired. >> the big one? what division were you in? heavy artillery. >> we have a return -- >> artillery, sure. yes. you know it is hard to realize we have had so many wars since then. north korea and vietnam. let's hope we can get rid of them. let's do something. good to see you, nice to meet you. of 1968, patbruary
buchanan. you sound the same. guest: thank you. president mrs.d next and went through. there is a sad anecdote. the fellow who was the chairman of our campaign in new hampshire was dave stirling. we did not want to antagonize any we got a young state legislature -- legislator. he died at that automobile accident but did a great job out there. in 1968 with next we studied how nixon overdid it and ran himself into the ground and so did jack kennedy. we went to new hampshire for two days and maybe three days and fly them down where they can take it easy and go
into wisconsin. we knew it was a marathon. i can still remember it. it was just tremendously well if -- well advanced. look, and came out voluntarily, etc.. we had a terrific crowd with 3000 people. that was the kind of event he wanted to do. it was excellent. a world war i veteran, he made mention of vietnam. that was clearly a driving issue of 1968. can you explain how americans were viewing the war? november of 1968, i am glad there are no videos of me since 19 exterior but i will say i was a 12-year-old, in the sixth grade, my brother was 10 years older than i am graduating from welege in louisville where
grew up that spring. we were told by the draft board, you will graduate -- graduate may 16 and drafted by june 1. my dad was a world war ii heeran and there was no way would deny going to the draft but he served for four years in the air force. that was talk around the dinner table. he was in college and here i was as a 12-year-old soaking this up. boys like my brother, girlfriends and their boyfriends knew that they were going. fathers were going. the draft was up and running and we would end up with over a half-million people serving the military and -- in vietnam and thousands were dying every week. the campuses were in an upper and the streets were. we did not talk about race but we have to add to that as well. the country was coming apart particularly with the students over the draft and the casualty figures coming out of vietnam.
democratsrline for and four republicans and we have a line for independents. .oining us is barbara perry and pat buchanan. guest: i had a brother who went over to vietnam with 130 forced -- 131st airborne. he went over in january just in time for the offenses. you are right, even before when i was in st. louis as a i waslist in 1965, speaking on behalf of, in favor of johnson's policies. it was not violent by then but there were -- there was a real
theility and i remember march, i would go down and talk to some of his kids before they became violent. the war was the major issue going on but i will say dr. king was assassinated, 100 cities in my hometown here, it was partly burnt down, 14th street. so the law and order and the war in vietnam became the issues. host: and that is my next question. you have president johnson who narrowly won the primary march 12 and then you had kennedy entering the race on the 16th here at lbj drops out and then dr. king's assassinated on the fourth always in a four-week time. it is hard to comprehend for people now to see what was
compacted into a months time. to think the country seemed to be coming apart. a personal and note, my dad who was a lifelong democrat was saying i am fearful about what is happening in the streets. and voted for nixon in 1968 if he thought he was the lawn order ordero would bring lawn back and bring the country together interestingly enough. vietnam, thing about the united states won the offenses that to see that south, it wasthe so fearsome to the american people. to see that in their living rooms, we want to talk about the role of the media because pat is telling us great stories about how the nixon administration, the campaign knew how to use media by 1968.
people were seeing this in their living rooms. in february had gone over to vietnam and he came back and said we are mired in a stalemate. i think many in the american elite media had really broken and decided it was not a winnable war. by the time nixon took over, they would move heavily into the camp and we've always thought of the demonstrators by 1969. there is something else in march that you do not have. it was stunning for us. you had a picture of roy in a room and i think it was the 21st of march or something when rockefeller was going to announce for president and nixon told us he did not like to watch them on television. whatuys watch and tell me they said and and will get our reaction.
i went and said rockefeller is not running and he dropped out. that is where nixon got the year of the dropout statement. we had to clear a path of the nomination. revolution in 1968 was largely contained in the gigantic -- gigantic fdr coalition in that party. george wallace was a populist southerner, pro-segregation. he was ripping the democratic this is the part. movedkennedy had andatically to the left gene mccarthy and george mcgovern, that wing of the party , all three were going to be represented in chicago. governor was a rockefeller supporter.
reporters, hein announced it for three weeks and he is waiting and he calls in the reporters and he announced he would have a major role in it. he went up and said i'm not running. he was left with egg all over his face and we caught him on and nixon was on the phone, come on up, governor and talk to us, and he came up and we will get to it i am sure but in 19 66, ahe ran democrat who opposed housing. he was seen something of a liberal governor where he was very hard line.
>> he thought he still might have a chance and was going support me and said i am not doing this again. for me once, shame on me. >> governor schaefer of pennsylvania, i think it was -- he was covering us and it was a beer commercial in those days, ist if schaefer -- schaefer the one beer to have if you are having only one. [laughter] host: democrats line. for taking my call. god.t to thank the dog -- i was a student in high school at the time. we understand this country haven't been created, it fills us with compassion and
understanding and great thanks are given to almighty god that it is still the guardian of freedom. thank you. thank you for the call. guest: i will comment on that 1968optimistic view from and it is one that my caller shares and he wrote a book called resilient america, rather than focusing on the fact that we were coming apart, and he already explained what was happening with the democratic party, it was coming apart. riots in the street on campuses. yet there is a resilience in america in the constitution and the governments that we were able to survive and move forward. in an interview with james jones, a long-term aid with
james jones, he traveled on the afternoon of the 31st, and he did not have a residence at the time said that he was not going to run for re--- reelection, humphrey was shaken and said the president said if you're going to run, you need to start now and humphrey reportedly said i lost 21 kennedy and will lose to another. i mention that because he did not announce until april 27 come almost one month until lbj said he would not seek another term. -- rockefeller did not get in because nixon would have crushed him in the primaries. my guess is humphrey might have delayed until then but to me, bobby kennedy was not jack kennedy and did not have the charm and the charisma. he moved to the left, he was antiwar and a very sharp edge.
i felt even after california -- won,by kennedy one, humphrey had enough, the machine put together, the president behind him and all these other folks, i thought that he would win it. i did not know that he was so -- apprehensive that he would not be robert kennedy. >> it is a what if of history but i jotted down last night that when bobby kennedy died hubert humphrey ,nd ari amassed 500 delegates gene mccarthy, 258. for what was left of the coalition, humphrey had the people behind him. he had the rank-and-file of the party. even iflikely that robert kennedy have lived, it is unlike the that he would have eaten humphrey.
remember how desperately -- devastated he was that he wasn't going to run. i understand him meeting at the apartment, i think johnson went before and he was in tears about ambivalence, that that he was not going to -- the president he was serving a medicine the end what cost him three to lose the race. host: not far from where we are, that is where he made his announcement. [video clip] >> there have been speculations of the business of opportunism on your part. [indiscernible] do you admit yourself to it? >> we can't hear the question. >> you are going to have to repeat that. there were a lot of nasty things
in their. the question was whether the charge has been raised about the question of whether this is opportunistic of my coming into afterntest at this time senator mccarthy in the new hampshire primary. as i have said, i have spoken on these issues and questions for a number of years and how i feel about them. i think it was generally accepted that if i had gone into the primary of new hampshire, whether i had won the primary in new hampshire or had done well, it would have been felt it that time it was a personal struggle. it would have been written in the press as the personal struggle. every time i focused on vietnam, or what i think needs to be done, has been put in the context of a personal struggle between myself and president johnson. therefore, we would get away
from what the issues are, which divide this country. i think the new hampshire primary established that the divisions that exist in this country and democratic party are there and i have not brought that about. what has brought that about is what resident johnson -- is what the policies are followed by president johnson. at the moments, i cannot believe anybody thinks this is a pleasant struggle -- a personal struggle or i am asking for a free ride. i have five months ahead of me as far as the convention. i'm going to go into primaries and present my case to the american people and go all across this country. host: that was four days after the new hampshire primary and two weeks before lbj dropped out. guest: that allegation about opportunism was in the air on robert kennedy. it, i remembero a great writer of the new york post that admired bobby kennedy,
he said he is coming down to the hills to shoot the wounded and what bobby kennedy is doing it proves saint patrick did not drive all of the stakes out of ireland. it was rough on bobby kennedy. people forget he was ruthless on lbj in the two weeks before he resigned. of appealinghnson to the darker impulses of the american spirit. i have a memoir spent -- sent to mix and that it is astounding how with busey is on the president. nixon said, keep gathering that. we have better quotes than that. i think mr. nixon believed more than i did that we might wind up with robert kennedy as the candidate. again, as i said, i always thought he was a candidate with great depth in that convention. he was mr. civil rights.
he had put it on the floor of the u.s. senate. she could bring together the antiwar groups, as eventually he did, along with the democratic party and groups in the deep south. host: robert from maryland, go ahead. caller: good morning mr. buchanan, and they become a i am -- and lady, i am a vietnam veteran and i don't think mr. nixon gets the credit he deserves. i think nixon was a very good president. but what overshadowed his goodness as a president was the vietnam war and watergate, and his personality complexes, but some of the decisions he made with civil rights and other issues, epa, made him a very good president. just those three things
overshadowed his presidency. host: thank you. barbara perry? guest: we now look back at nixon and to god of himself in many ways -- and he talked of him self in many ways as a moderate republican and he was viewed as one in 1968. he could be viewed in the center between someone like a reagan. we have not talked about his entrance into the mix, but i'm sure we, and rockefeller on the left side. when we look back at richard nixon's almost 2.5 times, 1.5 terms in office, we can see the number of things he did that people are now in on the liberal side, say, good for him. guest: i would call him a progressive republican and that tradition. domestically, he inherited the vietnam war. after five years, there were 31,000 dead when he came into office, but the gentleman said he was for nixon though he did not vote for him. he is writes, the american people agreed.
he won 49 states in 1972. over 61% of the vote. -- of antiwar candidate the vote over an end to were candidate did so giving the vietnamese fighting chance to survive on their own as a free and independent country, by and large, even though it was protested right thousands of the streets here, was a policy supported by the american people and rewarded in 1972 with a landslide. host: you mentioned ronald reagan, eight first-term governor in california, and he traveled to iowa fall of 1967. here is what governor reagan said back then. [video clip] >> it would be one way to make sure crime did not pay, let government run it. [laughter] i remember in 1964, when they said long ago with lbj, and now we know what he meant.
[laughter] [applause] he has his troubles. there is bobby kennedy. [laughter] bobby has him so nervous about the upcoming convention he is thinking of putting the country in his wife's name. [laughter] [applause] just trying to be helpful and said he wanted a johnson-humphrey ticket but he didn't say where two. aery time he offers to help, voice from the white house says, please, bobby, we would rather lose ourselves. people, bobby is, who can say exactly the right thing, at the right time, to the wrong person. it seems i am picking on julie on the opposition but note i am taking on the leadership of the democratic party.
because i am sure there are millions of buying, patriotic members that are deeply disturbed or what has taken place in the nation's capital, as we moved from 1960 and in the new frontier to the great society. they know the great society is not the wave of the future. it is the and of an era, the dismal rehash of the methods, language, and velocity of the past. ist: from october 1967, that vintage ronald reagan. guest: i am honored to have worked for the director of communications many years later but that is the candidate i was most afraid of in the republican primaries, not rockefeller, but the possibility ronald reagan would get into the race and give that personality, his conservative views, and the lack of dignity that he could stampede the delegates and for the nomination away from richard nixon. i never believed rockefeller could get it after what he did
to barry goldwater in 1964. republicans would have walked out if he had been nominated. host: explain the reagan candidacy or possible candidacy in 1968. what was he thinking? was he on the ballot? was you serious contender for the white house? guest: sure. what is fascinating, from that clip particularly, is the facility he had with the audience and as a speaker. of course, that goes back to his days as an announcer for baseball, where he was getting the baseball game over the wire but explaining it as if he was at the game. he had a great facility for telling anecdotes, not to mention he was a hollywood actor. he had made this interesting journey. he sort of represented the country in this and made the journey from a new deal roosevelt democrat, the head of the screen actors guild, the biggest hollywood union there is, a prounion man, to becoming more conservative as he worked for ge.
it would add on the banquet circuit for general electric and that is where he picked up the political speech and telling the quick. it is clear to business people and conservatives in california heir to is the real goldwater and he came on the scene by that great speech he gave in 1964, supporting goldwater. this rightin 1968 as wing challenge to richard nixon. know, i believe -- you because of the letters that andng and reagan -- nixon reagan -- which i have copies of -- there was a bohemian growth in 1967, where they talked and nixon told reagan, give me a fresh shot at the liberal establishment in new hampshire, and if i have not succeeded really well in wisconsin, then
you come in. rockefeller tried to have a meeting with reagan in new orleans. he came up to his bedroom where he was staying, knocked on the door, and came in. reagan was calling nixon, saying we did not put this together. that is my belief, that he gave nixon that first shot but they were reagan people. they put him into oregon. he got 22% in oregon. and rockefeller got 5% of the vote in oregon in the primary. guest: but their hope was that rockefeller and reagan could perhaps drop an f to get votes away that if nixon did not win on the first ballot in miami beach, that maybe they could. guest: they started going to reagan. the rockefeller people would go to nixon. so we were a good second ballot. host: did richard nixon consumer
ronald reagan as a running mate even though they were both from california? guest: let me tell you, the stock was in new york and in those days, you cannot close the six-point gap. at some point, nixon was behind humphreys in the polls by six points and there was a number of us that sent reagan meant nixon a memo -- that sent nixon a memo saying you have to put reagan on the ticket. we got in a violent argument. there was talk of lindsay, even though he was in the same state, but whether nixon was going to have to roll the dice and make a choice, a dramatic choice. and if you are going to do that, we thought it should be reagan. once the polls showed nixon ahead, then you go with a moderate and say choice, like a good centrist area [laughter] host: 1968 the year in turmoil and our guest is barbara perry and pat buchanan.
he was a nixon aide. tony from louisiana on a line for republicans. thank you for waiting. caller: yes, i have a comment and question directed to pat buchanan. i have long held the belief that had nixon won in 1960, he would have been a better candidate for president than he wound up being in 1968. had he won in 1960, what does that buchanan think nixon would have done during his presidency following his election in 1960? host: thank you, another what if? guest: it is hard to know. was kennedy's great moment the cuban missal crisis. i don't know how nixon would have handled that. my guess is nixon was more of a small c conservative and would
not have launched the bay of pigs. if he had, he would have made sure it worked. you cannot know these things. it would have not been a great society of nixon were a two-term president. as you mentioned, a lot of what nixon did was progressive. in his mid-60's -- mid-50's, he did not repeal the great society. guest: let's add another two-year what if's, and what if nixon had met with khrushchev in vienna in 1961? it would have had a different outcome in the bay of pigs, although it was an eisenhower planned that nixon you about but could not public with in the 1960 campaign. where did it have been interesting to see nixon and 1961hchev indiana in because historians think because kennedy did not have a good outing with khrushchev that that helped to precipitate the cuban missal crisis. guest: exactly. after he met with them came the building while in august and the
missal crisis. khrushchev having met nixon in a kitchen in 1959 did not like nixon. at all. two matter of fact, we had other pilots who had gone over russian territory and chris of told -- and khrushchev told them that he did not want to do something that nixon could claim credit for. i think you are right. i think kennedy misjudged -- khrushchev misjudged kennedy, he said, wouldy, he beat the hell out of me in the meeting with khrushchev. i think you made a great mistake and took him as weak. host: what was richard nixon's reaction the night that robert f kennedy won california and then was assassinated? guest: i was in the east at 3:00
a.m., and i got a call. he was in his mid-20's and called me at my apartment and i was asleep. he will me up and said, bobby kennedy has just and shot. i called nixon and he said, i am already up. i think they had been watching it was amazing. one week before that, i was in oregon when nixon won and may 28, he sweats it, 70%, and he went to dinner with pat nixon and i went to the front door with my girlfriend because bobby kennedy was coming up from california to concede the race, and we saw bobby it out of the race with kenny writes, he had a dog with him, and he went in, and i went to the room to watch and concede that, and i remember telling folks that that was a
bobby kennedy i had not seen. he was at his most gracious. the concession speech to mccarthy was very -- was everything you would expect. he said, now, let's get on to california. guest: think how hard that was for him to give that speech. the first kennedy ever to lose an election. guest: yeah. i read later he was really down about it, saying, maybe i cannot win the vote sent presidency. eugene mccarthy was no better -- guest: yeah, for his consistency. host: what was going through the country after the assassination of senator kennedy? guest: horrible shock, as you can imagine. imagine this, two months after martin luther king's assassination, so here are political leaders, social activists, being gunned down. and bobby kennedy, ironically, has been the person to rise up
on that april 4 nights, 1968, in indiana and they were campaigning for the indiana primary, which he would win. his first primary. and he gets the work he comes in to indianapolis going to speak to an african-american segment of indianapolis that martin luther king has been shot and he the people, one of the best political speeches in the history of the united states. there is no script. he does not take our thoughts and prayers are with the king family. and you can hear the cast in audience -- gasp in the audience and that is the only city that doesn't go up in flames that night. to think two months later he is assassinated -- i read the biography of his mother and she said, it does have in a story, a work of fiction, that this family would lose two of its for running in politics presidency and in the presidency and i would not have believed it. it was incomprehensible that
level of violence. host: dave from new york, thank you for waiting. go ahead. caller: hello. i just want to say thank you mr. buchanan for all the hard work and everything he has committed to. i used to enjoy watching him. it was a great show. i would like to ask two questions. they lean towards current events. i was curious about the vietnam war and bigger mistakes we made. re: making -- are we making some of those same mistakes in afghanistan as we have been there 17 years? i'm curious on what you think of syria and the situation of them going after the kurds and special forces? there is based on russian force and syria. host: you are breaking up but we
get the essence, said thank you. guest: i think we have already made the mistake in the middle east, frankly, that we made in vietnam. we went in without thinking through what the end of this intervention would be. the idea that we could turn afghanistan in said a quasi-western country or go through the regime in iraq and work that out when many people did not know the city, i agree with the late though modem -- late bill modem, that same moving in to the middle east militarily was the worst blunder politically in the united states history. host: when did president johnson begins to think he would not serve another full-term? was when henk it realized the u.s. military
forces won that battle. i will use the crudity that is easily defined among his comments but he said, if we had pulled back in vietnam, if we halt the bombing -- and remember that speech he gave, withdrawing from the race at the end of march was also to announce a halt to the bombing of the north -- but later on he had to restart it in the summer and said, i pulled back in vietnam, ho chi minh drove a truck up my ass. he could not find the answer because there wasn't one. between that and what he has seen on campuses and the students circling the white house, chanting every day and night, hey, hey, lbj, how many kids did you kill today? the answer was 1000 americans die in a week in vietnam, so i think the combination of that, i think he said it genuinely in
that speech, i do not want to be taking time out on the political stump when i have other problems that i need to address in the country. the personal issue, that johnson and johnson men died young, he had already two serious coronaries in the 1950's and he barely lived to just after what would have in his second term. he died in january 1973, so imagine what the stress of being in that office for another four would have done. he could well have died in office. host: george is next from florida. republican line. go ahead, please. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i volunteered for the draft in 1968. i know the focus of the show is on 1968 and the turmoil that occurred there, but my question think years from now, i you could do another show on 2018 2019, perhaps the trump presidency, and the turmoil that
this is creating. in 1968, i think we had some sort of consciousness throughout of the constitution, the united states of america. columbia college and all of that, -- columbia college and all of that, but there was more intelligence and emotion. today, as i look at the march on washington, sorry to say this, but it is the march of the know nothings. they have a lot of emotion but they had very little intelligence. everything is phrases and -- so i would like pat to comment. not one of your pitchfork people but i appreciate your comments and all that. host: we will get a response. guest: thanks very much but i agree with him.
i mentioned i was in the teachings in washington university in 1965. when i went out there, the young people questioned me. they knew the history of vietnam and before then, the agreements in geneva -- they knew everything. they were extremely intelligent. state, theyer kent were just emotional. i would agree with him about yesterday. maybe it was the film taken out, but the kids seemed full of passion and emotion, and caught up, and not a great deal of thought, brinkley. i can understand -- frankly. i can understand the emotion in the aftermath of that killing in florida. you can wave a magic wand and and the school killings, and we cannot do it. the gentleman says, i think the generation -- and you can never know exactly -- but i think the generation of the 1960's was
intelligent in a lot of ways, it was mature, you are it was going -- a new where it was going. i put out a statement denouncing them for revolutionary takeover of our institutions that can state and it got 95-5 support in the polls. [laughter] guest: i think we should thank the caller for his service and volunteering for the draft. i am very supportive of those veterans. but i am always a little bit leery, particularly as a teacher and longtime professor of american government -- it is a sign of aging to look back to the golden age or say this new generation doesn't know anything. i think what they know is they coarse, bution, of they also know social media.
they know how to organize, so they know how to basically engaged. i think we did have better civic in the babyan boomers, but they were also directly impacted and they needed to know their rights because they were subject to the draft or their friends or families were subject to the draft. i do have hope for this generation. i am glad they are taking part and cynically engaged. i would like more education. guest: let me say, in 1968, i don't think we can go back to then because what took place was not only this political revolution, nixon putting together this new majority or the beginnings of it with the , but socially,e culturally, morally, racially, and any other way, it was a huge cultural revolution going on in those years, which i think is ultimately prevailing in the way in this society and creating
divisions which exist and injure to this day --endure to this day. today is not as violent as night and 68, the most violence since the civil war inside this country, i think those divisions have entered and gone through 70 -- enudred and gone through several generations. we have a country and it is difficult to see. the way those of us who grew up in the eisenhower era, i was a critic taking on jfk. and i read now, and i thought i was a tough editorial and i was very mild. we disagree with the area we develop or something like that -- host: what happened to senator eugene mccarthy after the assassination of robert kennedy? as i: what happens to him listed out where he stood on the delegate counts at the moment robert kennedy had won the california primary and was sadly assassinated. he was running a distant third. he became disaffected in the
race. it became clear as they got closer to chicago that humphrey had the rank-and-file of the democrats. he had the party bosses. he had mayor daley on his side and mccarthy was not going to win. in addition, we mentioned george mcgovern, who was drafted by some of the pro-kennedy forces. even though robert kennedy was now gone, there was another person in the race. he became rather embittered by what had happened to him in the race. guest: he endorsed humphrey until the end of the race. guest: that is rightguest:. he waited until late in the game. guest: when i ran against george h.w. bush in new hampshire, iran into gene mccarthy. i was -- i ran into gene mccarthy. he said, don't worry, when you get up, you don't have to win but you have to eat the point
spread. [laughter] host: mary from houston, texas. democrat's line. caller: i am also a veteran. the thing i think caused nixon to win was because he had a cause that all of my friends and a couple died in vietnam, as a result of it, and what it was just turnedt everybody away from the thought that we were going to have anything other than a war for the rest of our lives. host: thank you. guest: the draft, when i went to decidedh nixon, i had that we were going to have to do away with the draft because the country was coming apart. secondarily, because we were beginning to draft people who basically in the barracks would have been seditious. they were so antiwar, and have military, that -- anti-military,
to have future wars, you would have to end the draft. -- i talked to eisenhower had a memo -- i wrote him a memo and said people will say we are just doing this to let folks that are against the war not have to serve and that is a bad thing. nixon wrote on it -- i think so too. "ike thinks so too. i did not want that draft ended." i will tell you else push for. a libertarian who joined us in 1967, martin anderson, one of the young nixon aides. host: john from austin texas, go ahead, you are next. >> thank you for both of the thank you for both of the panelists for the discussion today. it is very good. i have got two quick questions.
how do you view the democratic the first one is party now , versus 1968? it seems to me that a lot of people who do not really love this country have taken over the leadership of the democratic party. my other question is a what if question. i usually stay away from them but with the two panelist today, i think it is appropriate to ask. the what if question is, how do you think things would have worked out at reagan had been elected in 1968 instead of 1980? host: let's take the democratic party, barbara perry? barbara: to pat's point a few moments ago, we come out of 1968 so polarized and to his point about now, i think that polarization is ossified within our system and parties. you do not see the big tent party's that we had had in this country for years because we
only had two major parties and they tended to be big tent parties, and typically they would take in people from different parts of the political spectrum. we see that polarization to this day in the democratic party and republican party. i do not accept the people in the democratic party leaders in rank-and-file are un-american. i do not see that at all. they just have a different view of the america they want to support. host: to follow up on that state of the democratic party in 1968, how strongly was johnson supporting humphrey? was he focused on politics or vietnam? barbara: the problem for johnson was even if he had supported him to the hilt, he could not campaign for him because it was too dangerous. the secret service did not want him to go on college campuses, which was another reason he thought, i cannot run myself, so he wasn't able to go on the stump and do much campaigning for him.
i think maybe as much as eisenhower did not go full for nixon in 1960. johnson was supportive, but he also had tension with humphrey and humphrey had it with him over the war. host: ronald reagan, if he had won in 1968, a what if question? pat: i think he would have gone for vietnam. i think he would of ending the bombing -- one thing johnson did for humphrey in the last week, i think on october 31, clear a -- he declared a bombing halt in vietnam and people forget humphrey at the beginning of october was -- by the time the race ended, it was 43-all. much of the wallace vote in the north moved to humphrey. some of the nixon vote. he had a tremendous campaign. the bombing halt almost put humphrey over.
the south vietnamese president declined to come to paris for the meeting. and that was the cause of a great controversy. with regard to reagan, he was younger. that is a different reagan than i saw in 1985, which would have been 20 years on. i think reagan would have gone for victory in vietnam and all-out bombing and used american power and no limits in cambodia or laos. host: one other timeline issue, in late september, vice president humphrey travels to salt lake city to do what? barbara: he gives a speech in which he finally comes out against the johnson policy on the vietnam war and he speaks in favor of peace and going to peace talks and the -- and deamericanization of the war. some people think if he had just done that earlier because as pat
said, he was coming out strong in the end on part because of johnson's decision, but you also made a reference to presidents of south vietnam. there is a great book called chasing shadows about the backpedaling being done between the nixon campaign and president of south korea about the peace talks. pat: that is a matter of controversy. [laughter] host: george from bloomington, illinois, go ahead. republican line. caller: good morning. i have a question of mr. buchanan and ms. perry concerning president johnson's tardiness in supporting hubert humphrey in 1968. i am wondering if -- another what if question again -- but what if the president had come out sooner for humphrey?
it alluded to the tensions between humphrey over the war. it was palpable. barbara: indeed, there will always be this historical what if, what if humphrey had -- and i think it was against his personality because he was such a joyful and positive and loyal character that it was hard to turn against his president. i think it is possibly the case that if he had come out sooner and drawn the people who were supportive of mccarthy and the anti-war activists, supporters of robert kennedy, the far left fringe he was not going to get. they were going to be against them, as indicated in chicago, but if he had come out earlier against the johnson policy, maybe humphrey would have gotten what he needed in the popular vote, but as pat knows, and nixon so flooded him on the
electoral college vote it is hard to put together. host: which brings us to this, the 1968 electoral map. you can see a different country back then with republicans winning states like california, and the upper midwest, and democrats winning texas and midwestern new england. and then there is george wallace in the south. pat: he got five states. at one point he had seven. he had both carolinas i think. he took those states away. one of the reasons nixon picked agnew and he was a tough line on riots, and down in cambridge when they burned that town down and stokely carmichael came to baltimore -- as a matter of fact, humphrey was gaining. if you can believe it we were , campaigning on long island. i went to the president and said, mr. nixon, i am not doing any good here.
we had the same old message. let me go out, i can help agnew. i went out and spent a week with agnew to win that area. so i do think that hubert humphrey, if he had moved earlier, he would have done better. one reason is, his campaign from september to the salt lake city speech was bedevilled everywhere and it stumped them with obscene comments, and he got to the point himself that he was denouncing fascism out here, and he was being denounced in massachusetts with teddy kennedy. when he delivered that salt lake city speech, it turned for humphrey and he moved up the hill at a tremendous clip. i remember going to nixon and saying we have to attack humphrey to drive the wedge back through the party because it is coming together. we did not do a thing.
[laughter] host: who was george wallace? barbara: what a colorful character. pat and i were talking before the show and said he used to speak with him. we will want pat to weigh in, but he was a popular, eventually a segregationist. he was not in his earlier life in alabama but he was a world war ii veteran. we look back now and realize he may have suffered from ptsd from his service in the pacific. theater of war. he was a bantamweight fighter, and by the late 1950's, when he lost in 1958, i will not use the "n" word, but he said he would not be "out-n'ed" by another person again. so he turned toward the anti-civil rights view and he brings that to the 1968 campaign. not to think he was not going to win.
he knew he probably would not carry any states outside the south but he thought he could be the broker if there was not an electoral majority for the two major candidates. pat: of he could put it in the house. but here is the thing. wallace had come out in 1964 and he had run in democratic primaries and done well in wisconsin, indiana, and maryland. wallace got the majority of the white vote in the democratic primary in 1964 and lbj was president. then he comes in 1968 and announces a third-party run. what he did then was -- i mean, he was not only a segregationist. he got that vote, but he was also a real populist. he was bashing students and demonstrators. i know some four-letter words, w-o-r-k but i
, got to know him after i left nixon. i got to know him, and i went to alabama, and i would speak at troy state, and i would get to the airport and a state trooper would be there, and i would be with my wife, and they said, the governor would like to speak to you. this is after he had been shot in the 72 campaign. and i would go to his office and we would tell old stories of the campaigns and how he did against lindsay. [laughter] we used to talk trash on reporters. he was quite a guy. later in his life, he sort of felt badly about a lot of the things he had done. 1963 was segregation today, tomorrow, forever! barbara: and standing in the schoolhouse door in 1963 as president kennedy and robert kennedy tried to integrate the campus in alabama. pat: i think it was choreographed. he stood in the schoolhouse door, they nationalized the
guard and then he stepped aside. [laughter] everybody got what they wanted. barbara: and it worked for him politically. his biggest mistake -- his big mistake was in choosing curtis lemay, the air force general, as his vice presidential nominee, who was making comments -- pat: that was in 1968? yeah it was. he came out and asked, what about nuclear weapons? he said, people are too frightened about these things. we tested them out and every thing was fine. although, the sand crabs were hotter. barbara: lemay was saying, let's do it! [laughter] host: pat buchanan is the author of "the greatest comeback: how richard nixon rose from defeat to create the new majority," joining us with the director of presidential studies at the miller center, barbara perry. andy from kentucky, go ahead. caller: i would like to thank mr. buchanan because he has been
a good servant for the united states and i take my hat off to you, mr. buchanan. my question is, i was born in 1962. i am 55 now. i love politics. do you think there will be any more conservative democrats? i know there were some back then, and i know there are still some out there. do you think there are any that will rise in the future? pat: socially, culturally, no. i think we saw this out in illinois with a democrat. i think on social and cultural , and moral issues, the democratic party made its move. the fact that they lost the entire south, which kept them to a degree conservative, i do not think you will ever see it. as a matter of fact, i think
younger americans, the millennials seem to me -- well, there are pro-lifers, but the majority seem to me to be of the left. i think the democratic party is going to be pulled to the left, a real danger for it in the coming election, i think, is that the left nominates a candidate in this sense the way mcgovern did in 1972 when they nominated mcgovern and pulled the party so far to the left that nixon was centrist, progressive republican, with a hard line on law and order, and gave him 49 states. republicans are not going to win 49 states ever again. i think the democratic party will never be conservative with back -- never be conservative. barbara: we will see in the midterms and i would say maybe someone a conor lamb, as conservative as the democrats go, but it was interesting in choice and a successful one. i will say that the caller is from the hometown of one of my
political mentors of wendell ford, who became the majority whip in the senate, and a conservative democrat from kentucky. now there are no such things because kentucky is a red, republican state, and in has republicans not only throughout the senate delegation but through the house delegation itself. pat: i went into politics in 1966 and there was one republican senator in the confederacy, john tyler, and you see him get mad as a result of lbj as vice president. we had howard baker in 1966 and tennessee but now the reverse is true. host: raymond from ohio, independent line. guest: how do we go from 1968 at -- from 1968 to kent state. kent state. we didn't have social media back then, but how did people organize? host: interesting question. barbara perry? barbara: how did we go from 1968 to 1970 at kent state and the answer is nixon opening up the cambodian front in the vietnam war.
and that is to invade cambodia to try and stop the flow of men and materiel from the north into the south and to be used against the united states forces in south vietnam. --t the announcement of that with the announcement of that in april 1970, the campuses explode again, particularly kent state. there is a peaceful demonstration, but the guardsmen opened fire on the students and several are killed. that is another opened wound for the united states to deal with. how did these people organize? i watched a documentary last night about the civil rights and without social media, the -- civil rights movement, and martin luther king and the media, and without social media, the way to get to the media in those days -- social media is a misnomer -- media is supposed to be between the government and the people. but now we are the media, but it
was what pat was saying about how to reach the media in the nixon campaign. how to do good work to get people out when you have a rally or demonstration. so it was word-of-mouth. it was telephones. it was telegrams. and hardcopy letters. pat: i wrote the cambodian invasion speech for nixon. it was very dramatic. i think it was april 1, 1970, and what happened was they did have riots out at kent, and that is why the national guard was called in by governor rhodes. he made a rough speech on sunday and monday and the students were up there approaching the guardsmen. and those guardsmen foolishly had live ammunition in their rifles. but they shot these -- i think four died and five more wounded. i remember, i was home, i did not feel well. and allen called and said there are four kids shot at kent state. i said, where is it?
word went around. that's where nixon -- nixon came closer to being broken by something than any time i had ever seen in that month of april. that is the time he had left the white house on the friday after kent state and went to the lincoln memorial at 4:00 in the morning, where students were gathering. he went down and put someone in the speaker's chair, and in the early hours, he was moved by what happened there. the white house was divided. most white house aides did not want the invasion of cambodia or didn't like it, and urged nixon to go much further an accommodating the students. that was the roughest time of nixon's presidency in the first term. host: we are looking at 1968, beginning with eugene mccarthy's decision to seek the democratic nomination in fall of 1967.
we will look at the timeline as we listen to garrett from florida. caller: good morning. very edifying, thank you both. i would just like to ask or have you comment on the johnson campaign. that was by congressman in legislatures, and may be in particular allen k lowenstein. host: thank you. barbara: sure. i mentioned a little while ago that johnson was bouncing down into the low 30's and approval -- indie approval ratings and that they will get the attention of a party, nothing like that either, low approval
ratings for the president and congress. that is part of the dump nixon movement. you mentioned alan lowenstein. he was pushing robert kennedy to join the race as an anti-war candidate. one thing we have not mentioned that came out in ted kennedy's oral history at the miller center, he came after 40 years in the senate, and he told the deputed to go out to the midwest to speak to eugene mccarthy and say, bobby is considering getting in the race, but if you will put this at the top of your agenda, in addition to anti-war, looking into poverty that bobby kennedy had embraced at this point, bobby will reconsider getting into the race. according to ted kennedy, jean mccarthy said no, anti-war is at the top of my platform. that was the movement of lowenstein trying to get bobby into the race. pat: lowenstein tried to get a number of people. i think you try to get mcgovern, didn't he? i think so. mcgovern said, go talk to gene mccarthy. [laughter] host: donna from st. louis, missouri.
go ahead donna. caller: good morning. i have a question for pat. first, i was an independent and went to california and was a delegate in 2000 and i had a nice chat with brian lamb while i was there, a great experience. my question is, there was a time when i supported the vietnam war in the mid-1960's. i was in high school and graduated in 1966. you knew it was unwinnable with all the chinese pouring in, as they did in korea. why did we not handle vietnam like truman handled korea? i have always wondered that. pat: well, with truman, korea drove truman out of the white house. it was general eisenhower who came in and decided that we are not going for victory, and you had a dmz, where two armies were lined up, and he threatened the
chinese and he got an armistice. in vietnam, you had a bunch of -- you had a much different different stories. -- in vietnam, you had a much different story. the chinese actually were not in vietnam. the north vietnamese are in the south. it is a very good question. looking back, and obviously, anyone who has been involved -- i was not there, but i was writing speeches in the white house and working for nixon as an aid before he ran but you have to ask yourself afterwards, the vietnam were accomplished a lot of good things and held the line in southeast asia and this countries did not move toward communism from indonesia but moved to the west. but should we have gone in in the first place? host: barbara perry, was richard nixon undercutting the johnson administration in trying to keep the war going through the election of 1968, saying, you will get a better deal with me? barbara: that is what the
latest literature, the historical literature says about that question. but i will pass it over to pat because i think he was there and he will know the answer. but the historians are saying, yes, that indeed, nixon was back channeling with anna chennault, who was the widow of the general from world war ii, and was the go between, according to the historian's literature now, between the nixon camp and the south vietnamese, encouraging the president of south vietnam to hold off on participating in peace talks and get a better deal under nixon. remember nixon was saying that , he had a plan to end the war so he was being public about that but i will let pat address the behind-the-scenes issues. pat: i do not credit what recent authors have said about this. i was with nixon and i had nothing to do with it.
i remember going in to see him that saturday before the election and telling him a friend of mine had called john sears and said, michigan is gone and we are down three nationally in the harris poll. we were in tough shape. let me say this there are , reasons why i don't. first, the president of south vietnam did not need anyone to tell him that richard nixon was going to take a harder line than hubert humphrey after he said he would halt the bombing as soon as he was elected. secondly, if there was a signal sent, why are -- where are the tapes that lbj, who wiretapped planes, people, why didn't the president of south vietnam say, the reason i did this was this? none of these main actors were questioned or came forward to validate the suggestion that nixon told mitchell or someone to tell mrs. chennault to tell the president of south vietnam,
do not go, you will get a better deal from nixon. this is not a dumb man. he has been at war for any number of years. so i do not believe that came up. one fellow had wrote a book recently and said nixon told holloman when he heard about the bombing, throw a monkeywrench into this. he used that phrase all the time about everything. [laughter] i just do not validate it. barbara: i do not know if there are tapes of wiretaps that there -- but there are tapes of president johnson talking about this issue that you can listen to and he told humphrey this was happening and he refused to release it. pat: humphrey said he did not believe it. host: from maryland, phil, go ahead. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for having ms. perry and mr. buchanan on. they are two fabulous guests and i appreciate that, c-span. my comment is, i was a history
student at the university of maryland in 1968. the college campus behavior 50 years ago was quite different than it is today. many points of view were listened to and tolerated. today, it seems to be that college campus behavior is much more progressive, and anyone who disagrees is silenced. pat: i agree 100%. as i say, i was out there teaching. they would hear our view. they did not like our views if you supported the war, but they invited you out there and they invited pro-war and anti-war speakers on campus. today, you get a real sense of intolerance and the sense we have found the truth and we do
not want to hear any more dissent and certain forms of dissent are racist, bigoted, and homophobic, things like that. goes to the idea that one side in the cultural war is evil and there was only one good side. host: two final points, a headline from the smithsonian website. 1968, when nixon said, sock it to me. television was never the same. it was brief, only five seconds. listen carefully. >> sock it to me. [laughter] host: why was this significant? pat: because nixon basically was considered stiff and not with it. that was a progressive-type show. i do not think it was a good idea. paul keyes, a very good friend of nixon persuaded him to do it. barbara: pat says he was considered uptight and stiff and sweaty from 1960 in the debates
with jack kennedy, so going on a hip and happening show, saying sock it to me, is a turning point for politicians to go into popular culture. host: in the remaining minute with a half minute for each of you. the lessons from 1968, barbara perry? what are they? barbara: i think we touched on some already. they are this increasing polarization that i think has kicked off the polarization today in the parties and in today's culture, making -- pat has made reference to cultural wars. we still see those today. i also think that there is a linkage between 1964 and barry goldwater and his brand of populism was brought to the reagan years and nixon to some extent with movement conservatism. all the way up to donald trump. i think we see the seeds of the democratic left and republican right and democratic populism and republican populism to this
day. pat: i think that is true. what you see is -- goldwater laid this foundation of a powerful conservative movement that basically captured the party but not the country. nixon picked up that movement and brought the republican party together and picked up the two pieces of the democratic party, the northern catholics and southern protestants. and created a new majority that one for republicans five out of six presidential elections after 1964, which was astounding considering the defeat. you are right in the democratic , party, gene mccarthy, bobby wing,y, george mcgovern they would capture the party and nominate mcgovern in 1972. i think what you have subsequent to 1968, that year we really crossed the continental divide, and we have never been able to get back over it, i think, and it is because it involves more than politics.
it involves the most fundamental beliefs about rights, wrong, good, evil, and justice and injustice. there is very little upon which you find that americans really agree on these days. the university of virginia. this sunday on 1968. america in turmoil. civil rights and grace relations. the guests are former black panther kathleen cleaver and to nail joseph. -- pineal joseph. of stokely, a life. watch 1968, america in turmoil. live sunday at 8:30 a.m. eastern.
and on american history tv on c-span3. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, the discussesciate editor the acquittal of two police officer's and often the 2016 death of ultimate sterling. and the recent title shooting of an unarmed black and in california. revelations that cambridge analytic personal data from facebook. later, discussion on the recent pedestrian death by a self driving car and the future of autonomous vehicles. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern
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