George Romney’s 1964 letter to Barry Goldwater
This comes via Andrew Sullivan’s blog. It is a letter written late in 1964 (and published in 1966 by the New York Times) by George Romney, then governor of Michigan, to GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, explaining why he would not endorse him in that election. Among the reasons he cites:
No Meeting Arranged
During the winter of this year, after my earlier requests had been repeatedly renewed, your Mr. Clifton White did tell me he had had talked with you and that you would meet with me after the California primary. However, the meeting did not materialize.
Instead, at the Cleveland Governors’ Conference, shortly after the California primary, where I had hoped to be able to meet with you, Paul Fannin handed me a copy of a statement of your positions on some issues, printed for use in the California primary.
In the newspapers I read that when you were questioned about our getting together for what by this time was my well-publicized desire for a discussion in depth, you said you had sent me a printed statement of your positions, and if I didn’t understand it, I could get in touch with you.
Let me interject that that time the need for such a meeting had become all the more important. You were just about to take a position the 1964 Civil Rights Act contrary to that of most elected Republicans in and out of Congress, and there were disturbing indications that your strategists proposed to make an all-out push for the Southern white segregationist vote and to attempt to exploit the so-called “white backlash” in the North.
The delegates’ mail was beginning to contain much of what I’m sure you would regard as “extremist,” “hate’ literature, backing you. A clear understanding of your position was needed, and I persisted.
This is the kind of extremism the Republican Party has firmly embraced, and while at heart I don’t believe Mitt Romney holds these positions, he has demonstrated no problem at all with pandering to them.
You should read the whole letter. It’s pretty interesting. Needless to say, what would the elder Romney think of what his son has done to get to the position he is in now? And I’m not just talking about his pandering to GOP extremism, I’m talking about his relentless and shameless lying and shapeshifting, and how the party faithful don’t seem to care about any of that. Only that he has a legitimate opportunity to unseat the first black President of the United States.