Goldwater on the Democrats

On Jack Kennedy: "Jack and I were a good matchup, a real contest. We were good friends, too.... The contrast was perfect. He was Hah-vahd, and I was the new West. He was the darling of the Eastern establishment. I was the hard-nosed, slightly uncouth, I guess you could say, frontier conservative. It would have been a dam good race. Then it was all over...." i On Hubert Humphrey: "….my dearest friend, and we used to fight like cats and dogs, but we always got along." ii "He speaks so fast, listening to him is like trying to read Playboy with your wife turning the pages."iii To George McGovern following his rout in the '72 Presidential race: "Dear George, if you must lose, lose big…. After Dick Nixon lost to Jack Kennedy in 1960 by only 120,000 votes, he regretted for years spending the last weekend of the campaign in Alaska instead of Chicago. With you and me it didn't make any difference where we went the last weekend -Chicago, Alaska or Timbuktu. So we have nothing to regret except the judgment of the voters!" iv On former U.S. Rep. Morris Udall of Arizona: ”He did Arizona more damn good than anybody I know. He was the best member of Congress this state ever had.”v On Alabama Governor George Wallace: "He's a racist thug."vi On the GOP uproar at his endorsement of a Democrat for Congress in 1994: "Oh, that. Hell, the Republican fellow came here from Washington because he thought he could practically steal the seat. Hadn't been here long enough to spell Arizona before he announced. And he told everybody he was my good buddy, which he wasn't. "When that lady got elected, my Republican friends were all set to scalp me. They wanted to take my name off the Republican headquarters, the airport and the high school. Intolerant as hell. But it all blew over and nothing happened."vii Notes: Lyndon Johnson was perhaps Barry Goldwater's least favorite Democrat ("the most dishonest man we ever had in the Presidency"), yet Goldwater respected Johnson's abilities as Senate Majority Leader, and even chastised his own supporters for booing LBJ during a campaign stop in Texas in 1964: "No, no, don't boo him, he is your President. Don't boo the office of the Presidency." viii To the chagrin of many in the GOP, Senator Goldwater also defended President Clinton during the Whitewater affair, calling on Republicans to get off Clinton's back and "let him be President" instead of harping over an incident that was in Goldwater's view, "not a big deal." ix

He also defended First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton from GOP criticism: "I was talking with [former Arizona Republican congressman and former minority leader of the House of Representatives] Johnny Rhodes, just a few days ago. He’s still got the ear of the House Republican leaders. I asked him to tell those fellows back in Washington that I don’t go along with their incivility. I told them they should back off on their attacks on Hillary Clinton. They’re acting like jerks too, not conservatives. If they don’t, I’m going to blast them. They’re driving decent people out of public service. And they’re turning off voters. It’s dirty politics, and it should end.” x

i ii

iii iv v vi vii viii


x The Milwaukee Sentinel, 28 September 1988, 30. nid=1368&dat=19880928&id=ApxRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uRIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5122,8542212,4 See Gil Troy, See How They Ran: The Changing Role of the Presidential Candidate (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), 217, and Theodore White, The Making of the President 1964, 339. pagewanted=all&src=pm Conservatives Without Conscience, 31.