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Goldwater Throws Hat in the Ring

Jan. 3, 1964 - In a news conference today on the patio of his home in Paradise City, Arizona, Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for the Presidency to give the American people a “clear choice” — an opportunity to choose conservative leadership. The Senator, who was tanned and rested but still on crutches after a minor operation to remove a bone spur on his right foot, said that he would not “concede anything to anybody” — not even Texas to President Johnson. However, he left himself an out by saying that he also intended to seek renomination as Senator from Arizona. This was the only surprise of the news conference. Mr. Goldwater had criticized Mr. Johnson for seeking both the Vice Presidency and reelection to the Senate in 1960, but he laughed it off today with the remark that Mr. Johnson had been a “pretty good teacher.”

During a questioning period, Senator Goldwater said that he had looked forward to running against President Kennedy, but that he had reviewed the political situation after the assassination and had decided definitely only 10 days ago to run against President Johnson. He did not minimize the difficulty of the problem. He said the Republican nominee would have to carry four large Northern states to win — probably Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and California. If the Democrats took one of these, he said, the Republicans would then have to win two other middle-sized states, such as Indiana and Massachusetts, to make up for the loss. In his statement, Senator Goldwater emphasized the ideological reasons for his candidacy: belief in conservative economic and financial policies and confidence that a strong and more assertive allied policy toward Communism would best service the interests of all free nations. “I will not change my beliefs to win votes,” he said. “I will offer a choice, not an echo. This will not be an engagement of personalities. It will be an engagement of principles.”


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