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Goldwater To Reassess Presidential Prospects

Dec. 5, 1963 - Senator Barry Goldwater said today he was undertaking a “major reassessment” of his Presidential prospects. “I don’t think my support has changed from what it was,” the Arizona Republican said. Before President Kennedy’s death, he ranked first among potential Republican nominees in public opinion polls. Today, Mr. Goldwater said: “I feel you can’t say for sure. The whole country is in a position of flux. There’s no way to assess it.” As Mr. Goldwater sized up his prospects in what he called “a new ballgame with a new pitcher,” there were rumblings of an organized effort to put former Vice President Richard M. Nixon into the Republican race. In New York, a spokesman for Mr. Nixon said that “he isn’t commenting on anything right now.” The Washington Star reported plans to enter a slate of Nixon-pledged delegates in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary March 10. The Star quoted Leonard Hall, former Republican national chairman, as saying he had met with Mr. Nixon and former President Eisenhower in the last week to discuss the political situation. Mr. Nixon has said he will not be a candidate in 1964. Governor Rockefeller of New York is the only Republican who has said he will. Mr. Goldwater, talking politics for the first time since Mr. Kennedy’s death, said anyone considering a bid for the Republican nomination should count on several months of “assessment and consideration” as President Johnson shapes his program. Some political observers see a drop in Mr. Goldwater’s stock because Mr. Johnson tends toward conservatism. Would a Johnson-Goldwater race offer voters a clear choice between a liberal and a conservative? “That remains to be seen,” Mr. Goldwater said. “Johnson has been a liberal, a conservative, and is now a liberal again. The man personally is conservative. I like him. I think he has a chance to be a good President, a great President. We’ll have to wait and see.”


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