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Ike Gives Goldwater the Thumbs Up

June 8, 1964 - The stop-Goldwater movement died in Cleveland today at the 56th National Governors Conference amid bitter charges that former President Eisenhower had betrayed the “liberal” cause.

In a face-to-face meeting today with the Republican governors at the conference, Eisenhower reportedly said he would accept the Arizona Senator, the front-runner for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Ike had kicked off the stop-Goldwater move by meeting privately with Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton on Saturday. Then, according to Scranton, Ike called him just before Scranton made a national television broadcast Sunday and compelled him to backtrack on a strong statement of candidacy he was writing.

Such a statement might have provided a rallying point for anti-Goldwater governors. Ike’s calling Scranton off left the Pennsylvania Governor and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in an embittered mood.

Scranton can’t by state law succeed himself as governor, thus he won’t have a national forum for his views in 1968, if he decides to try again. The enforced delay could be fatal to his ambitions.

Hung up in the present stalemate was Governor Rockefeller. His aides made it clear that Rockefeller considered he was let down by Eisenhower and the so-called Eastern internationalist wing of the GOP. Rockefeller is just about fed up on fighting the lonely fight against Goldwater.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Nixon said today that Goldwater’s views on major issues — with the exception of civil rights — generally conform to Republican Party platform principles.

Nixon said Goldwater no longer favored the breaking of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, voicing the sentiment that we should not do so unless provoked.

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