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LBJ Holds Impromptu Press Conference

Jan. 25, 1964 - President Johnson commended Congress today for recent progress on civil rights and tax legislation but kept the pressure on for speedy action. The President called reporters into his White House office without advance notice for another Saturday news conference. The House and Senate plan to suspend work for about a week after Feb. 11 to permit Republicans to participate in the usual round of Lincoln’s Birthday oratory throughout the country. President Johnson said today he had told Congressional leaders he thought it would be rather unbecoming to go out and talk about Lincoln when the civil rights bill, which Lincoln would have been so interested in, had not been passed.

President Johnson ruled out today further comment from him about the case of Robert G. Baker, his erstwhile protégé, whose financial adventures are under investigation. Countering Republican criticism of him accepting a phonograph from Mr. Baker, Mr. Johnson said he had endured Republican barbs for 32 years and was not about to smart under them now. As he finished his opening statement today, President Johnson said: “Don’t run out of here if you have any questions you want to ask. Ask them. I will answer them. This is not a quickie news conference. I don’t know what you call a formal one. I guess I ought to wear a white tie.”


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