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Nixon: Goldwater Leading Contender for GOP Nomination

June 12, 1963 - Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon said today that Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona (pictured) was now the leading contender for the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination. Mr. Nixon was interviewed at New York’s Idlewild Airport before he, Mrs. Nixon, and their two teenage daughters boarded a flight for Lisbon for a six-week European vacation in which they will visit nine countries. Though Mr. Nixon would not comment on the political effect of Governor Rockefeller’s recent remarriage, he said Senator Goldwater, a conservative, had “gained sharply over Rockefeller in the last two months,” replacing the New York Governor as the leading contender. Mr. Nixon said Gov. George Romney of Michigan had also made significant gains in the last two months, with Gov. William W. Scranton of Pennsylvania coming up in “the back-stretch.” He said none of the three was a “shoo-in.” Mr. Nixon reiterated that he has no intention of returning to politics as a candidate. He added that his political activities in the future “will be devoted to giving views on all issues.” And this, he added, “is not the usual coy line given out by a person who intends to announce his candidacy later.”

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