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Nixon Offers Kennedy Support on “General” Civil Rights Goals

June 23, 1963 - Richard M. Nixon said today he supports the goals of President Kennedy’s civil rights proposals and believes Congress will enact some civil rights legislation in its present session. Speaking at a press conference after a three-day visit to Egypt, the former U.S. Vice President said he had not had an opportunity to study details of the legislation. “As far as general goals are concerned, I have supported them in the past, and I support them now,” he added. He said this “is not a partisan issue.” Nixon recalled that he supported a strong civil rights plank in the Republican convention that nominated him to run for President and declared: “I am not a Johnny-come-lately in this field.” He recalled that after an African visit in 1953 he said it was “vitally important to our foreign policy, aside from domestic considerations of equal importance, that we deal effectively with this problem of equality of opportunity.” He emphasized at the predominantly Egyptian press conference that “what is happening in Birmingham and elsewhere does not represent the majority feeling of the U.S. or the overwhelming majority of its leaders.”

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