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Richard Nixon Speaks Out

Apr. 30, 1964 - Richard M. Nixon rejected today President Johnson’s offer to brief him on United States intelligence reports.

The former Vice President said Johnson’s offer to keep possible Republican Presidential contenders informed would set a bad precedent. He said the offer should be made only to whomever the Republicans nominated.

At a news conference in Dayton, Ohio, Nixon said his experience had shown him that intelligence reports “weren’t worth much” when widely disseminated. “And if they’re any good,” he said, “they shouldn’t be [widely disseminated].”

Nixon, an unannounced candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, said it would be “a major disaster for the Republican party” if Johnson were elected in November. He condemned “defeatist” Republicans who, he said, were prepared to give up without a fight.

On his party’s candidate, Nixon said, “California will pretty much decide who will be nominated.” And he referred to Senator Barry Goldwater’s primary contest there against Governor Rockefeller on June 2 as a “political Armageddon.”

“If Goldwater wins, and then marshals the support of Northern delegates, he has it all sewed up. If Goldwater loses, the nomination will go to some other candidate, but I don’t believe the convention will choose a man Goldwater doesn’t like.”

Nixon referred to the write-in victories of Henry Cabot Lodge, Ambassador to South Vietnam, as “primary sideshows,” and he called Goldwater’s collection of pledged delegates “the real ballgame.”

At a party fundraising event today attended by 2,000, Nixon attacked the Johnson foreign policy and foreign aid programs. He said they constituted a nation-by-nation “roll call of disaster and defeat.”

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