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Rocky Declares War on “Radical Right”

July 14, 1963 - New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (pictured with his wife, Margaretta “Happy” Rockefeller) declared war on “the radical right” wing of the Republican party today with a blistering statement clearly aimed at the most vocal supporters of Senator Barry Goldwater for President. The Governor asserted he was “deeply disturbed” by the “ruthless, rough-shod intimidation” and “tactics of totalitarianism” at the biennial convention of the Young Republican National Federation on June 26 and 27 in San Francisco. Senator Goldwater was the convention’s hero and its closing speaker. Governor Rockefeller’s statement was also aimed at leaders of the John Birch Society and “others of the radical right lunatic fringe” as every bit as dangerous to America as “the radical left.” The Republican party, Governor Rockefeller asserted, would “destroy itself” if it adopted what he said was being “seriously proposed” as a 1964 campaign strategy. This, he said, would “write off” Negroes and other minority groups, the great industrial states of the North, and the big cities, and appeal primarily to the South and West with “the outlawed and immoral base of segregation” and a “cloak of so-called ‘states rights.’”


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