top of page

Ronald Reagan Opens Goldwater Rally

May 29, 1964 - A bitter note was struck today by California supporters of Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) as his campaign in the state’s Republican Presidential primary drew near an end.

Ronald Reagan, the youthful-looking former Hollywood actor who has moved to the right wing of the political stage, today opened a rally for Goldwater with the words: “And good morning to all you irresponsible Republicans.”

Reagan, a fixed smile never leaving his face, said there were two ways to introduce the Senator. One was as the true voice of Republicanism.

Or, Mr. Reagan asked, “Should he be introduced as a Neanderthal man, a bigot, a warmonger, looking out at us from the 19th century?”

To some listeners, it seemed doubtful that such questions — televised to a large audience — were useful to Goldwater in his struggle with Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, even though they were clearly intended as biting attacks on the opposition.

Goldwater today appeared at a breakfast for some 700 campaign workers in Inglewood, at a similar luncheon meeting in Santa Monica, and at a “Republican Carnival” at the pool and tennis area of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Reagan, who opened the breakfast rally, said that the liberal Republican enemies of Goldwater were conducting the “most vicious and venomous campaign against a candidate in our party we have ever seen.”

Goldwater too hurled defiance at Rockefeller and other liberal Republicans who want to block his nomination, saying: “A handful of people in the Republican party will not change the principles of my party to that of the Democrats — not if I have anything to say about it.”

Although Goldwater is favored in the June 2 California primary, some in his camp have shown an increasingly emotional belief that conspiratorial forces of the “liberal establishment” have succeeded in painting Goldwater as a reckless extremist.

Support this project at


bottom of page