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“Stop Goldwater” Forces Weakening

June 7, 1964 - A majority of the Republican Governors accepted today the probable nomination of Senator Barry Goldwater for President on the first ballot.

The moderates among these Governors, quarreling bitterly among themselves, determined to wring from the conservative Arizonan a commitment to a platform they can accept in the fall campaign.

They immediately ran into difficulty in this plan to meet with him and get his views during the National Governors Conference in Cleveland. Goldwater’s associates said his schedule permitted him to attend the Governors’ dinner tomorrow night and nothing else.

Governor George Romney (pictured) of Michigan became the new avowed leader of the “stop-Goldwater” forces as he uttered a warning of “suicidal destruction of the Republican party” if the Republican National Convention does not settle on a more moderate platform.

The new boomlet to nominate Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania at the July convention, started by a meeting of Scranton and former President Eisenhower at Gettysburg yesterday, subsided in Cleveland today.

Scranton’s refusal in two press conferences to speak out for the moderate point of view evoked from New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller facial expressions that were widely interpreted as contempt.

Rockefeller, vexed with Romney too because he had waited so long to champion the moderate cause publicly, said nevertheless that what the moderates needed to save the day were “more Romneys.”

Of the 16 Republican Governors, three are avowed Goldwater supporters. The three are Paul Fannin of Arizona, Henry Bellmon of Oklahoma, and Tim Babcock of Montana. They claim additional silent strength and believe they can count on 700 convention delegates, 45 more than needed for nomination at the convention, opening July 13 in San Francisco.

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