To coincide with the centennial of Ronald Reagan's birthday, we're posting a few new transcripts with and about Reagan from the Nixon tapes. At the time of these calls, Reagan was the Governor of California and a rising star of the national Republican Party.
We have collected transcripts and summaries of conversations recorded on the Nixon tapes involving or mentioning former Virginia governor Linwood Holton. When he assumed office in 1970, Holton became the first Republican governor of the state since 1874.
Six hours earlier, Johnson had met with Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey, a man widely perceived as a front-runner for the vice-presidential nomination who had emerged as the administration's most effective defender in the upper chamber. After that early afternoon meeting, Humphrey, the Senate majority whip, gave a rousing pro-Democratic statement to the press. Now, pleased with Humphrey's response to GOP attacks on the administration, Johnson phoned him, encouraging him to continue his rhetoric and told him to "every day . . . to say, 'The Democratic Party is the one party left for America, because the other fellows don't stand for anything.'"
This segment picks up two-and-a-half minutes into the call.
John S. McCain III, (1936-) currently a Republican Senator from Arizona and Republican nominee for President in the 2008 Presidential election, was a U.S. Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. In October 1967 he was shot down over North Vietnam, taken prisoner, and held captive as a prisoner of war for five and a half years. His father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC∇) during much of the time his son was a POW.
We've compiled transcripts of the most substantive mentions of the McCain family in the LBJ and Nixon recordings. Given the time period the tapes span, most of these discussions relate to the Senator's father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. (1911-1981), who became a four star admiral in the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War as CINCPAC from 1968 to 1972. Senator McCain's grandfather, John S. McCain, Sr. (1884-1945), had also been an Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
King had called Johnson to discuss the voting rights bill. In the discussion, the President emphasized the importance of gaining Republican support, and then offered his assessment of the Grand Old Party's prospects for the future.