tv Fox News Reporting FOX News November 22, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST
>> you can't understand modern american politics without looking at conservativism. >> i became convinced that the republican parties simply could not be the vehicle for the conservative movement. >> i said to myself i went into this movement as a kid so we could get everybody to approve nonentity for the u.s. supreme court. >> i had a dickens of a time on television because people knew
where my heart was. >> jimmy carter was born again i said this is a pretty good guy. that was the straw that broke the cam pell in's back big time. >> don't we need new faces young new faces why don't we start with a fresh page? >> i was called a witch doctor, a dangerous river boat gambler, now it's republicans. >> once i had broken i was an apostate. >> how can you sustain a friendship with someone who thinks you are insane if you have certain ideas. >> if you want to know why we think this here is the argument here are the facts. >> we want to be on the cutting edge of history because we thought we had something to add to history. >> i am thinking oh my god this is the most brutal thing you have ever seen.
>> welcome to this third installment on the fox news series the right all along the rise, fall and future of conservativism. i am prit hume. for conservatives 64 through 74 were a roller-coaster. after the disastrous goldwater election they refused to give up and had an ally in the white house. they didn't embrace richard nixon the one time anti communist fire brand that ran as a no nonsense law and order candidate. he was a disappointment led a huge expansion in the federal government served soviet union and ruined competence with the watergate scandal. his resignation started a battle for the soul of the republican
party. >> oo i gerald r. ford do sol n solemnly swear to faithfully execute the office of the president of the united states. >> it wasn't a liberal in the ford administration the country's reservoir in trust in government was drained it was empty. gerald ford's task was to try to fill the reservoir of trust. >> our fellow americans the long national nightmare is over. >> he was a midwesterner. he had conservative values. he was a legislat legislator wa tactical than strategic. for a reasonably sized government and a solid cold warrior in a sense. >> still conservatives sense the investment in the gop had been zeroed out. one schemed to get it back by getting to pick the republican the right like least. >> i sent him a memo. you know who i recommended he
pick? nelson rockefeller. you know why? i knew the naming of a rockefeller would revive the conservative movement, nothing else would. if we can't take it from nelson rockefeller we can't take it from anybody. >> i never heard that. >> he had moved on his part. >> to take over the party the conservatives still needed to push their ideas. the most persistent sales man of a new kind of economics was nixon arthur laugher. laugher who thought high taxes were ruining america famously sketched what would become known as the laugher curve on a napkin. >> i had dinner with ronald rumsfeld once a week couple times we invited guests with us. i invited jude and he invited dick cheney my classmate.
>> i knew art laffer we were in the same class at yale before i got kicked out. wh he was writing editorials to the wall street journal. the two of them came one night and wanted to have a beer after work. we went over to the two continent's bar in the washington hotel across the street from the treasurey building. this is in the early days of the ford administration. >> they had this whip administration which was a five percent tax surgers. i tried to explain to them they may get more revenues but they will get less than 5 percent because you are going to get losses in the system. you might even lose money given enough time and what happens. so i on the napkin i guess. he whipped out a white linen napkin good high quality napkin laid it out on the table and drew out the laffer curve with a
black sharp pee and i am told that's the first time the laffer curve was ever drawn. >> wh whether i was there the ft time he did it o dick was i don't remember. absolutely brilliant. 0 tax rate you get zero revenue 100 percent tax rate you also get zero revenues. somewhere in that curve you can optimize the revenue without dissuading and discouraging entrepreneurial activity and investment and the kinds of things that create the jobs and products for this wonderful country. >> i became a believer. fast forward in 2003 where we cut the capitol gains the rate on interest did the across the board cuts in the income tax and passed by a single vote my vote. this is what 30 years later. >> the election of 1974 three months after nixon's resignation republicans lost 34 seats in the
house and four in the senate. this to a democratic party that already enjoyed a majority in both chambers. outside the beltway however conservatives were blazing a new path to power through the grass-roots. >> you had the first stirings of the tax stirring across the country. that's when it was founded in washington. you had the conservative woman like phyllis lafly serving the civil rights amendment. >> equality under the rights shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or any state on account of sex. it was a seemingly innocuous amendment but fi phyllis saw it manace. >> it won't do anything for women. it is a big fraud and take any way of rights women now have. >> i could show all kinds of disadvantages. like repealing all of the laws that said it was the obligation of the husband to support his wife and children. if you deny a marriage license to a man and a man you have
discriminated on account of sex and on and often. i called a meeting in st. louis of 100 of my friends from 30 states and we started stop ee - era. >> it was a large majorities in 71 and 72. by the end of 1973, 30 of the required 38 states ratified it. >> the media were 39 percent in favor of it overwhelmingly in congress all of the governors all of the organizations. i realized we needed reinforcements. that's when i sent out the call to the church thes and they cam. legislators had never seen anything like it before. that was the day we invented the pro family provement. >> only five states ratified the era. at the same time two of the states which supported it rescinded their ratification. it was a stunning victory over
the republican party simply could not be the vehicle for the conservative movement. we were getting richard nixons and gerald ford and god knows who else was going to be down the line. so i said i want a new party. let's start something that can unite. >> william rusher's dream ticket was ronald reagan and george wallace the segregationist who won five states 46 electoral votes and 14.5 percent of the popular vote in 1968. >> not that i was ever a lawless man. i had no particular use for wallace. he had attracted a number of social conservative supporters. i wanted those. i thought one way to get them over would be to make him the vice presidential candidate. i was ready to go. i called the governor and said the nomination is yours. he said you and i have disagreed
about that and i nodded i said why am i nodding when that man is telling me no? >> it was absolutely ludicrous to par start a third party and ultimately it proved out to be right. that's where the intellectuals of so many other people thought they knew ronald reagan and they could pull him in their direction. hopefully he always made the right decision. >> after he was governor a lot of his political circle thought he should head some new national organization. some people thought he ought to try to become ambassador of england or u.s. chamber of commerce. the most interesting offer was cbs news asked him would you like to do a four-, 5 minute commentary on the walter cronkright broadcast. he said no i don't want to do tv, i think people will get tired of me. i want to go back to radio. that was his original career back in the 30s. >> mankind survived all manner
of evil diseases and plagues but can it survive communists. an unborn child's property rights are protected by law the right to life are not. i will be right back. >> what he was doing at the time he was the rush limbaugh of the 1970s. >> i remember the first radio station i worked at in missouri those commentaries were not air there had but i saw them. they came in on the record. i listened to a couple of them now and then. >> the one question i have heard these past many months is what can we do about welfare. >> i was struck by how per situative, forceful but unthreatening reagan was. >> before we do more of what we are doing why don't we find out if what we are doing is part of the problem? this is ronald reagan. thanks for listening. >> i received a phone call from
ron reagan, he said would you like to come over to the may flower and we will have a pop or two. it was to talk about a possible candidacy for president. he said, would you lead the campaign? i said gees, you know i would do anything for you. i can't do this jerry ford has been a real good friend of mine. anyhow i pondered it and thought to myself if we can establish a standard where reagan would run but he wouldn't be directly critical of ford that ought to be considered with that as a clear understanding i went ahead and decided to chair the campaign. >> i called this press conference to announce that i am a candidate for the presidency. >> reagan announced he had only one senator, paul laxal of nevada. that was it. >> i believe my candidacy will be healthy for the nation and for my party.
>> i had the unfortunate duty to inform governor reagan at a private dinner that we had that the senator of then worked for karl curtis of nebraska was going to support ford and reagan was very shaken by that. he didn't believe that was going to happen. >> even senator barry goldwater for whom reagan campaigned for tirelessly in 1964 backed ford. >> i know it hurt dad. devastated nancy. nancy's mother knew goldwater personally. when goldwater came out for gerald ford i think that relationship just came to a screeching halt. >> obviously was job was to work for jerri ford. he was chief of staff. i think he resented the reagan candida candidacy. a lot of people did. >> ford was a capitol hilary pub can comfortably second tier
ronald reagan thought of himself as first tier and wanted to be in the cutting edge of history where we conservatives have wanted to be for a long time because we thought we had something to add to history. wi the capital one venture card we get double miles on everyurchase. so we earned a holiday trip to the big apple twice as fast! dinner! [ garth ] we get double miles every time we use our card. and since double miles add up fast, we can bring the who gang! it's hard to beat double miles! i want a maze, a ord, a... oww! [ male announcer ] get the venture card from capital one and earn double miles on every purchase, every day. go to capitalone.com. i wonder what it coulbe?! what's in your wallet?
>> before richard nixon made him president ford was a congressman for 45 years. most of his adult life he has been a part of the washington establishment. >> gerald ford aesz middle of the road politics were under scored for some conservatives in november 1975 right after reagan announced he was challenging ford for the republican nomination.
8 days later ford announced his first and only pick for the supreme court. >> douglas was stepping down, ford called the attorney general and said ed go find me somebody i can nominate to be supreme court justice. he came back with john paul stevens a guy he knew in chicago a good judge. question of judicial philosophy never enter nude it. he nominated stevens and steve vens was confirmed three weeks later unanimously. >> i was invited into the white house with a number of correspondents in the oval office. one of the things he said john paul stephens that's the kind of appointment i would like to make where you get un nimity of the congress we all come together. i went into in movement as a kid so we could get everybody to approve some nonentity for the u.s. supreme court. i am all with reagan. >> obviously i was not publicly supporting reagan during that period because i was a member of the president ford's candidate. i had a dickens of a time on
television because people knew where my heart was and where my positions were and they were closer to governor reagan's positions on the cold war than they were to the nixon kissinger, ford period. >> dr. kissinger believes like the great civi civilizations of fast and he expressed this, the united states has had its day and we are in our decline. >> when govern reagan started running he ran against henry kissinger more than ford. >> his attitude is one of boughiboug bowing and scraping to the soviet union saying they are going to be number one and therefore i must make son sessi -- concessions where they have to treat them nicely when they are in charge. >> nixon nor i never made any such assertion. the communism he dealt with in the nixon and ford administration was no longer fanatical communism of the early 20s and therefore it was a
challenge which we could ov overcome by the complin nation of strong diplomacy and strong military that we were carrying out. >> mr. ford decided the time has come to ditch the wosh as though it has become an embarrassment to him. >> he was challenging him on the issues i think ford deserved to be challenged on. >> he thought reagan was appe appealing to a particular kinds of anti communism which did not seem to reflect the realities of the situation. >> i was not as negative as a lot of people were on that reagan challenge. partly because i felt we needed to go through that kinds of process. it was vital in terms of getting ready to run in the fall. >> it would be a roller-coaster ride for reagan and ford pushing anti communism and fiscal restraint reagan stead you willy climbed in the polls so high it
seemed like he might sweep the early pram marries. >> he went into new hampshire he was going to win he lost. went into the next and he lost. the next one and he lost. >> fourth one he lost. the 5th one he lost. it was gone. ford was going to win it and walk away with it we could we do? >> went to florida and wisconsin. got to north carolina a lot of people thought he should drop out. >> there seems to be an effort on the part of some in the other campaign organization that indicate that because i didn't win in the first few primaries that i should now viebly fold my tent and slip away. well -- >> it had been an organized campaign from the office holders and ask the party interests to get out. his reaction was violent. he said they have no right to ask me to get out because we are just getting warmed up. >> i am in this thing all of the
way to august and the convention in kansas city. >> i don't give a dam they think but i am going to go into every single one of those 22 pram marries. everybody got that straight? yes, sir. i am thinking oh my god. this will be the most brutal thing you have ever seen. >> i was chairman of the american conservative movement the big effort was north carolina. i went down there i will never forget the primary was march 23rd, 1976. the official reagan campaign had no clue as to what was happening in north carolina but it really didn't matter because it wasn't a top down operation. what mattered was the grass-roots conservatives on the ground that's what mattered. >> reagan won in north carolina his win in the state so unexpected he didn't stick around for the results. he was flying back home when he got the news. >> i remember on the plane halfway around the country we had champagne on ice. one he wasn't supposed to win
but he won that's what turned it around. >> there was no panic and everybody stayed with us. happy to be coming home this way. >> reagan went on to win texas in indiana, nebraska all of a sudden reagan is right there with ford going into kansas city. >> i was at the convention in 76 in kansas city as a cub reporter ford became the nominee. the heart of that convention certainly went not to ford but to ronald reagan. >> he ended up with 1,070 delegates 117 fewer than ford when in line with tradition the defeated candidate's name was placed in nomination it sparked a thunder rouse pro reagan demonstration that would not be quelled. >> will the delegates please take your seats? we have two more speakers for
governor reagan. we need to get on with the business of this convention. >> reagan got another surprise. >> everybody in this great auditorium tonight we are all tremendously pleased and honored to have ron reagan and nancy reagan come down. >> i would be honored on your behalf to ask my good friend governor reagan to say a few words at this time. >> i had an assignment the other day. someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to be opened in los angeles 100 years from now. >> he gave a short version of what would have been his acceptance speech which so surpassed in eloquence and effect to ford's words that i mean you could tell if the party could have changed its mind at
that point it might very well have changed its mind. >> i thought to myself we live in a world in which the great powers have poised and aimed at each other hoar ill missiles of destruction, nuclear weapons that can in a matter of minutes arrive in each other's country and destroy virtually the civilized world we live in. suddenly it dawned on me those who would read this letter 100 years from now will know whether those missiles were fired. they will know whether we met our challenge. >> to us the whole thing except what he says is just striking. they are all standing up. >> we must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true, there is no substitute for victory. mr. president --
>> it was a tremendous battle. sort of for the hearts and souls who won the party. it was a great fight. >> reagan was already 65, retirement age. would he ever get a chance or want one after ford went on to lose the presidency to jimmy carter in a close race soon would become clear the answer to both questions was yes.
>> pat robertson was a decorated korean war veteran and yale law school grad before becoming a born again christian. he went back to school earned a devinity degree bought a small station in virginia and started what would become the largest christian broadcasting enterprise in the world. he really liked it when georgia democratic governor jimmy carter ran for president in 1976. >> jimmy carter was talking born again. he was a born again christian. >> i am a peanut farmer and a christian. the most important thing in my life is jesus christ. >> i had some friends in the steel workers union in pennsylvania, and when carter was running i contacted one of them and i said this is a pretty good guy. how about getting your guys to support him. carter won pennsylvania and i think what the steel workers did may have played a critical role. >> it was the key to our winning
central pennsylvania in the primary and general. it was what allowed president carter to win southeastern ohio which became a decisive state. >> i jimmy carter solemnly swear. >> the first president i really liked and met was jimmy carter because he talked openly about his own faith. >> i thought that we could expect evangelical christians to be put in his president. we had an outstanding group of people and handy lived the list to carter in plains to my knowledge not one of them was included. >> most people think the religious right came into being because of the abortion issue or school prayer or equal rights amendment. not true. what brought the evangelicals fundamentalists into the political process was carter's civil rights division going
after christian schools. they would say to the christian school you don't have 10 percent of your enrollment as hispanics and 8 percent blacks, well that was the straw that broke the camel's back. that is what brought the evangelicals and fundamentalists into the political process big time. >> religious conservatives decided they had no choice. they were being forced into politics. >> ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters. >> i think what jimmy carter exposed was the democratic party was changing in fundamental ways the liberal wing of the party was taking control of the discourse within the democratic party. so democrats went out of their way to alienate many religious voters and prepared them for ronald reagan's appeal which by the way was not necessarily an evangelical appeal but used a
language that was comfortable for religious people. >> i was asked once in a press interview what book would i choose if i were ship wreckeded on an island and could only have one book for the rest of my life. i replied i knew of only one book that could be read and re-read and continue to be a challenge. the bible. >> jimmy carter turned them off so completely they flocked to reagan in droves. >> the christian conservatives would be joined in the reagan coalition by other democratic detectors including a cadre of writer and thinkers who concluded it was time to take a stands. while their numbers were small, their sharpens and forceful arguments would give them an outside influence in the movement.
>> the assault on the whole concept of morality. you are in a place where there is no moral background. >> the 1960s and 70s were faced by social up evil the civil rights movement and anti-war movement created some off the left stress of raids not toward republicans and democrats but america itself. >> they began spelling the name of the country with a k to suggest that we were no better than nazi germany choosing us, committing genocide in vietnam. the idea was that this society was so rotten that nothing but a revolution could change it. >> the manson murders have just happened and bernadine dorn, who was the head of the weather
month made a statement to the press saying wow awesome that pigs with their own knives and forks. far out. the weather men dig charles manson. i thought, this is totally insane. >> as a parent i was absolutely in a rage with a lot of people i know my own friends say it's wonderful. i see all of these kids around me adolescents breaking down and being what seemed to be just plain sick, being celebrated by everyone as the greatest best generation we had ever produced in america. to me it looked like the crippled generation. >> liberal writers and thinkers such as norman pudhorig gene patrick and others found themselves increasingly turned off by the counter culture and became drifting away from the left. they would be known as neo conservatives. >> the phrase was invented in the 70s as a critique of my
father other liberals would be more conservative. if people want to call me a neo conservative i will accept the term. >> neo conservatives were getting wider and wider exposure. the commentary and public interest were appearing in mass publicatio publications. was the editorial page of the wall street journal were ideas edited by robert bartley. >> bob bartley the editor is one of the most important people in american political life american intellectual life in the past half century. he was a low key person if you met him. you put him at a key board and he just -- he was a waror. >> he came in and gave a whole new energy to the editorial page in the sense of driving it to be a much more forceful voice. it really was an old conservatism but seemed new at the time. >> yet a very clear formula for how we communicate.
on the left there were two editorials unsigned big type strong bold ideological statements on the right-hand side of the page there were three articles they were often technical economic or social policy that was much more detail. much more detail than any other paper would allow on the editorial page. the idea is here are the arguments and here are the fabts. >> when it came to foreign policy knows neo conservatives were afraid america was going to give up the fight against communism that has been wageed by true mannequin de and johnson. george mcgovern bomber pilot turned vietnam dub in 1972. jimmy carter was one of them or so they thought. >> i thought he might be tough because he went to annapolis.
that's how dumb i was, though. i voted for him. immediately regretted it. >> we are free of the inordinate fear of communism. >> a famous speech with a for fs line on it. oo many didn't think the fear of communism was inordinate. guy getting rid of the inordinate communism on the rise in nick rog roy and an goal law and other places. >> group of us met in 19d 79 westerly all members of the coalition for democratic majority which had been formed to try to take the democratic party back from the mcgovernites. >> sober heads among us you don't see the president of the united states with a complaint, you first tell him how you appreciate what he is doing by the time we got through telling him how much we appreciated but however he was already getting little red spots on his cheeks
and he was already getting pissed off. >> the effect of that meeting was that just about every one of us left decided to vote for ronald reagan. once i had brok broken with lef was apostate. apostates are always hated even more than people born on the other side. one of the explanations was offered was that i had gone nuts literally. >> a dear friend of ours at one point took me aside not knowing how i felt about this and said out of love that he really thought that norman should be committed. how can you sustain a close friendship with someone who thinks that you are insane if you have certain ideas? >> the neo conservatives made fast friends with the intellectual neighbors with ideas adding more fuel to the conservative movement the right was ready to change history.
>> probably the most influential conservative who never became president in modern times. he attracted generations of young people to the idea that conservative economics and conservative approach to social problems could be a philosophy that serves every single person in the country. >> massachusetts comes south
carolina comes florida comes illinois. >> people weren't automatically backing ronald reagan in 1980. don't we need new faces young new faces like george wh bush some were attracted by jack kemp. i am a congressman from buffalo right on economics in a way no one else was. i was originally with jack and when he backed wro ronald reaga that changed the dynamic. >> jam kemp the former pro football player and a group of his friends went out to california in 1979 and talk to do reagan and convinced him cutting taxes across the board a 30 percent tax cut was the way to go it would not only reduce the revenue it would lead to reducing the size of government as well. it would moir popular than slashing government. >> he was so intuitive.
i remember talking about the top grade being 70 and why that was destructive of capital formation and capital investment in the economy. he said jack you don't need to tell me that. i worked in hollywood when the top tax rate was 10. >> reagan up to that point had not been pushing tax cuts. most conservatives including the national review magazi magazine never push for tax cuts because the conservative movement thought the most important thing was a balanced budget. >> had he a 90 million tax cut in 76 when asked how he would pay for it he would cut abuse and fraud. in 1980 a 30 percent tax cut. when asked how he would pay for it he said what do you mean output a totally different way he looked at the world. >> he helped shift the conservative movement from fiscal conserve tichl to pro economic growth from anti
communism to pro freedom pro democracy. that was the biggest movement of conservatives in my lifetime. >> i didn't agree with kennedy on most things when he cut taxes everyone gained from an expanding fully mroi employed economy. if i am elected we will do it again. >> we had tremendous criticism. i was called a witch doctor a dangerous river boat gambler that was just coming from republicans. >> reagan's main competitor george bush. director and u.n. ambassador hoped to get a surprise win in the first of the nation's iowa caulk tu caucus. >> he is promising to cut taxes by 30 percent balance the budget increase defense spending and stop inflation all at the same time. it just isn'ted going to work. what i call a voo doo economic policy. >> a sobering loss he avenged
after a bold moment in a high school gymnasium in new hampshire. >> turn that life boat on, please. >> i am paying for this microphone. >> the gipper sprinted to the nomination. >> the 1980 republican convention in detroit had unexpected drama. many thought reagan was too conservative to win the general election his tough talk about the soviet union made him sound like a trigger happy cowboy. the perceived liabilities he protected a stunning gamete offering the vice president see to the previous republican president the centrist gerald ford. >> the deal was the vice president would pick the secretary of state and all national security affairs would be handled within the office of the vice president. i said what do you think of that? i said i think that's the craziest dam deal i ever heard of governor. >> gerald ford wanted to be the
co president. he wanted to change the presidency. >> if i go to washington -- >> he goes on with walter cronkright and as sends to the proposition it is to be a company presidency. >> i will play a meaningful role across the board. >> reagan said i didn't say that to the television set. >> that's when he was obvious that the thing was not going to work out with president ford. >> he said who else is there? that's what he said. i said there's bush. >> i answered the phone but he wanted to talk to ambassador bush and he asked him through ron with him and said only one thing can you support my position on right to life? they were on different waiver lengths on right to life at that time. >> he can enthusiastically support the platform across the board. i have asked that george bush -- (cheers and applause) >> abortion and other social issues were important to reagan and to the legions of
evangelicals who were joining his coalition. the nominee knew election ahead would turn on issues no american could ignore. >> one part inflation, one part high unemployment, one part recession, one part run away taxes, one part deficit spending seasoned with an energy crisis. >> it is an economic stew that has turned the national stomach. >> meanwhile around the world the soviet union was on the move americans were held hostage in iran. >> they say they have had our day in the sun our nation has passed the zenith. my fellow citizens i utterly reject that view. >> ronald reagan had a well developed philosophy that is elevating and it caused people to nod and say i understand that. it was almost the opposite of president carter. >> the morning of the debate with carter in cleveland carter's two key agents said to
me we are going to kill your guy tonight our g has the facts and your guy doesn't have the facts and it's too late for him to get the facts right now. went up stairs to brief reagan. he said oh, well, we will see, won't we, dick? we did see that night. >> next tuesday all of you will go to the polls stand there in the polling place and make a decision. i think when you make that decision it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? >> that put reagan way over the top and a landslide proportions. (chanting) >> running as an unapologetic conservative he beat carter by almost 10 percent taking 44 states. >> the victory of ronald reagan in 1980 because the triumph of the conservative movement in american politics for which some of us had worked for a long, long time. >> so help me, god.
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