tv The Contenders - 16 for 16 PBS October 12, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT
election 2016 on pbs - one. - what's wrong with my running for president of this country? - i almost resent, vice president bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy. - ahh! - i'm doing this because i love you. - tomorrow night my name will go on nomination for presidency. - i will beat al gore like a drum. [cheers and applause] - i want my country back. [cheers and applause] - mr. president, you were elected to lead. you chose to follow. and now it's time for you to get out of the way. female announcer: "the contenders: 16 for '16" is made possible in part by the ford foundation,
working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide; the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build measurably better lives; the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. - he'd have a way of saying things that alienated a lot of people. - defoliation of the forest by low yield atomic weapons. - nuclear weapons to cut down trees? - we didn't have fuel for the planes. if we don't win north carolina he goes home. - we call on ronald reagan to withdraw from the presidential race. - you couldn't push ronald reagan, because he'd push right back. - i'm going to abide by the wishes of the people, not the politicians. [hip-hop music] ♪ - even today, most republicans worth their flag pins
shout out "ronald reagan" and align themselves with his brand of conservatism. back in 1964, barry goldwater-- all chiseled jaw and strong beliefs-- defined what it meant to be a conservative. goldwater sowed the seeds for ronald reagan-- then a hollywood actor-- to enter politics with a speech on the 1964 convention floor. reagan debuted his winning oratory, but the rest, as they say, is not quite history. now it's rare that two people who lost could become such influential members of their parties, but it's long been said that goldwater and reagan lost their races in 64' and 76', but won the future. [rhythmic music] ♪ - i suggest tonight that the liberal approach to america's problems has failed miserably in every sphere of activity.
[rock music] ♪ - he was really a man of the west, and the old-fashioned west. if you think of the old marlboro man, i think that's what you think of barry goldwater. he went to the university of arizona. his father died of a heart attack, and so he had to stop his education, come home, and take over the business, the goldwater department store, which was sort of the best department store in arizona. his father was jewish, his mother was an episcopalian. so the story goes that one day he walked up to the phoenix golf and country club and they all knew who barry goldwater was, and he said, "well, i'd like to play," and they said, "we're terribly sorry, we can't let you play." we don't allow jews to play here." and he paused for a second, he said, "well, i'm only half jewish, can i play nine holes?" - he was a photographer. he published about five or six photographic books.
♪ [theme music] ♪ - he was one of the first people to take a boat down the colorado river, and he filmed it, and he turned that into a short documentary. that's how he got his name well-known in arizona, because he took that around to all the movie theaters and showed it. - he was a great pilot, he loved to fly. - a kid who remembers barry goldwater landing his plane in this town and showing this film, he said, "it was as if this bronze god had swooped down from the heavens." he was an enormously charismatic figure. - after he came back from four years in the second world war, where he flew airplanes, he got into the city council. from there, he ran for the united states senate.
- what he did was to get into his plane, he would drop down into this town, jump out of it and say, "hi there, i'm barry goldwater. i wanna be your senator." - when he was in the united states senate, he went around the country and spoke a lot about his principles of conservatism-- limited government, freedom, personal responsibility. - you cannot take care of people from the cradle to the grave, and expect them to be strong, solid people and expect the republic to survive. - he loved the senate. - and why? what did he love about it? - he loved the debates, he loved the issues. he liked to influence the direction, and he was quite outspoken and quite vocal. - i didn't make that figure up. i asked you what the other check was, and you told me it was $100,000. - will you please, can i have a privilege of asking a question? - no, you can answer me yes or no on that, sir. - barry goldwater was a very intelligent man with a no-nonsense approach. not exactly blunt, but very businesslike,
direct manner, also attracted people to him as a leader. [upbeat music] ♪ - when barry goldwater entered the senate as a self-described conservative, conservatism was kind of at a low ebb as an ideology in the united states. - goldwater could see that the republican party was losing its way, that the eisenhower era was over, that the fdr great society, new deal ethos of lbj was preeminent in the united states, and that the only way the republicans were gonna really counter that was to come up with a strong alternative position. - he began constructing a simple manifesto-- political manifesto, just 120 pages or so. "the conscience of a conservative" just exploded on the political scene
in the spring of 1960-- made barry goldwater truly a spokesman for an emerging national movement, emerging political movement-- conservatism in america. - in spite of the individual points of difference, the republican platform deserves the support of every american over the blueprint for socialism presented by the democrats. [cheers and applause] - so this was a primer of individual freedom and responsibility, of free enterprise, of limited government, really of traditional american values, and finally, a strong national defense and victory over communism. - a lot of its most avid readers were young people college students, and they identified with goldwater's message. they just loved the idea of this guy saying, "you don't have to run with the pack." - that political manifesto sold 3.5 million copies.
- "the conscience of a conservative" is what conservatives think. this is the dna of who we are as conservatives and what we should be thinking about. - american politics in the middle of the 20th century was not nearly as ideological as the kind of politics we're now accustomed to. there were a lot of liberal republicans. there were a lot of conservative democrats, and barry goldwater was one of the early steps in changing that, in making the parties more philosophically consistent and ideologically polarized. - socialist-minded people have invaded the kennedy administration. those are the people i worry about. i don't worry about these so-called patriotic groups who are outside throwing rocks at the tent. i worry about the people who are inside breaking the hell out of the furniture. - who were his best friends, who were his good buddies? - john kennedy and my father were very close friends. - they were these sexy, young rakes on capitol hill,
and they enjoyed each others' company. - they served together in the senate, on the racket committee that was looking out after the teamsters and some of the shenanigans going on with the unions. both he and my father suffered from the same ailment. it was very painful. so my father would go up to the white house, and he and kennedy would both lay down on the carpet, and they both had the same doctor, and would inject them with the steroids, which gave them relief, i guess. - do you think your pop would have run against john f. kennedy if kennedy had lived? - yes, absolutely, they were planning on it. they decided that if that's gonna happen, they would tour the country together from city to city and stand up and debate each other. one airplane, one camera crew, one makeup artist. i think he would've run against him and it would have been a good fight. - who do you think would have won? - oh, no question. - [laughs] who would have won? - well, my dad, of course. [somber music] ♪
- of course, what happened next was apocalyptic. the bottom dropped out of the united states of america. john f. kennedy's assassination was experienced as a trauma we haven't seen since the civil war. - the kennedy assassination really caused barry goldwater to lose his savor for politics. he was so traumatized that he immediately backed out. - america believed itself to be a society united and at peace with itself, and the kennedy assassination was kind of experienced as this unraveling, disintegration of all the canons of decency in american politics, and barry goldwater was very suspicious that americans would want anything other than continuity after that, so he basically drops out. [funky music] ♪ - lyndon johnson was a character who people loved or hated. the assassination of jfk put lyndon johnson
in the white house. lyndon johnson knew how to run a campaign. lyndon johnson was a ruthless politician who was very, very effective. - how did your dad decide to run for president? - he was drafted. pure and simple. - it really was only a very impassioned speech by one of his friends in the senate that finally convinced him that he had to do this as his patriotic duty, that liberalism was destroying the country and he could not let it advance any further. - what happened was that young conservatives like myself got together and said, "we might be able to take over and make this republican party a conservative party." - young americans for freedom was founded and the idea was that a conservative youth group would be formed to influence the next generation of young people that were rising in the 1960s. so just as you had the well-known leftist groups on campus--students for a democratic society,
young socialists, that kind of thing-- young americans for freedom was the counterpart on the right. - the pressure was on to find a candidate, and they put the pressure on him. so as not to disappoint all those supporters, he decided that he had to run. - i want to tell you that i will seek the republican presidential nomination, and i've decided to do this because of the principles in which i believe and because i'm convinced that millions of americans share my beliefs in those principles. - when we started the goldwater for president committee, i was named the director of information. the possibility of my going to work for my hero-- and he was my hero--was almost more than i could stand, and so i jumped into it. - i've talked to all sorts of young people-- young people at the time-- who dropped everything to campaign for him. they dropped out of school, they quit their jobs, and this is the year the beatles, you know, coming to america. [all screaming]
this wacky band of young people traveling from city to city, following barry goldwater like he was some rock star. [all cheering] - the first time i was interested in politics at all, i started listening to goldwater, went out and volunteered, and even so my other high school friends did too. - i have never in all of the political years of my life seen such a fired-up grass roots movement, and ladies and gentlemen, that's what wins campaigns and that's what will beat lyndon baines johnson-- - he said, "this is gonna be a campaign of principles, not of personalities. the idea of individual freedom, free enterprise, limited government." - goldwater was ahead of his time. he was ahead of his time in that there were a lot of people who looked at goldwater's candidacy and said, "i can get behind that "as a coherent approach to an alternative to the democrats." - this is not a one-man job, and i think sometimes
in all of us, try to put too much responsibility on the president of the united states, and hang too much responsibility on our senators and on our congressmen and on our mayors and on our governors. if i become your president, don't depend upon me to do your job. your job is to help as americans. [mellow music] ♪ - frankly, goldwater wasn't the perfect candidate. he did have a way of saying things that alienated a lot of people. - senator, the news from south vietnam and indeed from all of southeast asia gets worse and worse with each passing day. - he went on one of the panel shows, abc's "issues and answers," and the host, howard k. smith, asks him, "well, how would you break the stalemate in vietnam?" - there've been several suggestions made, i don't think we would use any of them, but defoliation of the forest by low yield atomic weapons
could well be done. when you remove the foliage, you remove the cover. - this absolutely, metaphorically speaking, blew his campaign out of the water. this really cemented the idea that barry goldwater could not be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. i mean, nuclear weapons, to you know, cut down trees? - before the republican convention, his opponent was nelson rockefeller, and nelson rockefeller had just every financial and organizational resource under the sun available to him. - rockefeller did something that he obviously wanted to do but politically was not the right thing to do. he divorced his wife of some 30 years. they had four sons. within weeks married his secretary, who, to marry nelson, decided that not only would she divorce her husband, which she did, but would turn over the raising of her children
to her husband. so old-fashioned republicans got very, very stuffy about it, and rockefeller, who was ahead maybe 60/20 over goldwater, it flipped, and all of a sudden barry goldwater became the favorite. so what had seemed impossible, now seemed possible. [all cheering] - really every kind of fissure in the republican coalition is exposed, and it's really nip-and-tuck until the end when barry goldwater pulls it out, and it looks like barry goldwater has clinched the nomination. male announcer: senator barry goldwater needs 1,000 hands to receive congratulations after his victory in the california presidential primary. his victory there over new york's governor nelson rockefeller puts him close to winning the republican nomination when the convention meets in san francisco next month. - we probably had something like 50,000 volunteers working for us in california in one primary.
we were able to do that, cover the bases, get out the vote, and we won by i think it was something like 50,000, 60,000 votes. wasn't much of a margin, but it was enough, and that sealed the nomination. - now we know this won't be easy. our job is to win this election before lyndon johnson can buy it with our tax money. [applause] male announcer: congress passes the most sweeping civil rights bill ever to be written into the law. - ten days before the convention, lyndon johnson signs the civil rights act. - this civil rights act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our states, in our homes, and in our hearts to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice. - when he was in the senate, my father voted for every civil rights act that came up until 1964,
and he voted against the civil rights act of 1964, based on constitutional grounds. uh, honest interpretation. - i quite agree that it would be very unfortunate if racism comes in the campaign and if mr. goldwater tries to make people feel over this country that the civil rights issue or the bill is unconstitutional and if he tries to capitalize on the so-called white backlash, this will be tragic indeed. - i don't think he was in any way racist. i think he had progressive views on race, but the '64 civil rights law suddenly made it illegal to deny public accommodations to people because of color of their skin and to deny employment on that basis. barry goldwater had an ideological opposition to the federal government telling private individuals what they could and could not do.
- he did not believe that the federal government should be involved in this massive intervention of equal rights for african-americans. so, barry goldwater was a lone voice. people were saying, "you know what? "i see people being hosed down. "i see people being lynched in the south. "perhaps maybe i'm not for a 100% rights for african-americans, but i know that this is wrong," and so when barry goldwater says, "president johnson has overstepped here, the federal government has overstepped here," people are saying, "well, i don't know, senator goldwater, i'm not sure that's right either." - i think it wrapped an albatross of bigotry around him for the rest of his life. it gave him wounds that i'm not sure they ever healed. [upbeat music] ♪ - the republican convention in 1964, the woodstock of american conservatism. - the critique of him was that he was an extremist,
and in his convention speech, far from trying to diffuse that potent charge, he leaned into it. - i would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. and let me remind you also, that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [all cheering] - the enemies like to take and turn the words, but in reality, if you take a hard look at it, moderation is not acceptable if you want to move mountains. extremism, if you want to defend freedom, sometimes we have to go to extreme measures to do that. - it was a very defiant speech, not only laying out conservative principles but attacking the other wing of the republican party, and he didn't need to do that. - for the average american watching it at home--
remember, television is still very much coming into people's homes-- some people are saying, "you know, this is not my guy. "this is not someone that i feel comfortable with being in the white house." - in '64, goldwater was not credible enough as a national political conservative to do anything other than frighten people. - in those days, you didn't have spin doctors. all that we did was just to leave it out there hanging, and by the time we tried to catch up with it, it was too late. [birds chirping] - one, two, three, four. - the johnson campaign is the first in which the democratic candidate has a real madison avenue agency behind it. - nine-- - ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.
- these are the stakes-- to make a world in which all of god's children can live, or to go into the dark. we must either love each other or we must die. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. - so without even mentioning barry goldwater's name, president johnson pretty much says, "do you want me or do you want this trigger-happy cowboy in the white house?" - it just made my father furious, 'cause it didn't portray him correctly. it was a dishonest piece, and he called lyndon johnson and he said, "if you don't take that down, we're gonna sue the hell out of you," and it only played one time. - so you have a campaign in which the advertising is playing on fear, it's very well crafted, their targeting is very impressive, and the goldwater campaign just doesn't respond at all.
- how do you answer that? you put the senator on, he looks you in the camera and he says, "no, i'm not gonna get us into a nuclear war"? - right in the middle of the 60s, the idea of a nuclear war was seen as possible. i mean, the cuban missile crisis, all these things were very fresh in people's minds. - i think that visual of that little girl and the screen going to black and essentially saying that if you elect barry goldwater, we could end up in a nuclear confrontation with the soviet union, is really what did in his campaign. - an un-rebutted attack is an attack that will be believed. [mellow music] - and we had no debates. in the absence of debates, advertising is more powerful, because debates can become a means of holding candidates accountable for the deceptions in their ads. male announcer: he also said, "i like barry goldwater." - the senator said, "it is just like a bull fight. "you're gonna get gored. you're gonna recover.
just keep campaigning." he would not quit, he would not give up. - and here the democrats were doing something that was really duplicitous. male announcer: in a "saturday evening post" article dated august 31, 1963, barry goldwater said, "sometimes i think this country would be better off "if we could just saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea." can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people justly and fairly? - that was a joke. that was goldwater saying to the rockefeller republicans-- the moderate republicans-- "i think you're too moderate to be part of the party." but it was meant lightly. goldwater had a good sense of humor, and they exploited it by taking the humor out of the statements, having a serious announcer read them, and then dramatizing them. - cardinal rule in politics is don't let your opponent define who you are, and johnson did a pretty good job of that.
my father allowed it to happen. - to serve, protect, and defend. - lyndon johnson won it in 1964. it was the greatest landslide in history. so he top his hero, fdr, in 1936. - barry goldwater only wins six states. he barely wins arizona, but all the other states, all these southern states that republicans have never won before, he wins 87% of the vote in mississippi, and this is an absolute watershed in american politics. republicans have been reborn as the party of conservatism, whereas before they've been quite a plural party. this is the biggest transformation of the presidential campaign of 1964. - my father had 27 million votes. he was proud of that. of course he didn't like to lose, but he was a realist, he understood why it happened and why he didn't win.
- 27 million people voted for what-- basically for an idea, so you can build a pretty doggone good movement on 27 million people, and that's what we did. - in those kind of rare moments in which you get a landslide election, the important question to ask is, "how did you get people from the other party to vote for you?" one of the answers in 1964 is effective advertising. - never has a discredited, humiliated candidate like barry goldwater had more of an influence on american politics. he had a huge impact on the republican party that we're still seeing today. - one index of the lasting influence of the coalition that barry goldwater put together in 1964 is, shortly after the election, a young man from texas goes to the clerk of the house of representatives, where everyone who's donated more than $50
to a presidential campaign's name and addresses is kept on record. he brings in some temp workers, and they start scribbling down name after name after name after name. those 10,000 names and addresses are, legend has it, the foundation of every conservative mailing list for decades to come. - it is hard to think of a more consequential loser in american politics than barry goldwater. he lost his election, but he won the future. - i believe 100 years from now, future conservatives are gonna be reading "the conscience of a conservative" in its 30th printing because it still very much holds true to republican principles. - the soviet union was on the march. - reagan thought we ceded too much to them. - he should have unpacked his bag and said, "i can't go to moscow until we resolve this issue." - this totally resets the election. now it's reagan who's on offense. ford is on defense. [rhythmic music]
♪ - i believe the republican party has a platform that is a banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pale, pastel shades. [all cheering] - most politicians have one successful career, they're a politician, but reagan was a successful athlete, a successful actor, he was a successful president of the screen actors guild, he was a successful writer and commentator on radio and television. he was a successful governor of california. when he left office in 1974, the field poll had his approval rating at nearly 60% among californians, and that was '74 at a time when republicans weren't held in very high regard. - the president of the united states has been hounded by what has been called the worst political scandal in american history.
- it was tough times for the country and the republican party in 1974, '75, '76. the watergate scandal shocked the country and a lot of that was blamed on the republican party as well as nixon. - i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. - economy wasn't good. in 1974, we were basically chased out of vietnam. - and so the question arose after the 1974 elections as to whether the gop would continue to survive or if somebody, preferably reagan, would lead a third party movement. - may i suggest an alternative to that? let's have a new first party, a republican party, raising a banner instantly recognizable as standing for certain values which will not be compromised. - growing up, tampico, illinois, his mother was very christian, took him to church on sundays. his father was an alcoholic, but he sat there
and loved his father dearly. - ronald reagan would wake up in the morning and bring his father in from the porch, putting him to bed, whispering to himself, "tomorrow's gonna be a better day, and the reason why i believe that is because my father will get up and he will continue to be a bread winner for this family." - had to go to school-- eureka college-- on a scholarship for poor children because he could not afford to go to college without that scholarship. it proved one thing. you don't have to come from harvard to be president of the united states. - ronald reagan had this gift to be able to story-tell, and this was before television, and what ronald reagan used to do was actually look at the teletype coming in and actually offer play-by-plays of local high school baseball. - do i need to say anything more? - then he moves to hollywood-- acting-- because of his good looks, because of his ability to tell stories and does some pretty good b movies. - hey you're not asking me to tell you about the bees and flowers are you? - he was the king of the bs. he was a fine actor.
- okay, landon, let's talk. - but it started to dry up. he went to las vegas, became a stand-up at the el rancho hotel in las vegas. then general electric theater came along, and he got into ge theater. ge theater was canceled. and he had to figure out something to do so he kept on writing speeches. he actually did what he had to do to take care of the family. [quirky music] - in his salad days in hollywood, he was a big supporter of franklin roosevelt, he was part of hollywood for truman in 1948. took a long time for him to move from liberal democrat to conservative republican, but he changed his registration in 1963/'64, and of course in '64, reagan's national political career is launched with his half-hour speech for barry goldwater. it just electrified national politics. - i have spent most of my life as a democrat. i recently have seen fit to follow another course. i believe that the issues confronting us
cross party lines. - the speech was called "a time for choosing," and it was reagan's view of the choice that the country faced in 1964. - whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the american revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. - he put a marker down very, very early that he had the ability to talk to the american public about big issues in a way that resonated with republicans, independents, and conservative democrats. - you and i have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny. thank you very much. - almost immediately thereafter, people started talking about reagan for some type of office-- congress, senate, and then a group got together and convinced reagan to run for governor. - ronald reagan runs against a seasoned sitting governor,
wins in a landslide. people thought it was fluke. fast forward four years later. he wins again in a landslide. - i have no intention of asking californians to dig ever deeper into their pockets to pay for an unrealistic budget camouflaged by gimmicks. - ronald reagan raised taxes, signed an abortion bill, no fault divorce, and was a union leader. - he was pretty much tone deaf when it came to race relations. he wasn't very policy detailed, but a lot of social conservatives believed that this was the beginning of the good times, because it laid the groundwork if you will for a reagan presidency. - welfare as we know it in america is a colossal and almost complete failure, a hopeless end to the-- - reagan had been elected governor of the largest state in the union twice by overwhelming margins. we thought that he could be a very, very good candidate for our cause. - welcome please the former governor of california, ronald reagan. [applause] how do you balance the budget? - balancing the budget is like protecting your vir--
- you don't spend more than you take in, right. - it's like protecting your virtue, you have to learn to say no. [laughter and applause] - reagan had in mind to run in '76 to succeed richard nixon. well, we know nixon resigned and ford became president, and then ford decided to run for a term on his own, but reagan and a lot of his close advisors thought ford was weak, that he probably couldn't win the general election that year, and a lot of people were disgusted about ford's pardoning of nixon. - reagan was the conservative leader of the country. conservatives all wanted him, didn't want ford. - it's time to quit trying to organize the same old minority and start showing the new majority, every day, who has been responsible for bringing this country to the brink of economic disaster. [funky music] - reagan decided to challenge president ford, and it was clear that that would be something that i would want to be involved in, and more importantly, young americans for freedom would want to be involved in the youth campaign. - yes, we must broaden our base, but let's broaden it
the way we did in 1972, because those americans-- democrats and independents and republicans-- are still out there looking for a banner around which to rally. - in 1974, some of the people that worked for him asked me to come to california to talk to him about possibly running for president, and i did. - i am a candidate for the presidency, and to ask for the support of all americans who share my belief that our nation needs to embark on a new and constructive course. - reagan became known as the great communicator. he knew how to make an impression, both to people in person and on the screen, and he worked very hard at honing his message. - in just a few years, the vital measures of economic decay-- inflation, unemployment, and interest rates-- have more than doubled. - he was going to get tough with the soviets in negotiations. he was gonna turn the economy around. he was gonna appoint conservatives to cabinet posts.
he was gonna shrink government. he was going to restore the morale and the optimism and the esprit de corps of the american people, which had been missing since november 22, 1963. [solemn music] ♪ - apparently official, president kennedy died at 1:00p.m. central standard time. 2:00 eastern standard time, some 38 minutes ago. - we must offer progress instead of stagnation, the truth instead of promises, hope and faith instead of defeatism and despair. - his ability, at least for much of the country, to tell a story the people wanted to hear, wanted to believe, and in language that fit for them so that they could then retell it. it was a soothing narrative for them. - social security benefits, they've increased 350% in the last four decades,
but they buy 80 fewer loaves of bread. - his greatest weakness perhaps had been that he was overly conservative and might not do the right thing in the right situation. he was wandering around talking about people who made a circus out of the welfare system. - in chicago, they found a woman who holds the record. she used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, social security, veterans benefits for four nonexistent, deceased veteran's husbands, as well as welfare. her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year. - ronald reagan did a terrible job relating to african-americans-- there's no question-- because the policies that he promoted were seen as being directed towards inner cities where blacks lived. - well, we stopped talking about poor people in a negative way. he shouldn't be doing that. - reagan was a strong leader and a great candidate,
and it was a big contrast with president ford, who really had never campaigned nationally and who was more of a good guy, but a milk-toast guy. - a good share of your money, it's a paper shuffle. - the rnc was completely in gerald ford's hip pocket. - gonna win here, mr. president? - we're--we sure are. - four years. - reagan announces and he's only got the support of a few senators and a few congressmen. - are you going to win in new hampshire? - i don't know, i'm gonna try. - [laughs] - the criticisms about reagan from the ford campaign and from some democrats were that he wasn't very smart. he was a grade-b movie actor who never accomplished much. - when the chips are down, i think the people will want a proven quality rather than one who hasn't had those hard decisions to make or those difficult actions to take. - because reagan wasn't well-known on the east coast, some of that got traction. - when you vote tuesday, remember, governor reagan
couldn't start a war, president reagan could. - in new hampshire, we actually had a lead, but reagan did not campaign in new hampshire the last weekend before the tuesday primary. president ford did. female announcer: president ford has 51% of the vote, and ronald reagan--49%. female announcer: gerald ford brought with him the mystique of the presidency, while ronald reagan seems to have lost some of that movie star glamour. - the momentum went to ford, which cost us dearly in those next few states. male announcer: for ronald reagan, tomorrow could be judgment day. after losing to president ford in three straight republican primaries, reagan badly needs a victory in florida. - i expected that he even would want to get out after we lost some, 'cause he was new to this, but no, he didn't want to at all. - we the undersigned republican governors, now call on ronald reagan to withdraw from the presidential race and to with us, and all other republicans, work for the election of president ford. - you could cajole reagan, you could reason with reagan, but you couldn't push ronald reagan, because he'd push right back.
- i just received a wire from your governor, urging me, for the good of the party, to retire from the campaign, and i-- [laughter and boos] i have been thinking of replying to him and telling him that i'm going to abide by the wishes of the people, not the politicians. [applause] - well, the strategy was to go out there and win. conservative values, conservative message, really coming off of that 1964 speech, "a time for choosing," and it didn't work until he got to north carolina, and jesse helms, conservative senator from north carolina-- a god in north carolina-- saved the campaign. [upbeat music] ♪ - north carolina, we had planes on the tarmac. we didn't have fuel for the planes. if we don't win north carolina, he goes home, and you'd never hear him at the convention. but north carolina, jesse helms bucked the party and came out and endorsed my father. - i think this campaign ought to be decided on the issues,
what each candidate is for, the differences between the candidates and so forth, and that's what ronald reagan is doing. - by the time he reaches north carolina he is $2, $3 million in debt. his own campaign is in secret negotiations with ford to get out of the campaign and help reagan raise money to pay off his debt. he doesn't know this, of course. - reagan was campaigning in the state, drawing a contrast with his views and president ford's record on foreign policy and national security. negotiating the giveaway of the panama canal turned out to be a very strong issue with average republicans. - he spends 13 of 15 days in north carolina, and his refrain is on the panama canal. now, the panama canal treaties were scheduled to be turned over to the panamanian government within several years. - the panama canal zone is sovereign united states territory just as much as alaska is, as well as the states
carved from the louisiana purchase. we bought it, we paid for it, and general torrijos should be told, "we're going to keep it." - reagan is so clearly controlling the agenda that every time he mentions the panama canal, callers call the white house wanting to know why the president is giving away the panama canal. male announcer: about twice as many ships use the canal today as did before world war ii. - it was an extremely critical turning point in dealing with what we saw to be the force for evil in the world versus the force for good, which of course was the united states. - the soviet union was on the march around the world, really challenging america in third world countries, and it didn't seem that america had the strategy to deal with that. - the way we had handled the détente with the soviet union, reagan thought we ceded too much to them, and henry kissinger was sort of the symbol of that policy of appeasement.
- i was disturbed when the secretary of state uttered his strong statement to the soviet union about getting out of angola, but at the same time he kept right on packing his bag to go to moscow and talk to them about salt ii, and i said that i think if détente is to become a two-way street-- because it's a one-way street now, used by the soviet union to our disadvantage, should have unpacked his bag and said, "i can't go to moscow until we resolve this issue." - reagan is looking presidential. ford became kind of a president pratfall. he was falling down the jet ramp of air force one. he would mangle his syntax. he's portrayed on the cover of "new york" magazine as--literally as a clown, and the american people see him as kind of in over his head, and not a very good president. - i sense in the statements of henry kissinger and the decisions of gerald ford no comprehension of the grave situation in which the united states finds itself. - ford and the ford campaign expected that ford was gonna win north carolina, and reagan would retire. reagan scores one of the biggest upsets
in american political history. he defeats ford in north carolina and this totally resets the election. - i would say that it's been a tough contest. - now it's reagan who's on offense. ford is on defense. male announcer: when all the north carolina votes had been counted last night, reagan emerged with an upset-- 52% of the vote to 46% for president ford. - it drew an end to the string of ford victories and that was very important. it allowed us to continue in the race. - we had reagan do a national television appeal, and that actually raised us a million dollars, which was a lot of money back then. - there's no limit to what the american people can accomplish, but we must be given a chance, told what needs to be done, and then turned loose to do it, without any bureaucratic harassment or interference. - the race as it unfolded was sort of like a classic heavyweight title fight. he was trying to slug us, we were dancing. - in may of 1976, reagan goes ahead of ford in the delegate count.
- i would like very much to go to washington, i would be proud to have your support. i want to go there not because i believe i can perform great deeds, but because i have all the confidence in the world that you can. - i'm convinced that the reason so many democrats crossed over to vote for reagan in the '76 primaries was that reagan essentially talked like a democrat. - i could go to the convention with enough delegates in advance to win on the first ballot. - ford stages a comeback. he wins in michigan and then he upsets reagan in both tennessee and kentucky. he does worse than expected in washington state and oregon. - john came back with the strategy, we're going to have limited resources, let's try to win these states one at a time, and his strategy also always included california, which was the last state of the primaries that reagan could win. - we ran one of the first independent expenditure campaigns, which are now known as super pacs. - ronald reagan will provide the strong new leadership
that america needs. - he won the california primary by a huge margin, but got all of the delegates. [applause] - after the 30 primaries, they're tied like a wet shoelace. now it's three weeks to the convention. neither man has enough delegates to be nominated for president of the united states. [dramatic music] ♪ - the republican convention is in august of 1976, and it's a contested convention, and so the undecided delegates are going to make the decision as to who's gonna be the republican nominee. - our job is to pick one, and then all of us have to work, work, work to elect him. - we needed to pick up maybe 50 delegates who weren't with us. - what we're trying to do is everything we can in the world to get delegates to move over to my father. - they were being wined and dined by the white house. a lot of uncommitted delegates got to go to state dinners.
a couple got to meet queen elizabeth when she was visiting. - in the convention hall, you have the reagan side and you have the ford side, and there's this, like, seesaw of cheering back and forth between the reagan and the ford camps. - john sears decided we need to fight this out on a procedural basis. we thought there'd be some ford bound delegates in some states who would vote with us on a procedural issue, so we had announced our running mate 3 1/2 weeks before the convention. - then we had to make ford do the same thing, and if we forced him to name somebody, we thought that would help us. - but what it did was, tick off the north carolina senator, jesse helms, because the man that was picked, schweiker, was not a conservative. he was a liberal. - we created a way to maybe open it up and get the votes, but we didn't. - state of new york, 20 votes for an outstanding american, ronald reagan. [cheers and applause] and 133 votes for the greatest president
and the next president of the united states, gerald r. ford. [cheers and applause] - i don't think we lost any delegates in the final analysis, but when you think about it, 117 delegates losing to an incumbent president is pretty darn good. - that was a pretty close run. have we seen anything else like that? - no. - my congratulations to you. it-- it was a good fight, mom, and he won. - [laughs] - after ford's acceptance speech, he called reagan down from the audience to come down to the podium and speak. [all cheering] male announcer: the president appears to be asking ronald reagan to come down and join them. reagan is still signing autographs, and so may not even be able to see the president. - ron, would you come down and bring nancy? announcer: "would you come down and bring nancy," said the president. - and my dad leaves the booth, walking down with nancy. he looks at her, he says, "i don't know what i'm gonna say." nancy says, "oh, you'll think of something."
- i would be honored, on your behalf, to ask my good friend, governor reagan, to say a few words at this time. [all cheering] - they still thought reagan was just an actor, that he was lost without a teleprompter, and then he would contrast badly with gerald ford's acceptance speech. reagan completely upstages gerald ford. - mr. president, mrs. ford, mr. vice president, mr. vice president to be... [laughter and cheering] the distinguished guests here, and you ladies and gentlemen. i'm going to say "fellow republicans" here, but those who are watching from a distance, all those millions of democrats and independents who i know are looking for a cause around which to rally and which i believe we can give them. [all cheering] - how many times at a national convention
is there real emotion and is there real interest in what's being said at the podium? - someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to be opened in los angeles 100 years from now, and i set out to do so, riding down the coast in an automobile, looking at the blue pacific out on one side and the santa ynez mountains on the other, and i couldn't help but wonder if it was going to be that beautiful 100 years from now as it was on that summer day. - after all the hubbub and shouting, and you could hear a pin drop in there when reagan was speaking. - we carry the message they're waiting for. 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." [all cheering] - everybody was crying, everybody was cheering, you know, they were so enthusiastic. - it was reagan's heart and it set him apart. - reagan steals the show, and he's obviously won
the hearts and minds of republicans even if he hasn't won the republican nomination. - the fact that we remember reagan exclusively as a victor, and do not remember historically reagan's defeats i think is evidence of the quality of reagan's candidacies. - he came out of that convention basically with a lot of people saying, "maybe we picked the wrong guy," and then obviously, ford lost a couple of months later, so he definitely was the frontrunner from the beginning to the end of that next go-around. - reagan was an excellent candidate. he knew this role and he was able to perform it in very credible fashion, make it real. - thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming out, you do me a great honor. - nobody today calls themselves a nixon republican. nobody today calls himself a bush republican, but many if not most republicans call themselves reagan republicans. he completely resets the republican party.
- ronald reagan's dna, his ethos, part of who he is, is that america will always be better off tomorrow than it is today. - what do you know about what it takes to win the presidency? - first of all, gotta be true to yourself and who you are. anybody who met my father, will tell you you could take him at his word. if he told you something was gonna happen, it was gonna happen. if he told you he was gonna do something, he would in fact do it. - i get back to washington, and a letter arrives in the mail maybe ten days after kansas city, and it was a note from governor reagan saying, "thanks for everything that the yaf did for me, and i'm still gonna be involved and active," and i remember thinking way back then, "this old actor, he might have one more curtain call left in him, and of course there was. - good evening. i'm here tonight to announce my intention to seek the republican nomination for president of the united states.
- i don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. [laughter] i don't have any experience in gridlocked government. i don't have any experience in creating one of the most violent, crime-ridden society in the industrialized world, but i do have a lot of experience in getting things done, - and a vote for conscience, a vote for your hope, those are the votes that you need to register, not a lesser of two evils where at the end of the day you're still left with evil. when they call someone a spoiler, they're saying, "shut up!" female announcer: "the contenders: 16 for '16" is made possible in part by the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide; the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build measurably better lives; the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. election 2016 on pbs
♪ you can be a new man ♪ in new york ♪ you can be a new man ♪ new york ♪ new york ♪ just you wait ♪ alexander hamilton - hamilton's america is really like nothing you've seen before. it's the story of alexander hamilton's life, as filtered through the musical, and the journeys of the actors, and creative team that brought it to broadway. ♪ oh alexander hamilton ♪ alexander hamilton - you know alex horowitz started running a camera on me before we even knew we were going to broadway. - pretty early on i said to him, you don't know exactly what you're making. he said he wasn't sure if it was a concept album, or a show. i said, i don't care, but i'd like to start filming the process. wherever you end up, i think we've got a story here. ♪ it's the greatest city ♪ in the greatest city ♪ in the world ♪ in the greatest city in the world - we use lin, and the journey of his show as the lens through which we tell that same history
that he does in the richard rodgers theater. ♪ mr. jefferson welcome home sir - what i think you get from the film is how lin takes this history, and figures out how to make drama out of it. ♪ so what did i miss - i really hope that viewers watching this learn a lot of history. and that helps them feel even closer to hamilton, our musical. - that distant history of ours is actually not so far removed as we think. ♪ alexander hamilton ♪ alexander hamilton - this is a great way of seeing how hamilton meets the world. hamilton was a real person, and the founding of our country is an incredible story. ♪ there's a million things i haven't done ♪ but just you wait ♪ what's your name man ♪ alexander hamilton (audience cheers and applauds)
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>> tonight ofrontline, "confronting isis." correspondent martin smith takes us on an epic journey deep inside a region on fire. >> socially, economically, politically, it's a region that's going through a once-in-a-century convulgence. >> on the ground in saudi arabia, turkey, iraq, and syria. >> the strategic consequences of the war in syria are becoming almost unsustainable. >> inside a white house reluctant to send americans back to war. >> the congress would have never gone along with that. the american public would have run away. >> and struggling to manage conflicted allies. >> the saudiin