Quote of the Day
“We are in real danger of being out-organized by a small number of highly motivated right wing nuts.”
-- from a Pres. Ford campaign memo written about the Reagan camp shortly after Gov. Ronald Reagan's landslide victory (66% to 33%) in the 1976 Texas primary—the greatest defeat ever for a sitting president according to author Rick Perlstein in his book, “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.”
Some of the groups who were funding Reagan at this juncture, and in the future, included the following:
- George Wallace’s old American Independence Party
- The National Conservative Political Action Committee
- The National Right to Work Committee
- The American Medical Association’s PAC
- The NRA
- The American Conservative Union
- The Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress
- The Heritage Foundation.
“Many of the members of these groups are not loyal Republicans or Democrats,“ the memo also noted. ”They are alienated from both parties because neither takes a sympathetic view toward their issues. Particularly those groups controlled by Vigurie [sic] hold a ‘rule or ruin’ attitude toward the GOP.” Perlstein then lambasts the Republican establishment, who didn't even know enough in 1976 to spell Richard Viguerie's name correctly.
Read the book.