New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller speaks on extremism at the 1964 Republican National Convention, San Francisco, CA

Nelson Rockefeller, 14/07/1964

Category: Republican Speeches

Rockefeller:

During this year I have criss-crossed this nation fighting--to keep the Republican party the party of all the people and warning of the extremist threat, its a danger to the party. [Some in crowd cheer; most boo.] Thank you; Thank you.

[After a swelling chorus of boos, the Chairman of the Republican Party walks up to the podium, talks to Rockefeller and then bangs his gavel demanding order.]

Chair:

The Chair must ask for order. We are not going to have several speakers here on various amendments, we must proceed in an orderly manner. It's only, its only fair and right for all concerned.

Rockefeller:

--Its danger to the party and its danger to the nation. The methods of these extremist elements, I have experienced first hand. [Crowd boos.] That's right. Their tactics have ranged from cancellation by coercion of a speaking engagement before a college to outright threats of personal violence.

[The Chairman once again mounts the podium; speaks into Rockefeller's ear. Rockefeller then speaks into the microphone.]

Rockefeller:

It's not my fault, I do not control the audience. [Crowd boos.] I've got five minutes worth. You control the audience and I'll make mine five minutes.

Chair:

The Governor is entitled to be heard for five minutes. Now he can't be heard for five minutes if we are going to have these constant interruptions.

Rockefeller:

Thank you, thank you Mr. Chairman. [Crowd boos.]

This is still a free country ladies and gentlemen. [Crowd boos.] These things, ladies and gentlemen have no place in America, but I can personally testify to their existence. And, so can countless others who have also experienced anonymous mid-night and early morning telephone calls. That's right. [Crowd boos.] Unsigned and threatening letters. Smear and hate literature, strong-arm goon tactics, bomb threats and bombings. Infiltration and takeover of established political organizations by Communist and Nazi methods! [Crowd boos.]

Some of you don't like to hear it ladies and gentlemen, but it's the truth. These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror...There is no place in this Republican party...for such hawkers of hate, such purveyors of prejudice, such fabricators of fear. [Crowd boos.] Whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Birchers! [Crowd boos and begins continuous cheer of "We want Barry!] There is no place in this Republican Party for those who would infiltrate its ranks, distort its aims and convert it into a cloak of apparent respectability for a dangerous extremism. And make no mistake about it, the hidden members of the John Birch Society and other like them are out to do just that.

Chair:

Your time, Mr. Rockefeller, has expired.