1968 Republican National Convention

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1968 Republican National Convention
1968 Presidential Election
Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg Spiro Agnew.jpg
Nixon and Agnew
Date(s) August 5 - August 8
City Miami Beach, Florida
Venue Miami Beach Convention Center
Keynote speaker Daniel J. Evans
Presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon of California
Vice Presidential nominee Spiro T. Agnew of Maryland
1964  ·  1972

The 1968 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Dade County, Florida, from August 5 to August 8, 1968.

Nixon supporters at the Convention.

Richard M. Nixon, former Vice President of the United States under 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower, emerged as the frontrunner again (eight years previously Republican Party nominee from the 1960 Republican National Convention in the 1960 presidential election versus Democratic Party candidate and elected 35th President John F. Kennedy) for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. The so-called "New Nixon" in the 1968 presidential election, had devised a "Southern Strategy" taking advantage of anti-integration and progressive/liberal policies of the national Democratic Party and the administration of incumbent 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson in which he had help from southern "right-wing" conservatives such as South Carolina's Senator Strom Thurmond, (future transplant to the Republican Party and former segregationist, right-wing presidential candidate who two decades before had earlier led the southern convention delegates in a walk-out from the 1948 Democratic National Convention, later forming the "Dixiecrat" Party of Southern Democrats who later met in a "split-party" convention. Thurmond later became nominal presidential candidate/nominee himself during the Presidential Election of 1948) against the adopted civil rights plank in the party platform with successful re-elected nominee, incumbent 33rd President Harry S Truman). U.S. House of Representatives House Minority Leader, Gerald R. Ford of Michigan, (future second Vice President under Nixon and successor as 38th President of the United States in August 1974, when Nixon resigns), proposed New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay for Vice President, but Nixon turned instead to another perceived moderate, Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew, who had earlier placed Nixon's name in nomination at the Convention Agnew, former Baltimore County Executive in the Baltimore City suburbs (1963-1967), and since Governor of Maryland, had come to Republican leaders and Nixon's attention when he summoned several then Black and Negro civic, religious and political leaders in Baltimore City to the local State Office Building complex following the disastrous April 1968 urban riots which enveloped Black sections of East and West Baltimore, along with the rest of the nation after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Agnew's biting comments caused many in the audience to walk out and were reprinted in the local newspapers and copied across the riot-torn country, complaining of their lack of support after a number of what he perceived to be positive projects, programs and support by his Republican administration for the minority communities in the City.

Nixon was nominated on the first ballot with 692 votes to 277 votes for Nelson Rockefeller, 182 votes for California Governor Ronald Reagan and the rest scattered. In his acceptance speech he deplored the state of the union: "When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world can't manage its own economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented racial violence, when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home, then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America". He also said that he had "a good teacher", referring to Eisenhower, and made the delegates happy with the statement "Let's win this one for Ike!" Eisenhower was not present during Nixon's speech nor during any part of the Convention. Because of his health, he was under doctor's orders not to travel. He died the following March.

Balloting for the nominations before the GOP Convention[edit]

The Republican Convention Talley
President (before switches) (after switches) Vice President
Richard M. Nixon 692 1238 Spiro T. Agnew 1119
Nelson Rockefeller 277 93 George Romney 186
Ronald Reagan 182 2 John V. Lindsay 10
Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes 55 Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke 1
Michigan Governor George Romney 50 James A. Rhodes 1
New Jersey Senator Clifford Case 22 Not Voting 16
Kansas Senator Frank Carlson 20
Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller 18 -
Hawaii Senator Hiram Fong 14 - -
Harold Stassen 2
New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay 1 -

See also[edit]

Preceded by
San Francisco, California
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Miami Beach, Florida