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THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Washington, D. C.
April 26, 1974
This is the third time that one Republican National Committee or another has had Dean Burch to contend with -- which says more about the Committee's endurance than its instinct for self-preservation. The first time we met, I walked out of the room as your new Chairman, and a few months later the Republican Party took its worst shellacking of the century. The second time I walked away unemployed, and the Party promptly pulled up its socks and began to rebuild. From that point on, it's been mostly roses.
A lot of people were involved in that rebuilding job, and many of them are in this room today Ray Bliss, for example, and such consummate political pros as AB Hermann and Jo Good. And while they were tending the store, there was another consummate pro out on the hustings, establishing and re-establishing his credentials as a prime architect of our Party.
That fulltime Party loyalist was Richard Nixon of course. I would simply submit to you that his powers of regeneration and his skills of leadership are in superb working condition, and I'd remind you that wherever and whenever we needed him most any time, any place, to charge up the faithful or to convince the undecided he has always been right there. It's time, I think, to return loyalty for loyalty.
For myself, I want all of you to know how sweet it is to be back in political harness again after four years of forced nonpartisanship as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. And I want to reas sure George Bush that I am not muscling into his territory. One of my assignments is to maintain White House liaison with this Committee, with Bob Michel's on the House side and Bill Brock's in the Senate, and with the Party generally. But the organization has never been in abler or more experienced hands. My job will be to help as best I can, and to make sure that my boss knows how the troops are doing and what's going on in the trenches and vice versa. I'm going to be available.
Talking about the Republican Party as if it consisted of three national committees, of course, is to turn the political process on its head. This year we have a House of Representatives to elect, and one-third of the Senate. But there are also 37 governorships at stake -- 14 of them with Republican incumbents -- and literally thousands of other State and county and local offices to be filled. Not a one of these offices can be conceded to the Democrats. Every one of them is essential to good and effective goverament. And winning our share is the ultimate measure of our Party's strength which is another way of saying that you can never build an enduring Republican majority from the top down.
Every member of the RNC knows this. If you didn't you'd never have gotten here in the first place, and you wouldn't hold your jobs very long. I'm really reminding myself, and everyone who operates at the national level, that political reality does not begin with each morning's Washington Post and end with the CBS Evening News. "Liberal chic" is not where this country's at, and it does not represent the convictions of the nascent Republican majority.
I deeply believe that the convictions of most Americans are indistinguishable from the principles of our Party and from the programs and policies of this Republican Administration. I'm not going to play chicken-and-egg they're simply indistinguishable. By the same token, I submit to you that Richard Nixon is our President and the leader of our Party, and that these two roles are indistinguishable: our hopes and our goals and our fortunes are as one. His record of accomplishment is our record.. And I say this with intense pride -- it is a record solidly based in Republican principle. The President's record is a platform for Republican candidates. to grab hold of and to run on.
Clearly, the Republican Party did not invent peace. But the fact remains,
this Republican President did inherit the bngest war in our country's history -- and he brought that war to an end. He ended it with honor,-honor to the men who fought there, and to those who died there, and with honor to our POW's who came home with heads high.
And this is but one foundation stone. President Nixon is building a
On the domestic side, if I had to put a single conceptual stamp on the
The New Federalism is not just a slogan, and Revenue Sharing is no gimmick. They go to the heart of scores of Administration proposals most of them gathering dust in Congress I might add -- that would represent a virtual revolution in American government and a return to first principles. They would spell an end to the discredited notion that unmet needs and unresolved problems will just go away if we throw enough Federal dollars at them.
The thrust of both the New Federalism and of Revenue Sharing is reliance
Does this mean that every Republican candidate in every race in every State and every Congressional District has to embrace every element of the Nixon record? No, of course not. There is room within the four walls of Republicanism for local variations and for differences of emphasis. It does mean that the President's programs and leadership, and his preeminence in the councils
of the world, are incomparable strengths. And it means that our candidates can run as Nixon Republicans and they can win as Nixon Republicans.
Let me be very candid about this. It would be fatuous to stand here and simply disregard the currents of discontent that also are running wherever Republican gather. There are such currents, and they have to be faced. I don't have any perfect answers for you just some thoughts for your consideration.