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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
FRSFreeStatePlus: CBS News 1976 GOP Convention Coverage: GOP Split Down The Middle
The highlight of this 1976 GOP Convention to me was not Ron Reagan speaking to his supporters and the rest of the RNC. To calm the RNC down so they could move on with the business of the Convention but was President Gerry Ford's acceptance speech, it was a real Conservative Republican speech. Where he highlighted all of his veto's that he had as President and what he called a Tax and Spend Democratic Congress, in an era of high budget deficits and what he saw as Tax and Spend Democrats. It was a speech that was not only designed to speak to his supporters but also address the Reagan supporters as well. The GOP was a party that was basically divided between two groups of Conservatives, the Ford Conservatives and the Reagan Conservatives and they essentially couldn't make up their mind in who to endorse. But they weren't divided ideologically but on personality, who was best fit to lead the Republican Party and the United States. Even though both Ford and Reagan were pretty close ideologically, they both believed in strong defense, cutting taxes. Cutting the size of the Federal Government, both were close on Social Issues and not fans of the Religious Right but were different people personally.
The Republican Party lost the 1976 Republican Convention and failed to make advancements in Congress. Because they were split down the middle between two people and who they should choose to lead their party, it wasn't so much that they were split ideologically like the Democrats in 1980. But who was the person who was the most qualified to lead the Republican Party personally and they paid a heavy price for it politically in 1976. As they lost one of the closest Presidential Elections in American History, an Election they should've won had they been united.