Politically and ideologically Richard Nixon would be called what we call a Northeastern Republican today at least on social issues and even as it related to the safety net. He wasn't against the safety net, but didn't want it running people's lives for them and believe mentally and able body people who could work should be required to work. Even though he was from California and lived there, or at least had a home there his whole life he was ideologically very similar to a New York or New England Republican on those issues.
People like to call Dick Nixon a Centrist or perhaps even a Progressive or Liberal today. But the fact was he wasn't crazy about big government in our economic or personal lives. (Unless he felt it benefited him politically, IE Watergate and other snooping operations) He was a true Federalist when it came to economic issues and the safety net at least. Believed in a strong national defense and was a Conservative Internationalist on foreign policy. Law and order, I mean he had serious traditional Conservative Republican leanings, but wasn't as far to the Right as the Tea Party or even Ronald Reagan.
CBS News: Richard Nixon- Face The Nation, 1968