Friday, September 15, 2023

the last book I ever read (Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977, excerpt eleven)

from Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977 by Douglas Brinkley:

Decades later, Ford still bristled about Reagan’s decision to challenge him in 1976. To Ford, that action made a hypocrisy out of Reagan’s famous Eleventh Commandment. “A Republican should never criticize another Republican.” Even though Ford insisted he didn’t hold a grudge against Reagan, he clearly did. “I have never publicly criticized Reagan for what he did,” Ford recalled. “I can tell you I was shocked when he called me in November of ’75 and said he was going to run. I thought, ‘What a low-down stunt.’ Really burned the hell out of me. I thought I had done a good job and I thought a Reagan challenge would make it more difficult if I won [the nomination], to win the general election. What also irritated me, after I beat him in Kansas City—and I’m the only person who ever beat him in a political race, he never lost another—was that he snubbed me. Put his nose up in the air. After I had defeated him, he only made one appearance on my behalf. And that was at a Republican dinner in Los Angeles, I think. He endorsed me. But in a lukewarm way. There was no question in my mind that if he had campaigned for me in Mississippi, Wisconsin and Missouri, I could have beat Carter. Three or four states were lost by one or two percent. He just wasn’t a party player that year. It was all about himself.”

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