Thursday, January 26, 2012
1968: ROMNEY BLASTS NIXON ON VIETNAM
The "Citadel", Hue City, Tet, 1968
Reading Eagle, Feb 16, 1968
Dick Nixon has LBJ Plan
HUE CITY, RVN (UPI)--Michigan Gov. George Romney's New Hampshire campaign strategy was shaping up today as an effort to pin an LBJ brand on GOP presidential candidate Richard Nixon's Vietnam stance.
The war has become the issue of major contrast between the two Republican hopefuls in the early weeks of the primary contest and yesterday Romney criticized the former vice president for what he said was Nixon's failure to propose alternatives to President Johnson's policy.
"Sadly, he evades suggesting what to do about our present dilemma in Vietnam," Romney told a Bedford, N.H. news conference. "He only offers more of the same. It is truly ironic that Mr. Nixon has become a me-too candidate on Vietnam.
It was Romney's first attack on Nixon and the governor's campaign statements of late evidenced careful preparation of the issue.
Romney renewed in speeches across the state his own proposal to attack the Vietnam problem by working toward the gradual "neutralization" of all Southeast Asia.
Nixon, sticking to the theme that aggression must not be allowed to succeed in Vietnam, told a Boston audience it was "vitally important that we not compromise on the principle of resisting aggression abroad because any aggression now runs the risk of escalating into global destruction."
The "me too" issue arose in Nixon's 1960 try for the presidency. Advisers told him he was hurting his campaign by not offering foreign policy proposals that differed distinctly from those of his opponent, John F. Kennedy.
Romney is still the acknowledged GOP underdog in New Hampshire and aides have said he needs a strong issue to help his campaign catch fire.