|1964 presidential election|
|Date(s)||July 13–16, 1964|
|City||Daly City, California|
|Chair||Thruston Ballard Morton|
|Notable speakers||Richard M. Nixon|
|Presidential nominee||Barry Goldwater of Arizona|
|Vice presidential nominee||William E. Miller of New York|
|Other candidates||Nelson Rockefeller|
|Votes needed for nomination||655|
|Results (president)||Goldwater (AZ): 883 (67.50%)|
Scranton (PA): 214 (16.36%)
Rockefeller (NY): 114 (8.72%)
|Results (vice president)||Miller (NY): 100% (Roll call)|
The 1964 Republican National Convention took place in the Cow Palace, Daly City, California, from July 13 to July 16, 1964. Before 1964, there had been only one national Republican convention on the West Coast, the 1956 Republican National Convention, which also took place in the Cow Palace. Many believed that a convention at San Francisco indicated the rising power of the Republican Party in the west.
The Republican primaries of 1964 featured liberal Nelson Rockefeller of New York and conservative Barry Goldwater of Arizona as the two leading candidates. Shortly before the California primary, Rockefeller's wife, whom he had married the previous year after divorcing his first wife, gave birth. This event drew renewed attention to Rockefeller's family life, which hurt his popularity among conservatives. Rockefeller's divorce and remarriage were viewed by many observers as helping Goldwater win the primary. An anti-Goldwater organization called for the nomination of former Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania, but the effort failed. Although former President Dwight Eisenhower only reluctantly supported Goldwater after he won the nomination, former President Herbert Hoover gave him enthusiastic endorsement. By the end of the primaries, Goldwater's nomination was secure.
Senator Margaret Chase Smith's name was entered for nomination at the Convention, the first time a woman's name was entered for nomination at a major party convention.
The Republican National Convention of 1964 was a tension-filled contest. Goldwater's conservatives were openly clashing with Rockefeller's moderates. Goldwater was regarded as the "conservatives' leading spokesman." As a result, Goldwater was not as popular with the moderates and liberals of the Republican Party. When Rockefeller attempted to deliver a speech, he was booed by the convention's conservative delegates, who regarded him as a member of the "eastern liberal establishment." Despite the infighting, Goldwater was easily nominated. He chose William E. Miller, a Representative from New York and former chair of the Republican National Committee, as his running mate. In his acceptance speech, he declared communism as a "principal disturber of the peace in the world today" and said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Some people, including those within his own campaign staff, believed this weakened Goldwater's chances, as he effectively severed ties with the moderates and liberals of the Republican Party.
Former vice president and GOP presidential nominee (and future President) Richard Nixon introduced the Arizonan as "Mr. Conservative" and "Mr. Republican" and he continued that "he is the man who, after the greatest campaign in history, will be Mr. President — Barry Goldwater". 1964 was the only Republican convention between 1952 and 1972 that did not result in Nixon being nominated for President or Vice-President.
As delegates celebrated Goldwater's nomination, Republican officials attempted clear reporters from the convention floor. NBC reporter John Chancellor refused to leave and was escorted from the convention by police officers, leading to his famous signoff, "This is John Chancellor, somewhere in custody!" According to Emmy award-winning television journalist, Belva Davis, she and another black reporter were chased out of the convention by attendees yelling racial slurs.
The newly-opened San Francisco Hilton served as the headquarters of the convention.
The 1964 Republican Platform was dominated by Goldwater conservatives, which meant the platform was dominated by calls for limited government, condemnations of the Kennedy and Johnson foreign and domestic policy, calls for more open space for free enterprise, a hard-line against Communist North Vietnam, calls for reform of the United Nations, a staunch support of NATO, calls for lower taxes, a hard line against international Communism, and an accusation that the Kennedy Administration was guilty of Munich-like appeasement for having opened a hotline with the Soviet Union and not with American allies.
The roll call vote of the states was as follows, as reported by the New York Times:
|District of Columbia||4||5|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||3|
William E. Miller, a Representative from Western New York who had served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee since 1961, was nominated unanimously on a roll call vote. Goldwater stated that he chose Miller to be his running mate simply because "he drives Johnson nuts" with his Republican activism. But by some other accounts, Johnson "was barely aware of Miller's existence." Miller's Eastern roots and Catholic faith balanced the ticket in some ways, however ideologically he was conservative like Goldwater. His relative obscurity—"he was better known for snipes at President Kennedy than for anything else"—gave birth to the refrain "Here's a riddle, it's a killer / Who the hell is William Miller?"
He was replaced as Chairman of the RNC by Dean Burch, a Goldwater loyalist from Arizona.