Ronald Reagan Announces Candidacy for 1968 Presidential Nomination

The 1968 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Dade County, Florida, from August 5 to August 8, 1968.

Richard M. Nixon, former Vice President of the United States under Dwight D. Eisenhower, emerged as the frontrunner for the 1968 Republican Presidential nomination. The "new Nixon" had devised a "Southern Strategy" in which he had help from southern conservatives like South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. House Minority Leader Gerald Ford proposed New York City Mayor John Lindsay for Vice President but Nixon turned to another man, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, who placed Nixon's name in nomination at the convention.

Nixon was nominated on the first ballot with 692 votes to 277 votes for Nelson Rockefeller, 182 votes for California Governor Ronald Reagan and the rest scattered. In his acceptance speech he deplored the state of the union: "When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world can't manage its own economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented racial violence, when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home, then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America." He also said that he had "a good teacher," referring to Eisenhower, and made the delegates happy with the statement "Let's win this one for Ike!" Eisenhower was not present during Nixon's speech nor during any part of the Convention. Because of his health, he was under doctor's orders not to travel. He died the following March.

The Platform

The 1968 GOP party platform was cautious. It promised peace in Vietnam without "peace at any price" or "a camouflaged surrender of U.S or Allied interests," it called for a solution to the "crisis of the cities" with a major role for free enterprise and advocated "law and order" through the allocation of funds