Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks to Reporters Following a Meeting With the Vice President-Elect

November 20, 1968

I think you know that following the Republican Convention I asked the Republican nominee for President, Mr. Nixon, and Governor Agnew, the nominee for Vice President, to come by the ranch.

I reviewed with them some of our problems in government and some of the critical situations that the country faces. I gave them a general briefing as I had done with the Vice President and Mr. Muskie before that.

Following the election, I arranged for the President-elect to come here and spend some time and to review some of these problems. I asked Governor Agnew to come at his convenience, about the same time. He told me that he would like to do that and would let me know some day that would be mutually convenient to us. He had worked that out with my Appointments Secretary, Mr. Jones, and we set 5:30 today.

We have gone through some of the offices and I have introduced him to my principal assistants and described their duties.

I have reviewed the areas of the world where we have problems, of course: Vietnam in some detail, Paris negotiations, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the monetary conference that is taking place today in Bonn, and other matters.

Governor Agnew has asked some questions and pursued some of these areas by asking for a little further information which I have tried to give him.

At the conclusion of our general briefing, I talked to him about my experiences as Vice President and the time I was privileged to serve in that office. I told him the things I liked about it and the things I didn't like about it. I assured the Governor that Mrs. Johnson and I wanted to be as helpful as we could to both him and Mrs. Agnew and to members of their staff, because many things are expected of the Vice President and his lines of authority and responsibilities and duties are not always clearly seen or appreciated by many of us. It is a very high and responsible office.

In recent years, it has taken on many more duties. We want to do anything we can to help in the transition and help afterwards.

As a Governor, Governor Agnew was active in meetings with the President and was my personal appointee on the Intergovernment Relations Commission as one of the Republican Governors. He cooperated fully and always had the national interest in mind.

We have a very friendly relationship and I want to see that continue through the years.

We have a meeting with the veterans organizations this afternoon, which you all will want to attend, and I have asked the Governor to join us if he can spare a few moments from other engagements which he has.

That is about the extent of our meeting. That covers, I think, everything we have talked about. I have assured him that Governor Daniel, the Secretary of State, who talks to Governor Agnew at times, whenever he chooses to call him, and Secretary Clifford will be available to him to give him any information he wants.

I brought him up to date on our briefings with Mr. Murphy. I told him how pleased we were that Mr. Murphy was here and how well he is fitting in with the American team, the Government, at this time. He is being helpful to us, and helpful to you. I reviewed what he was doing and brought him up to date. Governor, would you like to say something?

[At this point Governor Agnew responded briefly. Following his remarks the President resumed speaking.]

President Kennedy gave me an opportunity, I think, to carry some additional work when I was Vice President, which I appreciated very much. I tried to do the same thing with Vice President Humphrey.

No man ever gave a President more help or cooperated better than my Vice President I know from what President-elect Nixon has said and having been Vice President himself, he will understand that the office and all we want to do is to help both the President and the Vice President to be brought up to date on what we are doing and what the Nation is doing and what problems they will have--and they will have many of them.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:25 p.m. in his office at the White House following a meeting with Vice President-elect Spiro T. Agnew, Governor of Maryland. During his remarks the president referred to President-elect Richard M. Nixon, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, Democratic presidential candidate in the 1968 election, Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine, Democratic vice presidential candidate, James R. Jones, Special Assistant to the President, former Governor Price Daniel of Texas, Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness, and Presidential liaison representative to the Governors, Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, Clark M. Clifford, Secretary of Defense, and Robert D. Murphy, President-elect Nixon's foreign policy liaison representative to the Johnson administration.

The remarks of Governor Agnew are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 4, p. 1622).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks to Reporters Following a Meeting With the Vice President-Elect Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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