Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “The Wallace Crusade”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on January 24, 1968, uploaded to YouTube on August 13, 2010.

Guest: George Wallace


Mr. Buckley had sharply criticized Mr. Wallace in print, both for his once-adamant attachment to segregation and for his New Deal statism, and Mr. Wallace came on Firing Line determined not to give an inch. Wallace: “Name one thing in Alabama that I have supported on the governmental level that you are against.” Buckley: “You want the state to take care of hospitalization, you want the state to take care of old people, you want the state to take care of the poor.” Wallace: “Are you against caring for the poor and the old? . . . I might say that no conservative in this country who comes out against looking after destitute elderly people ought to be elected to anything.” Buckley: “You call yourself a populist, right?” Wallace: “If you mean by a populist a man of the people, yes, I’m a populist. Let’s get back to the old-age pension. Let’s see, you’re against Alabama’s looking after the elderly destitute citizens of the state?” (The following month, Mr. Wallace would declare his third-party candidacy for President.)