Bush Quits – May 26, 1980

There were bigger fish to fry.

There were bigger fish to fry.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio – The World Tonight – May 26, 1980 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this May 26th, 35 years ago, was about the upcoming Presidential election in November. The race was on and the candidates were dropping out. Latest to go on this day, was George Bush. Two years and some $16 million to become the Presidential candidate in 1980, it was time to call it quits – at least for the time being.

In an announcement to supporters and the media, George Bush was hanging up Presidential aspirations and throwing his support to Ronald Reagan. Acknowledging that, no matter how well he did in the upcoming primaries, it wouldn’t be enough to turn around his distant position in the polls or in delegates. He phoned Reagan to announce his support and Reagan.

Many saw this as Bush’s opportunity to get the Number 2 slot, come Convention time in July. In announcing his intentions to drop out, he didn’t quite become the former candidate. Aids said Federal Campaign laws required Bush to maintain a legal candidacy in order to keep raising money to retire some $300,000 in debts. Although Bush denied that, in order to keep vice-Presidential aspirations alive. He announced he would make no more campaign appearances, but he did not yet release his delegates, saying that he would be urging them to vote for Ronald Reagan. But by holding on to them, he guaranteed them a trip to the convention. And he guaranteed himself an opportunity to address the convention.

Meanwhile, the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was continuing with both good and bad news coming from the area most seriously affected by the volcano’s two eruptions. The Volcano was quiet and somewhat stable on this day, having had a major eruption the day before. That was the good news. The bad news was word that five hikers spotted near the volcano a few days earlier and were ordered to leave but refused. They were nowhere to be found and joined the other 75 listed as officially missing.

And that’s a small chunk of what happened on this day 35 years ago, as presented by CBS Radio’s The World Tonight on May 26, 1980.

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