Senator Mike Mansfield – Face The Nation – CBS Radio – January 13, 1973 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Fifty years ago this week, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield was the subject of a half-hour grilling by members of the press for the weekly interview program Face The Nation. The subject, as it was most weeks, was Vietnam.
Senator Mansfield opposed the war in Vietnam after his visit to that country in 1962 and it grew over the years. He referred to America’s involvement as a “Cancer on its soul” and he felt the longer it went on, the wider the divisions would grow. By 1973 it had created a deep division between President Nixon and Congress, certainly not made any better with the looming scandal of Watergate. But the war was a costly one, only in material but in human life, with some $140 billion and over 360,000 casualties of which 45,000 (and counting) were killed in combat. And as far as Mike Mansfield was concerned, the situation in Vietnam had to be ended as soon as possible. America must get out – all the way out of Southeast Asia, which would include Thailand, and get back to the problems which were of immediate importance and interest to America and its place in the world; and not acting like the world’s policemen. There was growing support from both aisles of Congress to withhold funding for the Vietnam War, based on the contention that the Nixon White House had usurped his right and did not consult Congress before doing so.
Mansfield went on to describe the mood of the 93rd Congress as disturbed, frustrated and uneasy which he attributed primarily to Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Much going on for a Sunday in January of 1973 – but it was typical of the mood and the growing resentment to the war in Vietnam both on Capitol Hill and on Main Street America.
Here is that Face The Nation episode as it was broadcast on January 13, 1973.
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