JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1851RONALD REAGAN'S GREAT MICROPHONE MOMENT
Nashua, New Hampshire (JFK+50) On this the 105th anniversary of the birth of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, and on the eve of the 2016 New Hampshire Republican primary, some are recalling what has been termed "the microphone moment" of the campaign of 1980.
Governor Reagan had been invited to a debate with George H.W. Bush sponsored by the Nashua Telegraph but concerns that the Federal Election Commission would rule it illegal as a campaign contribution led Reagan to offer to pay for the full cost of the debate himself. The Governor not only did so, he invited other Republican candidates to take part in the debate.
The Telegraph and the Bush campaign did not want the other candidates to be included so when Mr. Reagan appeared on stage with them and attempted to speak, the editor of the Telegraph told his audio technician to turn off Reagan's microphone.
Before that could be done, Ronald Reagan turned to the editor with a look of anger and said..."I paid for this microphone, Mr. Green!" The Editor's name was actually Jon Breen.
Ronald Reagan later said..."I may have won the debate, the primary, and the nomination right there."
The results of the Republican New Hampshire Primary held on February 26, 1980, were...
Ronald Reagan 50%
George H.W. Bush 23%
Howard Baker 13%
John Anderson 10%
"Reagan's Microphone Moment," Presidential Debate Moments, by Dave Roos, www.people.howstuffworks.com/
Reagan-Bush Nashua Debate
Reagan Library Photo (1980)