George H.W. Bush 1990 - 1991 The Sweep of History

Episode 216 JIMMY CARTER (Part 26) John Connally and the potential October Surprise (Show 4, Iranian Hostage Crisis)

August 03, 2023 Randal Wallace Season 10 Episode 216
George H.W. Bush 1990 - 1991 The Sweep of History
Episode 216 JIMMY CARTER (Part 26) John Connally and the potential October Surprise (Show 4, Iranian Hostage Crisis)
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Texas Governor and Nixon Administration Treasury Secretary John Connally has emerged in recent days as a possible player in activity that has long been alleged to have gone on between the campaign of Ronald Reagan and the Iranian Government.  The rumor of an October surprise has been out there for years but no one could quite ever tie the entire thing together. 

However, just this year, after President Carter was admitted into Hospice Care, a former Texas Speaker of the House, and well known political player named Bill Barnes, a protege to John Connally, stepped forward with a tale that captivated the nation.  That his mentor, John Connally, had traveled around the Middle East and tried to broker a deal between the Islamic militants that were holding our hostages in Tehran and the Reagan Campaign manager who was himself a former spy and would later become the CIA chief Bill Casey.  Could it be true? 

While no evidence exists that ties Ronald Reagan to any of this activity personally, no one seems to be willing to defend Bill Casey. John Connally's name never surfaced in two separate investigations of these allegations. But it is hard not to take Bill Barnes seriously because he is a credible political figure in a way the late Anna Chennault was not when accusations arose about the 1968 election. 

In this episode, we will look at the life of John Connally, his influence over two United States Presidents, his place in history as a passenger in the car with John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas, and finally the embarrassing political situation he found himself in after a disastrous run for the White House in his own right earlier in the 1980 election cycle.  Which could explain how a man of such stature could have gotten himself involved in skullduggery like this accusation belies.  Did John Connally really attempt to cut a deal with Iranians on behalf of the Reagan campaign?  While it sounds improbable, it is a story that has a credible witness and certainly it happened at a moment when a man who had been one of the most influential figures in America had suddenly found himself on his way to political irrelevancy. 


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John Connally for President ad with Strom Thurmond R- SC
Music Intro
American Experience segment from "LBJ" LBJ and Unity Kennedy vs Johnson
Phone call between John F. Kennedy and John Connally on November 7, 1962 after the election
Coverage of the visit of John F. Kennedy to Dallas , Texas on November 22, 1963
Nellie and John Connally interview on the assassination of John Kennedy with NBC News and Brian Gumble
C-Span interview with Governor John Connally on the assassination of John Kennedy
Host Randal Wallace discusses the Kennedy Assassination, who John Connally was and his connection to Lyndon Johnson
end of a call between John Connally and President Lyndon Johnson on July 23, 1964
Host Randal Wallace points out that Connally was a Democrat for most of his career
News coverage of John Connally endorsing Richard Nixon
John Cnnally Treasury secretary discusses McGovern fiscal policies
John Connally announces the formation of Democrats for Nixon in 1972
John Connally officially joins the Republican Party
Phone call between Richard Nixon and John Connally
John Connally talking for Richard Nixon 1972
John Connally discussed becoming a candidate for President 1975 - 1980
Crossfire with Pat Buchanan with John Connally
Host Randal Wallace discusses the new accusation about the October surprise of 1980 when Connally allegedly was involved in a plot to keep the hostages held until after the 1980 election
MSNBC "Morning Joe " segment with Peter Baker, Chris Matthews, " One man's story of sabotaging Jimmy Carter Reelection bid"
Host Randal Wallace asks questions of the story and then introduces Ben Barnes to the audience and his relationship to Connelly
Ben Barnes recollects how he became the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and his relationship to John Connelly
Host Randal Wallace addresses what was happeneing in John Connelly's career in the 1980 time period
Strom Thurmond ad for John Connelly for President
John Connelly for President ad
Host Randal Wallace talks about how Connelly was blown out of the 1980 race only winning one delegate
PBS Expert analysis of new account of GOP deal that used Iran hostage crisis for political gain
Host Randal Wallace offers up his own opinion of the story concerning John Connelly
Closing music