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Donald Rumsfeld on Welfare & Poverty

Secretary of Defense (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


1969: "Justice for the poor" as head of anti-poverty agency

When Lyndon Johnson established the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1964, Rumsfeld was stepping into a potentially poisonous situation, taking over an agency that had been created by the Democrats.

Nevertheless, within a few months Rumsfeld also quickly became a staunch and surprisingly tough advocate for the antipoverty agency.

In a speech to the National Press Club seven months after taking charge of the OEO, Rumsfeld even defended the concept of federally funded legal services, saying that "justice for the poor" was part of his agency's missions. By this point Rumsfeld was beginning to be viewed as a rare moderate, even progressive voice within the Nixon administration.

Source: Rise of the Vulcans, by James Mann, p. 12-13 , Sep 7, 2004

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Page last updated: Mar 13, 2014