November 22nd, 2013
09:49 AM ET

Historian: Nothing makes me think LBJ tied to JFK’s death

Fareed speaks with Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian and author of Dallas, November 22, 1963, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

So you know there are people who look at where Johnson was, dead in the water.  A Life magazine article was about to come out. You describe, you know, which was an investigative story, that would have further undermined him. People look at all that and say, boy, this assassination not only made Johnson president, but saved him from what might have been a complete collapse.  I mean, is it possible that had the assassination not happened, Johnson would have been so humiliated, he would have had to resign?

Well, to answer that part of your question, Johnson himself felt that whether he had a second term or not, he was finished.  That's the word he used, "I'm finished."

And you know how we know that he really felt that way? He told several of his key aides, who, if he had further ambitions, he would have wanted to keep with him.  He said, "I'm done."

One of them was asking him, can I go to work for somebody else? He says go with him, I'm finished. So you say that Johnson really felt that his career might be over.

On the other hand, nothing that I ever found...I've been doing research on Lyndon Johnson for a lot of years.  And I have to say that nothing that I found in writing or any interviews, led me to believe that whatever the story of the assassination really is, that Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it. I never found anything that led me to believe that.

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Topics: GPS Show • Politics • United States

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. google the bush family

    George H Bush used E.H. Hunt as the hit man to murder JFK. That silly Bush family. But hey, you'll still vote for Jeb, right?

    November 22, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The often derided LBJ was perhaps better than what many of his compatriots judged him. Today he as an ardent admirer: Jesse Jacskon. He said most politicians mainly bother about the visible, the well-off, what he called "passengers on the top deck of the ship". Lyndon Johnson was said to be "an under-recognised American transformer", focused on "those in the hull of the ship."
      LBJ knew what hardship was, coming from a very poor background in Texas. He taught poor children, unlike Kennedy, who mingled with rich and famous.

      November 24, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        please read: he HAS an ardent admirer, Jesse Jackson, who said many politicians mainly bothered .....

        November 24, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  2. banasy©

    GHW Bush wasn't even in politics in 1963.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      That I know of, that is....and I don't think anyone will be voting for Jeb; the wounds his brother caused are still to fresh.

      November 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • google the bush family

      He was a director in the CIA. Learn about it.

      November 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Ah, yes. I had forgotten about that. In '76-'77.
        My point remains.

        November 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  3. rightospeak

    He is not much of a historian. What did you expect him to say , knowing that he wrote a politically correct book on LBJ ?
    Most of our historians are just lap dogs of our political system. A historian that speaks the truth usually ends up in jail, is called controversial, a conspiracy theorist.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Test

      November 23, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Word death should have a period.

      November 23, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Word think missing period as well.

      November 23, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
  4. joe anon 1

    the conspirators have their mouthers all over tv and print.

    November 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I've thought of possible conspirators that nobody has mentioned. If I had any proof, I'd probably be dead.

    November 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  6. J.A.P.S Secret Agents

    Assassination of JFK was organized and executed from *j.a.p.a.n.e.s.e. secret agents* with the simple goal to penetrate with their businesses deeper into US market.

    November 24, 2013 at 5:45 am | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      Shhhh, don't tell anyone!

      November 24, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      And try not to associate words like "penetrate" and "deeper" with the Far East. Our buddy Maersk will be jumping all over it with a mouthful.

      November 24, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
  7. hopesprings52

    You can't ask Caro, who has devoted a big chunk of his life to writing a scholarly biography of LBJ to honestly answer a question like whether LBJ was involved in the JFK killing. Such an admission would greatly diminish his work. Caro too has a stake in benignly ignoring what is right at the tip of his nose.

    November 25, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply

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