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Don’t Be Too Hard On Senator Romney… Representative John Ashbrook Called for President Nixon’s Resignation

Ashbrook ran in the early 1972 primaries against a sitting President of his own party!

Not too many people remember Representative John Ashbrook of Ohio. Here is a short bio of the staunch conservative:

John Milan Ashbrook (September 21, 1928 – April 24, 1982) was born in Johnstown, Ohio, the son of William Albert Ashbrook, a U.S. congressman and businessman, and Marie Swank. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1946, after graduating from high school, and served until 1948. He was a member of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s final Antarctic expedition. In 1948 he married Joan Needles; they had three children and divorced in 1971. He received an A.B. with honors from Harvard University in 1952 and a J.D. from Ohio State University Law School in 1955. Ashbrook did not practice law. Instead in 1953 he had become publisher of the Johnstown Independent, a weekly newspaper founded by his father in 1884. Even after he had been in Congress for many years, he still considered himself first and foremost a publisher. When asked about his often precarious political existence, he claimed not to worry because he “would rather be a printer” anyway.

Ashbrook’s newspaper career ensured him wide public exposure, and in 1956 he was elected as a Republican to the Ohio General Assembly where he served two terms. A vacancy led him to seek election to Congress from the Seventeenth District in 1960. During that campaign he warned his constituents against “unbridled national power with a resultant loss of individual freedom and local autonomy.” He won what was a safe Republican seat and served without interruption for twenty-two years.

What man do not know is, first, Ashbrook ran in the 1972 primaries against President Richard Nixon (garnering nearly ten percent in New Hampshire, Florida and ten percent in California):


Second, Ashbrook was one of the first members of Congress to call for Nixon’s impeachment – this is from the NY Times – a much better paper then:

WASHINGTON, July 30 —Two stanch Republican conservatives — one a former Administration official and the other a member of the House —called today for President Nixon’s impeachment.

The demands came from Representative John M. Ashbrook of Ohio, an ultraconservative who sought the Republican Presidential nomination in 1972, and Howard Phillips, a 33‐year‐old Massachusetts native who was delegated by Mr. Nixon last year to dismantle the Federal antipoverty agency, the Office of Economic Opportunity.

That brings us to Senator Mitt Romney who voted for the removal of President Trump on one of the counts – the only Senator in history from his own party to do so.

Romney has been condemned and excoriated by many. I disagree with his vote but I admit I was troubled by the whole thing. The President should not have placed himself in such a spot. But the Romneys – Mitt and his father George Romney (I actually met Mitt Romney at an event in 2007 and told him how much I admired his father) former Governor of Michigan and early skeptic of the Vietnam War are men of principle.

So, let’s be proud to have a party where there is a diversity of views. Leave Mitt alone.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

4 Responses to “Don’t Be Too Hard On Senator Romney… Representative John Ashbrook Called for President Nixon’s Resignation”

  1. Rivahmitch says:

    Sorry, but Mittens does NOT represent “a diversity of views”. Remember Romneycare? He’s a “Rockefeller Republican, Rino, Democommie, pure and simple. Sorry but I remember 1964 when those of us who supported Goldwater were not allowed to use the local “Republican” HQ but had to establish our own. This elephant has a long memory. Though I worked for and contributed to his campaign in 2012, NEVER AGAIN!! Fool me once, shame on you.. etc. Even against an outright muslim/marxist like the one he ran against last time, I’d either vote third party or just stay home and stockpile ammunition.

    • Sandy Sanders

      Yes Mitt had his bad positions such as Romneycare. But I can see his stand for principle and he knew it would be lonely and he’d be abused and condemned. I voted Romney in 2012 and cried when President Obama won – I thought he’d be put out for sure. But I am not sure he’s a RINO and he showed integrity in taking over the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

      Thanks for writing, Rivahmitch.


  2. Jyl Kyng says:

    For you to publish anything positive about Mitt Romney shows your complete and total ignorance of Romney’s family history and the treasonous crimes against children and America he will soon be convictingted of by a military tribunal for enemy combatants. It is not safe to put yourself between God and someone’s judgement.


    • Sandy Sanders

      I am glad you came by, Jyl Kyng, and I’d be thrilled to hear more about the treason – I am not aware of anything disloyal about Mitt Romney. Saying leave him alone does not mean people should not vote in the next election to put him out of office. BUT I can admire him even if I disagree with Romney about impeachment.



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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