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Connally on the record: the ’70s San Antonio John Connally’s policy stances-beforehe became a fully national figure are reviewed elsewhere in this issue. In the 1970s he has joined the Republican Party and has spoken out on most issues current in the national political dialogue. As he advances now on the presidency it may be useful, on the febrile but persistent faith that there is some relationship between what a politician says and what he does, to review positions he has taken since 1971. His identification with the interests of major corporations is borne out through the decade. Before the National Association of Manufacturers, he “questioned” whether the U.S. should “impose the same antitrust regulations” on American companies in their operations overseas that are imposed “at home.” Recommending that the U.S. give more support to American corporations threatened with nationalization of their properties in foreign countries, he said Washington should say to such countries, “You don’t negotiate just with American business enterprise. You negotiate with the United States government.” When he was treasury secretary, Newsweek reported, “Nixon economic advisers feel that some of the top ten steel companies . . . should be allowed to merge to help them defend their markets against aggressive Japanese steel giants.” During the wage-price freeze of which he was czar, a reporter raised a taboo question: why not freeze profits, instead of just prices? “The profits of American 4 AUGUST 24, 1979 business have not been all that big,” Connally replied, “and as a matter of fact have declined over the past several years to unacceptable levels.” Naturally, labor took note. One of his stock oratorical ploys is a bold defense of big business. “Business generally,” he will say, “is being pictured as an ogre, as a heartless legal entity designed to suck from the veins of this society everything that it can. . . .” On this particular occasion, he followed up with a defense of the role of General Motors as an employer and a funder of its suppliers. The news media, he says, have misrepresented big business as polluters and price-gougers, paying bribes to foreign countries, and exploiting workers. Connally has had personal business dealings with wealthy Arab interests. He seemed to know in 1971 there would be what he then called “an energy crisis,” warning, “We are running short of oil and gas, beyond any question. . . . We are short of energy. . . . The OPEC countries are saying ‘we want an increase in what we get for our crude.’ They are going to get it.” When OPEC was getting $3.60 a barrel, he predicted they would get $6. Oddly, however, Connally has inconsistently contended there will be no oil shortage. “Our oil and other hydrocarbons are not scarce,” he said in 1972. “We have vast resources of hydrocarbons. We need not fear running out of these resources physically.” This summer he said it again: “We’re not going to run out of oil.” He seems to understand something the purveyors of the “energy crisis” as a shortage of oil do not. Connally said this summer the U.S. “long since” should have been producing synthetics “on a massive scale,” but if he advocated this before now, the fact has escaped our notice. In ’71 and ’72,