"If the Republican Party is to regain its strength, it must initiate new programs and ideas with which people can associate themselves." Governor Daniel J. Evans of Washington said last night.
"If we are to succeed on both the local and national levels." Evans, a Republican, went on, "we cannot afford to provide only opposition." He asserted that "our role as the minority party has led us to become an essentially negative party, but it's in being positive that you do the job."
Evans defeated a Democratic incumbent last November in a state where democrats outnumber republicans 2 to 1. He spoke last night to an audience of about 60 Washingtonians and Young Republicans in the Freshman Union.
The governor suggested that the 17 republican governorships can lead the way in creating a positive image for the party by serving as "laboratories to prepare and present new programs."
Calling on his party to adopt a unified and moderate outlook, Evans said that republicans "must stay in the middle of the road and make somebody run in the ditch to get around them" and that they should" avoid Donnybrooks in the party which divide them before they have enough of the pie to divide."
In answer to a question after his speech, Evans asserted that there is a "real possibility" that his part will win the 1968 presidential election. "We shouldn't think for one minutes." he said, "that President Johnson can't be beat. Some of his problems are just beginning to emerge,"