The ongoing myth of the Southern Strategy.
There are any numbers of articles discussing and debunking this claim...
Considering the repellent nature of both quotes, I looked them both up in an effort to debunk them before posting them and could find nothing claiming they were fraudulent.
this whole myth needs a thorough debunking,
the very idea is so repellent...
Atwater on the Southern Strategy
As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis's book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the October 6, 2005, edition of the New York Times. On November 13, 2012, The Nation magazine released what it claimed to be audio of the full interview. James Carter IV, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, had asked and been granted access to these tapes by the widow of the recently deceased interviewer, Mr. Lamis. Atwater talked about the Republican Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it:
Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.
Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?
Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Ni__er, ni__er, ni__er." By 1968 you can't say "ni__er" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Ni__er, ni__er."