Eisenhower and Nixon Meet in Wheeling

Wheeling Intelligencer
September 25, 1952

Ike Declares Nixon Will Remain After Face-to-Face Meeting Here

City Roars Out Huge Ovation as General Says Nixon Okay

General Lashes Back at Criticism For Embracing 'Diverse Elements' of GOP; Says GOP Committee Unanimous for Nixon

By Dent Williams
Of The Intelligencer

Dwight D. Eisenhower announced last night that the Republican National committee had voted without a single dissent to keep Sen. Richard M. Nixon as the party's vice-presidential nominee, and said his running mate had been "completely vindicated."

Speaking before 8,000 chilled persons in the Island stadium, Eisenhower said that Nixon, central figure in a boiling controversy over an $18,000 expense fund contributed to Nixon by Californians, "has been subject to a very unfair and vicious attack."

The California senator, who arrived in Wheeling by plane late last night and caused spectators to spend more than two hours waiting for the appearance of Eisenhower and himself, appeared with the General and as the two national Republican figures circled the stadium track in a convertible, was met with the cry "keep fighting Dick, we believe in you."

In announcing the vote of the GOP committee, to which Nixon, in a dramatic radio and television speech to the nation Tuesday night, had left the decision of whether he should remain on the GOP ticket, Eisenhower read a telegram saying the committee's vote in a telegraph and telephone poll was 107 to nothing for keeping Nixon on the ticket. Only 107 of the 138 committee members could be reached at the time of the poll.

Eisenhower said he received a telegram from GOP National Chairman Arthur E. Summerfield tonight saying voting committee members reflected a "deep conviction" that Nixon "walked unafraid through the valley of despair."

The General completed his prepared speech before making the announcement that his running mate had been "vindicated," and then read a message from Mrs. Anna Nixon, the California senator's mother, who said "I'm glad the absolute truth came out, and I hope you will place your faith in Richard."

Nixon then followed Eisenhower to the rostrum and drew cheers as loud as the General, who sat huddled in an overcoat while Nixon made his off-the-cuff speech that captured the hearts of the crowd and met with repeated challenges to "keep fighting Dick."

Telling the large audience that had waited patiently in 40 degree temperature for the history-making meeting of the two candidates, Eisenhower said "let there be no doubt about it, America has taken Richard Nixon to its heart, and the Republican party is proud to have Nixon on the ticket."

Substantiating the General's statement, the stadium audience interrupted the youthful senator time and time again with spasmodic applause and shouts of encouragement.

Nixon said that as he crossed the country today from Los Angeles, Calif., to Wheeling, he found the people saying everywhere, "keep it up, keep fighting, we believe in you."

The Californian said "it made me realize that all you have got to do in this great country of ours is to tell the truth and not keep anything from the people."

He said his "fundamental faith in American people" was reaffirmed today.

Then Nixon praised the way Eisenhower handled the incident involving his expense fund, and said that a man of smaller stature, interested more in politics than the welfare of the country, would never have waited until all the evidence was in."

The Californian said he was glad to make a full disclosure because in the present administration "there has been too much coverup and clamming up. The people don't want any more of it."

"The people of this country have had enough of this covering up by Mr. Truman, and Eisenhower is a pleasant contrast to this gentleman who sits in Washington and says 'all my people are honest and I don't believe these smears against them.'"

"Eisenhower jeopardized his entire political future by telling me to take my case before the American people and let them decide what I should do," Nixon further stated, "and if Eisenhower was that fair with me, what will happen when he goes to Washington? You'll have the cleanest and most honest government in history."

Nixon asked the audience to compare Eisenhower's action with previous activities of Truman and his appointed candidate, Adlai Stevenson, "who was apparently taught very well since he's clammed up about a fund raised for state employes in his state and has refused to divulge the names of the contributors or recipients.

"I say to you this evening that this man's refusal to talk means one of two things," he said, "first, it's an admission that he has something to hide, and secondly, it will assure his defeat in November, and I'm all for it."

"Eisenhower is a great American and America needs him, for as he's stated previously, he doesn't stand for what Eisenhower needs, nor what the Republican party needs, but he stands for what this country needs," Nixon concluded, "and what is good for America is good for you."

In his prepared text, Eisenhower struck back at persons who have criticized him for embracing all the "diverse elements" of the Republican party by declaring that they all had been drawn together by a "common repugnance to the mess in Washiongton [sic].

The Republican candidate, apparently was replying to those who have challenged his alliance with such Republicans as Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, William E. Jenner of Indiana, Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Robert A. Taft of Ohio.

Eisenhower also declared himself opposed to a federal fair employment practices commission, which has been the crux of the civil rights issue, and said there were other things the government could do instead.

"In this sensitive area of human relations, we must always remember that an ounce of leadership is worth a pound of law," he said in his prepared speech.

In defending his loyalty to all Republicans, Eisenhower said, in his text, that when he called for a Republican victory from top to bottom in the November election, he meant more than just a victory for the national ticket.

He made no mention in his text of his running mate, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, with whom he held an emergency conference before the speech.

"I mean that the people that the several states choose to send to the Congress must be Republican too," he said in his prepared speech. "For we must organize a Senate and a House that will work under Republican leadership.

"My job will be to work with these representatives chosen by the people of each state, to find a common ground, to point ways of accomplishments, to bring a harmonious whole, at the soundest and best level, the different views and expressions within our party."

Eisenhower pledged in his text that if he is elected he will devote to that job the same energy and strength that he put into World War II as five-star commander of the European forces.

His speech stressed the point that "membership in our party does not necessarily mean mutual agreement or approval other than on a basis of objectives and principles."

Taking note of Democratic derision of his support of all Republicans, both liberal and conservative, isolationist and internationalist, Eisenhower's text said that they "generously advise me which Senators I should work with and which I should disown."

"Nothing could harm America more than to destroy her traditional two-party system," he said in the prepared speech. "To maintain that system, we must have that unity of diverse elements which our opponents deplore."

Eisenhower's advance text went on to remind the voters that "it wasn't a Republican who steers us off the course to a policy of divide and rule."

"It was the Administration party that has ignored the wisdom of the founding fathers and their warning against 'factions' which could be cultivated for political purposes," the script said.

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