Presidential Candidate George McGovern
Campaigns in Huntington

The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington)
September 18, 1972

McGovern Says He'll Win Uphill Campaign

Compares It To Marshall's Grid Win

By Tom Miller
John Raymond
Herald-Dispatch Staff Writers

Sen. George McGovern, making his first appearance on a college campus since being nominated as the Democratic candidate for president, compared his uphill campaign Sunday night to Marshall University's come-from-behind football victory Saturday.

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of about 4,000 at the Marshall University Student Center here, Sen. McGovern said "we, too, have the capacity to come from behind."

In the first speech of a two-day visit to West Virginia that winds up with a morning speech today at the Logan County Courthouse, McGovern gave a big boost to Democratic gubernatorial candidate John D. Rockefeller and 4th District Congressman Ken Hechler.

The senator arrived at Tri-State Airport about an hour behind schedule but still was greeted by a crowd of more than 1,000 people.

McGovern's chartered Boeing 727 jet touched down at about 7:15 p.m. instead of the advertised 6:30 p.m.

He delivered no remarks at the airport.

McGovern alighted from his aircraft to the glare of television lights and the shouts of eager supporters both on the airport ramp and behind the security fence.

"We want George," "Dump Nixon," and "End the War," were the chants that went up from the younger members of the throng of well-wishers.

McGovern walked from the aircraft to a waiting line of area Democratic officials and party "big wigs" for a handshaking walk through their ranks before going to the waiting people.

Rockefeller walked with him through the line and joined him at the security fence to shake hands with the rank-and-file forces there.

Mrs. McGovern and Mrs. Rockefeller also took part in the party worker greeting but left their husbands alone to greet the welcoming crowd.

McGovern shook hands, exchanged pleasantries with the people and signed a few autographs.

From the crowd area, McGovern and his party were escorted by the Secret Service to waiting cars for the motorcade to the Marshall campus.

The campus crowd was becoming impatient when McGovern and his wife arrived at the MU campus at 8:10 p.m. But they soon rallied to McGovern's campaign oratory.

"I bring you good news from the faces I've seen in the past 10 days," he said. "That good news is that we're going to win this election and take this government out of the hands of selfish personal interests and put it back in tht [sic] hands of the people."

He said the Republicans have chanted that America wants "four more years" of President Nixon but that he "wants to see that the Republican leadership doesn't have more than four more months."

Turning to the Watergate "bugging" incident, McGovern suggested that the "outfit that has the gall to do that wouldn't hesitate to do that to your home."

"We need to think of the implications of this kind of callous attitude," he said.

MU President Dr. John Barker welcomed Sen. McGovern to the campus and then gave way to Rockefeller who promised that "when George McGovern is elected president, he will pay special attention to the problems of West Virginia."

"We both face tough races and I'm running with George McGovern," said Rockefeller, who recently acknowledged McGovern is "having his problems" in West Virginia right now.

Rep. Hechler then took the rostrum to introduce McGovern. Hechler suggested McGovern is said by the pundits to be as Marshall's football team was at one point Saturday - behind by 21-10.

"But on Nov. 7 that score will be reversed, too," said Hechler. "McGovern will do the same thing Harry truman did. He has political honesty."

McGovern raised the hands of Rockefeller and Hechler above his head before beginning a 30-minute speech.

"The polls say the young people are swinging over to Nixon," he said, drawing a loud chorus of "no" from the crowd. "I came here to see if that is true."

McGovern said the one thing he and President Nixon agree on is the President's comment that "this election represents the choice of the century."

Repeating his views on the war in Southeast Asia, which produced the most applause of the evening, McGovern said he rejects Nixon's explanation on the continued bombing.

"Our prisoners of war are in those cells because of the bombing and we've added 100 more in the last three months," he said. "We must set a deadline for the withdrawal of all American soldiers."

McGovern said he believes the people need to know that "we have dropped three times as many bombs on these little countries we supposedly went in to save as we did in World War II."

The South Dakota senator also predicted that President Nixon, if re-elected, will propose a national sales tax that "will add a $200 tax bill to every family."

"I say we should close the tax loopholes instead," he said. "It's a shame when a $100,000 a year corporation executive can deduct his $20 martini lunch and the working man can't deduct his baloney sandwich."

Following the speech McGovern moved into the fringes of the crowd for some old-fashion hand-shaking and then went to the UpTowner Inn here for a reception.

He was to spend the night at the UpTowner and then drive to Logan this morning, returning to Huntington about noon for a departure from Tri-State Airport.

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