Nixon Optimistic About Election
Talk Sets Big Rally Cheering
Tell GOP Story, Audience Urged
By Harry Flesher and Bill Wild
October 11, 1958
Nixon Optimistic About Election
Talk Sets Big Rally Cheering
Tell GOP Story, Audience Urged
By Harry Flesher and Bill Wild
Vice President Richard M. Nixon, standing before one of the largest political rally audiences in West Virginia in recent years, declared last night the Republican party has a good chance to win in November the major congressional contests it faces if the people are told the story of national progress in the six years of the Eisenhower administration.
The nearly 5,000 persons who flocked to Memorial Field House for the rally shouted approval as the Vice President urged the return to Washington of Republican Senators Chapman Revercomb and John D. Hoblitzell, Jr., and Fourth District Representative Will E. Neal.
Praise for Governor
The Vice President, arriving by chartered airliner some 45 minutes behind schedule from Pittsburgh, received ovations at Tri-State Airport, in downtown Huntington, and indulged his penchant for informal handshaking to the extent his limited schedule permitted.
The Vice President drew applause not only when he spelled out the economic advances to the American working man under the Eisenhower administration. He also was loudly cheered as he said of Governor Cecil H. Underwood, youngest state chief executive in the nation:
“He is one of the outstanding new leaders in the Republican Party. You will hear from him not only in the state, but at the national level.”
The Vice President, whose excellent delivery, poise and assurance mark him as an outstanding platform speaker, kept the audience cheering as he hammered away at the Democratic Party and reiterated the record of the GOP.
Citing headlines about increases in employment, the Vice President declared:
“We have pulled through a recession. We will have the best economic year in history in 1959.”
The “best six years” in the history of the United States, the Vice President declared, were in the Eisenhower administration.
Mr. Nixon noted the 240,000 increase in durable goods employment.
The Eisenhower administration has, he said, made a better record than the Democratic Party on keeping the peace.
The Vice President said critics have declared the administration wrong in Suez, in Lebanon, in Formosa, in its foreign aid program and in its defense spending.
But, said the speaker[,] the administration has taken the nation out of one war and has kept it out of wars since.
The worked-up crowd greeted Mr. Nixon with a thunderous ovation when he was introduced by Governor Underwood.
The Vice president arrived at the Field House at 9:15, 15 minutes behind schedule, but if the crowd noticed they weren’t letting it dampen their spirits.
A Kanawha County delegation started things off shortly after 8 o’clock by marching en masse into the auditorium.
While the partisan crowd whooped it up, a citizens concert band, composed of members of Local 362, American Federation of Musicians, and directed by Harry Damron, provided political mood music.
They got an assist on the organ from Dr. and Mrs. Walter D. Eddowes of the First Presbyterians Church staff, who directed group singing from the stage.
The crowd was dotted with sings on behalf of candidates. Others offered a Nixon theme:
“Welcome Dick,” or just “Nixon.” A group of partisans in the balcony held up a large sing which read, “Nixon for President.”
Members of the Nixon party said the size of the crowd was “excellent.”
Of a strong foreign policy, the Vice President said the surest way to have war is to move in a weak way.
Referring to the administration of Democratic former President Truman, the speaker said that Korea was declared by then Secretary of State Dean Acheson to be outside the defense perimeter of the United States six months before the Korean conflict began.
This, the Vice President said, must have had the effect of encouraging Communist aggression.
Mr. Nixon drew loud cheers when he declared that the Republican Party has on its side one encouraging factor.
“Harry Truman is helping us,” he said.
The charge that economic progress in the U. S. has been for the rich alone is groundless, said the Vice President. There were 61,000,000 jobs in the nation in the last year of the Truman administration and 65,000,000 this year, he said. In the Eisenhower administration, the average weekly wage passed $85 for the first time, he added.
In this year, he declared, wages in heavy industry average $1,000 more than in 1952, and construction wages average $2,000 more than in 1952. Wage increases in the seven Truman years were absorbed by inflation, the [sic] Mr. Nixon declared, while in the Eisenhower administration a 25 per cent wage increase was less than offset by an eight per cent cost of living increase.
In the Eisenhower administration, the Vice President declared, 11,000,000 new people were added to the Social Security rolls and the benefits went up by 25 per cent.
For the first time in history, he told his enthusiastic audience, a national administration has opened new job opportunities to persons over 40.
In the Eisenhower administration the workers have obtained wage increases with fewer strikes. In six Eisenhower years there was but half as much time lost in strikes as in the six preceding Truman years, the speaker declared.
After reciting the story of Eisenhower progress, the Vice President asked his audience:
“How do we keep progress? We keep it going. We keep it in West Virginia by reelecting two Republican senators, by returning Congressman Will E. Neal from the Fourth District; by returning Arch Moore in the First District and by adding to the number of Republican members of the House of Representatives.
Wars of Radicals
“The issue is not between Republicans and conservative Democrats. It is between Republicans and the radical wing of the Democratic Party.”
He declared that to place this group of radical Democrats in power in Washington is to mean the nation can expect the same kind of policy, which, he asserted, the group advocates. That policy is that government operation is superior to private enterprise.
Elsewhere in his address, the Vice President declared that:
1. Thousands of new jobs have been created for Negro workers through the efforts of the Eisenhower administration;
2. The nation can “point with pride” to the fact that, in James Mitchell, the workers of America have “one of the best secretaries of labor in history.”
No Labor “Line”
3. The Vice President rejects as “completely opposed to the American tradition the philosophy that labor should be in one party and all other Americans in another.”
4. The Republican Party should not allow itself to be placed in the position of being opposed to the union labor movement. However, the GOP opposes, as do the majority of union member and many union, leaders, shameful corruption and racketeering unearthed in labor unions in the McClellan investigations.
5. A free labor bargaining situation is superior to one which places all of its problems at the door of the White House.
Private initiative, the Vice President told his audience, is the reason why, with only a small percentage of the world’s population, the U. S. produces 40 per cent of the world’s good.
“This is the issue,” he said in his dramatic finale. “The progress is worth fighting for. This progress is worth working for. This progress is worth voting for.”
Last night’s meeting was marked by many special moments.
There was the march into the Field House of a big delegation from Kanawha County, carrying banners welcoming the Vice President.
There was the standing ovation given to Dr. Henry D. Hatfield of Huntington, former U. S. senator and governor.
Presiding at the meeting was Raymond Brewster, editor of The Herald-Dispatch and chairman of arrangements for the rally.
State Chairman Daniel L. Louchery introduced National Committeeman Walter S. Hallanan of Charleston, who was given an ovation. “No Republican meeting in West Virginia is complete with Mr. Hallanan,” said Mr. Louchery.
Senators Hoblitzell and Revercomb, Congressman Neal and Governor Underwood delivered addresses prior to that of the Vice President.
The governor charged that Democratic opposition at the state level with frustrating some of his administration’s efforts through its control of the Board of Public Works and the Legislature. He described his administration as one which has brought about many reforms in spite of the opposition. He predicted the reelection of Senators Hoblitzell and Revercomb and Congressman Neal, and the election of Mrs. Helen Holt, secretary of state serving now by appointment, of Supreme Court Judge Robert Donley, serving an appointive term, and of Circuit Judge Max DeBerry, of Harrisville, seeking a short term on the high court. Mrs. Holt and Judge DeBerry were on the platform.
Challenge to Byrd
Senator Revercomb said his opponent, Democratic Congressman Robert Byrd of Sophia, has been critical of the Eisenhower foreign policy and that as an incumbent Republican he plans to keep the issue alive.
He asked if the congressman wants to nation to go to war or return to the “weak foreign policy” of the past.
Senator Hoblitzell called for a unified effort by enrolled voters in both the Republican and Democratic Parties to help return the control of Congress to the Republican Party.
Congressman Neal said the state has received many benefits from having a Republican governor, two GOP senators and two Republican members of the House, and a Republican President. He predicted that the people of the Fourth District will not choose in November the Democratic nominee. He declared that the fact that many of the people of the district have been Dr. Neal’s neighbors for 50 years should incline them to choose him over a Democratic opponent who was a resident of the state of New York until a short time ago.
National Committeeman John T. Diederich of Ashland and U. S. Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky were given special recognition at the meeting.
West Virginia Key State, Nixon Says
By Jim Gannon
Vice President Nixon said yesterday there is not a state in the nation more important politically this year than West Virginia but held out little hope that President Eisenhower would campaign here.
He did leave the door open for a possible return engagement for himself.
Speaking at a après conference at the Frederick Hotel immediately after his arrival from Tri-State Airport he said that he was holding open the last week of his busy campaign schedule.
“Not a state in the United States is more important (to the Republicans this year) than West Virginia,” he remarked. “The only one of equal importance is Alaska.”
He pointed out to about 50 newsmen assembled that the reason he had come to the state was to speak on behalf of the two incumbent Republican senators, Chapman Revercomb and John D. Hoblitzell, Jr.
The Vice President was asked what effect the employment problem in West Virginia would have on the candidates.
He replied that the slight upturn in employment and the general recovery of business would produce a psychological effect on the voters favorable to the Republican candidates.
Noting that 1,500 workers went back on the job recently both in Wheeling and Charleston as well as 300 in the Huntington area in basic industries, he asked that figures this year be compared not only with those of last year but also with those of 1952, the year the GOP took over.
Mr. Nixon predicted the Democrats were in for a surprise in the November election just as the Republicans were surprised in 1948.
”They’re Wrong Now”
Reminded that the polls showed the Democrats well in the lead nationally, he replied:
“I would say the polls were right a month ago; they’re wrong now.”
Refusing to admit that apparent early apathy to the Republican campaign indicated a “silent vote” against the party, he said the tempo of the campaign has picked up considerably in the last week to 10 days.
He attributed early indifference to concern over other events, such as Quemoy and Matsu, and the late adjournment of Congress.
Calling this a “late starting campaign” the Vice President thought that if the Republicans could get off the defensive and on the offensive they could “reverse the early trend.”
One by one, he claimed, the issues have been slipping away from the Democrats.
First, he said, the opposition belabored the farm issue. But that did not stick, according to the Vice President, because Midwest farmers are having their best harvests for many years.
The defense issue lost momentum, he continued, when the administration got the satellite and missile programs off the ground and the recession issue is now “receding in the background.”
Asked about the effect of the integration crisis on the election, Mr. Nixon said he did not see a great advantage there for the Republicans.
He considered the integration issue non-partisan outside the South and thought the individual candidates would have to fend for themselves. No[r]thern Democrats will have nothing to do with Faubus, he remarked.
Turning to the state of the economy, Mr. Nixon said:
“I wish the campaign were going to be decided on the issue of high prices.”
He conceded that prices had gone up eight per cent since the Republicans took office, but added that wages had risen “more than 25 per cent.”
He contrasted this with what he called the “Truman treadmill” where, he said, “every penny of wage increase was eaten up by increased prices.”
Concerning the Formosa crisis, Mr. Nixon was asked if the administration had any long-range plan for reinstating the Nationalists on the mainland of China.
The Vice President thought it would be a mistake to hold or to try to put into effect any one plan.
The important thing, he said, is to keep established a government on Formosa which stands for freedom and which offers some hope to those on the mainland that they will not have to live forever under Communist domination.
He did not advocate a policy of attack by the Nationalists which could envolve [sic] the United States in a general war.
“We must keep strong forces of freedom on the outside (of the mainland),” he said. “We must keep the Nationalists a showroom of freedom.”
The Vice President thought it would be “foolish” to predict an uprising on the mainland against the Communist regime in the near future.
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