Newspaper Articles

Charleston Gazette
April 8, 1960

Humphrey Hits Primary Import

By Mary Chilton Abbot

Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - Hubert Humphrey expects to win the West Virginia primary next month, but won't be "killed off" if he loses to Sen. John F. Kennedy.

The Minnesota senator said here Thursday there is an overemphasis on primaries, as he pointed out the inequities of the primary system in Wisconsin and West Virginia:

- in Wisconsin, Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary, and vice versa... convention delegates are bound by the result.

- In West Virginia, Democratic delegates will be chosen by Democrats alone, but will not be bound by results of the presidential primary.

The principal importance of the West Virginia primary, he said, is its "psychological impact." If he wins, it won't necessarily mean the Democratic nomination is his. On the other hand, he feels a Kennedy win wouldn't cinch the nomination for the Massachusetts senator, either.

Humphrey was to fly into Charleston in the after-midnight hours today to get an early start on a two-day swing through southern West Virginia.

Kennedy won't get into the state until Monday, but he'll have Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. stumping for him the next five days, some of his appearances scheduled in the same territory Humphrey expects to cover.

The "bare cupboard and empty treasury" theme that Humphrey used in Washington Thursday in appraising his campaign situation probably will be exploited in the West Virginia campaigning.

For example, the wealthy-born Kennedy will travel in his own private plane; Humphrey in a chartered bus.

Sen. Humphrey, who lost to Kennedy in Wisconsin's primary Tuesday by more than 100,000 popular votes, starts touching the West Virginia bases Friday with a folksy hand-shaking tour of coal field areas.

Humphrey planned to fly into town at 1 a. m. and start out on his bus tour from Charleston at 6:45 a.m. Some two-dozen stops are scheduled between here and Beckley, where a big rally is planned at 8 p. m.

The Humphrey bus will nose into Summers and Mercer counties Saturday and make its way back to Charleston by a different route, stopping in Madison for a dinner.

"If I lose in West Virginia, I won't be killed off," he said, then added with a flash of the famous Humphrey grin, "but I sure would be maimed."

The candidate, fresh from the rigors of the Wisconsin primary, addressed two luncheon groups during the noon hour Thursday. He was his usual effervescent self, in spite of the grueling pace of his campaign.

At the Women's National Democratic Club, he paid extravagant tribute to the part his attractive wife, Muriel, played in the Wisconsin campaign, saying: "One dedicated woman is worth hundreds of people who are just sort of for you."

Humphrey warned the assembled Democrats that they cannot win in November by sticking to the middle of the road, because that pathway "has been preempted by Richard M. Nixon.

"I suggest a sanely liberal program, a creative and imaginative program," he said.

He touched on foreign imports, a vital subject to West Virginia, saying that people should be better informed about their positive side - American exports. They only hear the negative side of the import question, he said.

But the most important issue, he said, is disarmament. The American people now know we cannot win an arms war.

"Disarmament is a moral responsibility. Without it, there is an ever-increasing danger of accidental war. Armament means catastrophe," he said.

If the arms race continues, we will have not only France's second nuclear explosion but also the entry of Red China into the nuclear race, he said.

In conclusion, Humphrey stated his personal political philosophy:

"The best thing in politics is to do right. Do good for the people, and your political cash register will ring."

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