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Clarksburg Exponent
April 9, 1960

Bosses Chose Nixon, Roosevelt Claims As He Speaks Out Here for Sen. Kennedy

FDR, Jr. Thinks Kennedy Best For President

Son of Wartime President Visits Here Before Monongah Address


Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., distinguished son of the great wartime President, stopped two hours in Clarksburg Friday evening and chose that time as the occasion to make a public charge that the Republican Party has only one presidential candidate - Vice President Richard Nixon - and that the candidate was picked by the bosses.

The former New York Congressman made his charge that the Republican Party is the victim of "bossism" near the conclusion of an interview in which he outlined why he is in West Virginia stumping the state in behalf of his long-time friend, U. S. Senator Jack Kennedy, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President.

After outlining the personal and political reasons why he favors the Kennedy candidacy, Roosevelt pointed out that there are other good Democratic candidates.

"We Democrats," he declared, "are very lucky to have a number of candidates. The Republican Party has only one candidate - picked by the bosses."

A newsman asked Roosevelt: "Are you referring to Mr. Nixon?" and he replied, "Yes, certainly."

In the background is the fact that part of the Democratic aspirants are fighting for votes in Democratic primaries, and all are working diligently to muster delegate strength, but the Republican Party, long ahead of the Republican National Convention, has made known that Richard Nixon will be the Party's nominee. At this stage the name of the Democratic nominee is very much in doubt as members of the Democratic Party go through the democratic processes of making their election.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. was to have arrived in Clarksburg via Capital Airlines, but strong winds caused cancellation of his flight and he made the trip here from Charleston in a small special plane.

Harrison County Democratic Chairman Ben B. Stout and other Democrats were awaiting him and as he stepped from the plane there was a chorus of remarks, "He looks just like his father!" Chairman Stout told him that his mother, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, had landed at the same airport for a political gathering only a few years ago and that he had been there on that occasion to greet her.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. answered every question fired at him during the press conference which followed at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel.

A newsman posed the first question as: "Why are you supporting Senator Kennedy?"

"I am for him for two reasons," came the answer. "The first is a personal reason.

"Our families were very close when we were kids. I served with Jack at the same time in the Navy and I knew him in those years. We served in Congress together. We worked on a number of bills together and since he has been in the Senate I have been privileged to work with him on a number of issues. From my personal viewpoint, he has great integrity and great ability. He is a man with the kind of courage we need in these days and a man who can give the leadership to America and to the free world in this tremendous conflict with Russia."

Then Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. got into the political reasons why he supports Senator Kennedy for President of the United States.

"I think Jack Kennedy should be elected on his voting record," Roosevelt declared, adding that "certainly the Wisconsin primary was a great success."

He emphasized that his stand was no reflection on any other candidate for President.

"I think we Democrats are very lucky to have a number of candidates," he declared. "The Republican Party has only one candidate - picked by the bosses."

Roosevelt said that he first knew Jack Kennedy in 1933, when the latter's father became the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He and Jack Kennedy and the latter's brother, the late Joseph Kennedy, Jr., who was killed in the war, were students together in Harvard.

Asked how Senator Kennedy would do with the labor vote, Roosevelt expressed confidence that he will receive that vote.

"I think the labor vote - the rank and file of working men and women - are for Kennedy. I think that showed up in Wisconsin."

Former Congressman Roosevelt also used Wisconsin as a proving ground for Kennedy's popularity with the farm vote.

He pointed out that Kennedy split the farm vote with Humphrey, although Humphrey was better known in the farm belt, having talked more on farm issues. Roosevelt declared that the records of Kennedy and Humphrey are "practically parallel on farm issues," but that Humphrey has talked the most about farming.

FDR, Jr. had a quick reply when a newsman inquired as to whether or not the fact that Kennedy is a Catholic will hurt him in his campaign for Presidency.

"There are undoubtedly some people who will try to raise an issue which I personally feel has no part in American life and American politics," Roosevelt declared.

"You can't close your eyes to the question," he continued. The Constitution guarantees each citizen the right to worship or not to worship as he sees fit.

"Jack Kennedy wasn't asked when he was in command of that PT boat during the war whether he was a Catholic, Protestant, or Jew. He was a loyal American then and he is now. His record in the Senate also shows that he has met his duty to his country."

After press and radio interviews, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. met a large number of local citizens at an open house arranged by Victor Gabriel, who heads the Kennedy-for-President movement in Harrison County.

After the gathering here, Roosevelt went to Monongah, Marion County, for a parade and political dinner.

Roosevelt made two three-day speaking trips through Wisconsin in Senator Kennedy's behalf. He will remain in West Virginia for a few days and plans to return to this state for other speeches, probably early in May.

FDR, Jr. also will campaign for Kennedy in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska.

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