Newspaper Articles

Charleston Daily Mail
April 12, 1960

W.Va. Dems Deny Kennedy Gangup

Humphrey Critical of FDR Jr. Charge

By The Associated Press

Are Democrats combining in a drive to defeat Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) in West Virginia's May 10 primary and thereby hurt his chances for the Democratic presidential nomination?

That was the big political issue left up in the air today after Kennedy and his opponent in the primary, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn), spent a full day campaigning in southern West Virginia.

This state's Democratic primary is only one of presidential preference. The results will be in no way binding on West Virginia's 25 votes at the national convention in Los Angeles.

The question was raised by Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., campaigning for Kennedy in Wheeling. He said Kennedy is "running against the combined opposition of Humphrey, Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Tex), Sen. Stuart Symington (D-Mo) and Adlai Stevenson, although only Humphrey is on the ballot.

Denial By Humphrey

Humphrey denied there was any "ganging up" on Kennedy.

"Poor little Jack, he told a newsman. "That's a shame. And you can quote me on that.

"I wish he would grow up and stop acting like a boy. What does he want, all the votes?"

In Washington, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WVa) said he supports Johnson for the nomination and therefore backing Humphrey in West Virginia in an effort to slow down Kennedy. But he said he knows of no "stop Kennedy" coalition.

In Charlottesville, Va., Stevenson asked his supporters to disassociate themselves from any "stop Kennedy" drive.

"I'm against ganging up on any candidate," Stevenson told newsmen while on a tour of the grounds at the University of Virginia.

Racial and religious issues also came up as Kennedy flew of drove to several urban centers and Humphrey's chartered bus lumbered over side roads to the small mining towns.

In Bluefield, on the Virginia border, negro students from Bluefield State College picketed a hotel where Humphrey stopped. They protested the hotel's refusal to lodge or serve food to members of their race.

Told Of Situation

The Minnesota senator was unaware of the pickets until newsmen told him. "If we had known that (the hotel does not accommodates Negroes), we wouldn't have come to the meeting. That's been our policy all along," he said.

Commenting on a published report in a national magazine that he would consider appointing a Negro to his cabinet if elected, Humphrey said: "If he were qualified, yes, sir. There are men like Ralph Bunche who have proven to be great leaders. There are many others, some great Negro educations for instance."

Kennedy, Humphrey Meet At Stop Light

Beckley (AP) - The paths of rival candidates for President met at a stop light in Beckley last night.

One car was taking Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) to Raleigh County Airport to board a plane after a campaign appearance here.

In another car were Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn), Kennedy's opponent in the May 10 West Virginia primary, and Mrs. Humphrey. They were on their way to nearby Prince to catch a train after a speaking tour in southern West Virginia.

The occupants recognized each other when the cars arrived at a stoplight, one behind the other. Kennedy and Humphrey chatted briefly, each telling the other he was taking a few days off from campaigning in the state. Then they went their separate ways.

Religious Undertone Noted in Coal Towns

By Jack White

Bluefield (AP) - Crowds greeted Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) in small Southern West Virginia coal towns Monday, while in the background were whispers about the Catholic faith of his primary opponent, Sen. John Kennedy (D-Mass).

"It's that religious issue," said one man propped against a car in Oceana in neighboring Wyoming County. He listened with great interest to a Humphrey speech before a lunch-hour street crowd.

It was the last day of Humphrey's campaign swing through West Virginia. He will contest Kennedy in the May 10 primary as to who is the most popular Democrat of the two for president.

Cited By Minister

The religious angle was injected by a Methodist minister who gave the invocation for an enthusiastic breakfast gathering at Logan Monday. The Rev. L. E. Crowson, speaking aside to newsmen, said that Kennedy's faith would be a big issue in the state's Protestant-dominated southern section.

On the other hand, former Judge R. D. Bailey, 60-eyar-political veteran of Pineville, noted:

"I ran with Al Smith in '28 and went down with him. It was bitter then, you could cut it with a knife. I frankly haven't heard it (religion) talked about much lately."

In random samplings, more people said they thought religion would be a factor in the preferential primary than those who discounted it.

Humphrey's campaign continued at its whirlwind pace of the weekend, pegged to the need for more aggressive administration in Washington to deal with such problems as unemployment in West Virginia's mining areas.

Never did Humphrey mention Kennedy during impromptu speeches at every stop. Humphrey had said Sunday he would denounce "any supporter who raises this religious issue in West Virginia."

Blasts Administration

Instead, Humphrey - loser of the Wisconsin primary to Kennedy - struck out at the Eisenhower Administration and what he called its "big business" attitude.

"I realize the president won't be on the ticket," Humphrey said Monday at Logan, "but the crown prince will be. Let's just take the crown off his head and crown him with it in November."

He renewed his appeal for publicans [sic] to come to see the ef- [sic] President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon and other top re- [sic] fects [sic] of chronic unemployment in this state's coal fields.

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