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Wheeling Intelligencer
April 12, 1960

Kennedy Welcomes Hoffa's Opposition

Badge of Honor FDR Jr. Tells Brooke Rally

Admits Humphrey Will Put Up Worthy Battle in W.Va.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. last night added fuel to the smoldering Kennedy-Hoffa fire when he declared that the opposition of the Teamster Jimmy Hoffa would be "worn as a badge of honor" by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kennedy.

Speaking at a Brooke County Democratic Party in Wellsburg, the former congressman went on to say that he felt the rank and file of labor supports Kennedy and that the leadership of the American labor movement is opposed to Hoffa.

"I'm sure that the Hoffa faction will oppose Jack Kennedy in West Virginia just as it did in Wisconsin" the son of the late president stated, "but I'm just as sure that it won't hurt him."

Roosevelt voiced confidence in Senator Kennedy's winning West Virginia but admitted that the Humphrey camp would put up a worthy fight.

"However," he continued, "if Kennedy wins in West Virginia there is no question but what he'll be nominated by the convention in Los Anegles [sic]; if Humphrey win in West Virginia, I feel that he still doesn't stand a chance of being nominated by the convention."

He predicted that Kennedy would score overwhelming victories in the next three primaries - Indiana, Maryland and Nebraska - and that he would win or come in second to favorite son hopeful Wayne Morris, in the Oregon test.

"Of all the Democratic aspirants,," Roosevelt continued, "Kennedy has the best chance to beat Nixon."

Roosevelt said he hoped that despite their personal preference, the West Virginia delegates to the convention would feel a moral obligation to follow the wishes of the voters as expressed in the primary.

Commenting on the rumor that a whisper campaign is being launched against Kennedy by an anti-Catholic faction in West Virginia, FDR, Jr. stated, "I'm certain such an attack is under way but I do not fe[e]l that the religious issue has any part in American life or in American palitics [sic].

"The Constitution guarantees every American the right to worship his God in his own way." He went on "Nobody asked Jack Kennedy whether he was Protestant, Jew, or Catholic when he went into the U.S. Navy in 1941."

Roosevelt said "Senator Kennedy has served his country with devotion and integrity in war and peace. Any American, regardless of religion, has the right to be president."

Asked if there were any truth to the rumors that former Ohio Gov. Frank Lausche might be a darkhorse candidate, Roosevelt said he hadn't heard any evidence to substantiate any such assumption. Also asked if Eastern Ohio Cong. Wayne L. Hays was supporting the Kennedy campaign, he said he wasn't sure.

In some political scuttlebutt, Congressman Hays has been connected with Kennedy's campaign as a possible recipient of a high post if the Massachusetts senator gains the presidency.

Toastmaster for the rally was held [sic] at the Brook[e] County courthouse was R.W. Barnes, assistant prosecuting attorney of Brooke County while Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Pryor was chairman. Other on the program were John G. Chernenko and Ann Shute, chairman and assistant chairman respectively, of the Democratic Executive Committee of Brooke County.

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