Newspaper Articles


Charleston Gazette
April 18, 1960

In a New, Strange Atmosphere

Kennedy Will Renew Campaigning in State

Sen. John F. Kennedy get back to campaigning in West Virginia today in a new and strange atmosphere. He and his supporters are being accused by Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey forces of playing up bigotry and playing down the primary.

Those who make the accusations maintain these two things are being done to win sympathy—and so votes—for Kennedy and at the same time give him a hedge against a possible bad showing come May 10.

Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Kennedy’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary, on Sunday backed up his state co-chairmen on this interpretation of what has been going on lately.

“It appears obvious.” Humphrey said, “that there is a carefully designed plan of high-priced and clever public rations and propaganda experts to downgrade the importance of this primary, to engender sympathy for my opponent, and to undermine credit for the victory we intend to achieve.” Marshall West of Oceana and William Jacobs of Parkersburg, the co-chairmen of the Humphrey for President Committee, the day before said Kennedy’s supporters were trying “to create a climate that makes it appear unfair not to vote for Kennedy, regardless of whether or not he is qualified.” They said Kennedy himself “seems to think everybody who doesn’t want him to be President is a bigot.”

Humphrey and his people spoke out after a week in which more and more was being made of Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism and the harm it might do him with the Democratic voters, since West Virginia is overwhelmingly Protestant and shares some attitudes with the South.

Humphrey found all this to-do about anti-Catholicism unfounded and, in bad taste. “I consider some of the comments being made about the primary in West Virginia as insulting to the people of this great state,” he said.

“West Virginians are patriotic Americans, God-fearing people, loyal and trustworthy citizens. They do not deserve some of the ugly rumors and comments that are being peddled in all too many news stories.[“]

In his statement Sunday, Humphrey took occasion once again to disclaim another rumor that keeps popping up—that he is being used by other candidates, announced and otherwise, to get Kennedy out of the way.


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