Newspaper Articles

Clarksburg Telegram
April 18, 1960

Humphrey Claims W. Va. Insult

Says Kennedy Downgrades Intelligence

Democratic Candidates Built Up Heat As Campaign Moves Along

Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) was in Central West Virginia today to campaign in Clarksburg, Fairmont and Morgantown, and then pass into the Northern West Virginia Panhandle. He had the state to himself with his chief opponent, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) still in Washington, but represented here by his wife, due tonight.

It is the first and last time that Kennedy will have the state to himself. Humphrey plans to return next Monday and will keep at it almost without a break until the election.

The Democratic preferential primary is not binding on West Virginia's 25 votes at the national convention.

On the eve of Kennedy's three-day tour, Humphrey and his supporters contended Kennedy and his backers were playing up bigotry and playing down the election.

"It appears obvious, Humphrey said in a statement, "that there is a carefully designed plan of high-priced and clever public relations and propaganda experts to downgrade the importance of this primary, to engender sympathy for my op[p]onent, and to undermine credit for the victory we intend to achieve.

"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 to all the many news stories."

The two co-chairmen of the Humphrey for President Committee in West Virginia said Kennedy "seems to think everybody who doesn't want him to be President is a bigot," and Kennedy supporters are trying "to create a climate that makes it appear unfair not to vote for Kennedy, regardless of whether or not he is qualified."

"The most ridiculous statement I ever heard," was the reaction of Mat Reese, executive director of the West Virginians for Kennedy. "To say, as the Humphrey organization said, that Sen. Kennedy or his supporters would attempt to exploit churchgoers in this time is most scurrilous," he continued.

"Were it not for Sen. Kennedy's confidence that the people of West Virginia would choose on the basis of the candidate's public service record and not his religion, he could hardly have dared to enter national politics"

Although Humphrey was not on the scene, his wife, Muriel, scheduled a campaign swing lasting through Wednesday, the same days that Kennedy will be campaigning with his wife, Jacqueline.

Sen. and Mrs. Kennedy arrived here last night. This morning they met chiefly Democrats in a coffee party at the Stonewall Jackson hotel. After a tour of the Hazel-Atlas Glass plant, they departed for Fairmont, and were to go to Morgantown for an evening reception.

Mrs. Humphrey was in Charleston this morning, but was due here tonight to open her husband's Central West Virginia headquarters at 224 W. Pike St. A series of coffee meetings is planned for Tuesday. She planned a visit to Bridgeport at 3 p.m., Grafton at 4:30 p.m. and Morgantown at 9 p.m.

Kennedy planned to spend today in such north-central cities then move on tomorrow to the Northern Panhandle city of Wheeling where most of the state's catholic [sic] population is concentrated. The final day will be spent in southern West Virginia.

Approximately 5 per cent of the state's population is Catholic.

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