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Wheeling News-Register
April 19, 1960

Kennedy Consents to Debate

Humphrey's Challenge Accepted

New Englander Has Full Schedule In Area Today

By Bill Chaddock
News-Register Staff Writer

Sen. John F. Kennedy today accepted the challenge of his Democratic presidential foe in the West Virginia primary election, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, for a face-to-face debate of the issues in the presidential election.

During his campaign tour today of the Wheeling area, Kennedy revealed he would be "delighted to discuss with Senator Humphrey the issues, any time, any place, or on any occasion."

Acceptance of the challenge by Kennedy came within a matter of hours after is was issued by Humphrey from his state headquarters in Charleston. Kennedy made his announcement while en route from Wheeling to Bethany College to begin his busy schedule in the area today.

This was a new twist from the campaign leading up to the Wisconsin primary, where Kennedy defeated Humphrey. The Massachusetts senator declined to accept an invitation from Humphrey for a personal debate in Wisconsin.

He stated that "in view of the way the campaign is evolving in West Virginia, I can't accept the current attacks without fighting back."

Kennedy said therefore that he would be "glad to oblige" the Minnesota senator.

Kennedy explained today that the reason for his refusal to discuss the issues in the Wisconsin campaign was that he felt it would be "harmful to the party and to the candidates to have intense personal debate."

He agreed to a single debate or a series of them and suggested that "maybe television would be the most effective way."

Before a packed house at the Bethany College auditorium, Sen. Kennedy urged closer interrelation between college and politics, advising the college students that they must face the basic issues that face our country.

"The issues discussed in Wisconsin and West Virginia are not the basic problems of our country." He listed the three basic problems as first, the population growth; secondly, how the United States can stimulate economic growth, which last year was one and one-half per cent to 10 per cent in Soviet Russia and thirdly, how the United States and Russia can live together peacefully with their large arsenals.

When Sen. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, had concluded his talk, he threw the session open to questions from the audience that immediately resulted in the senator again taking the offensive on the religious question.

A man identified as Kenneth Klinkert, who came to Wheeling yesterday from Wisconsin to distribute literature attacking Kenedy for president, spoke out with one of the first questions.

He asked the presidential candidate how he felt he could preach "democracy on one hand and support an authoritarian view on the other in which he took orders from above," (obviously referring to the senator's Catholic beliefs.)

Senator Kennedy brought a round of applause from the audience when he stated "I don't take orders from above."

He pointed out that he has been supporting the Constitution of the United States for 15 years and that he cannot see where his beliefs or church can interfere."

"I dislike using the power of the state to force any person or group of persons to conform to any idea or belief," the senator continued.

"It's up to me what I think" he added. "I have taken the same oath of office the President of the United States has taken six times (five times in the House and Senate and once in the United States Navy) to uphold the Constitution and thus far, and you can check my record, I have been able to fulfill my obligations fully."

He then concluded the period with a remark that brought both cheers and prolonged applause from the students:

"I am going to go to church where I please regardless of whether I'm elected president or not."

A half dozen questions ranging from the South Africa situation to birth control were fired at the senator from the student body.

One dealt with his views on the federal support of colleges and universities.

He said "a major portion of the answer to the economic problems that West Virginia faces today lies in its educational facilities."

"We must have better education, particularly in West Virginia where a transition must be made in the next few years."

The Senator pointed to his home state of Massachusetts and its problems after the World War II when it was solely a textile manufacturing place.

He explained that through the influence of large universities such as Harvard, MIT and others electronics firms and other scientific interests were enticed to the area and Massachusetts is now progressing.

"The American people themselves must be willing do [sic] devote more effort and income to education and colleges in particular.

Later at West Liberty State College he came back to the subject of education in a few brief remarks before a crowd of over 500 persons and termed West Virginia colleges "the gold reserve of West Virginia."

As to whether he felt the United States should give birth control support to other countries, Senator Kennedy replied:

"Various countries are now carrying on policies of birth control over the world. However, I feel it is a mistake for the United States to give assistance in birth control as such, and I feel the president (Eisenhower) feels the same way. We must offer a long-range program of assistance in other fields to let them provide more efforts of their own to this question."

Birth control popped up once again in the questions.

One student wanted to know if "while he were president if Congress passed legislation legalizing birth control, what would be his action?"

Pointing to the fact that Congress could not at the present pass any law making birth control compulsory, the senator did state:

"My own religious beliefs will have no effect on my obligation to carry out my oath of office."

He then pointed to a host of Catholic judges over the country who annually hand out orders granting divorces, although their religion teaches that a divorce should not be recognized.

After departing Bethany College on his whirlwind tour Senator Kennedy went by car to West Liberty State College to speak from atop a campus bench to a throng that numbered close to 500 students and instructors.

After a few general remarks on the value of education, and the influence it will be on the American political scene in years to come, he answered numerous other questions on state, local, and national problems, before climbing back into his auto for the trip to Wheeling.

Upon arriving in Wheeling yesterday, Sen. Kennedy assailed his only designated opponent in the West Virginia primary, Sen. Humphrey, as an instrument of others who oppose him.

Kennedy flatly declared that Humphrey could not get the Democratic presidential nomination. He said Humphrey is a "man who could not be nominated...a man who could not carry a state right next to his own...and who is now being used to stop Kennedy."

Following lunch at the McLure Hotel at 12:35 p. m. today, Kennedy will tour the Sylvania Plant at 2 p. m. and one hour later will meet Hazel Atlas workers outside of the plant here.

He has scheduled a press conference for 4 p. m. in the Continental Room of the McLure Hotel after which he will walk the downtown streets to meet the public. A public reception will be held in the Colonnade Room at the McLure between 7:30 and 9 p. m. today to close out his stay in Wheeling.

Public Reception From 7:30 to 9

A public reception for Sen. John F. Kennedy will be held at the McLure Hotel from 7:30 until 9 o'clock this evening.

Jacqueline Kennedy Likes Political Swim

She's Young and Attractive

By Kitty Jefferson Doepken
News-Register Staff Writer

People in the lobby of the McLure Hotel this morning looked, and looked again at the tall, lovely brunette in the pale green suit

She might have been a top fashion model. Or she might have been a young actress - fresh from Broadway or Hollywood.

Who was she? Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, wife of Senator John Kennedy, campaigning here today in his bid for the presidential nomination.

If Jack Kennedy wins his race, his wife will undoubtedly be one of the most attractive, intelligent first ladies this land has ever known. And with the exception of Mrs. Grover Cleveland, she will be the youngest!

In discussing her feelings about public life and the possibilities of a White House address, Jacqueline Kennedy evinced no qualms. Her big hurdle came in 1953 when she married Kennedy, then a freshman senator, having just defeated Lodge in the Massachusetts elections. At a time when most of her friends were settling down to quiet domesticity, she was plunging as a young bride into the political swim.

She is a soft-spoken girl with a beautifully modulated voice. Her background includes private schools, two years at Vassar, study abroad, and a foundation in foreign languages. As for the social aspects of their life, their entertaining at home is kept at a minimum. An ideal evening is one spent quietly with a few friends. Time together is precious to them and is shared as much as possible with little daughter Caroline.

Her family is staunch Republican but they've taken son-in-law Jack to their hearts and are now firmly on the Kennedy bandwagon.

Jacqueline Kennedy,. although 12 years her husband's junior, impressed us as being one of the calmest, most sensible women we've ever met. In meeting the public, she couldn't be more charming. Campaigning with her husband seems to be no problem or challenge to her. It's simply accepted. You get the feeling that there is a goal in sight, and that Jacqueline Kennedy knows that she will reach that goal.

Obviously that goal is Washington, D. C. and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It's going to be interesting, watching the race. Whether Jack Kennedy will emerge the winner or not, only time will tell. But this we can say; he certainly picked a winner in Jacqueline Kennedy.

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