Newspaper Articles

Beckley Post Herald
April 26, 1960

Sen. Humphrey Croons "Poor" Candidate Blues

Buckhannon (AP) - Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) toured the poorer sections of West Virginia Monday with this plea: It takes a man who has been poor to understand properly a poor man's needs.

"I'm the only candidate in the Democratic party," he said at one stop, "who isn't a millionaire."

And thus he got in a blow at Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass), his opponent in the presidential primary here May 10, without mentioning his name.

Kennedy was born rich, and he stayed that way.

This, according to Humphrey, is a tremendous handicap.

"I've been poor," he said. "The people who haven't been have missed something."

"I want to fight your battles, I'm one of you," he added.

West Virginia has had severe economic problems. And Humphrey kept insisting on his tour that these could be solved with governmental action.

"It isn't that West Virginia is dying," he told a crowd of 200 at Webster Springs. "We've got a government down in Washington, D. C., paralyzed."

One issue, religion, was carefully sidestepped. Kennedy is a Roman Catholic, and West Virginia is predominately Protestant. Exactly what this will mean in the voting is hotly debated.

Humphrey detoured around the touchy subject.

"I want to earn your vote," he said, "not on the basis of my church, or my nationality, or my wealth, but on what I'll do for you."

This was another of those incredible days that seemed to be more of an endurance test than campaign trip. Humphrey's bus bearing the hopeful legend, "Over the Hump With Humphrey," left Charleston at 6 a.m. and headed northeast across the state.

He paused for breakfast at Summersville and delivered a speech at 1:50 at the courthouse there.

While passing through Cowen, Humphrey noticed a train stopped at the crossing. "Stop the bus!" he cried. And out he hopped.

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