Newspaper Articles

Charleston Gazette
April 26, 1960

Hubert, Kennedy Return to Stump

Humphrey Strikes 'Poor Man's' Theme

By Arthur Edson

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."

Then he added:

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

"They say Humphrey is too liberal. You know why? He's for you.

Mostly Humphrey spent little time on his Democratic foe but whaled away at his favorite target, the Eisenhower administration.

West Virginia has had severe economic problems. And Humphrey kept insisting, as his campaign bus turned and twisted through some of the world's prettiest hills, that these could be solved with governmental action.

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

Humphrey always got a laugh when he insisted that this administration is more intersted in golf than in solving problems.

One issue, religion, was carefully sidestepped. Kennedy is a Roman Catholic, and West Virginia is predominantly 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 to 150 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. The tail of the bus stuck back over the tracks, but it didn't matter. The whole train crew was busy pumping Humphrey's hand.

As Humphrey advanced across the state, he repeatedly insisted that West Virginia should not be looked upon as an economic loss but as an excellent opportunity for advancement.

And when he reached Fairmont where he spent the night, he elaborated on this point.

There he put forth a 10-point program for the economic revival of the state.

"Efficient, coordinated planning is needed," he said. "We should have a federal commission, appointed by the President, to launch an aggressive research and development for new coal uses and markets."

Some of the points stressed by Humphrey: Area redevelopment, a minimum wage of $1.25 an hour, a food stamp program and a youth conservation corps.

Jack Continues Blast of Administration

By Herb Little

LOGAN - (AP) - A perspiring Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) kept pounding away at the Eisenhower Administration today as he carried his campaign swing through hot and dusty coal mining and railroad towns of southern West Virginia.

It was shirt-sleeve campaigning, with the temperature edging over the 90-degree mark through much of the day.

Kennedy's theme changed little with each stop: the Administration in Washington is and has been indifferent to areas suffering from depressed economic conditions.

It was a timely subject as far as his listeners were concerned. The area he covered is one of the hardest hit sections economically in the State.

Kennedy stayed away from any reference to Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn), his rival in the May 10 West Virginia Democratic presidential primary.

Even though the results of the primary will not be binding on the state's delegates to the national convention, both Kennedy and Humphrey have said they need to win in West Virginia to make a strong showing before the convention.

A crowd which the Logan Banner estimated at 600 stood in a roped-off street in front of the courthouse to hear Kennedy in Logan Monday night.

There was no basis for comparison with a turnout here for Humphrey because his only Logan appearance so far was early in the morning at a breakfast but he will be back.

In a fighting speech, Kennedy said, "I don't think we want eight more years of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."

As both he and Humphrey have done repeatedly before, Kennedy assailed President Eisenhower for his vetoes of area redevelopment and coal research bills. They were both measures which would have helped West Virginia's economically sick coal mining areas, Kennedy said. He repeated the assertion - challenged by Republican Gov. Cecil H. Underwood last week - that West Virginia ranked last among the 50 states in defense contract awards by the federal government last year.

Kennedy added that this should not be true in a state which, in proportion to population, had more Korean war dead than any other state.

Kennedy made many quick stops on the shirt-clinging ride here from Huntington, where he started a three-day swing through the state this morning. He flew in from Oregon, where he had campaigned for two days for the primary there.

Near the tiny community of Crum, Kennedy spotted a dozen section hands working along the tracks. He stopped the bus and walked over for handshakes and a chat.

He even ventured over the state line into Kentucky when the caravan stopped at Williamson. He stopped traffic at a supermarket when he walked in and bought a 59-cent cake. He was met there by about 200 elementary school children who chanted, "Kennedy, Kennedy, he's our man; he can do what nobody can."

Kennedy told one group he would "put the whole force of the presidency and the federal government behind an effort to influence companies to consider the problems of persons 45 or older."

In this coal-mining area, many older miners have lost their jobs to mechanization and have been unable to find other work because of their age.

After taking the initiative last week in discussing his Roman Catholic religion, Kennedy appeared to be soft-pedaling the issue today. No one brought it up in the several question-and-answer sessions he held along the way.

At Kermit, Albert Perry, an unemployed miner for two years, told a reporter:

"My dad was a Baptist preacher. There were eight of us boys, and every one of us is for Kennedy."

Many of the men in the crowds which heard Kennedy were unemployed. He told them that if he is nominated and elected, his program will include area redevelopment legislation of the sort vetoed by President Eisenhower, Federal re-insurance of unemployment compensation programs channeling defense contracts into areas of high unemployment and a better diet of surplus commodities for the needy.

At Wayne, Kennedy contended that Gov. Underwood was "acting on instructions from the (Republican) National Committee" when Underwood criticized him last week.

Underwood at a news conference had denounced both Kennedy and Humphrey for - as Underwood said he saw it - exploiting West Virginia's economic troubles for political gain. Otherwise, most of Underwood's comments were directed against Kennedy.

The bulk of Underwood's criticism was aimed at Kennedy rather than Humphrey, Kennedy said, because "I am the only Democratic candidate who is running ahead of the Vice President, Mr. Nixon, in the national polls."

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