Vote Issues, Sen. Kennedy Pleads Here
By Don Marsh
May 7, 1960
Vote Issues, Sen. Kennedy Pleads Here
By Don Marsh
Sen. John Kennedy urged West Virginians Friday to “vote me up or vote me down but vote me up or down on the issues.”
Speaking at a televised rally in Charleston, Kennedy implied his religion would not interfere with his duty if he is elected President.
He said he had sworn to defend the Constitution when he entered Congress. “And whether I am elected president or remain a senator I will continue to defend the constitution,” he declared.
“I can tell you today: the best interest of the country will be in my heart wherever I may go from this day forward.”
Although he didn’t say so, the words apparently were to reassure anyone who thought the Catholic church might influence him if he is elected.
Kennedy repeatedly has said the church would not interfere with his decisions.
West Virginia is regarded as a key state in determining whether voters in a heavily Protestant area believe him. Many experts think if he wins Tuesday’s primary from Hubert Humphrey the nomination is almost assured.
The rally, held in a parking lot behind the public library, drew a substantial crowd. Another attraction was Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., who has been campaigning on Kennedy’s behalf.
Earlier, Kennedy spent part of the afternoon in Cabell County. He flew to Huntington from Washington where he voted for the area redevelopment bill.
He told listeners in Huntington that the West Virginia primary was responsible for the bill’s passage. “This is just the beginning,” Kennedy said. “West Virginia is not a national problem, but a national opportunity.”
“If this primary serves no other purpose,” he added, “it has highlighted the national problem of men being made idle by machines that take away their jobs.”
He urged West Virginians to “nominate and elect as President a candidate who has traveled in West Virginia.”
Both Kennedy and Humphrey have criticized others with presidential aspirations who have failed to enter primaries.
Kennedy was met here by his brother Ted, who carried on for him while he was in Washington.
Starting from Charleston this morning, Ted’s tour took him to Hurricane, Hamlin, Salt Rock and Milton, ground covered last week by Humphrey.
In both Hurricane and Hamlin, where he said “I’m doing this for my brother jack,” he was heard by crowds slightly larger than those which heard Humphrey, about 400 in Hurricane and 300 in Hamlin.
At Milton, where he visited a glass factory, dodging around workmen processing molten glass, he spoke before a high school crowd of 200 out for the noon recess.
At Salt Rock, a cross-roads country village, he was greeted by what sounded like hooting.
But 64-year-old Homer Chancy, a World War I veteran who served 12 years in the army said he didn’t mean it that way.
“I can bray like a donkey,” he explained. “Don’t you get it? Democrat-donkey.”
After his Huntington speech, Sen. Kennedy visited the sister towns of Ceredo and Kenova before returning by plane to Charleston for the TV appearance.
By Thomas F. Stafford
Pineville – Sen. Hubert Humphrey, taking notice of the stepped-up tempo of this advertising campaign of his adversary, Sen. John Kennedy, charged here Friday night that “this is the most lavish, extravagant and expensive campaign the people of West Virginia have ever known.”
Humphrey came here to attend a testimonial dinner for former Judge R. D. Bailey. He had spent the afternoon touring Mingo and Wyoming Counties.
The Minnesota Democrat, campaigning vigorously for the majority vote in next Tuesday’s preferential primary had to pass up key stops in McDowell County to reach Pineville for the affair.
An unexpected return trip to Washington to vote on the area redevolopment [sic] bill put him behind schedule.
In his statement here, he developed the same theme he had used at a mid-afternoon street rally in Williamson, attended by about 1,000 people. The Kennedy organization, he said, is spending at least $250,000 to win the primary in this state.
“It’s up to you the voters,” Humphrey said both here and in Williamson, “whether you want this campaign decided by the measurement of money that can be expended or on the programs and philosophies of the respective candidates.”
At Williamson he said his costs for getting there from Washington, by chartered plane and helicopter, were the single most expensive ones he has had since coming to West Virginia.
“And I paid for them out of my own pocket,” he added.
Humphrey had to turn over the forenoon part of his tour to his lieutenant governor of Minnesota, Karl F. Rolvaag. Both Humphrey and Kennedy were in Washington for the crucial vote.
The Humphrey people were openly worried by his sudden recall to Washington. They had looked upon the coalfield tour as extremely important to his candidacy.
In his Pineville statement he also called attention to the fact that Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican choice for President, has twice this week commended Kennedy and on Friday predicted that he would win in West Virginia.
“He likes to choose his competition,” Humphrey added with a wink.
In his extemporaneous remarks at the dinner, he talked for the most part about former President Roosevelt, calling him one of the greatest men of this age.
He also had praise for Bailey, who was the first person in West Virginia to take the stump for Roosevelt before his election to the presidency in 1932.
At the dinner, Sen. Kennedy was represented by his brother Robert, who drew warm applause in saying:
“If we can spend money to put West Germany back on its feet, we can surely spend money to put West Virginia back on its feet—a state, incidentally, which sent more men to World War II than any other single state.”
Kennedy called the primary next Tuesday “one of the most important in West Virginia history.” The people of this state, he noted, well may decide who is to be the next President, and they therefore should look upon it as a national rather than a state primary.
Rep. James Roosevelt of California, the principal speaker, advised that “we must rebuild the right of the individual—respect for the individual, that is—if we are to keep the basic concepts of democracy alive in the world.”
This can be done, he said, only by rigging safeguards against such things as inflation and by passing such acts as the area redevelopment bill, which went to the President Friday.
At the Bailey dinner were such notables as Sen. Jennings Randolph, Supreme Court Judges Frank Haymond, Thornton Berry, Harlan Calhoun and Chauncey Browning, Former Gov. Okey L. Patteson, Reps. Cleveland Bailey and Elizabeth Kee, former Rep. Joe L. Smith and House Speaker Harry R. Pauley.
Gubernatorial candidates W. W. Barron and Hulett C. Smith also were on the platform, but Orel J. Skeen did not put in an appearance.
Several hundred well-wishers were on hand for the affair at Pineville High School.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., top campaign lieutenant for Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) said Friday night he “deeply resented” published accusations that he was playing dirty politics with the war record of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn).
Humphrey was not in the armed services. Kennedy was an officer in the U. S. Navy.
“Did you call Sen. Humphrey a draft dodger?” a reporter asked Roosevelt.
“I’ve never said that and I never meant that,” he declared. “I did not use that phrase.”
Than he added, “The record speaks for itself.”
“My whole emphasis on Sen. Kennedy’s war record,” Roosevelt said, “is that any man who has known war recognized the vital necessity for peace.
“It is also possible that a man who was not in the service could realize the same necessity.”
In a brief statement handed out by Kennedy headquarters, Roosevelt said, “I do not feel that this is of importance in this campaign and I regret that it has been forced into an issue.”
Roosevelt has been campaigning actively for Kennedy in the buildup to next Tuesday’s presidential primary.
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