Kennedy Takes Friendlier Tone
By Don Marsh
May 9, 1960
Kennedy Takes Friendlier Tone
By Don Marsh
Sen. John F. Kennedy said Sunday he regretted that personalities have been injected into his presidential campaign against Sen. Hubert Humphrey.
Kennedy conceded that “these campaigns do get hot” but he apparently hoped to end the name calling that has developed.
A few hours earlier, his headquarters released a statement quoting Kennedy that he had experienced the most “personal abuse” of his experience in West Virginia.
“I am puzzled that a candidate who no observer thinks can be nominated by the Democratic Party should indulge in such tactics. I am saddened that he ahs chosen this course for his campaign,” the statement quoted Kennedy.
But later, at a press interview televised by WCHS-TV, he had apparently changed his mind, saying:
“. . . To the best of my recollection, and I think my recollection is good, I’ve never criticized personally Sen. Humphrey. I’ve always stated since I went into this campaign that I feel he’s very able and vigorous senator.
“But my view, and I hope when this campaign is over, and we go on to other primaries; I hope our relationship will be a friendly one . . .”
His friendlier tone had no immediate effect. Humphrey forces charged during the day that he had “backed out” of another scheduled television program in an effort to prevent Humphrey from receiving free time.
Kennedy’s press secretary promptly answered that the charge was “100 per cent untrue.” He said the program, originally scheduled for tonight over WSAZ-TV, had been cancelled because the station was unable to provide a full hour’s time as previously agreed.
Arguments between the two candidates and their supporters have been growing more numerous and more intense as Tuesday’s primary approaches.
From the start, Humphrey has needled Kennedy with the accusation that he is using his family’s wealth to unfair advantage.
Kennedy has repeatedly counter-attacked with the assertion that Humphrey has no chance of the nomination, even if he wins the election and that he is serving as a front man for other potential candidates not entered in West Virginia.
But last week, the charges became more personal. It started with Franklin D. Roosevelt saying—or implying—that Sen. Humphrey tried to stay out of service during World War II. Roosevelt is a Kennedy supporter; Humphrey said the accusation was [“]gutter politics.”
Commenting on the incident, Kennedy said he didn’t think phrases such as “gutter politics” had a part in the campaign.
“. . . I’ve stated that I was extremely sorry the matter came up . . . which was a criticism of Sen. Humphrey by someone who’s supporting me . . . I expressed my regret for that.
“I don’t want to get into those discussions; they’re not of interest to anybody. What people here are interested in is selecting a President who is going to deal with extremely sensitive and difficult problems.”
Kennedy said he had spent considerable money in West Virginia but he added that he had bought less radio and television time here than Humphrey did in Wisconsin, another state in which they met.
The reason, Kennedy said, was because of his Catholicism. He said he was aware that many resident of heavily Protestant West Virginia had reservations about him because of it and that he needed more time to explain his position to them.
He said he had tried to assure West Virginians that he fully agrees with the principle of separation of church and state. “I am as devoted to that matter as they can possibly be, as they are,” he declared.
Kennedy said he thought many voters were beginning to listen to him and to believe him. He said he thought that was the big reason that he had been gaining ground in the last two weeks. “We’ll know how much I have convinced them next Tuesday.”
In addition to religion, Kennedy said other candidates had ganged up on him in West Virginia and that Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was trying to best him.
“The latest joiner to this group is Vice President Richard M. Nixon who announced in Washington that from now on he is going to direct his fire against me,” Kennedy said.
Referring to Nixon, Kennedy said: “He and the Republican national Committee had already given orders to West Virginia’s Gov. Cecil Underwood to attack me. Now, through the broadest possible interpretation of the FCC regulations, Gov. Underwood and GOP Chairman Thruston Morton have been given free time on the eve of the election to engage in a political program during which I am sure to be the principal target.”
All the political signs pointed toward a close finish as Kennedy and Humphrey carried their popularity contest struggle into its final stages. The outcome is not binding on the state[‘]s 25-vote convention delegation.
Kennedy insisted he is fighting an uphill battle in which he said he would be lucky to get as much as 45 per cent of Tuesday’s vote. Humphrey was confident of victory but made no claims about its size.
Some politicians have said Kennedy’s presidential hopes will stand or fall on his ability to get a majority of the Democrats who vote in West Virginia.
But Kennedy made it clear that unless he takes a severe drubbing here—a result he obviously is not expecting—he will continue his vigorous fight for the nomination.
“This is not the only primary,” he said. “I expect to do well in Maryland, Nebraska and Oregon. West Virginia is not a typical state. I have faced more difficulties here than I would in any other state.”
Most Won’t State Presidential Picks
By James A. Haught
For the most part, West Virginia voters are going to have to take a “pig in a poke” as they pick delegates to the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.
Of the 108 candidates for the convention, almost three-fourths decline to say who they’ll support for President and vice president at Los Angeles.
The Gazette conducted an extensive poll of all 108 candidates and came up with the following results:
Undecided or decline to answer…………………74
For Kennedy …………………………………….12
In giving their second and third choices, the aspirants came up with some unusual combinations, such as the ticket of Estes Kefauver for President and Jennings Randolph for vice president, as proposed by candidate Walter Wolfe of Grafton.
Others endorsed political opposites, such as Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s proposed ticket of Lyndon Johnson for President and Hubert Humphrey for vice president.
The complete results of The Gazette’s poll, including a few results from a previous poll by another newspaper, follow. The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of candidates to be voted for in each category.
W. Robert Abbot, Fayetteville—Stevenson for President, no second choice.
Mrs. Charles A. Adkins, Huntington—Declined to state preference in earlier poll.
Ferris A. Aide, Oak Hill—Stevenson for president, Humphrey for vice president, Kennedy second choice for vice president.
Charles S. Armistead, Morgantown—Waiting for results of primary.
R. D. Bailey, Pineville—Undecided.
Joe E. Ballengee, Charleston—Stevenson first choice for president, Johnson second choice (earlier poll).
Arthur K. Banks, Charleston—Waiting for results of primary, inclined for Stevenson for President.
George Barnett, Parkersburg—Uncommitted, but leaning toward Symington.
Robert M. Bean, Huntington—Waiting for return of several thousand cards asking public whom should be supported.
William A. Beckett, Huntington—Undecided.
Clara (Mrs. Herbert) Boyd, Charleston—Declined to state preference in earlier poll.
Frederick E. Brown, Huntington—Stevenson for president.
Robert C. Byrd, Sophia—Johnson for President, Humphrey for vice president, Symington second choice for President, Gov. Lawrence of Pennsylvania second choice for vice president, Humphrey third presidential choice, Wager of New York third choice for vice president.
John B. Camilli, Weirton—Kennedy for President, Humphrey for vice president, Symington second presidential choice.
Roy A. Chambers, Williamson—Undecided.
Alfred A. Chapman, Wheeling—Kennedy for President, Symington for vice president; second choices—Johnson, President, and Kennedy, vice president; third choices—Symington, President, and Humphrey, vice president.
W. E. Chilton, Charleston—Stevenson for President, Kennedy for vice president.
Joseph P. Condry, Charleston—Uncommitted.
J. C. Cruikshank, Ivydale—Symington for President, Meyner for vice president; second choices—President, Stevenson, and vice president, Humphrey; third choices—Johnson, President, and Kennedy, vice president.
J. Hornor Davis, Charleston—Undecided.
Oscar Lewis Davis, Charleston—Declined to state preference.
Mary Hart Davvisson, Weston—No reply.
C. S. Dillon, Hinton—Declined to state preference.
Milton J. Ferguson, Wayne—Declined to state preference.
Albert J. Forte, Fairmont—Declined to state preference.
John G. Fox, Charleston—No reply.
William B. Fox, Huntington—Undecided.
J. Henry Francis Jr., Charleston—Stevenson for President, Kennedy for vice president; second choice Johnson or Symington.
D. P. Given, Webster Springs—No reply.
C. Howard Hardestry, Fairmont—Uncommitted.
C. W. Harrison, Huntington—Johnson for President, Humphrey for vice president; second choices—Symington and Humphrey.
Mrs. Beatrice Burns Harvey, Lewisburg—Undecided.
Harry W. Hill, Williamson—Johnson for President, Kennedy for vice president; second choices—Humphrey, President, and Kennedy, vice president.
William Bruce Hoff, Parkersburg—Kennedy for President, Stevenson second presidential choice, Symington third choice.
E. L. James, Institute—Declined to state preference.
Claude R. Linger, Burnsville—Kennedy for President, Stevenson for vice president; second choices—Symington for President, Kennedy for vice president.
Charles M. Love, Charleston—Kennedy for President, Stevenson second choice.
C. Lance Marshall, Elkview—First choice for President to be winner of West Virginia primary; Symington second choice and Stevenson third choice.
Robert H. Mollohan, Fairmont—Declined to state preference.
Homer A. Moss, Hurricane—Declined to state preference.
J. Howard Myers, Charleston—Declined to state preference.
Robert E. McCord, Wellsburg—Undecided.
Sam J. Romano, Clarksburg—No reply.
Burl A. Sawyers, Charleston—Undecided.
Walton Shepherd, Charleston—Stevenson first and only choice.
John M. Slack Jr., Charleston—Symington for President, undecided on other choices.
Thomas P. Snelson, Huttonsville—No reply.
James M. Sprouse, Charleston—Stevenson for President, Symington second choice.
Harley O. Staggers, Keyser—Uncommitted.
Marvin L. Taylor, Greenbelt, Md.—Uncommitted.
William P. Thaw, Sistersville—Kennedy for President, Johnson for vice president; second choices—Johnson for President and Kennedy vice president; third choices—Stevenson President, Kennedy vice president.
Richard K. Van Zandt, Huntington—declined to state preference.
Walter H. Wolfe, Grafton—Johnson for President, Symington for vice president; second choices, Symington and Kefauver; third choices, Kefauver and Sen. Jennings Randolph.
Ward Wylie, Mullens—Kennedy for President, no second choice.
Richard W. Barnes, Wellsburg—Kennedy for President.
Edmund M. Conaway, Woodruff—No reply.
Albert J. Forte, Fairmont—No reply.
William J. Hussion, Fairmont—No reply.
Jane Kettlewell, Wheeling—No reply.
Howard R. Lurie, Weirton—Stevenson for President, Kennedy for vice president.
Thomas B. Miller, Wheeling—No reply.
D. E. Ryder, Fairmont—No reply.
Joseph J. Vitello, Follansbee—Symington for President, Kennedy for vice president.
John M. Cofer, Bergoo—No reply.
John Convery, Philippi—No reply.
H. K. Griffith, Kingwood—No reply.
Robert E. Hedrick, Elkins—Kennedy for President.
Dana M. Hicks, Charleston—No reply.
James M. Mason, Charles Town—Uncommitted.
Nancy Gibson Price, Kingwood—No reply.
William R. Ross, Morgantown—No reply.
Joseph C. Vance, Morgantown—Declined to answer.
Virginia Williams, Romney—decided.
Minter E. Wilson, Morgantown—Undecided.
Joseph P. Cashion, Oak Hill—No reply.
William Paul Fontaine, Clarksburg—No reply.
E. M. Frederick, Clarksburg—No reply.
Jay V. Groves, Buckhannon—Humphrey for President, Johnson for vice president.
Frank J. Maxwell, Clarksburg—No reply.
T. E. Myles, Fayetteville—Declined to answer.
Thomas L. Sweeney, Fayetteville-No reply.
R. J. Thrift Jr., Fayetteville—No reply.
H. Paige Bell, Parkersburg—Undecided.
Elmer E. Brammer, Huntington—No reply.
M. G. Burnside, Huntington—No reply.
John G. Cody, Huntington—Undecided.
William R. Fogg, Parkersburg—No reply.
Robert P. McDonough, Parkersburg—Kennedy first and only choice.
Foster L. Seaman, Ravenswood—No reply.
Lyle A. Smith, Huntington—No reply.
Oscar Watts, Huntington—Symington for President, Humphrey for vice president.
Mrs. Clyde A. Wellman, Huntington—No reply.
J. Clarence Alderson, Hinton—No reply.
Lafe B. Chafin, Williamson—No reply.
Earl M. Curry Jr., Pineville—Stevenson for President, Kennedy for vice president; Symington second presidential choice, Humphrey third presidential choice.
Horace T. Allen Jr., Renick—Stevenson for President, Humphrey for vice president.
Virgil Marcum, Kermit—No reply.
Glenn Taylor, Matewan—No reply.
Laurence E. Tierney Jr., Bluefield—Kennedy for President, Johnson for vice president.
Lawrence Barker, Dunbar—Uncommitted.
W. T. Brotherton, Charleston—Stevenson for President, no second choice.
James V. Brown, Charleston—Uncommitted.
A. Carl Carey, Charleston—Undecided.
David Hackney, Charleston—Kennedy for President, Symington for vice president; second choices—Stevenson for President, Kennedy for vice president; third choices—Bowles for President and Symington for vice president.
John E. Howell, Charleston—No reply.
John H. McCulloch, Beckley—No reply.
Mrs. William K. Roberts, Dunbar—Undecided, leaning toward Stevenson.
Robert J. Singer, St. Albans—[no text]
'Cold Should' Tossed At Roosevelt
By Arthur Edson
'Cold Should' Tossed At Roosevelt
By Arthur Edson
CLARKSBURG - (AP) - Big time feudin' has returned to the mountains of West Virginia. It's political feudin', but angry words or sharpened words can wound and leave scars, too.
The Presidential primaries, featuring Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn), come up Tuesday, and it's just as well the end is in sight.
Each clan has been taking such splendid (or dismaying, depending on your point of view) potshots at each other that the oratory threatens to get completely out of hand.
Anyone who doubts the sting of these words, at least on Hubert H. Humphrey, needed only to spend a weekend in Clarksburg.
A big Democratic fund-raising dinner was held here. Humphrey was present to speak for himself; Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. was around to make the pitch for Kennedy.
Roosevelt has been touring the state pointing to Kennedy's war record. He then mentions that Humphrey, who had a hernia, never served in the war at all.
It's not exactly clear now how far Roosevelt went. He insists he never went so far as to call Humphrey a draft dodger, but however far it was, Humphrey says it was too far.
At dinner Saturday night Humphrey came in late. Roosevelt stuck out his hand, but Humphrey never slowed down. "Hi, Frankie," Humphrey said, lightly touching his left to Roosevelt's right, and hurried to greet other effusively.
When Roosevelt finished his plea for Kennedy, he again extended the glad hand to Humphrey, who received it frostily. It was especially apparent at a time when politicians hereabouts are grasping at any hand in sight, and would shake hands with a rattlesnake if it wore fingers.
Later, in his own speech, Humphrey summoned up some joviality as he told the crowd he remembered when Roosevelt campaigned for him.
"Ah, those were happy days," Humphrey said. But, at a photographer's suggestion, he refused to pose with Roosevelt, and at the Moose auditorium later he stayed outside until Roosevelt had finished.
A reporter recalled that Kennedy had disowned one Roosevelt statement.
"That's a lot of baloney," Humphrey said. "One takes the high road and the other the low road, and they can't keep out of each other's ditches."
How Kennedy feels about this isn't known. But he's sensitive to criticism. It isn't likely he's happy over being called "papa's pet" and a "spoiled candidate" by Humphrey.
Humphrey also has a description for the senator's brother, Robert. He calls him: "this young, emotional juvenile, Bobby."
Yet the weather wasn't altogether stormy here. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, the Senate Democratic leader, flew in for the main speech.
"I'm flying down to Texas, boy," was Johnson's greeting. "Come on down and see my ranch." Noting the invitation was being turned down, Johnson said: "Why, there's nothing going on here, nothing at all."
And he's right, of course. This primary is a popularity contest, and although it could seriously maim either Humphrey or Kennedy, not one delegate is required to pay any heed to the returns.
Kennedy and Humphrey fight to win the hearts of West Virginia voters, but their delegates' votes belong to daddy. That's Johnson, and the guesses here are that he may corral from 12 to 15 of the 24 delegates who'll do the picking.
Johnson smiled at the reports of the feuding.
"Come on down to Texas with me, boy," he said.
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