The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Rear Platform Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Sacramento, CA
September 8, 1960

SENATOR KENNEDY. Governor Brown, Mrs. Brown, Congressman John Moss, ladies and gentlemen: I am delighted to take this campaign to the capital city of the State of California, and ask you to support a Democratic President in November. [Applause.] This train is heading south, but it is also heading toward Washington, and it is also dedicated to the rebuilding of this State and country. This is a most important election in a most important time in the life of our country. I think the record of the Republican Party in this century can be written in the slogan of "Stay Normal With Harding" and "Keeping Cool With Coolidge." [Applause.] And the record of the Democratic Party and the things for which it has stood, and the things for which it has fought, have been written in the New Freedom of Woodrow Wilson, the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt, the Fair Deal of Harry Truman and the New America of Adlai Stevenson. [Applause.] And now I ask you to join me on the New Frontier of the 1960's.

I don't run for the office of the Presidency promising you that if I am elected life will be easy and Americans can go on vacation. I think that life in the 1960's is going to be more difficult, more burdensome than it has ever been in the past. I think we face the most difficult years in our history, not only in our own country, but around the world. The great responsibility for us as Americans is to demonstrate our vitality here in this country, to move ahead here in the United States, and in so doing to demonstrate our leadership around the world. Here in this State under the administration of Governor Brown, working with a Democratic assembly and a Democratic State senate, you have shown what can be done. I hope in November you will give us in Washington a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic Chief Executive and a Democratic administration which can move ahead.

I think the real issue in this campaign, in this State, and around the country, is the Republicans saying that things are good as they can be. I don't agree with it. I think the real difference is that we believe things can be better. We believe this country can move ahead. We believe that we can move stronger on the road to peace, and in the establishment of our own security. I don't take the view that we have never had it so good. I take the view that this is a great country, but it can be greater. This is a great State, but it can be a greater State. I ask your help in this campaign. I think we can win, and if we win, I think it will be possible for the country to win. [Applause.]

During the presidential election 100 years ago, Abraham Lincoln said, "I know there is a God and that he hates injustice. I see the storm coming and I see His hand in it. If He has a place and part for me, I am ready."

And I say in this campaign as the storm breaks around the great Republic that there is a place for us and we are ready. Thank you. [Applause.]

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Rear Platform Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Sacramento, CA", September 8, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25709.
 
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