The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Statement by Senator John F. Kennedy on Fifth Debate, Dayton, Ohio
October 17, 1960

I have been informed that Mr. Nixon has turned down the idea of holding a fifth debate. I wanted this debate. The networks were willing to give time for this debate. The American people want this debate. Only Mr. Nixon stands in the way. It is difficult to understand why Mr. Nixon has persisted in trying to cut off debate 18 days before election and not permit the American people to hear a discussion of the issues as they develop in one of the most important elections in our history. If he did not want a fifth debate it is equally difficult to understand why he would not permit postponement of the fourth debate into the final 10 days of the campaign. I have expressed my willingness to rearrange my schedule to go anywhere in the country to hold this debate. I believe Mr. Nixon could do likewise. I call upon Mr. Nixon to reconsider his refusal and permit the American people another opportunity to hear us discuss issues, many of which change from a day-to-day basis as we near the election. I have instructed my representatives to again contact Mr. Nixon's representatives and attempt to persuade them to hold this further meeting.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Statement by Senator John F. Kennedy on Fifth Debate, Dayton, Ohio", October 17, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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