Franklin D. Roosevelt

Excerpts from the Press Conference

October 18, 1940

THE PRESIDENT: This has not been put on the mimeograph outside. Steve [Mr. Early] will do it right off, afterwards. I shall read it:

"In the speech of acceptance to the Democratic Convention on July 19, 1940, the President said:

"'I shall not have the time or the inclination to engage in any purely political debate. But I shall never be loath to call the attention of the nation to deliberate or unwitting falsifications of fact.'

"There has been in this campaign, however, a systematic program of falsification of fact by the opposition. The President does not believe that it has been an unwitting falsification of fact. He believes it is a deliberate falsification of fact.

"He has, therefore, decided to tell the American people what these misrepresentations have been and in what respect they are false. With that purpose in mind, the President will make five speeches between now and election day."

Q. Mr. President, are you ready at this time to give us some indication of what those misrepresentations are?

THE PRESIDENT: You will have to wait until the five speeches, Pete [Mr. Brandt].

And also, for the benefit of certain people whose ethics are not just like mine, I think you can say that these trips will include, some of them, some inspection work because they happen to be near where we are doing a lot of defense preparation, but the trips will be paid for, of course, obviously, by the Democratic National Committee because they contain political speeches. I have just anticipated, perhaps, certain statements that might afterwards come out.

Q. Mr. President, is there a possibility, sir, that the speech scheduled here for October thirtieth will be shifted over to Baltimore?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, there is a possibility that the speech will be shifted over to Baltimore.

Q. That would put you in Baltimore, sir, the same night that Mr. Willkie is speaking there.

THE PRESIDENT: Does it? Good. (Laughter) . . .

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Excerpts from the Press Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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