Excerpts of Remarks by the Vice President at Friendship Airport, Baltimore, MD
This is, as Cabot Lodge has already indicated, a tremendously vital campaign, as are all campaigns for the Presidency.
I can say that it is having a very auspicious start because of your dedication in coming out, as you have, not only from Maryland, but from Virginia and Pennsylvania, from other parts of the eastern seaboard, to send us off, as you have.
I can say, too, that the fact that we have here the leaders of the House and Senate who made such a magnificent record throughout the past 2 years, but particularly in this last special session, certainly warms our hearts, as I know it warms the heart of the President, who worked with them, and they with him.
But also may I say that one thing that is very encouraging to us, as we begin, is to see the candidates for the Congress that you have here in the State of Maryland. As we came up the steps, Cabot Lodge, the President and I, and met each of them, we all agreed that we had never seen a finer looking group of candidates than this group of candidates at the State level. This will help us in Maryland and throughout the Nation to win at the national level, and we thank you for that.
Now, there are, of course, a great number of issues in this campaign. This is not the time to discuss them in length or in detail. I would only like to indicate briefly the responsibilities that I think Cabot Lodge and I will bear as we begin the official part of the campaign today, here in Columbus, in Ohio, and I in a trip across the country.
Incidentally, before doing that, may I say I apologize for bringing California weather to Washington, but, Mr. President, I just got a weather report on the rest of the country, and in your home State of Texas and in my home State of California and in my mother's home State of Indiana where we are going to be later, we're going to have Eisenhower weather all day long.
Not only are we going to have Eisenhower weather, but we hope, Mr. President, to be able to conduct this campaign in a way that will meet the high standards you have set for the political campaigning in 1952 and 1956.
We intend to carry this campaign to every one of the 50 States. We are doing so because we believe that no State should be conceded and none should be taken for granted. We believe every State is a battleground; every one is close, but also there is another reason for doing this: we believe this is a time when all Americans, wherever they live in this country, should have an opportunity to see and hear the candidates and have a choice and make a decision between the candidates - not just on traditional party labels, but on the great issues on which they stand - and as we travel north and south and east and west, we are going to carry this campaign to the country, speaking to those issues in the same way in every part of the country, because this is what the people are entitled to hear.
May I say, too, that we are not going to make an appeal solely on the basis of our party affiliation. We could go and speak to this group here, for example, and say "Vote Republican," because you are Republicans, but we believe the issues are so important the need for leadership, the best leadership America can produce is so great that people in this campaign should not think of the party label. They should think of what is best for America, and they should judge the candidates for President and Vice President on the basis of this standard alone, and we present our case, to Republicans, to Democrats, to independents on that ground.
Study our records: Consider our experience; consider where we stand on the issues, and determine whether you believe that the Nixon-Lodge team can better provide the leadership that America needs, can better follow the leadership that President Eisenhower has given, or whether the other can better do it.
This is the way we will present our case to the Nation, and may I say, Mr. President, that, as we leave on this campaign, there are a number of things which will make us very proud. One, speaking from a personal standpoint: I am very proud of the fact that I have as my running mate a man who, under your direction and leadership, has represented the United States so magnificently in the United Nations for the past 7½ years.
And, since I believe, as I do, that, as in 1952 and as in 1956, the great overriding issue before the American people, more important than all the domestic issues, the one which they should think of above everything else, is keeping the peace without surrender and extending freedom through the world, may I say that since that is the issue I am particularly proud that I have as a running mate a man who, under your direction, is so qualified to work with the next President in extending freedom and working for peace, as you have extended it and worked for it during the past 8 years.
But, Mr. President, I am most proud today of the fact that he and I are able to run on your record.
Sometimes in political campaigns, you know, candidates are not willing to defend the record or to run on it. They run away from it, as the Democratic candidate did in 1952, but this year we are proud of the record that you have made the past 7½ years, a record that has brought peace to America, enjoyed, and that has brought progress for our people. We are proud of that record, and we welcome the opportunity not only to run on it but to build on it and to build on it in the years ahead, as you want the next President and the next Vice President to build on.
And, so, for that reason, may I close my remarks today before this crowd by saying: we thank you, Mr. President, for the leadership you have given. We thank you for the standards you set in your great campaigns, and we hope that we, in these next 8 hard weeks, grueling weeks, can maintain the dignity which you always maintained in your campaigns, that we can talk on the great issues, as you always talked on those great issues, that we can maintain our balance and present always to the people the cause for which we stand in a way that they can understand it, in a way that they can have a clear choice between where we stand and where our opponents stand; and if we meet your standards we will have served our party, but, more than that, we will have served America, and that will assure the victory toward which we are working.
Richard Nixon, Excerpts of Remarks by the Vice President at Friendship Airport, Baltimore, MD Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273848