Excerpts of Speech by the Vice President at Arlin Field High School, Mansfield, Ohio, and Municipal Auditorium, Evansville, IN
On Thursday, Senator Kennedy made a major address on foreign policy at Syracuse, N.Y.
In it, he dealt at length with a number of subjects, including the situation which now exists in the United States General Assembly meeting.
He said, among other things, that he was "tired of reading every morning what Mr. Khrushchev is doing or what Mr. Castro is doing."
"I want," said Senator Kennedy, "to read what the President of the United States is doing."
If Mr. Kennedy would stop looking so hard for things that are wrong with America's position and America's prestige he would not have made such a reckless and irresponsible attack on the President.
If he would talk less and read more he would have learned that the President has been giving dynamic leadership in this situation to the cause of peace and freedom. He has been applauded by the entire world.
What is it that he has been reading every morning about Mr. Khrushchev? He has been reading about Mr. Khrushchev's boorish conduct on the Assembly floor, his attacks on the Secretary-General his desk poundings, his rude interruptions of the British Prime Minister, conduct which has shocked the world.
Is this the kind of action that Senator Kennedy wants from the President?
Or is he talking about the actions of the Soviet Union as contrasted with those of the United States? Should the United States have dealt with the Cuban people who have been the victim's of Castro's demagoguery, as Khrushchev dealt with the Hungarian patriots in the streets of Budapest? Certainly, the Senator must agree with the President in rejecting such line of action.
Certainly, he cannot believe that in the Congo the United States should have followed Khrushchev's example and attempted to muscle its way in and shatter forever the hopes of these people for independence. He must agree that we can be proud that we acted in support of the United Nations to save the independence of the Congo.
Is he talking about our efforts to assist the newly developing free nations of the world to gain economic progress through freedom? Should we be making news as Khrushchev makes news by giving aid only with the chains of conquest firmly attached?
Or is he willing to concede, when he thinks it out, that it is not the headlines we should be seeking but constructive, patient, constant work in behalf of the cause of peace with freedom in the world?
What Senator Kennedy should realize, and what virtually all of the free peoples of the world can clearly recognize, is that the future of the United Nations itself and of its powerful influence for peace is being preserved by American leadership, by the leadership of President Eisenhower. He should recognize what the world sees - that the hopes of the free nations, those which now exist, and those which are coming into being, are relying on this leadership.
If he were really reading instead of talking, he would have learned that every one of Mr. Khrushchev's efforts to sabotage the U. N. and these hopes of the world have been overwhelmingly rejected by the representatives of the nations in New York.
Senator Kennedy has a right and a responsibility, as the opposition candidate, to criticize the administration record. But he also has a responsibility when he criticizes to be right about what he says.
I cannot allow this attack on the President's leadership and his prestige to go unanswered when it carries with it the hopes of the entire world at this crucial moment.
The Senator owes it to his party and to his country to cease these irresponsible attacks on the President of the United States.
Richard Nixon, Excerpts of Speech by the Vice President at Arlin Field High School, Mansfield, Ohio, and Municipal Auditorium, Evansville, IN Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273619