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Partial Transcript of the Remarks of the Vice President, Market Square, Chester, PA

October 22, 1960

Let me say this: Nothing is more important than what you folks will be doing between now and November the 8th, because on November the 8th, all of you who vote are going to make the most important decision possibly you will ever make in your lives.

Now, it used to be in America that an election, whether it was a presidential or Congressional action, came every 2 years, or every 4 years, as the case might be, and not too many participated. For a long time the women couldn't even vote at all, and then not too many of the men. The percentage of them who voted was much less than it is today, and there were pretty good reasons, because what happened in Washington was very far away, it didn't really affect you too much. Taxes were low. The Government controls were very minor. Your local government had much more effect on your lives than your Federal Government. Today everything we do in Washington affects the prices of the things you buy in these stores.

Everything we do in Washington is going to affect the future of every young person here and old person as well, but particularly these young boys, because I say to you, as I said in that debate last night, the most important duty of the next President of the United States is to keep the peace for America, as Dwight Eisenhower has, and keen it without surrender.

Now, I can't discuss it in detail, but I will tell you this: I think I know Mr. Khrushchev. I think also that, having sat across from him, I'm not going to be fooled by him. I think also that I know what it takes to keep peace. I know that you don't just talk about it, but what you have to do is to work for it. That's why I'm glad to have running with me a man who will work to strengthen the United Nations and the other instruments of peace, and I say that when you take Cabot Lodge, that as Vice President, he will make one of the greatest Vice Presidents because he, more than any man in the world, has had more experience dealing with the Communists and doing a magnificent job of it at the United Nations, and we need him there as Vice President.

So, on the issue of keeping the peace, with Cabot Lodge and with me, you know what you're going to get. You know that we aren't going to be fooled. You know that for 7½ years we have been trained by President Eisenhower. You know that where Mr. Khrushchev is concerned that we will always go the extra mile, but we're never going to make a concession without getting one in return. Why? Because we want peace.

You know that we are going to keep America strong. Why? Because we want peace, and our strength is essential to keep it. And, so, on that issue I say we have the best case to present. And I say that America particularly, and based on some of the rash and impulsive comments made by my opponent last night in that debate, cannot sleep well at night if we have a man like that with that kind of judgment in the White House the next 4 years.

I don't say that because I question his intentions, but I say this lack of judgment with regard to suggesting that Dwight Eisenhower should have apologized to Khrushchev, this lack of judgment suggesting, for example, that we should slice off an area of freedom, as we did in Korea, on the ground it's going to get us peace when we know with a dictator that's what gets us into war - we can't afford to have a President that makes that kind of mistakes. Cabot Lodge and I will not make that kind of mistake, and I say for that reason we submit to you our qualifications, and we are confident the American people, Democrat and Republican, will give us our fair, certain appraisal on election day.

Now, a lot of folks here obviously will say, "Now, Mr. Nixon, just a moment. Maybe we can keep the peace." There are a lot of more things to life, and I know there are. I know many women -some men, but particularly women - who have to keep the family budget, who come up to me and they say, "What's the future for our children, for ourselves? How are we going to make ends meet? Are we going to continue to have good jobs, or better jobs, but, more than that, are the wages that we earn and that we have to take care of going to buy enough to keep the family going? Are we going to go into the stores and have the prices eat up the things we're going to earn," and I want to tell you this: You know the easy thing for a candidate is to come before a group and say: "I promise I'm going to do this, that, and the other thing. I'm going to spend billions more for this program and that program."

I could tell you that. I want to win this election. That's the easy thing to say. You know why I don't tell you? Because it's the wrong thing. It's the wrong thing for me to attempt to buy your votes with your money, and that's exactly what you do when you make promises of that sort.

So, I say America will do everything at the governmental level that it ought to do. We'll keep America strong. We will see that we have the best schools. We'll see that we move ahead in science. We will see to it that we have social security and unemployment insurance, that we will extend all of these things that are good for America and that Americans need, but I say to you also, as President, that there will be certainly not one dollar spent that doesn't need to be spent. And here you've got a choice. My opponent says that he's going to spend billions more. He says it in his platform - billions more than we would. What does this mean? If you vote for him, it means higher taxes. No question about it. It means higher prices.

Take his farm program. It means the prices - and I know something about prices, the prices of hamburger, the prices of peas, the prices of bread - all of these things are going to go up in the store, and I ask you: Can you pay those higher prices and make ends meet?

No; you cannot. And that's my point. I say with us you know you're going to have the kind of government that will move America forward, but we'll move America forward without taking it out of the hides of the American people in taxes and higher prices, and that's what you want, and that's what we're going to give you.

And now the last point that I make is this: These stops are so short. I can only talk a little while and all you can do is say, "Well, there's a man and his wife. We look at them. How can we really make up our minds?"

All I can say in conclusion is: My friends, you must look at us. You must listen to what we say, to our debates and the like, but this is the criterion. This is the test I want you to make, and listen very carefully. I want you to think of only one thing. Think of your family. Think of your children. Think of their future and think of America.

Now, understand: I didn't say think of your party. I didn't say think of any organization to which you belong. I said, Think of America; your family, your future. If you believe that what Cabot Lodge and I stand for is what America needs, if you believe that what Cabot Lodge and I stand for provides the best chance for your children to grow up in a world of peace and freedom, if you believe that what we stand for gives you the best chance for a better life - if this is what you believe, my friends, then we ask for your vote, and if you give us your vote, remember, don't just vote. Remember, this is an election when the stakes are high. Go out and work from now until election day.

And I know some of the housewives here will say: "How can I work? I've got cleaning to do at home. I've got to go out and shop for junior. And I've got to do this and that, his homework or hers and the like."

Listen, nothing is more important than who is the next President. You remember that. Take off the next 2 weeks and see that the right people are elected, and then these other things will take care of themselves.

Thank you very much.

Richard Nixon, Partial Transcript of the Remarks of the Vice President, Market Square, Chester, PA Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project