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Rear Platform Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Richmond, CA

September 08, 1960

Senator KENNEDY. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. [Applause.] Governor Brown, Senator Miller, the next Congressman, Doug Page, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you all for coming to the station. This train is going south, but it is also going toward Washington, and I want your support in this campaign. [Applause.]

This contest is not merely between the Vice President and myself. This contest is between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and in that regard there is no contest. [Applause.]

Governor Stevenson used to say that for a few months every 4 years the Republican program was interrupted by the liberal hour. But I think the record of the Republican Party is written on the bills that never become law, on the things we failed to do. And the record of the Democratic Party is written in the programs of Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, Harry Truman's Fair Deal, Adlai Stevenson's new America. [America.]

This contest is between those who think things are fine as they are, those who are satisfied with the status quo, those who think we can't do any more or do it any better, and on the other side there are those of us who know we can do better, who believe it is a great country but know that we can do better, who believe it is a great country but know it can be a greater one. I ask your help in this campaign. Give me your hand and we will join together and move this country forward. [Applause.]

If you think we can provide better schools for our children and more help for the older, if you think we can develop this State and the resources of the West, if you think it is possible to strengthen the image and prestige of the United States around the world, then come with us. If you are tired and don't want to move, then stay with the Republicans. But I think we are ready to move. [Applause.]

My wife is home and we are having a baby, a boy, in November. I want you to meet my sister who lives in California, Pat Lawford. [Applause.] And then I want you to meet the man who I hope is going to be the next Democratic Congressman, Doug Page. I hope you will all be registered. I would really appreciate your help in this campaign. I think California is the place to win this election. Thank you.

John F. Kennedy, Rear Platform Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Richmond, CA Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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