Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks at a Rally in Garden City, New York

November 02, 1960

My fellow Americans:

I know that some of you are blanketed by the television cameras, but I would hope this is some little inconvenience with which you can put up, for the simple reason that these men also have a job, and they are trying to record these proceedings for the public. So while I recognize that you would like to throw a bulb at them, or something of that kind, I do plead that they are performing a service for the public and for this meeting and its proceedings.

I think there is a word of explanation due you people. I am a man who has lived fairly long, served a long time in the public service, and within some 2 months and 20 days I am to lay down the burdens of my office and put them in the hands of someone else.

So I have two reasons that I want to give you, as to why I am here. My concern for the United States, my readiness to work for the peace of the world, will be and are now just as great as they were from the days I was a second lieutenant and from the first day that I took my oath as President in 1953. I am concerned about the kind of leadership that America is going to have in these next critical years, in order that these things in which we all believe--peace with justice in freedom and in the opportunity of America to fulfill itself both in its national character and in its individual person--we are concerned about these things; and we all live in the hope that we will have a leadership that can create the atmosphere, point the way, so that we may more effectively do our parts, each of us, as we follow this road.

My second reason is this: for 8 years I have worked intimately with the two men who are today your national candidates. I know them intimately. I have seen them undertake the tasks which I have requested of them, with the utmost enthusiasm, never with a complaint or with any excuses for avoiding a duty. Instead, no matter how difficult the task, no matter what it meant in personal inconvenience, no matter what it meant in sleepless nights and long roads of travel, they have always been ready to do it. And the point is, they have done it effectively.

They know. They know about the problems that are brought before the President and his Cabinet, problems on which depend the opportunities of the United States to expand its growth, to be stronger, to keep its own self-respect and the respect of other nations. They know the problems that come up when the crises are developed by the Communists with threats about military activity, economic penetration, and just plain lying propaganda. They know these things. They have lived with them.

I think this: we should go into our voting booths on November 8th and think of several things. One is this--I would like to compare the two candidates, or the two teams of candidates, the way I would like to express it, on the basis of character. What have they shown to you people over these 8 years in their moral courage, their capacity, their readiness to undertake any task no matter how disagreeable, their experience--of which you have been a witness.

You have seen what they do, and you know how they do it, and their ability on their feet, or in producing studies, making decisions--and above all, their devotion and dedication to the United States; not attempting to emphasize too much their own virtues, not being controlled too much by a personal ambition. They want to serve the United States. They want to serve it, as it has been served through so many years by people from Washington on down to this day, who have taken as their watchword: what is good for the United States is good for me and for the party of which I am a part.

So I come here then again to tell you of my convictions that Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge offer to America the finest type of leadership that is today available in this Nation.

And I want to express my utter faith that as I peer down the lane of the years ahead, that these are the two men that can do better than any others I know in keeping the peace, in bringing us and leading us more surely and firmly to a better peace, to one in which we can have faith and confidence, and which will one day lift from the backs of mankind the burdens of armaments and allow us to use our toil, our talents and all the resources we have to the betterment of mankind.

No glittering promises, no glib oratory will give you this kind of leadership. This leadership, I repeat, is born of character, ability, and experience--and a dedication to the United States.

So these are the reasons I have for coming here today, and I pray that all of those who joined together with me 8 years ago in the crusade to bring about what we believed was a better situation in government, in our Nation, in the freedom of our economy, and the opportunity for growth, that you today will be even more emphatic in your efforts and your readiness to make certain that these two men, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Lodge, take the work over of leadership for the next 4 years--and that you will see to it on November 8th that they do so.

These are the things that I ask you to do.


Note: The President spoke at 10 a.m. at the Roosevelt Field Shopping Center in Garden City.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at a Rally in Garden City, New York Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234398

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