Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks at a Rally in Herald Square, New York City

November 02, 1960

My fellow Americans:

I would like to talk to you just a minute or two, and I want to talk to you as citizens who are facing a very heavy responsibility: deciding upon your leadership for the next 4 years in the Government of the United States.

I come here not to talk about Republicanism. I am not talking about any kind of partisan politics when I appeal to you--each of you--to use your own good judgment and your own conscience in deciding which of the two teams you have heard described and have heard speak, which of those you trust most to lead America.

From my viewpoint this will take very little deciding. The issues have been brought out into the open. The characters and types of the personalities who will be your leaders have been exposed to the public, and certainly, as Lincoln said, "You can't fool all the people all the time."

I am perfectly certain that the speech that I have prepared in my own mind to make is now unnecessary, because the people of New York have given it for me. I came here to tell you why I knew that Nixon and Lodge were so much better for the world and for the United States than anybody we could meet, that I feel now it would be futile for me to attempt anything else in the way of words.

As we came up this broad highway, with the ticker tape floating down by the ton, I had the assurance in my own heart and in my own mind that New York knows much better than I do, even, the answer. Possibly I know a few more intimate answers--more intimate reasons about these two people. I don't need to name them, I don't need to describe them any more. What I am going to say is just this: as I walked to this platform, I saw old comrades of mine in war, men of the Herzian Forest, men of D-Day and of North Africa and of Bastogne.

And then I was told as I came up that there are representatives in this crowd of every single nation behind the iron curtain, and indeed of every single nation in the world. This is more than just a meeting of the League of Nations. There you have instructed delegates fighting to get everything for its own government, for its nation, what it believes to be justice and for right for itself and for its people.

Here you have people who are representing other people, who are feeling as other people. The kind of leadership we are talking about is: the people that can understand this crowd, that can walk their way through it, who know the triumphs over poverty, who have experienced the joy of work and have grown in stature, in intelligence, and in spirit because they have worked and because each has the right to feel that he has helped, along with others, to make this country great.

So to all the people here representing every possible ethnic group, to my old comrades, I bring the warmest greetings and my deepest gratitude for your readiness to come out and by your presence show your support of policies and programs that will take this country on to new heights, on for your children and your grandchildren, and not merely succumb to the glib arguments of the "pie in the sky" promises that so many of us have read.

I have one more word only: we saw thousands and thousands of signs which said "the first team." It has always been my feeling that the Government of America is truly a team when it properly represents the people of the United States. You--each of you--is a member of the team, as I am and as these people are.

It happens that the two men we are talking about today happen to be the captains of the team. They have to create the atmosphere in which you can exercise your rights, in which you can live in liberty, prosperity, and with the certainty that you are respected as a nation abroad and as an individual here at home.

They are the first team, in the sense that they can and will do this. They will make you prouder of America, because they will represent properly the ideals and aspirations of our great country. They will see that its strengths, its spiritual and its economic and its military strength, will never be weakened. They will guide, during their tenure of office, this great country to such heights that your pride may be greater and your chest pushed out a little further and your chin a little higher.

Now this is what we are talking about when we are talking about leaders. You know people that promise you a life of ease with no work. The day that we don't have to work, that's the day you will have to call the United States second rate.

So these two men are not going to make you promises that couldn't be kept, and that even if they were kept they wouldn't be good for us.

This evening at least will probably be the last political gathering that I will attend in New York City, certainly during my term of office. I just want to make this one pledge: when I leave my office, no matter what I may then be doing, my struggle to help bring the world a little closer to the goal of peace, my hope of helping the United States to be stronger in every possible way, wilt never flag; and wherever I can, by word or a piece of writing, or by merely a handclasp with someone, help nurture and strengthen that feeling in any other person in the world, that I shall do. Because this is not something that I have indulged in merely because I was for these 8 years your President. I believe these things with my heart and soul.

We must have peace.

We must not succumb to the threats of communism.

We must hold freedom high.

And as I become within a few score days a private citizen like you, I will have exactly your same responsibilities, to do that--to do my part toward holding freedom high. And under these two people I believe we can all march together to a new confidence, a new position of leadership in the whole world.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 1:15 p.m.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at a Rally in Herald Square, New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234445

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