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Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Banner Democratic Club, 12th District, Brooklyn, NY

October 27, 1960

Senator KENNEDY. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to express my thanks to your distinguished monsignor for his kindness in being with us tonight. In addition to monsignor, he is a Democrat. [Applause.] And to Ross DeLorenzo, who is an old friend of mine. This district was the first district to endorse me as a candidate for President nearly a year ago. [Applause.] My family had not even endorsed me when you endorsed me. [Laughter.]

Then there is a candidate for the Senate, Sciarra. [Applause.] Now, listen, he lost by 300 votes last time. Let's put him in this time. And Assemblyman DeMartino. [Applause.] And Judge Ughetta, who is a candidate for the court of common pleas in New York. [Applause.]

Now we have a couple of Irish candidates. Murphy, who is a candidate for Congress [applause], and Kennedy, candidate for President [applause.]

Now let me say that I am delighted to be here tonight. I am proud to be your guest. I am grateful to all of you for turning out. This is an important campaign. It is important for our country, and I ask your support in this campaign in moving New York and the United States forward again. [Applause.] We have a guest here who is waving Mr. Nixon's sign. I want to ask him one question.

I want to ask you one question. In 1952, when the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act was up, the Immigration Act which permits, even though Italy and Great Britain have the same population, 47 million, permits 50,000 Englishmen to come to this country and 570 Italians, which permits 350 Portuguese to come here, permits 400 Greeks, and almost no Poles, no Lithuanians, no Roumanians, no Hungarians, no Eastern Europeans, no Southern Europeans. Ireland has a population of 2,500,000. Seven million Irish can come here and 5,700 Italians. You tell me why Mr. Nixon voted for that bill and voted to override Truman's veto, and I voted against it and voted to sustain the veto. [Applause.]

Now, Mr. Nixon can have everybody who wants to keep that kind of a law on the books, and I want the people who want to set an image of America that is fair, that stands for the torch of freedom, that encourages those to unite their families. [Applause.]

I ask your help in this campaign in building a stronger America, in building the economy of this country, in providing employment for our people, education for our children, security for our aged citizens, and to build an image of freedom around the world. I ask your help in this campaign, and let us move this country forward again. Thank you. [Applause.]

John F. Kennedy, Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Banner Democratic Club, 12th District, Brooklyn, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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