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Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Texarkana, AR-TX, Fairgrounds

September 13, 1960

Senator KENNEDY. Congressman Patman, Governor, Members of the Congress, Speaker Rayburn, Mrs. Price, national committee man and woman, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to have accepted the invitation of your distinguished Congressman, Wright Patman, to attend this fair and come to these two States on this occasion. Arkansas Senator Fulbright is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on which I serve. Senator McClellan, of Arkansas, is the chairman of the Rackets Committee on which I served for 3 years. Members of the House and Senate from both of these States have been my companions and colleagues in the House and the Senate for the past 14 years, and I am delighted to be here on this occasion. [Applause.]

Massachusetts and Texas are several thousand miles apart, but Boston, Tex., and Boston, Mass., are only a few inches apart in their common devotion to the principles of this country. [Applause.] I have been taken from the Pass of the North, El Paso, on Sunday night, across the great State of Texas to the eastern borders of Texas and Arkansas-Louisiana. I come to this State on this occasion as the Democratic standard bearer, representing not Massachusetts, but representing a national Democratic Party which has its roots in Texas as well as in my own State. [Applause.] Yesterday I was shown the Alamo, and I was informed of all the brave deeds of all the Texans, of Bowie and Crockett and all the rest. So I said last night, "Haven't you heard of Paul Revere" They said, "Yes, he is the one who ran for help." [Laughter.]

Well, I have come down here to Texas to ask your help on this occasion in this election to rebuild our State and country. [Applause.] This is a contest not merely between the Vice President of the United States and myself. This is a contest between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, between all that the Democratic Party has done to rebuild the economy of this section of the West, all that the Democratic Party has done through the administrations of Jefferson and Wilson and Roosevelt and Truman, and all that the Republican Party has not done under Coolidge, McKinley, Taft, Dewey, Landon, Nixon, and the others. [Applause.]

For progress for the people, I put the New Freedom of Wilson, the New Deal of Roosevelt, the Fair Deal of Truman - I put that against the "Stand Pat With McKinley," "Return to Normalcy With Harding," "Keep Cool With Coolidge," "A Chicken in Every Pot," and "Had Enough?" I think that the Democratic Party is best equipped in a time of a anger here in Texas and Arkansas, and in a time of danger around the world. There is not a single farmer in this State of Texas, there is not a farmer in the State of Arkansas, whose income has not deteriorated under the administration of Benson and Nixon and the others. There is not a citizen in the United States who looks around the world, who feels he is secure as he was 10 years ago, who feels that the strength and prestige of the United States in comparison to that of the Communist world is increasing or decreasing. Is our prestige in Latin America and Asia and Africa is our military strength in comparison to that of the Communist bloc? Is our position in outer space compared to the Communist position as strong as it was some years ago? I don't think it is. I don't think we have done enough. I think we can do better. I ask your help in this campaign. [Applause.] I think all those who feel that everything that is being done is being done right now, all those who are satisfied to stand still, all those who wish to look back and not forward all those who have enough the way they are, all those who are satisfied to fall into a position of relative weakness - I hope that they will support the Republican Party.

But all those who want to move forward, all those who believe in the Democratic Party, who believe in what Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson and Ralph Yarborough and Wright Patman and Oren Harris and others have done for the Democratic Party since its earliest beginnings, I come in a great tradition, now down to 1960. Lyndon Johnson and I seek to represent the United States in a difficult and dangerous period. We do not run for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency promising that if we are elected life will be easy, but we do promise that if we are elected this country will begin to move again, this country will move forward, this country will stand strong, this country's brightest days will be ahead.

I ask your support in this campaign. [Applause.]

One hundred years ago a great American President wrote a friend, "I see the storm coming. I know there is a God and that He hates injustice. If He has a part and a place for me, I believe that I am ready." Now in 1960 we know there is a God. We know He hates injustice. And we see the storm coming. But if he has a place and a part for us, I believe that we are ready. Thank you. [Applause.]

John F. Kennedy, Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Texarkana, AR-TX, Fairgrounds Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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