Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of the Vice President, Cincinnati Gardens Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH

October 25, 1960

The VICE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much.

Ambassador Lodge, my colleague on this ticket, all of the distinguished guests here on this platform, this great audience in front of me and in back of me, and to all of you listening on television and radio, may I first say that to have this particular broadcast, the first one since the convention, originate in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a proud moment for me - first, because, from a personal standpoint, it is my father's home State. And, second, because it is the home State of one of the greatest families in America's political history, that of William Howard and Robert Taft.

I can only say after a day of campaigning in Ohio, whistlestopping before we got to Cincinnati and then the tremendous reception we've had here - and Cabot, I am sure you will agree with me on this - that while I was in college I never made the football team, although I went out for it for 4 years. But now I can be a college blocking back after getting through these crowds. In fact, I met Ted Kluzewski as I came in and he agreed that I was already qualified for that.

And I'm sure you know how proud I am to have been introduced on this occasion by my running mate, to be introduced in such generous terms, and I would like to point out that one of the many differences between our ticket and that of our opponents is that I'm always proud to be introduced by my running mate any place in the United States.

I believe that the decision that the people of the United States will be making on election day may well be the most important decision that as individuals, as voters, they may ever make in their lives. I believe this because of the times in which we are entering and the times through which we have passed. I believe it because, as I see the problems that confront America and the world, there has never been a time when the President of the United States, who is elected, can affect so much by his actions what happens to every family in America. Because by how you vote on November the 8th you can determine the prices of the things you buy and pay for in the stores. You will determine the taxes that you will pay. But, more than that, you may well determine the future of the United States and the world - whether we will lose the peace. These are the things that you will determine by the choice that you make.

I feel that the choice is vitally important. That is why I have carried this campaign on an unprecedented travel schedule to 47 States already, and why I intend to carry it, if I can, to 50 States of this Union to bring the message home to the American people.

And every place I go I find that our people are vitally interested in a number of subjects. In the time that I have tonight I cannot cover them all, but I can touch upon those in which I find the greatest interest. One, of course, is one here at home. People are concerned about the Federal budget, but they're also mighty concerned about the family budget. And they are beginning to realize that if they vote for our opponents, they are voting to raise their prices and raise their taxes and they do not want that. And that's why they're going to vote for us rather than for our opponents.

My colleague and I are proud to be running on the platform which will bring the greatest progress that this Nation has ever seen, which will bring us progress in education, progress in equality of opportunity for all of our citizens, progress in housing, progress in dealing with the depressed areas, the farm problem and all the other knotty problems that we have, but progress that will always be based on a great American principle - that the way to progress in America is not primarily through what the government does, but through what people do and what the government allows the people to do.

So, tonight we say we will certainly produce more and we will spend less of your money in the process, and we believe that makes sense to every person listening, Democrat or Republican, to this broadcast tonight.

And then there is another point that should be made, and this is the one that Cabot Lodge spoke of in his introduction. It is the most vital issue of all.

What could be more important than a job? What could be more important than good education? What could be more important than prices that you can afford to pay?

My friends, it is being around to enjoy all the good things that we produce in this country. I say that the major qualification of the next President of the United States is this: Is he equipped, by experience and by judgment and by background, to keep the peace, to keep it without surrender, and, more than that, does he have the qualifications which will extend freedom without war throughout the world? This is the major test, and this is the qualification which my colleague and I offer to you tonight in this campaign for the American people.

He spoke very generously of my experience. It would not be appropriate for me to refer to my own, but I can speak of his, and may I say this: That I don't think any man in the world today has had more experience, and I don't think any man in the world today could have done a better job, than my colleague, Cabot Lodge, as our representative to the United Nations, fighting for the cause of peace and freedom.

And I say to you: You know what we can do. You know how we will react to Mr. Khrushchev or to anyone else because we have been through the test.

Now let us look at our opponent for a moment. What do we know about him? First of all, we know something about him as far as this campaign is concerned. On three occasions during our debates the American people have had an opportunity to see how he would have made a decision differently from the way the President of the United States has made that decision, decisions affecting the security of his country. And, so, you must test him, as you test us, by that record.

The first was in 1955. The decision involved Quemoy and Matsu. Two islands far away, but two islands of freedom. The President asked the Congress to give him the right to defend Formosa and to include these islands in the complex, recognizing that in dealing with a dictator you cannot slice off a bit of freedom and say, "Here, take this, this may be all that you want, and we can have peace."

My opponent disagreed with that decision then. He disagreed with it again in 1959. He disagrees with it again in 1960, too. The President was right and he was wrong on that decision. I think the American people recognize that today.

And the second decision came just last May. The President went to Paris to attend a summit conference. All the hopes of the world were wrapped up in that conference. Mr. Khrushchev came to that conference, and you recall the U-2 flights that occurred, and Mr. Khrushchev came to the President of the United States and he said, "Apologize, express regrets, for these flights." And the President of the United States said, "No, I will not apologize."

And here again we found my opponent disagreeing. He criticized the President. He said, and I quote him exactly - without notes, incidentally, "The President could have apologized. He could have expressed regrets."

And here again the President was right and my opponent was wrong, and the American people know it.

And then came a third test, and this a very difficult one. Here we had a little "pipsqueak" dictator, Castro, down in Cuba. The question is not who is against Castro. The question is how you handle him. So, the President of the United States, acting properly, having in mind that we have to keep our friends in Latin America, having in mind our treaty commitments, decided that we will quarantine him, quarantine him economically and politically, having in mind the fact that the Cuban people would have the right to choose the kind of government they might want. But my opponent said "No." He said this wasn't enough. This was too little and too late. He said the Government of the United States should support the anti-Castro forces in and out of Cuba - and again I quote him exactly - and again he was wrong and the President was right, because what my opponent would have done would have violated five treaties.

It caused dismay and concern among our allies throughout the world.

It would have violated the U.N. Charter. It would have invited even aggressive action, I believe, in this hemisphere.

And, so, we have three tests here: Quemoy and Matsu - he would have acted one way, different from the President. The Paris Conference and the U-2 flights, he would have acted another way, different from the President. And then on Cuba he acted another way, or would have acted another way. Three times he's been up. Three times he's been wrong. Putting it another way: Three times he's been up to bat and three times he has struck out - and I think that's enough. I think it's the same in politics as it is in baseball. When a man has that kind of record, you don't raise his salary and make him the cleanup hitter. You put him on the bench - and that's what we're going to do.

But now what will we do? And here, my friends, I want to tell you what America can do.

I have seen the world, as Cabot Lodge indicated in his introduction. I have visited 55 countries. I have been in the heart of Siberia. I have been in Poland. I have seen in the faces of millions of people on this earth their hopes, and their hopes are like the hopes of the people of America. I realize today - and all Americans must realize - that this election is critical because what the next President does, what the next Vice President does, what we are able to do as a nation, will determine whether our world can realize a dream that it has had from the beginning of civilization and which it has never been possible to realize before. You know what that dream is? Men, philosophers, religious leaders from the beginning of time have spoken of the ideal when all men on this earth could have enough to eat, when all men on this earth could live properly, could be clothed adequately, when they could live in freedom and when the world would be at peace. But that ideal could never have been realized 180 years ago when the American Revolution caught the imagination of this world. It could never have been realized even 25 years ago, possibly not even 10 years ago. But today, as a result of the breakthroughs of our scientists, as a result of the tremendous progress that we have made in productivity, both in our factories and on our farms, we now have it within our grasp to build a world in which men and women will have enough to eat, in which men and women can be clothed properly and housed properly - a world of peace and progress for all.

My colleague, Cabot Lodge, and I say to you: We know the dangers we face, and they are certainly dangers that cannot be passed off. We do not tell you that the sailing will be smooth, because we will have rough seas as well as smooth. But we do say this: Backed by a united American people, with faith in God, with faith in our country, with recognition of our ideals, we can and we will lead a crusade to bring freedom to all the world and to keep the peace for the world, with your help.

Thank you.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of the Vice President, Cincinnati Gardens Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project