Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of the Vice President at Herald Square, New York, NY

November 02, 1960

Thank you very much.

Mr. President, Ambassador Lodge, Governor Rockefeller, Senator Keating, the distinguished guests here on the platform and this great audience here in New York: New York, of course, is known throughout the world as the world's largest city, as the city which can always outdo any other city in the world in anything, and now today, after this magnificent reception, as we motorcaded up to Herald Square and this tremendous meeting here, I have to believe it. This is the greatest meeting in the campaign, and we thank you for that. [Cheers and applause.]

And because I know that this meeting is one that is not only for me and for my colleague, Cabot Lodge, but also it is one in which this great city, with its full heart, pours out its gratitude to President Eisenhower, I want to speak for a moment - I would like to speak for a moment - about the privilege Cabot Lodge and I have had in these last 7½ years to serve under the President, with the President, in working for what we believe was best for America and best for the world, and in speaking of that privilege, it is necessary for me to begin by setting the record straight as to what happened in those 7½ years.

You know, we've been hearing over and over again, like a broken record, for months, that America has stood still in the Eisenhower years and that we need to get America going again. [Cheers and applause.]

Well, let me say this: I have traveled now to 47 States. By the end of this week I will have been in 50 States, and that is all of the States of this Union. It means more States than any candidate has visited ever before, and only because the President didn't have 50, he couldn't go to 50.

I want to say this: I have seen America. I saw it today. I saw it in Westchester. I saw it in Nassau. I saw it in downtown New York. Why do they say America is standing still? Look around you. Look at the schools. Look at the shopping centers. Look at the highways. Look at your own lives. This has been the greatest period of progress in history. [Cheers and applause.]

So, my friends, the reason why the American people are going to reject our opponents and are going to elect us, is that we fight for the truth, and the people know the truth, because the people live the truth, and it ---- [ Cheers and applause.]

And then there's one other thing I want to set straight: I am getting sick and tired of hearing this constant whimpering and yammering and wringing of the towel with regard to the poor United States. Oh, under Eisenhower, they say, everything's gone to pot. Our education is now second. Our science is second. We're second in space. We're running down in our economy and are going to be second there. Our military strength is being frittered away, and over across the way the great Soviet Union, as Mr. Stevenson said recently - and I quote from Pravda which quoted him - and over across the way we find the Communist world looking more dynamic than the American world. Listen, my friends, I have been to Russia, and I have seen it; I have been to the United States, and I have seen it, and there is no reason for a second-rate psychology on the part of any American. [Cheers and applause.]

Yes, by all means, one of the things that makes America great is that we do criticize our faults, and we improve. One of the things that makes America great is that in a campaign we hit hard; we discuss the issues, but, my friends, I say to you that the people who are asking for the opportunity to cross new frontiers should not be talking about giving up the frontiers we've already got around the world. [Cheers and applause.]

I say, too, that those who ask to be captain of the team should not be running down the team of the opposition as well as the people in America. [Cheers and applause.]

What is the fact? Yes, America is not a perfect country. It's ,just the best country in the world. [Cheers and applause.]

America is not a deficient country. Our education has certain deficiencies, and we have a program which will move it forward, but it is simply the best education you can get for more people than any place in the world.

And the same can be said in every field I have mentioned, and it's time, I say, whether we're Democrats or Republicans or Independents, to speak up for America, speak up for America, and win the battle for the minds and the hearts and the souls of men everywhere. [Cheers and applause.]

Now, there is one other thing I want to say and I will give you the opportunity I know you're looking forward to in hearing the President. One other thing: I was very interested to note as we came into this great square the sign on Macy's - the greatest department store in the world. I thought of all the products that were sold in Macy's. I remember when I came back from overseas and we were stationed in New York for about 4 months, one of the most exciting times we ever had. We had a little apartment over on West 93d Street, and every night we used what little savings we had to go to a show. We sat in the balcony, you know - incidentally, pretty close seats up there in that Metropolitan, I can assure you. We saw the shows. We did everything. But also we saw these great stores, and, you know, you can buy anything in Macy's as you know. I want to tell you what Macy's has to do with the President, a candidate for the Presidency, and a candidate for the Vice Presidency.

My friends, today you have a fateful choice to make. Are we going to build on the progress that we've made and gone forward or are we going to go back to policies that we left 7½ years ago that were a mess in Washington? [Cheers and applause.]

My friends, there are people who say, "But we should go forward," and I have had people say to me, "Mr. Nixon, why don't you, for the sake of getting elected - why don't you make a few more promises? Why don't you promise to spend more money than your opponent? After all, you don't have to worry. It's not your money." And that's right. That's why I don't make the promises, because it's your money and I have a responsibility to you and to the American people. [Cheers and applause.]

How much is going to be spent? And this I concede: My opponent will spend more - $15 billion a year more. Now, what does that have to do with Macy's, the price of groceries, the price of clothing in Macy's, the price of furniture in Macy's? I will tell you what it has to do. If you spend to keep the promises that have been made in my opponent's platform and in this campaign, the prices of everything that Americans will buy are going to go up and up and up. Let's take food prices - a farm program which is so radical that even Henry Wallace said it was too radical for him to accept when he was in the Department. A farm program that would be disastrous for the farmer because it would cut his acreage and send a lot of Federal inspectors to tell him what to grow and what he could sell it for, but a farm program - and I am not giving just my opinion, but the opinion of the nonpolitical, career experts in the Department of Agriculture - a farm program that would raise the price of all the groceries, of all the food, in this country by 25 percent.

My friends, do we want a 25-percent increase in our grocery bill? [Cries of "No!"]

Do we want to pay off these promises and pay it in higher pries and higher taxes ? [Cries of "No!"]

Well, there's a way to do it, and that's to go with Nixon and Lodge. [Cheers and applause.]

Now, I have one other point, and this is one that I can only speak of in New York and only after the reception that we have seen. People often say to me: What runs through your mind, Mr. Nixon, when you see a great throng of people like this? What runs through your mind when you see, of course, a ticker-tape parade as we have just seen?

Many things run through your mind. Above all, you realize what a tremendous responsibility the President of the United States has to all of these people, these people who have confidence in him, these people who have faith in him, these people who work for him, and he must never let them down.

And another thing that ran through my mind today was this: This city of New York is not just New York; it's all the world. America is all the world.

Who are the people who make America? I saw them on the streets today.

This is no master race. Americans came from all the continents, from all the religions, from all the countries of the world, and we saw them all today, and that's why we're grateful - and we tap the best creative energies of all the people of the world.

What does this have to do with the presidential campaign? Simply this: One of the greatest responsibilities of a President, of the next President, as it has been with this President, is to see to it that we

That means we must. fight not only in government, but in our churches, in our schools, in our homes, to see that all the young people of America realize what a great country this is; but also to see that they realize that hatred and prejudice of any kind has no place in America any time in an election or any other time. [Cheers and applause.]

My friends, there are things on which you can have disagreement, and I realize * * * you know it, and I know it.

But there is one thing I can say about my colleague and myself, that my opponent can't say about him and his colleague: We stand together on the great issue of human rights for all Americans. We don't speak with two voices. [Cheers and applause.]

I must say this: I am proud that I can bring my colleague here to a ticker-tape parade in New York to ride with me; and my opponent couldn't do that and wouldn't dare do it. [Cheers and applause.]

My friends, we stand together, standing together on issues greater than a party, as great as America, itself, and we stand together today in gratitude, in gratitude to a man who has served this Nation 50 years, a man who has never let his country down, a man who got us out of a war and has kept us out of other wars by the greatest wisdom I can testify a man can have, a man who is the symbol of peace, of hope, and liberty for all the world.

I am proud and Cabot is proud and Nelson is proud that we have been serving with him and have been trained by him, and I only hope that we can be worthy of him and of the great American people.. I present now the President of the United States to you. [Cheers and applause.]

Richard Nixon, Remarks of the Vice President at Herald Square, New York, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project