Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of the Vice President, Rear Train Platform, Monroe, MI

October 27, 1960

Thank you very much.

You know, that shows you how very important a wife is. What they were saying on this side - they said, "Move back Mr. Vice President, so we can see Pat."

We want to tell you how much we appreciate your coming out at 8 o'clock in the morning to welcome us, as you have.

Would you put the signs down so people in the back could see, please? Thank you.

You know, I can understand them wanting to see Pat, but not me, surely.

But we want you to know how much we appreciate your coming out at this hour of the morning. I'm sorry that our public address system isn't working as well as it should, but apparently as we move into the station - this happened a couple of times yesterday - that is the reason my voice is hoarse - our wheels have been cutting the wires. It's not sabotage, you understand; not sabotage.

But, in any event, certainly the most impressive crowd of the campaign is at this hour in the morning and to have this great

crowd here in southern Michigan, from Monroe, to come out and welcome us is the kickoff of what I think is one of the most important days of this campaign.

Now, George, you listen to what I'm saying here, because this, I think, you will agree with. George Meader, your Congressman, has just indicated that this is the homestretch of the campaign, the homestretch not only of a campaign in Michigan, but for the whole Nation.

Now, I have been studying the signs in Michigan. I think you would be interested in a report on it. Three weeks to a month ago the political experts weren't giving us a chance to carry Michigan. In the last 3 weeks, the whole situation has turned around completely. We're going up, and they're going down, and we're going to win Michigan this November.

And I want to say right here that, however frantic they get, and whatever they may resort to, and I'm going to have more to say about that, incidentally, a little later today, I can assure you that in this campaign in Michigan we shall win because we're on the right side, because the people of Michigan know it, because Democrats and Independents, as well as Republicans at the State level and the national level want the kind of government and leadership that we offer.

Now, let me say a word about George here. He doesn't need this, because he's going to win, as he always does, but there isn't any man in the Congress that is more respected for his integrity, for his great ability and for his service to the Nation as well as to his district as George Meader, and I'm proud to have been introduced by him. He is typical, though, of what else I want to say. I said this the last time I was in Michigan, and I say it again today. I see a lot of candidates around the country. You know, I've been in 47 States already, and I run with lots of candidates all over the country, and I want to say that there isn't a team of candidates any place in the Nation on the Democratic or the Republican ticket that is finer than you have at the State and national level in the State of Michigan, and I mean it.

Of course, considering what you had in the statehouse for the last 10 years, believe me, anything would be a welcome change. But Paul Bagwell will give this State great government. Here is a man who is trained to be Governor of a State. Here is a man who is honest with the people of this State. Here is a man who can reverse the situation that has driven business away from Michigan and who will bring it in. This is what Michigan deserves, this strong, vital people here, and, believe me, I'm proud to be with him and to speak for him on this occasion as well; and Al Bentley in the Senate, another fighter for freedom, one who in the Senate will be an articulate voice, not just for the people of Michigan, but, remember, a Senator of the United States speaks for the world, and Al Bentley will speak for all the world in this cause of peace and freedom which George Meader has referred to.

Now, if I could go on for just another moment.

Is this another PA system? Maybe you can hear now.

May I put this campaign in terms that everybody in this audience, I'm sure, will understand and appreciate. My friends, too often we think of government in Washington, D.C., as something very far away from us. After all, you elect a President, a Vice President, a Congressman and a Senator; and the House and Senate meet and decisions are made, but you think, really, that isn't nearly as important as what happens to the prices in the grocery store, to what happens to your schools, to what happens to your medical care, to what happens in all the other fields I could mention.

Let me say this, my friends: Today what happens in Washington will affect the prices of everything you buy at the grocery store. What happens in Washington this year will affect the taxes of every person in this audience. What happens in Washington, furthermore, will affect something much more important even than that. It will affect whether we're around to enjoy a good life in this country.

Now, if I can talk to those three points, why do I say it will affect the prices? Because my opponent has apparently an obsession. I think he comes naturally by it, and I don't criticize him for it. Maybe if I had his background, I would be the same way; but, you know, whenever he sees a problem, he has an automatic reaction. Whatever the problem is, his only answer is, "Spend more money; spend more money."

Well, I've never been able to afford that. So, I don't react that way.

Now, of course, a lot of people say, "Well, now, ]ust a minute, Mr. Nixon. After all why not spend more money?"

I'll tell you why?

It would be so different if it was his dough, but it isn't; it's yours he's going to be spending - and, therefore, I say that in this the choice in clear. The choice is clear because we have here an instance - and I want to make it very clear - he has to acknowledge this - where he offers a program that would spend billions of dollars more, he says, in the name of progress that the programs that I offer will produce the progress that he only can talk about. And in that connection let me say this: Who cares, then, for the people?

I know - I know - the problems of people who meet family budgets. I know that every time we spend a dollar in Washington we don't need to, it makes it harder for you to balance your family budget.

Putting it another way, every time I think that we can do a job by spending less, we're going to do it by spending less, so that you can have more to spend here in Monroe, Mich., and all over here to meet your family budgets.

Now, what does this mean to you? What does this mean to you? You take, for example, his farm program. Now, listen to this carefully. His farm program would result in raising the prices in the food store by 25 percent. This is true, and this is for hamburger; this is for bread, this is for every commodity. Do you want that? No. Do the farmers want it? No. Because it wouldn't help them. It would all make them simply the servants of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., and would not solve the farm problem as would our program.

But, if I can go one step further, in the domestic field, then, we will move this country forward. move her forward with better schools and better housing, move her forward with a medical care program that will provide protection for everybody over 65, and not leave out 3 million as he would, but will not compel anybody who doesn't want it to take it against his will, and we don't want that in America, certainly, in this or any other field.

So, I say to you, we will move her forward, but we will move her forward having in mind that as we move we want to be sure that we remember your problems, you, the people, who have the budgets at home to meet.

Now the last point I want to make: How about this whole problem of the future of these young people? I see them back there in the band. I hear some of them here. My friends, there is nothing that is more important - nothing - than to get leadership in Washington that will keep the peace without surrender. Think back 8 years ago. You remember when we were traveling through Michigan in that campaign? We were in a war in Korea. Thirty-five thousand young Americans killed. You remember that? Now, my friends, we have had peace, because Eisenhower ended that war. We can continue to have peace, but we won't have it if we have a man in the White House who makes the kind of mistakes my opponent has indicated in this campaign he would have made if he had been President of the United States.

In other words, with Cabot Lodge and me, you have two men who know Mr. Khrushchev. You have two men who for the past 7 years have dealt with these great problems and you have two men who will give you, I am confident, the leadership that will avoid war on the one side and surrender on the other.

I don't say it's easy. We're going to have troubles in the world because anybody who has traveled through the world as I have to 50 countries knows that we're in a great battle for survival; but, my friends, this battle can be won. It can be won if Americans are strong at home. It can be won if we're strong militarily. It can be won if we're firm diplomatically. But, above everything else, we have to believe in the right things. Our faith is what is going to determine this battle - our faith in God, our faith and belief in the rights of all men to be free, not just here in America, but in all parts of the world - in Poland, in Russia, itself. This kind of faith is what makes America stand high in the world, and, my friends when anybody else tells you America is a second-rate country in anything, they don't know what they're talking about.

Have faith in our country. Have faith in our ideals. Help to build real patriotism in this country. If you do that, we will give the leadership America wants, the leadership America needs the leadership that will keep the peace, leadership which will bring progress, but, above all, leadership that will stand for the ideals that we have inherited and that we want to pass on to our children even stronger than we inherited them.

So, thank you again for coming out; and let's go to work. How about it?

Richard Nixon, Remarks of the Vice President, Rear Train Platform, Monroe, MI Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project