Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of the Vice President, Ridgewood High School Stadium, Ridgewood, NJ

October 31, 1960

Since Cabot has had some nice things to say about me, I have something nice to say about him.

It's not unexpected, I can assure you. The job to which he has referred, the job to which Walter Jones has referred, of keeping the peace in this critical period, is a big one. It's a big one for the President. It's a big one for the Secretary of State. And in these times, because of the breakthrough President Eisenhower has made in using the Vice President in something other than presiding over the Senate, it's a big one for the Vice President of the United States. And I think that one of those factors that most recommends our ticket to the American people is that you're not just electing a man who is going to be President and work in the cause of peace and freedom, you are electing two men who will work as a team in extending freedom and in keeping the peace without surrender - and no man could do a better job than Cabot Lodge.

Let me say, too, that I am always delighted to appear with him as a candidate, whether it's north, east, west, or south. I would only suggest too, that not only do we see alike on the issues of foreign policy and will work together there, but it happens also that we see the great domestic issues in the same ways and will work together here. And when it comes, for example, to a great issue like civil rights, we speak as one, whereas our opponents, of course, speak with at least two voices, depending upon which part of the country they're in.

As a matter of fact., I just go a report that my opponent, in one of his juvenile, schoolboy comments in Philadelphia, suggested that he would like to have another debate, and for me to bring the President along. Just let me say this: I'll be glad to debate him and his whole family any time, but I think what the country really needs is a debate between Jack and Lyndon. Let's find out where they really stand.

Now, the time is short, because we've another meeting. Cabot has had a long day of campaigning, and a very effective one, in New Jersey. I've been down in Washington cutting some television tapes for 10 States I am unable to visit this week. Just let me summarize the issues as I see them in this last week of the campaign, and what we want you to do.

First, I'll start with the last. There isn't any question about what's going to happen in this county. You know that always goes Republican. The question is by how much. And when it comes to that, we need the biggest vote out of Bergen we've ever had.

Let me tell you why it's essential that you work as you never have before. Because America now, as we come into the final week of this campaign, sees finally that it's not just a popularity contest. It isn't a contest between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The people of the United States are going to make a great decision as to what direction this Nation will take and its policy abroad and its policy at home.

You are going to determine whether we continue to build on the policies that we have developed during the last 7½ years that have kept the peace without surrender, whether we build into a great future, in which we extend freedom, or whether we turn to the inexperience to which Cabot Lodge has referred. And at home we have a similar problem whether or not we continue to build on policies which have resulted in the greatest progress that any administration in history has provided for this country.

And, incidentally, may I say parenthetically that it always amuses me for our opponents to say we have been standing still for the last 7½ years. They just don't know what they're talking, about. They haven't been traveling around America if they say thus country has been standing still.

Actually, the question is whether we move forward or whether we turn back. Because, my friends, the key point that you must have in mind here, as you consider out policies and those that our opponents offer in the economic field, is that they do not offer anything new except the adjective "new" in front of "frontiers." That's the only thing new that they offer. As far as policies are concerned, they offer a return, a going back: A going back to those things that failed, a going back to policies that lost the value of the dollar, that that diminished it by 50 percent in the course of 7½ years in the Truman years, a going back to policies that put controls on the economy, a going back to policies that stunted progress in this country, a going back to policies that resulted in what was termed even by the Democratic candidate in 1952 as a mess. My friends, I think that the people of this country had enough of those policies in 1952. They don't want to go back to them now. They want to go forward with us, and that much we offer in this campaign.

If I could put it bluntly, in terms that everybody can understand, when you vote on election day, you're going to be voting for the prices of everything you buy in the store. You're going to be determining that. You're going to be determining the taxes you're going to pay. You're going to determine whether they're going to go up or whether they can be held where they are as far as the Federal Government is concerned. You're going to determine whether your prices for foods, for example, will go up 25 percent - because that's what our opponent's farm program would do - or whether we're going to have a program of abundance on the, farm, in which we handle our farm problem, but in which we do not raise consumer prices in the process.

You're going to be determining whether or not we have policies which will add $15 billion to our budget annually, policies under which you have to have either an increase in taxes or deficit spending, because if you don't increase taxes, you will have deficit spending, and that means prices will go up.

Just let me suggest one thing in that respect. I noticed, for example - and you probably saw the headlines in the New York papers and the New Jersey papers today - that Senator Kennedy said he was for a balanced budget. He also said, in our debates, that he was against a raise in taxes. He also said, when he accepted the nomination, that he was for the Democratic platform.

Now, my friends, he can't be for the Democratic platform, he can't be for all the promises he's been making around the country; he can't be for that and be against a raise in taxes and for a balanced budget. He's got to give up one or the other.

My friends, I go further. If he says that he can keep his promises in the Democratic platform, which would add $15 billion a year to the budget (and he knows this, because every objective survey shows it to be true), if he says he's going to keep the promises he's made all over this country, promising everything to everybody with the people paying the bill, if he says he's going to do this and balance the budget and not raise taxes, he then is showing such an ignorance of simple economics that he disqualifies himself to be President of the United States.

This is blunt talk. It is intended to be blunt talk, because, my friends, the American people need to know which road they're taking.

What do we offer? We offer the greatest progress this country will ever have in the next 4 years. Schools will he built. We have a program in the field of medical care. We have a program in the field of housing. We have programs in every area that will move America forward. We offer programs that will move us forward economically, in a way that we have not even progressed in the last 7½ years.

But the difference is this: We offer progress without inflation, without raising taxes. That's what the American people want, and that's what we're going to give you if you give us the chance on election day.

Now, a word about the foreign policy issue and I will be finished.

In the field of foreign policy, the choice is very clear. The choice is between two men - and I say two because after what Cabot Lodge has said about me, I can say this about him - and our opponent. Two men, both of whom know Mr. Khrushchev, both of whom have sat down opposite him at the conference table, both of whom have had the opportunity to travel through the world and know the problems of the world, both who were there and participated in the making of the great decisions on Quemoy and Matsu, on Lebanon, on Trieste, and all the rest - the decisions that kept the peace without surrender, that avoided war on the one side and surrender on the other. We, in other words, have been through the fire of decision.

Do I suggest to you, then, that if we are elected there will be no problems in the world? Do I suggest to you that the seas will always be smooth over which the United States will travel?

No, I do not, because I know what the problems are. I know Mr. Khrushchev. I know the Communists are ruthless and fanatical, and that they're going to continue to stir up trouble around the world. But I also know this: I know that we can win, win without war if we keep our strength economically and militarily, if we are firm without being belligerent, and if, in addition to that, we do not just hold the line, not just defend what we have, but if we launch a great ideological offensive for the minds and the hearts and the souls of men. And that is what we will do, if you give us the opportunity on November the 8th.

I can only suggest that in this field, having seen the President make great decisions, there is one thing the American people must remember above everything else: When the President speaks, when he acts, it is for keeps. He never gets a second chance.

I remember the morning - a Monday morning - he decided to go into Lebanon. I was in his office. He paced the floor of the oval room of the White House, and finally he stopped. He turned and said, quietly, to me: "Well, we're going to go in." That decision was right, but it was a hard one because there were those who said it risked war. But the President knew that if he didn't stop them there, it would mean inevitable war later as they came down rough the Middle East. If he had shot from the hip, as someone to whom I will not refer by name has done three times or more in this campaign, if he had made a mistake, he couldn't have changed his mind because the American people would have had to pay for the mistake.

I say to you that I cannot promise we will not make mistakes. But I do say that we know what the problems are, that we have been through this experience and, therefore, we can offer to you the kind of leadership which we believe will avoid the making of mistakes to the greatest possible extent - and, beyond that, leadership which will move this country forward at home and move her forward abroad as well, in the cause of peace and freedom to which all Americans are dedicated.

And, so, my friends, as we look over this crowd, as we know, frankly, what you have given up in fun to be here tonight, we only want to say that, as we enter this last week of the campaign, we couldn't have a better sendoff.

I just want to tell you a bit about our last week and the one that is to come, and then you will get the feel of this campaign. A week ago we started on the train - up through Pennsylvania, into Pittsburgh; then up through Ohio, first with a meeting at Cincinnati, at which Cabot Lodge was present; then through the heartland of Ohio, to another meeting at Toledo; then up through Michigan up to Muskegon for a meeting there; then on to Iowa and 2 days in Illinois. In every city we visited we had the biggest crowds in history, bigger than in 1952, bigger than in 1956 and the greatest enthusiasm.

What has happened? Ten days ago this campaign began to catch hold. Ten days ago the tide began to run, as it does in a campaign. A candidate feels this. A candidate knows it. I know it, and I feel that tide tonight. I feel it sweeping through the State of New Jersey. I tell you that when we leave New Jersey tonight and go tomorrow again to Pennsylvania, and then into New York for 2 days, then to South Carolina, then a day in Texas, and then 2 in California, with Wyoming and Washington in between, and then to Alaska, and then to Detroit, back to Washington, and then back to California to vote - 21,000 miles in the next 8 days - I can only tell you this: We will keep this tide rolling. Won't you do the same here in Bergen County?

Richard Nixon, Remarks of the Vice President, Ridgewood High School Stadium, Ridgewood, NJ Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project