Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of the Vice President of the United States, Park Forest, IL

October 29, 1960

Monday is Halloween.

It is a good time for America to take a look at some of the hobgoblins Mr. Kennedy has been conjuring up.

One by one he has let them loose, trying to frighten America into believing what is not true; trying to scare up a few votes.

But this halloweening is a failure. America does not respond to his wail of woe because America long ago learned the lesson of Halloween. And that lesson is that you can't really be scared by something that isn't. there.

The latest hobgoblin Mr. Kennedy has let loose from his bag of gloom is the prediction that America is going into a recession.

This is the most despicable Halloween prank of all, for if he keeps it up, he finally may have his way, and we may well have a recession - one that he talked us into by scaring people into believing they should buy nothing, invest in nothing.

But Mr. Kennedy dug deep into his bag for this one, because the facts just don't support his scare story. The same Detroit paper that reported his black prediction also had a banner headline proclaiming auto sales at a record rate. Mr. Kennedy didn't mention this, nor did he mention that today there are almost 68 million jobs in America at the highest wages in history. Nor did he mention that last month employment rose more than usual and unemployment dropped more than usual. He also inevitably fails to mention that these Republican years America has enjoyed the greatest real prosperity it has ever known.

Another Kennedy hobgoblin - his picture of the Republicans as people who don't care - is the oldest hobgoblin of them all, but, like all the others, it too cannot stand up to the truth. The Republican program for medical care for the aged would preserve freedom, avoid socialized medicine, and reach millions more senior citizens than would Mr. Kennedy's own proposal. The Republican program in education, unlike Mr. Kennedy's would provide funds for school construction which would enable State and local districts to use their money for raising teachers salaries, without involving the Government in the direct payment of teachers salaries which would lead toward dictation from Washington as to what is taught in our schools to our children. It is a matter of record that Republicans have extended social security and strengthened minimum wage legislation.

Moreover, we care too much for people to advocate programs, as my opponent does, which would raise Federal spending by over $15 billion a year - programs so great they could be paid for, not out of miracles of economic growth, but by 180 million Americans in higher taxes and higher prices.

In this spirit of Halloween, Mr. Kennedy promises you a treat, but in the end it's just a trick.

A third hobgoblin has been conjured up out in space. This one is the claim that Soviet Russia is first and we are second in space exploration. Mr. Kennedy is wrong. The facts are that we have successfully launched 26 earth satellites, and 2 space probes, 13 satellites are still in orbit, 8 of which are still transmitting scientific information. The Russians have launched only six satellites and two space probes and only one satellite is still in orbit and it is not transmitting.

Another Kennedy hobgoblin is the assertion that America is standing still.

In the past 7½ years the American people have worked more, earned more, spent more, invested more than ever before in their history. They have built schools, highways, hospitals in unprecedented numbers. They have built dams, started water resources projects, and improved their inland waterways as never before in our history. And they have enjoyed great prosperity in peacetime - something Mr. Kennedy's party has always found it hard to achieve.

The biggest hobgoblin of all is Mr. Kennedy's poor-mouthing claim that America is second rate, that its prestige is at an alltime low.

Here again, Mr. Kennedy is wrong. Consider the support the United States has had on vote after vote in the United Nations; the extraordinary regard in which people around the world hold President Eisenhower; the numbers of foreign leaders who have come to our shores during his term of office. Consider also the fact that, of the many new states coming into existence during the postwar years, none chose the Communist, as against the free, form of government.

And consider finally these words said only this week by a key leader from a key new country in southeast Asia: "(America) is not only the greatest country in the world, but the champion of democracy, the arsenal of freedom, and the stout defender of the United Nations. * * * We in Malaya have never had any doubt or hesitation as to which bloc to join or in deciding where Malaya would stand in the conflict of ideas. * * * This afternoon at Mount Vernon I stood in the library where * * * Washington used to spend so much of his time pondering the well-being of his people. I sensed how proud he would be today to see this country of his."

So spoke the Prime Minister of Malaya. Words like these put, hobgoblins to flight.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of the Vice President of the United States, Park Forest, IL Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project