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Statement by the Vice President of the United States, Johnson-Kennedy Disagreements, New York, NY

November 03, 1960

As I drove through New York yesterday with my running mate. Henry Cabot Lodge, I was shocked by the fact that Senator Kennedy would never allow his running mate, Senator Johnson, to be seen in New York with him before the general public.

The other presidential and vice presidential team has one significant thing in common - each disagrees with the other.

Senator Johnson and Kennedy have flatly disagreed 264 times on rollcall votes in the Congress.

They have disagreed on 1 out of every 4 or 5 votes they have cast over the years. They have disagreed on farm policy, disagreed on taxes, disagreed on civil rights, disagreed on foreign aid, disagreed on foreign policy, disagreed on defense.

They have disagreed on labor issues, disagreed on public works, disagreed on housing, disagreed on tidelands oil.

Name it and they have disagreed on it - from antitrust, atomic energy, banking and controls to the national economy, education, clean elections, natural gas.

They have disagreed on highways, mail rates, and loyalty oaths. They even have disagreed on fireworks.

They have disagreed on Quemoy and Matsu. They disagreed on cloture in the Senate. They disagreed on interest on GI loans. They disagreed on the student loyalty oath. And on and on.

And now they disagree with parts of their party's platform, but in different ways on different parts, which adds to the confusion because the platform disagrees with itself.

The vice presidential candidate received support in his State only a month ago, as did the presidential candidate, but qualified by this enlightened comment by the Texas Governor: "No one should interpret the support of these nominees as support of the platform that was written at Los Angeles."

In short, when the American people look at one set of candidates, they find agreement on the central issues of the day. There also, America finds tested experience in dealing with the most critical problem of all, the problem of war and peace.

By contrast, the Johnson-Kennedy ticket is an incomprehensible blur and smog. Together they stand on both sides of almost everything, and so together they stand for nothing. Their main common denominator is an amateur standing in world affairs.

The great question this situation presents is this: If elected, which one would be the spokesman? At their summit meeting, which one would apologize?

A week and a half ago, Senator Johnson said that, among other reasons, his ticket would win because of "an inability of Richard M. Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge to even agree on what they are saying to each other." In the light of his 264 votes in opposition to Senator Kennedy's views - in the light of his obvious distaste for large chunks of the Los Angeles platform - and in light of his own condescending and contemptuous references to Senator Kennedy earlier this year - his comment on Republican differences is ludicrous.

Clearly it has been sheer accident when he and his running mate have agreed.

I believe America wants and deserves leaders who can see alike and stand together on key issues all the time - not just once in a while.

Richard Nixon, Statement by the Vice President of the United States, Johnson-Kennedy Disagreements, New York, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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