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Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on Senior Citizens, Columbia, SC

November 03, 1960

All through the campaign my opponent has been trumpeting the falsehood that I, in effect, feast on human misery - that I oppose minimum wage, help to distressed areas, social security, medical care for the aged, and all else that concerns the good of the American people.

Last week Mr. Kennedy called me the leader of the social security wrecking crew - trying to secure votes from the aged by playing on their fears. What's disgusting about that statement is not alone that it is untrue; the fact that the Senator knows it is untrue concerns me far more.

Now the truth is finally catching up with him. He has just discovered that his distortion of the record did not appeal to as many voters as he had hoped. In California this week he has been talking about my statement of last Monday outlining a comprehensive program of help for our senior citizens.

No longer charging that I relish human tragedy, he now lamely says that "election week promises * * * will not meet the urgent problems of our older citizens." I assume that he means to insinuate that I will forget the senior citizens after election. Thus he shifts from blatant untruth to misleading insinuation.

I say this to our senior citizens: All you have to do to find out who is telling the truth is to look at the record. Here it is

On these matters my opponent is all talk and no performance. Last August he was unable to lead even a 2-to-1 congressional majority to do a single thing he wanted done in the area of medical care for the aged, or any other field where he took a prominent role.

Moreover, what he really stands for is a deep cut in the buying power of your social security benefits because his platform and promises will bring on another round of ruinous inflation. It has only been 8 years since America had similar leadership in the White House from the Senator's party. The result of the Truman inflation orgy was the same as cutting social security benefits in half. This addition to inflationary government seems to be the one thing the Senator and Mr. Truman have in common. This fact makes the Senator a vocal champion of such programs as medical care for the aged, but in actual fact their enemy.

No matter what Mr. Kennedy says, the program for our senior citizens that I stand for will be adopted by the Congress. After all, I count on the support of most of the Congressmen who have demonstrated that they won't follow Senator Kennedy in that very important matter. That, in itself, is a comfortable working majority.

The administration's accomplishments in the social security area speak far louder than my opponent's untruths. The Congress, responding to administration leadership, has broadened the coverage of social security to include some 12 million persons who were never benefited before and substantially increased the benefits.

I intend to build on and improve this record of progress.

Richard Nixon, Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on Senior Citizens, Columbia, SC Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project