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Statement of the Vice President of the United States on the Differences Between Candidates, Northern Hotel, Billings, MT

October 09, 1960

Two of the four nationwide TV debates between my opponent and me have been held. They reveal cleavages which are crucial for our future at home and in the world.

We should point up these differences right now. I will discuss them further as the campaign moves along.

My opponent has endorsed certain domestic programs, and has subscribed to foreign policy ideas that I am convinced would be harmful to our people, would weaken America, and would endanger peace and freedom in the world.

In foreign affairs, there is an appalling list:

My opponent continues to tell the American people - and all the listening world - of his doleful contention that the United States is disrespected and disliked throughout the community of nations.

He continues to assert that the President of the United States could have expressed regrets or apologized to Mr. Khrushchev at Paris for the measures he had taken to defend the United States against surprise attack.

He wants America to tell our Chinese Nationalist allies in effect to surrender Quemoy and Matsu - islands which symbolize Free China's resistance to the spread of Asian communism - to Red China.

He raises doubt regarding our Armed Forces - the most powerful on earth, and the anchor of liberty everywhere.

My opponent contends that the Voice of America is weak, ignoring both its growth under President Eisenhower and the fact that Congresses controlled by Senator Kennedy and his followers have cut the funds requested by the President.

Senator Kennedy pledges to give energetic new leadership in world councils. He should explain to the American people, first, his negligence to hold meetings this year of his Senate Subcommittee on Africa, of which he is chairman; and second, his failure to attend even one meeting of the Senate Disarmament Subcommittee since his appointment to it in 1958.

He now calls for standing up to Caribbean and South American dictators, but he fails to mention the fact that 11 dictators were in power in this area in 1953 when our administration took over, and now only 3 are left.

He insists that the world looks to the Soviets for active leadership instead of to America, even though on every major issue in the United Nations in the past 7½ years where the United States has been on one side and the Soviet Union on the other, the United States position has prevailed.

All this leads me to the conclusion that my opponent is inventing issues where, in fact, they do not exist, indicating weaknesses where, in reality, there is strength.

At home, our differences are likewise crucial to the Nation's future.

He promises Federal spending of billions of dollars in excess of revenues, and therefore pledges, in effect, to return to runaway inflation or to increased Federal taxation of the American people.

He hints at intervention that would jeopardize the independence of the Federal Reserve System which is required to keep our money sound.

He promises a farm program that would force drastic cutbacks in production and marketing, force 2 million people out of work, trigger off inflation, sharply raise food prices, create food scarcity, and regiment all agriculture by setting up all sorts of new regulations and creating new battalions of Government overseers to watch over and tell every farmer what he could or could not do.

He promises to impose a mandatory medical care plan for the aged on every one of the millions of citizens covered by social security, no matter what their personal desires, and leave 3 million Americans with no medical care program at all. My plan would not be compulsory and would provide medical care programs for all those who needed and wanted them.

My opponent promises to begin using Federal funds for the payment of teachers' salaries, opening a door that would surely lead to Federal control of what is taught in our schools.

Hardly a significant area in American life can remain untouched if his philosophy of federalism as reflected in these programs were to be adopted.

Freedom weakened at home, our economic strength undercut by lavish spending that leads to more inflation or more taxes our leadership in the world blunted by muddled thinking about the stern demands of the fateful struggle confronting us - there is the prospect for America revealed in the programs and statements of my opponent.

As a matter of duty to the American people, I must make that prospect clear in the future debates with my opponent and as I campaign throughout the country.

Richard Nixon, Statement of the Vice President of the United States on the Differences Between Candidates, Northern Hotel, Billings, MT Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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