John F. Kennedy photo

Telegram from Senator John F. Kennedy to Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge

October 09, 1960

I note in this morning's newspaper that the charge that I misquoted you during the Friday night debate with Mr. Nixon. I said on that debate:

Mr. Lodge on "Meet the Press" stated that if there ever was a question when we did not have the law on our side, it was in the U-2 incident.

Mr. Nixon at a press conference following your "Meet the Press" appearance commented that in a technical sense you were correct. The transcript of the "Meet the Press" interview shows the following question and answer:

Mr. LINDLEY. But relative to the Soviet Union do you think we have as much prestige and as much influence in the world as we had 8 years ago?

Mr. LODGE. Let me just point to the U-2 case. You might say if ever there was a case where we didn't have the law on our side it was the U-2 case, and yet when the Soviet Union proceeded against us in the Security Council on the U-2 case they got the most dreadful defeat.

I believe the case is clear that I quoted you accurately and that your answer was not a paraphrase of the questioner. In the interest of fairness, I would very much appreciate your setting the record straight on this matter.

With every good wish.


John F. Kennedy, Telegram from Senator John F. Kennedy to Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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