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Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 15, 1960: Kennedy Attacks Nixon on Broad Front, Editorial Critical of Lodge Pledge on Negro in Cabinet

Sen. John F. Kennedy said today that Nixon's talk about standing up to communism conspicuously omits mention of Cuba. Nixon "talks about standing firm in the Far East, but he never mentions standing firm in Cuba. If you can't stand up to Castro, how can you be expected to stand up to Khrushchev?"

Kennedy also said Nixon often changed his image and asked who voters who cast ballots for Nixon would be selecting: "The practical progressive? The outspoken conservative? The old Nixon? The New Nixon? The modern Republican? The old-fashioned Republican?"

Kennedy also took a jab at Nixon's running mate, Henry Cabot Lodge, who recently pledged -- then withdrew his pledge -- to have a Negro in a Nixon Cabinet. "Mr. Lodge made a speech one day in the North pledging a Negro in the Cabinet and the next day he said he had no right to make any pledges when he was down South."

The New York Times editorial page also commented today on the controversy over Lodge's pledge to include a Negro in a Republican Cabinet:

"There is every reason why a Negro, or any other American of whatever racial descent, should be appointed to the President's Cabinet, or to any other high public office, if he possesses the proper qualifications for such a post. There are, in fact, many Negroes eminently fitted for the most responsible positions in the Government. But the test for appointments to public office should be the ability and experience of the candidate in question, and not the color of his skin or his religious affiliation or his residence in a politically strategic area. Mr. Lodge's Wednesday 'pledge' was all too apparently a bid for votes on a specious issue."

In other news on this day in 1960 ... A worsening world situation requires negotiations over Berlin with the Soviet Union, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said today. He urged a summit meeting between Western powers and the Soviets. ... In Morocco the government closed two French Consul offices near the border with Algeria. ... Vice President Nixon said he would work to elect Republicans everywhere. ... Cuba sentenced two americans to death for joining a rebel group attempting to overthrow the Castro government. The Cuban government, meanwhile, has announced that it is turning over ownership of all rented homes to tenants. ... President Eisenhower said he agrees with Vice President Nixon's position that the US should defend Taiwan's offshore islands only if they are attacked as part of a plan to invade Taiwan.


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