Election 1940: Presidential Campaign Reaches Climax Tonight (11-2-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 2, 1940)


The Last Roundup —

Roosevelt in Cleveland Tonight While Willkie Finishes in New York

By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press Staff Writer

New York, Nov. 2 –

The 1940 presidential campaign is roaring toward tonight’s climax in Cleveland and New York where the opposing candidates will make their last major bids for votes.

President Roosevelt is swinging through upper New York state and western Pennsylvania en route to Cleveland where for the first time he will conclude a campaign drive in a state other than his own.

Officials of the Curtiss-Wright plant which Mr. Roosevelt is visiting in Buffalo, N.Y., at noon, announced that the full working force of 4,500 men would be on the job at time-and-one-half pay for their overtime. The plant usually operates a skeleton Saturday crew.

Willkie in New York

Wendell L. Willkie, Republican candidate, will speak tonight in Madison Square Garden where Mr. Roosevelt has been accustomed to ending his campaign with as rousing Saturday night rally.

We should stop fooling ourselves with talk about rapidly reaching a goal of 50,000. Anybody who knows anything about production will understand that after years of neglect and abuse of industry by the New Deal that goal cannot be reached sort of a period of years. More talk won’t bring us closer.

Farley Aids Roosevelt

Mr. Roosevelt, at the same time, was speaking from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a comparatively small auditorium of rich political background. Former Postmaster General James A. Farley, who resigned as Democratic National Committee Chairman because he was opposed to a third term, made his second major campaign appearance with Mr. Roosevelt Those appearance coupled with Mr. Farley’s statement that he would vote the Democratic ticket straight are expected to help the Roosevelt-Wallace ticket.

Charging that an “unholy alliance” of radicals and conservatives had formed against him. Mr. Roosevelt said there was no common ground for his adversaries to meet “unless it be their common will to power and their impatience with the normal democratic processes, to produce overnight the inconsistent dictatorial ends they each seek.”

Jab Aimed at Lewis

There was no mention of President John L. Lewis of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, but Mr. Roosevelt apparently had him and some of the notable Republican industrialists in mind when he said:

No elements in American life have made such vicious attacks upon each other in recent years as have the members of this new unholy alliance against each other.

And the President found evidence of “something evil happening in this country” in publication in the Communist Daily Worker of an anti-Administration advertisement “paid for by Republicans.”

Admirers of dictatorship, he continued, are distributing Republican campaign literature.

In a statement replying to Mr. Roosevelt’s speech, Mr. Willkie said today that the President had employed the tactics of Lenin, the strategy of Hitler, and the preaching of Trotsky…to stir up class hatred and divide our people."

Hoover Rips New Deal

On the Western campaign front, former President Herbert C. Hoover told his audience in Salt Lake City, Utah, that the campaign issue was preservation of democracy. He said the Roosevelt administration began with three economic ideas from which arose “the odor of totalitarianism.”

You will find every one of these economic ideas, somewhere along the Berlin-Rome-Moscow Axis, and to force these ideas on America you have seen attempts to control our courts, to control our Congress, to control our public opinion with mass propaganda and slogans and finally to demand a third term.

They have driven our economy on fear, not upon faith, upon tied men, not free me. The end result was to fix depression as a chronic way of American life. This munitions boom may obscure it momentarily. But the consequences are inevitable.

Hull and Thomas Speak

Secretary of State Cordell Hull, from Washington, rephrased the warning against a midstream change of horses to read:

There is no time for the country to make a change from experience to inexperience – a change which would involve two and a half months of confusion and uncertainty.

He meant that a newly elected President would not take office until January 20, 1941.

A platoon of WPA pickets, meantime, paraded around the White House, placarding protests against what they termed efforts in New York to frighten relief workers into voting the Democratic ticket. in Pittsburgh, Socialist Norman Thomas said both the Republican and Democratic campaigns were phony.

New Ickes Blast

From Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes said the German government was directing a campaign from Berlin to prevent Mr. Roosevelt’s re-election which, the Secretary said, was reason enough to keep him in office.

Returning from a mid-western campaign swing in behalf of Mr. Roosevelt, Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia of New York expressed his unhappiness over the statement of his goof friend Judge Samuel Seabury in support of Mr. Willkie’s candidacy and denied that the recall of former Mayor James J. Walker from political oblivion to a $20,000-a-year appointive non-political job had been a move to gain votes for Mr. Roosevelt. Judge Seabury was the investigator who brought Mr. Walker before Mr. Roosevelt in 1932 on charges which caused him to resign his municipal office.

Mayor LaGuardia said:

Judge Seabury is on one side and I am on the other. I am motivated solely by my love for my country, Judge Seabury is motivated by an obsessed hatred for President Roosevelt.

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