Election 1940: War Closer, Willkie Says (10-1-40)

Reading Eagle (October 1, 1940)



Declares He Will Clean Out ‘Cynics’ and ‘Nuts’ If He Is Elected

Aboard Willkie Train En Route Through Michigan, Oct. 1 (AP) –

A Republican campaign tour of Michigan industrial centers, where the labor vote is heavy, today followed Wendell L. Willkie’s assertion that the Roosevelt administration is “pushing us ever closer and closer toward war.”

Facing a cheering audience which filled the bulk of the 20,000 seats in Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, the Republican presidential nominee said last night:

The closer Mr. Roosevelt gets us to war, the more people say that we ought not to change horses in the middle of the stream.

Well, for one thing, what are we doing in the middle of the stream? How did we get there? The man who got us in is not the right one to get us out.

Long Ovation

Willkie was addressing the National Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs, whose members gave him a rising ovation and interrupted his half-hour address frequently with applause.

When Senator McNary and I are elected, the first thing I shall do to help you in the great task that lies ahead of you, will be to clean house in the government. I will clean out the cynics and unbelievers, the nuts and bunkartises. My administration will be composed of men who believe in the American people.

The nominee, dwarfed by a huge portrait of himself on the front of his reading desk, said that it was up to the women of America to teach the principles of democracy.

Declaring that there is danger of young people becoming cynical, he continued:

Thousands of our youth, who have lost faith in other people, have formed Communist groups and have received encouragement from very high places.

He gripped the rostrum and leaned forward, shaking his head to emphasize every word. He added the “very” to his prepared text.

Says Backbone Will Remain

As he told train-side crowds through southern Michigan yesterday, Willkie said that he wanted to “clean out the cynics” and reduce the bureaucracy in the federal government. Making minor changes in the phraseology of his text, he said:

But the backbone of our government will remain just as it is. The Army will be there – even though Mr. Roosevelt goes. The Navy – in spite of him – will be there. All the civil service, the 1,020,000 persons who do most of the work of government, will be there.

Shortly before he finished speaking, a tomato was thrown from a gallery and landed in the press seats directly in front of the platform.

In his train talks yesterday Willkie called for election of a “Winston Churchill government” in the United States, arguing that England advantageously changed governments during a crisis.

He also appealed for the support of labor, saying that he favored New Deal labor legislation and that he wanted to create jobs for the idle.

His four stops today – Pontiac, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids – are manufacturing cities, and Willkie was expected to continue that line of argument. His final talk in Michigan will be made tomorrow morning at Adrian, and then he will move into Ohio.