Election 1940: Willkie Gives Quick Reply To Roosevelt (10-29-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 29, 1940)



Denies Charge That G.O.P. Played Politics

By the United Press

The presidential campaign entered the final week today with President Roosevelt pausing at Washington to make a radio talk inaugurating the draft lottery before starting a political speaking tour and Wendell L. Willkie making a final bid for Ohio’s 26 electoral votes.

From his train, en route across Ohio to Charleston, W. Va., Mr. Willkie, the Republican nominee, issued a statement replying to Mr. Roosevelt’s second major campaign speech, before a crowd of 22,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden last night.

Mr. Roosevelt charged the Republican leadership with playing politics with national defense measures by opposing the naval expansion, embargo on shipments to belligerents, the switch of funds from public works to national defense, and other defense bills.

G.O.P. Gives Credit

Mr. Willkie said:

The President, in his address, showed that despite any opposition in Congress, he was able to secure the passage of any armament bill that he deemed necessary…In June 1940, he suggested that Congress go home.

Congress refused to go home because of the Republican insistence that it stay in session in view of the grave international situation…if in June, Congress had obeyed the President’s behest to adjourn, the United States would still have $7 billion, less defense “on order” than it has now.

Mr. Roosevelt leaves Washington tonight for a tour of the Connecticut River Valley, to be climaxed by a speech in Boston tomorrow night.

Speaks Again Friday

He speaks again in New York Friday, in Cleveland Saturday, then goers to Hyde Park, N.Y., where he will speak by radio Monday night, Election Eve.

Mr. Roosevelt spoke six times yesterday during a tour of industrial New Jersey and the five boroughs of New York City, where he was cheered by hundreds of thousands.

Mr. Willkie was making two speeches today, one at Parkersburg, W. Va., in which he will answer Mr. Roosevelt’s speech, and one at Charleston.

At 10:30 p.m., WCAE will broadcast Mr. Willkie’s Charleston speech.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Ambassador to Great Britain, speaks tonight over the Columbia Broadcasting System from New York, giving his first public utterance since his return from Britain Sunday, but it was not disclosed whether his would be a political speech.

WJAS will broadcast Mr. Kennedy’s address at 9 p.m.

Alfred E. Smith, former Democratic presidential nominee, speaks in Philadelphia tonight under the auspices of the Democrats for Willkie.

KDKA will broadcast Mr. Smith address at 9:30 p.m.

Thomas E. Dewey, New York District Attorney, charged at Peoria, Ill., last night that Mr. Roosevelt’s administration had failed “in its highest duty – the defense of the United States.” He urged the election of Mr. Willkie, “a soldier in the last war.”

’A Disappointing Day’

New York’s Mayor F. H. LaGuardia, said at Rochester, N.Y., last night that:

Friday was indeed a disappointing day for representatives of democracy and for friends of liberty…Laval conferring with Hitler and Lewis comforted Mr. Willkie, neither of them either speaking or carrying out the wishes of the people they purport to represent. France will be free and independent again just as labor will retain its independence now and retain the advantages and benefits it has gained under President Roosevelt

At Salt Lake City, Utah, Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes denounced Mr. Willkie’s attitude toward power projects and charged that he was “running on a platform of ignorance and promises.” He said the government had spent $400 million on reclamation projects in the West since 1933,

…yet, according to Mr. Willkie, who herds sheep in the canyons of Wall Street, this administration doesn’t appreciate what the West needs and ought to have.