Election 1944: Confident Dewey pledges first-class election fight (9-15-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 15, 1944)


Confident Dewey pledges first-class election fight

There’ll be a change, he tells Montanans with better prosecution of the war

Billings, Montana (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey carried his presidential campaign into Montana today, pledging a first-class election fight which will not interfere with the war effort, but which will result in a change of administrations and more effective prosecution of the war after next January.

Mr. Dewey gave that pledge in an impromptu address to the crowd getting him at the Billings station last night upon his arrival for conferences today with agricultural, labor, veteran and political leaders.

First-class fight

Reminding his audience he was en route to the West Coast to make four major campaign speeches next week, Governor Dewey declared:

We will have a first-class fight from now until election. It will not be a campaign in the slightest degree to interfere with the war effort. This campaign will prove to all the world that we in America love our freedom so much that we can fight a total war harder because we are exercising the rights of free men as we do it.

By holding this campaign at a time when our enemies are collapsing and as we are making gigantic strides toward Berlin and Tokyo, we are demonstrating… that free men can wage a war, and the reason we are fighting so well is because we have something they haven’t.

We have a system that permits us to keep our shoulders to the wheel and to get every man and woman devoted to the cause, not deviating one moment.

As a result, I am confident we will change administrations and fight the war more effectively because we did so.

Mr. Dewey said he was confident that:

The American people will be convinced there is no indispensable man out of our 130 million, that there is a better way of life than either the creeping collectivism of the New Deal or the reaction they claim is the only alternative to their weaknesses and their spendthrift policy.

New Deal unemployed

He said:

There is a straight, out and out, American road in which government can do its part, which can encourage free men in business and labor and agriculture to do their part, by which we need never return to those seven straight years of the New Deal when the country ended up with 10 million unemployed.

Governor Dewey repeated his contention that this issue in the coming election is one of New Deal defeatism versus a progressive national economy.

He said:

The question before the American people is whether we shall continue downward, sliding slowly on the greased New Deal skids, toward total government control of business, of labor, of agriculture, of what we can buy and sell and what we can eat and wear, or whether… we shall start back once more on the American road toward a free economy, a free people, with full employment and with a great and growing country once more on the forward road. I am sure we will take the latter approach.

At the small town of Hardin during a brief operational stop for his special train, en route from Sheridan, Wyoming, he stepped to the rear platform and told a small audience that returning war veterans are “entitled to something better than the New Deal dole.”

He appealed for their help toward a Republican victory, which he pledged would assure “security and opportunity for all.”

It was one of the few rear platform appearances he has made, except at officially scheduled stops, since his special train left New York City Sept. 7.