Election 1944: Democrats told ‘we could lose’ (9-16-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 16, 1944)


Democrats told ‘we could lose’

Hannegan warns against complacency

Baltimore, Maryland (UP) –
Democratic National Chairman Robert E. Hannegan admitted last night that complacency on the part of party members might result in the defeat of President Roosevelt at the polls in November.

Mr. Hannegan told the Democratic Clubs of Maryland that “in spite of all the help our cause is getting from the public utterances” of the Republican candidates, “I am still ready to point out to you candidly that we could lose in November.”

Asserting that the name of President Roosevelt “already ranks with the names of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Wilson.” Mr. Hannegan blasted Republican presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey as the GOP’s “high man in the making of accusations that blow up in his face.”

A ‘natural’ procedure

Mr. Hannegan said:

In view of the Republican presidential candidate’s past training and experience, this is to be expected. It is quite natural that he should follow the principle: When in doubt, prosecute.

The Democratic chairman charged that the Republican platform was “a museum piece straight out of the collection of Herbert Hoover” and that Mr. Dewey’s plan for dealing with national problems, especially that of unemployment, was “the way of Herbert Hoover.”

Answer Dewey’s charge

Mr. Hannegan asserted that Mr. Dewey’s charge that the Roosevelt administration planned to hold men in the Army after the war to prevent another depression “could scarcely have been calculated to add to the morale of the men now in uniform and fighting their country’s battles.”

He said:

The purpose of that [the administration’s] plan is not only to get all the unneeded fighting men out of the Army at the earliest possible time, but to do something that Mr. Dewey may not have thought of – that is, to go about it in the fairest and most democratic way. To decide on the order of this mustering out, the Army consulted the men themselves.