Election 1944: Dewey offers 15-point policy on home front (8-2-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 2, 1944)


Dewey offers 15-point policy on home front

Governors conference opens in St. Louis
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

St. Louis, Missouri –
The Republican Governors Conference convened today under the guidance of Governor Thomas E. Dewey, GOP presidential candidate, to establish a domestic program upon which to challenge President Roosevelt’s bid for a fourth term.

The conference will run through tomorrow.

Mr. Roosevelt is already under campaign charges of having failed to cope with pre-war depression and of bungling post-war economic plans.

Governor Dewey, backed by his running mate Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio, is presenting a 15-ooint program, for the consideration of the governors assembled here. They represent 26 states in which the Dewey-Bricker managers confidently expect to obtain more than the bare 266 electoral votes necessary to win the election.

The 15-point program follows: Public expenditures; public health; unemployment insurance administration; employment services administration; labor policies; public works; highways; insurance regulations; ownership and use of national lands; coordination of federal and state taxation; agriculture; National Guard policies; especially the extent of federal control; water, flood control and conservation policies; veterans’ affairs; and the question of the relationship between unemployment insurance and employment services.

Although the conferences are closed to the public, their progress will be reported in press conferences, the first of which will be shortly after noon today. They will deal with practically all phases of domestic problems where Governor Dewey charges the Roosevelt administration has failed, and will also give Governor Dewey a chance to talk grassroots politics.

Home front bungling

In this three-state swing, the young New Yorker has outlined the substance of his campaign strategy. It is to avoid any challenge to the conduct of the war and possibly to minimize foreign relations, but to denounce the Roosevelt administration’s domestic policies as a combination of bungling and shortsighted expediency.

The Governor came here from Pittsburgh and Springfield, Illinois, where he conferred with racial, political and other groups. Republican politicians have assured him so far that he will carry West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois. He will hear today that Missouri can also be won by the Republicans.

Governor Bricker yesterday repudiated a move by Gerald L. K. Smith’s America First Party to nominate him for Vice President. Smith, a former associate of the late Huey P. Long and political spellbinder of experience, heads the America First ticket.

An American ‘Hitler’

Governor Dewey compared Smith to Adolf Hitler in his race prejudices and denounced him for a “sinister effort to smear” Mr. Bricker, who also answered Smith in bitter language.

Mr. Bricker said:

The act of Smith in associating my name with his on a spurious ticket, without notice of any kind, is the cheapest demagoguery. I denounce it and shall not have my name used in any such connection.

I hate demagoguery, religious intolerance and racial prejudice. They can destroy our free government as they have destroyed liberty around the world. I shall fight them as long as I live.

Springfield ‘crushes’ Dewey

Substantial crowds greeted Governor Dewey in Pittsburgh, but it remained for Springfield to pack crowds around the candidate until police were almost powerless and there was danger that women and children might be hurt in the crush.

Governor Dewey will confer with Missouri politicians and representatives of other groups before entraining Friday for a weekend at his Pawling, New York, farm, which he will reach Saturday evening.

Illinois veterans present request

Springfield, Illinois (UP) –
A four-point program to aid men and women in the Armed Forces was placed before Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican presidential candidate, last night by representatives of Illinois’ war veterans.

Its major feature was a demand that the veterans be represented at the peace table by representatives of “their own choosing.”

Other phases include state and local planning for war veteran employment, operation of the “G.I.” Bill without red tape and that veterans receive full representations in political parties and governmental operation.