Election 1944: Ex-Governor Pinchot plans to take stump for Roosevelt (8-30-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 30, 1944)


Pinchot plans to take stump for Roosevelt

May make several speeches in state
By Kermit McFarland

Gifford Pinchot, twice Governor of Pennsylvania under Republican colors, will support President Roosevelt for a fourth term.

Mr. Pinchot announced his decision after a conference with the President at the White House yesterday.

In a formal statement, the former Governor said:

In this great crisis, the choice between Roosevelt and Dewey is like choosing between a veteran leader of many battles and a raw recruit who never has shouldered a rifle or fired a gun. I am for the man who knows how.

For Roosevelt in 1940

Mr. Pinchot, who was 79 Aug. 11, will take the stump for the President. One or more speeches will probably be made in Pennsylvania.

In 1940, the former Governor supported Mr. Roosevelt and delivered a major speech in Pittsburgh. Four years before, he supported Governor Alf M. Landon, the Republican nominee.

In 1932, when Mr. Roosevelt was elected the first time, Mr. Pinchot, then Governor, kept silent until the morning after election when he issued a statement which said in effect the Republicans deserved the defeat they suffered.

At Governor’s Conference

Three months ago, the ex-Governor attended the Conference of Governors at Hershey. As an “ex,” he did not go to the formal business sessions of the meeting, but he and Mrs. Pinchot spent three days at the Hershey Hotel hobnobbing with the governors from other states and with Pennsylvania acquaintances.

It was evident his primary purpose was to “get a line” on Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York. Mr. Pinchot said then he was undecided about which candidate to support for President.

Veteran of 30 years in the political wars of Pennsylvania and the nation, Mr. Pinchot has never fully retired, although his last public appearance in politics was his activity in the 1940 campaign.

Packs oratorical punch

While he lacks the fire of his earlier days, Mr. Pinchot, despite an attack of pneumonia last winter, still packs an oratorical punch.

Although he has no longer even the skeleton of a political organization in Pennsylvania, his participation in the campaign will add color and interest.

Mrs. Pinchot may also take an active hand in the campaign.

Danger of depression

In his statement, the former Governor also said:

Once again, the danger is that depression will follow war. With his experience, Roosevelt can make sure the people will have job and prosperity when this war is done…

No other living man is so well fitted as Roosevelt, by contact and knowledge, to lead us to permanent peace and freedom, welfare and happiness of our fighting men and our workers, ourselves and our children when war is done.