Election 1944: ‘Get Willkie’ plan revealed by Mead (10-28-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 29, 1944)


‘Get Willkie’ plan revealed by Mead

Buffalo, New York (UP) – (Oct. 28)
Senator James M. Mead (D-NY) charged tonight that former President Hoover and Governor Thomas E. Dewey initiated an undercover campaign some few months ago to drive the late Wendell Willkie out of the Republican Party.

Senator Mead said here before his departure for New York, where he will make several campaign speeches:

I am in a position to prove that Mr. Hoover, following conferences with Mr. Dewey, advised nationally known Republican leaders that “Tom and I are agreed that the sooner we remove the corn Willkie from the Republican toe, the better it will be for the Republican Party.”

Senator Mead’s statement said:

Mr. Willkie, with his irresistible charm, his wealth of wisdom and the purity of his motives, was well on his way to his second nomination for the Presidency when Hoover and Dewey set out… to stop him and obtain the green light for the New York Governor.

One of the first men to take the cue from Hoover and Dewey was Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, a pre-war isolationist of the first order and the man who later was to participate with Mr. Dewey and Mr. Hoover in the presidential primary contest of that state, which proved the political death knell of the able and revered Mr. Willkie.

Mr. Dewey and Mr. Hoover did not forget the generous contribution Senator Wiley made to Mr. Willkie’s defeat and his reward came on last Wednesday when Mr. Dewey, en route to Chicago, chose to stop in Wisconsin to give not only his unqualified endorsement to Wisconsin’s leading isolationist, who is seeking a second term, but to make a speech for him.

How Mr. Dewey can tell the people that his party no longer stands for isolation, and go out and embrace and endorse full-fledged isolationists like Mr. Wiley, is one of the mysteries of the Dewey campaign.