Election 1944: New Deal ‘deserts’ West, Dewey charges in Idaho (9-17-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 17, 1944)


New Deal ‘deserts’ West, Dewey charges in Idaho

Ickes and Perkins first to be dropped if he’s elected, GOP nominee says

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey charged today that the New Deal has “deserted” the western section of the country and promised that if he is elected President the region will be represented in his Cabinet.

The GOP presidential nominee said his trip from Nebraska’s west had disclosed a “universal feeling” that this section of the country has “no one in Washington that even understands their problems.”

He added:

This part of the country holds unlimited promise and opportunity beyond belief.

I am convinced that the West is entitled to a Cabinet post. It is also entitled to have people in Washington who understand the problems of the West.

Would ‘drop’ Ickes

A reporter asked whether there was any feeling toward Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, and he replied:

At one conference I was asked to promise that if I am elected, one of my first acts would be to get rid of Ickes. And I replied, “He will be high on the list.”

A reporter interrupted to ask about Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

“That’s why I said Ickes would be high on the list,” Mr. Dewey said. “I don’t know whether he would be first or second.”

People want voice

The Governor said there was a feeling throughout the country to let the people help solve their own problems, whereas the New Deal policy has been to make decisions “in an ivory tower” and then issue orders to the people.

He said:

The people want to share in the solving of their own problems. They want people in Washington who have some knowledge of their problems. I am entirely convinced that they should be given full representation in Washington.

Mr. Dewey was asked whether he welcomed the support of John L. Lewis.

“I think the paper said that he was not endorsing any candidate,” Mr. Dewey replied. “I can’t indulge in mind reading.”

‘Teamwork’ urged

Mr. Dewey said one of the most important things needed at Washington is “teamwork” between the executive branch and the various departments and agencies. He said he had already prepared the tentative draft of a speech on that subject to be delivered later in the campaign.

Mr. Dewey repeated his arguments that President Roosevelt’s administration has a policy of “defeatism” and “is afraid to let men out of the Army when the fighting is done.”

“We can be wholly confident in a new administration which believes in this country,” Mr. Dewey said.

Mr. Dewey was introduced on the rear platform of his special train by Idaho Governor C. A. Bottolfsen.