Election 1944: New York Times backs Roosevelt (10-16-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 16, 1944)


New York Times backs Roosevelt

Foreign policy issue deciding factor

New York (UP) –
The New York Times today announced its support for the reelection of President Roosevelt.

The Times, which opposed Mr. Roosevelt in 1940, said in an editorial that it was supporting the President this election year because of his foreign policies.

The editorial said:

On this issue of foreign policy, we believe the scales tip heavily in favor of the Democratic Party.

It listed three reasons for this viewpoint:

  • The record and the present position of the two parties themselves.
  • The background of the two candidates themselves.
  • The factor of experience.

Experience a factor

The editorial criticized Republican presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey for failing to “divorce” the isolationist from the internationalist elements in his party and for failing to take a definite stand either way.

Discussing the “factor of experience” of the two candidates, The Times said:

We agree entirely with Mr. Dewey that there is no such thing in a free republic as an “indispensable man.” We have never thought there was…

Nevertheless, when we come down to specific cases in the choice actually before us, we cannot dismiss as unimportant the fact that Mr. Roosevelt has a large firsthand knowledge of the problems that will arise in the making of peace. Moreover, the great prestige and personal following among the plain peoples of the world, which he has won with his war leadership, might easily prove in itself to be one of the most important cohesive forces binding together a new world organization in its first experimental years.

The Times admitted that “in some respects” it believed Governor Dewey would do a better job in the domestic field and that a “new broom in Washington is badly needed,” but said it seemed “safer” to trust the “great responsibility of setting up the new international organization which is to defend the world’s peace” to the Democratic Party.

The Times editorial said:

Ours has not been an easy choice… There will be many who disagree with us. but this we know: That our decision is the product of hard thinking and good conscience. As such, we recommend it to our readers.