Election 1944: Rep. Luce says Roosevelt ‘lied’ nation into war (10-14-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 14, 1944)


Rep. Luce: Roosevelt ‘lied’ nation into war

GOP Congresswoman charges that President lacked courage to ‘lead us into it’

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
Mrs. Clare Boothe Luce charged last night that President Roosevelt was “the only American President who ever lied us into a war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it.”

The sharp-tongued Republican Congresswoman from Connecticut who is a candidate for reelection, said in a radio speech that the President’s failure in his greatest obligation to his countrymen, preserving the peace “he inherited when he was young and strong,” disqualified him from any part in the making of the new peace.

Mrs. Luce accused Mr. Roosevelt of withholding his knowledge of the gravity of world events because he wanted a third term and “because he did not have the courage to admit that his seven-year policy of isolation and appeasement was a failure.”

She said the record belled accusations that Republican obstructionism tied the President’s hands and termed such charges “extenuating circumstances often presented by New Dealers” for the President’s “failure to safeguard this nation against an attack on two fronts.”

Republican Senators and Presidents were accused of keeping the United States out of the League of Nations and thus preventing Mr. Roosevelt from working with other nations to prevent war, Mrs. Luce said, but, she added, Mr. Roosevelt did not seek greater collective security during his seven peacetime years.

“The very opposite is the case,” she added.

Mrs. Luce said arguments to prove that Americans were so isolationist that Mr. Roosevelt could do nothing were tantamount to accusing the people of being responsible for Pearl Harbor.

Nevertheless, she asserted, the President did not warn the people and all she could find in studying the record were “happy assurance” from the President that the nation was in no danger from foreign powers.

When Herbert Hoover was President, Mrs. Luce declared in answering criticism that Republican Presidents had permitted the decay of American military power, he “spent a larger percent of the total government expenditures on armaments during his four years than Mr. Roosevelt did during his first four years.”

She said:

In view of the world situation, the fact that Mr. Roosevelt’s only economy before 1939 was in armaments is astonishing.