Election 1944: Roosevelt snaps answers at his news conference (8-18-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 18, 1944)


Roosevelt snaps answers at his news conference

Some reporters think President looks tired; smiles are infrequent

Washington (UP) –
Reporters who attended President Roosevelt’s first news conference since his return from the Pacific found him in a snappish mood today.

Mr. Roosevelt looked a little on the tired side to those who had not seen him since the last White House conference – the one of July 11 when he read his letter of advance acceptance of the fourth-term nomination and then roared with laughter as he watched the correspondents rushing for telephones.

Today he smiled rarely; he lacked as much of a deep tan as he usually acquired on sea voyages; he couldn’t be heard back of the first few rows and was interrupted with calls of “louder.”

Twenty-odd questions were fired at him. To many of them, the answer was, “No comment,” or “I don’t know.”

He took opportunity to criticize a question asked him on his train en route home – whether there was anything to reports that his trip had a political tone. Asked about this today, the President’s reply was substantially like this:

One of the press association reporters asked that question; he had to ask it because it was obviously planted. It was one of those questions that have to be asked in a campaign year. It was a fool question and the reporter knew it and asked it reluctantly.

To another question, he replied sharply that he was not in the White House to answer fool questions about everything that publishers put in print because if he did, he wouldn’t have time to be President.