Monday, October 10, 1960
October 10, 1960
JFK was on the campaign trail and started the day at Franklin Roosevelt’s summer home in Warm Springs, Georgia. He later traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he gave a speech at the Shriner’s Syria Mosque, where he spoke for about 20 minutes.
After greeting the assemblage, he immediately set to criticizing his opponent Richard Nixon, saying that America did not want a conservative at home and a risk-taker abroad. He then relayed to the crowd that after their recent debate, Nixon approached with finger in the air and said, “Senator, I hear you have been getting better crowds than I have in Cleveland.”
Kennedy then turned serious, declaring that Nixon was feeling superior about America’s chances against the Soviet Union because of television superiority. JFK then hammered home his mantra (inaccurately) that the Soviets were widening the gap in production of rockets, economic output, and production of scientists and engineers.
JFK then turned to domestic issues and bashed Nixon and the Republicans for being against food assistance to the poor, opposing raising the minimum wage, and medical assistance for all elderly.
He then invoked the spirit of Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt in appealing to the audience’s efforts to look forward in crafting a better country and society.
And somewhat grandiosely, Kennedy closed by describing the famous battle at Thermopolis, equating a vote for him in November to the same sacrifice of the three hundred Spartans who died fighting off the Persians to save ancient Greece.