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JFK: “No Question” LBJ Will Be on ’64 Ticket

Oct. 31, 1963 - Vice President Johnson’s place on the Democratic ticket in next year’s election was assured today by President Kennedy. A questioner at today’s news conference, noting reports that Mr. Johnson would be “dumped” or “purged,” asked Mr. Kennedy whether he would be retained. “Yes, he will — no question he will,” the President replied. The speculation on Mr. Johnson’s future derives from doubts as to his usefulness as a campaigner in the South. His strong public position on civil rights since the 1960 election has hurt his popularity in those states he helped hold for the Democratic ticket three years ago. There are a number of reasons other than party loyalty for retaining the Vice President for another campaign. The principal one seems to be that nobody has suggested a more practical substitute. Another is that even if Mr. Kennedy should write off most of the South, he is not writing off Texas’s 25 electoral votes. Dropping Mr. Johnson would probably be tantamount to giving away these votes. President Kennedy also said today he was prepared to debate with Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) or any other Republican candidate next year.


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