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Nixon Blames Civil Rights Crisis on President Kennedy

Oct. 7, 1963 - Richard M. Nixon charged today that the “civil rights crisis is to a great extent” President Kennedy’s fault. He said the crisis was “due to the fact that, having made some symbolic gestures in the campaign and some extravagant promises about what he was going to do, he did nothing but give his civil rights program lip service.” “As a result,” Mr. Nixon said in an interview in U.S. News & World Report, “a tremendous emotional development occurred which resulted in the demonstrations.” Mr. Nixon also said that Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) “has a very substantial lead” for the Republican Presidential nomination, and “if he continues at his present pace, nobody will be able to overtake him.” Mr. Nixon predicted that President Kennedy would be unable to avoid television debates during the 1964 Presidential campaign and that the advantage would be with his Republican opponent. The former Vice President said the GOP candidate will have the “great advantage” of being on the attack. He asserted that Mr. Kennedy will be vulnerable on several fronts in the 1964 election. “Kennedy’s weakness is in his performance,” Mr. Nixon said. “This Administration, from the standpoint of public relations, has been a smashing success — the most successful in the history of the country. It has taken a bad case and sold it well. It has made a victory out of failure in Cuba. It is trying to make a victory out of our failure in Southeast Asia.”


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