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Nixon Hits JFK on Cuba

Mar. 9, 1963 - Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon criticized President Kennedy last night as having failed to take sufficiently decisive steps to eliminate “the Communist cancer from Cuba.” At the same time, he promised that Republicans would “join a bipartisan support” of any strong action that President Kennedy would take. Mr. Nixon asked for a Cuban policy that included an oil blockade, removal of Soviet troops, on-site inspection of missile installations, and denial of foreign aid to countries that trade with Cuba. Mr. Nixon made these remarks on NBC’s Jack Paar Show. His policy statements alternated with show-business gags and a turn on the piano. The former Vice President said the record of the Kennedy Administration was “brilliant from the standpoint of salesmanship” and public relations, but added that “the product doesn’t live up to the words.” Mr. Nixon reiterated that he was not a candidate for public office, calling the television appearance an effort “to call the shots as I see them.”

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