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Nixon Makes Appearnace on Paar Show, Bashes Kennedy

Feb. 9, 1962 - Richard M. Nixon lashed out last night at President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban situation and at other aspects of the Administration’s foreign policy. “If all the United States does is what the weak and timid will approve, we might as well cash in our chips right now,” he told a national television audience. Mr. Nixon was questioned for nearly an hour by Jack Paar on his NBC show. Mr. Nixon paid several high compliments to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the President’s brother. Mr. Nixon suggested that the Attorney General might be gaining experience for a foreign assignment, possibly Secretary of State. He thought this would be a good selection. “He’s tough-minded, quick, intelligent, and has a tremendous will to win,” Mr. Nixon said of the younger Kennedy. “In U.S. foreign relations today, we need those qualities.” Mr. Nixon’s criticism of President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban invasion was that the President had not supplied air support for the invaders to guarantee their success. The former Vice President said he had been unable to discuss the Cuban situation as freely as he wanted during the 1960 Presidential campaign because he knew the U.S. was training rebels to mount an invasion. He likened what the Kennedy Administration was doing about Cuba to treating cancer with iodine. He said it would not work. “What is needed is a determination that Castro must go and the development of a policy to see that it happens,” Mr. Nixon added. He also said he thought the U.S. was fortunate that Premier Khrushchev and not someone else had become the dictator of the Soviet Union. Last night’s appearance was Mr. Nixon’s first on a national network in more than 13 months. He was paid $320 for his appearance.

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