President Kennedy Says Rockefeller Not Prejudiced

June 7, 1962 - At his press conference today, President Kennedy was asked if he considered “justified” a speech made by Democratic National chairman John M. Bailey last week in New York suggesting that Governor Rockefeller had been guilty of prejudice in opposing the establishment of a Federal Department of Urban Affairs. “I haven’t seen any evidence that Rockefeller is prejudiced in any way toward any racial group,” the President replied. “I am glad to make that statement,” he continued, “and I am sure that some of the statements the Congressman [William E. Miller of New York], chairman of the Republican Committee, has made about me will be similarly repudiated by leading Republicans. I have been waiting for it for about a year and a half.” Mr. Bailey had implied that Governor Rockefeller favored creation of the department until the President announced that he intended to name Robert C. Weaver, a Negro, to head it.

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