top of page

RFK: Support for Goldwater Meager

June 26, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said in Berlin today that Senator Barry Goldwater did not have widespread support in the United States.

He told a news conference that the Arizonan’s apparent lead for the Republican nomination for President was a result of a “difficult time” the GOP was having “in coming up with an alternative to the present leadership in Washington.”

In these circumstances, he said, Goldwater supporters have seized control of convention delegations in many states.

Citing public opinion polls, which he said showed that “Goldwater is not so popular,” Mr. Kennedy declared: “We have an old American expression — you can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

Mr. Kennedy tried to explain to his German audience the sources of Mr. Goldwater’s strength.

“In the United States, there is an historic distrust of the Federal Government — of what is done in Washington,” he said. “If you run against the Government, you will get hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Mr. Kennedy said these came from people who were displeased with the burdens the United States had to bear all over the world and who longed for quick solution, in Cuba, in Asia, and in Europe.

“The candidate who runs against has got built-in advantages,” he went on. “The difficulty is he gets into trouble when he is called upon to advocate a position.”

At the news conference, Mr. Kennedy was asked whether he would seek the Vice Presidency.

“In the first place,” he said, “I haven’t been nominated, and in the second place I haven’t made up my mind about my future.”

Later, at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the visit to Berlin of his brother, the late President, Mr. Kennedy spoke at John F. Kennedy Platz, the West Berlin City Hall square.

At the end of a short speech, punctuated with cries from 70,000 spectators of “Kenn-ned-dee!” and “Bob-by!” the Attorney General introduced his wife and three eldest children.

“When my brother used to campaign, he used to invite the people all to come visit him at the White House,” he said smilingly. “I know President Johnson would want to extend the same invitation, and I hope when you come to Washington you will come visit us and President Johnson in the White House.”

Support this project at


bottom of page