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Rockefeller Opens Campaign in New Hampshire

Oct. 18, 1963 - Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller today opened a crucial phase of his battle for the Republican Presidential nomination, vowing to wage a stubborn fight against Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.). At this early stage of the game, he said, “Sen. Goldwater’s lead is irrelevant.” Rockefeller also ripped into President Kennedy, charging that the President misunderstands the Communist menace and is opening dangerous doors in his efforts to achieve a detente with the Soviet Union. This is an issue which Republicans are using against the President with increasing frequency. The Governor this morning began two days of campaigning in New Hampshire, the state which will hold the psychologically important first Presidential primary of 1964. In a speech to a University of New Hampshire audience in Durham, he conceded that Goldwater leads him in the public opinion polls. “But as far as I am concerned, that is irrelevant,” he said. “You can’t stand for principle and run for cover when the going gets a little rough. You just fight a little harder, and that’s exactly what I am doing.” For Rockefeller, this is a neighboring state and one in which he has old ties dating to his days at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., which he will visit tomorrow. Republican leaders believe that a victory over Goldwater in the primary March 10 is utterly indispensable to Rockefeller if he is to stay in the running. Because he is a westerner, Goldwater might lose there and still remain alive.

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