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Senator Margaret Chase Smith Calls GOP "Fainthearted" About Opposing JFK in '64

Feb. 12, 1962 - Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith (pictured) suggested today that leading Republican Presidential aspirants were seeking to avoid nomination in 1964 because they were afraid to run against President Kennedy. In an indictment of what she called GOP “faintheartedness,” the only woman Republican Senator said her party needed a man “who is not afraid to lose” to President Kennedy in 1964. Without using names, Mrs. Smith made it clear that she thought former Vice President Nixon, Senator Barry Goldwater, and Governor Rockefeller of New York might be “waiting for a sunnier day” in 1968. She chided the Presidential aspirants for engaging in “political semantics over whether the party should be conservative, moderate or liberal.” She said Republicans had plenty of coaches but lacked a quarterback.

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