Newstalgia Reference Room - Congressman Leslie Arends - 1962

Minority whip Congressman Leslie Arends (R-Ill) answers questions and assesses JFK's State Of The Union Address, January, 1962


In 1962 the mid-term elections were just about to heat up. Congressman Leslie Arends (R-Ill) was Minority Whip and was asked, during this episode of ABC Radio's From The Capitol what he thought of JFK's State Of The Union message, delivered just a few days before. From the tone of it, there seemed to be a unilateral "no" to just about everything Kennedy proposed and grave doubts about all the issues at hand.

Pete Clapper (ABC News): “ How about some comments, Congressman Ehrends about your reaction to the proposals by the President in the field of civil rights? Do you think there was too much, too little, was it political, was it non-political?”

Cong. Leslie Ehrends (R-Ill.): “Well, it was completely political for the very simple reason they’re going to do nothing about civil rights during this session. I think I would come close to making a good guess on that of any of these proposals we’re talking about. They will simply not do anything about it, particularly in an election year. Plus the fact that, I’m sure during the campaign while President Kennedy talks about the thing, they have no intention, no intention of doing anything about civil rights during this last session or this session.”

Seems the saga of The Party Of No is a very, very long one.

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