Nixon And Kennedy Clash in TV Debate on
Spending, Farms and Social Issues
Exchange is Calm
Sharp Retorts Are Few as Candidates Meet Face to Face
Nixon and Kennedy Divided in Debate
Chicago, Sept. 26--Vice President Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy argued
genteelly tonight in history's first nationally televised debate between
Presidential candidates. The two men, confronting each other in a Chicago
television studio, centered their argument on which candidate and which
party offered the nation the best means for spurring United States growth in an
era of international peril.
The candidates without ever generating any real heat in their exchanges,
clashed on the following points:
Mr. Nixon's farm program, which Senator Kennedy said was merely another version
of policies that had been tried and had failed under Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary
The Republican and Democratic performance records on efforts to increase the
minimum wage of $1 an hour and broaden its coverage, school construction
legislation and medical care for the aged. Mr. Kennedy charged that the Republican
record on these measures showed the party gave only "lip service" to them.
The comparative records of the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations on fiscal
security. Mr. Nixon asserted that in school and hospital construction the
Republican years had seen an improvement over the previous seven Democratic years.
Moreover, he said, wages had risen "five times as much" in the Eisenhower
Administration as during the Truman Administration, while the rise in prices has
been only one-fifth of that in the Truman years.
In one of the sharper exchanges of the hour-long encounter, Mr. Nixon charged
that the Democratic domestic program advanced by Senator Kennedy would cost the
taxpayer from $13,200,000,000 to $18,000,000,000. This meant, Mr. Nixon contended,
that "either he will have to raise taxes or you have to unbalance the budget."
Unbalancing the budget, he went on, would mean another period of inflation and a
consequent "blow" to the country's aged living on pension income.
"That," declared Senator Kennedy, in one of the evening's few shows of