7 November 1962, California, USA
Good morning, gentlemen. Now that Mr. Klein has made his statement, and now that all the members of the press are so delighted that I have lost, I'd like to make a statement of my own.
I appreciate the press coverage in this campaign. I think each of you covered it the way you saw it. You had to write it in the way according to your belief on how it would go. I don't believe publishers should tell reporters to write one way or another. I want them all to be free. I don't believe the F.C.C. [Federal Communications Commission] or anybody else should silence [word lost in transmission].
I have no complaints about the press coverage. I think each of you was writing it as you believed it.
I congratulate Governor Brown, as Herb Klein has already indicated, for his victory. He has, I think, the greatest honor and the greatest responsibility of uh any Governor in the United States.
And if he has this honor and this responsibility, I think that he will now have certainly a position of tremendous interest for America and as well as for the people of California.
I wish him well. I wish him well not only from the personal standpoint, because there were never on my part any personal considerations.
I believe Governor Brown has a heart, even though he believes I do not.
I believe he is a good American, even though he feels I am not.
And therefore, I wish him well because he is the Governor of the first state. He won and I want this state to be led with courage, I want it to be led decisively and I want it to be led, certainly, with the assurance that the man who lost the campaign never during the course of the campaign raised a personal consideration against his opponent -- never allowed any words indicating that his opponent was motivated by lack of heart or lack of patriotism to pass his lips.
I am proud of the fact that I defended my opponent's patriotism.
You gentlemen didn't report it, but I am proud that I did that. I am proud also that I defended the fact that he was a man of good motives, a man that I disagreed with very strongly, but a man of good motives.
I want that -- for once, gentlemen, I would appreciate if you would write what I say, in that respect. I think it's very important what you write it -- in the lead -- in the lead.
Now, I don't mean by that, incidentally, all of you. There's one reporter here who has religiously, when he was covering me -- and incidentally, this is no reflection on the others, because some of you, you know, weren't bothered. One reporter, Carl Greenberg -- he's the only reporter on The Times that fits this thing, who wrote every word that I said. He wrote it fairly, he wrote it objectively, I don't mean that others didn't have a right to do it differently, but Carl, despite whatever feelings he had, felt that he had an obligation to report the facts as he saw them.
I am saying these things about the press because i understood that that was one of the things you were particularly interested in. There'll be no questions at this point on that score. I'll be gladd to answer other questions.
Now, above everything else I want to express my appreciation to our volunteer workers.
It was a magnificent group. Five hundred thousand dollars was spend, according to Newsweek Magazine, to get out the vote on election day. They had a right to do that if they could get the money. We didn't have that kind of money. But believe me, we had wonderful spirit.
And our 100,000 volunteer workers I was proud of. I think they did a magnificent job. I only wish they could have gotten out a few more votes in the key precincts, but because they didn't Mr. Brown ahs won and I have lost the election.
I'd like to say a word nationally. I knwo that some of you are interested in that. I have not been able to appraise the results for the Congress because not enough of them are in.
I only understand that we approximately broke even. Is that correct -- in the Congress?
Well, at least that's what I ahve. Do you have a report on the Congress -- and you? It's about even?
# The Democrats picked up some.
They picked up some?
# Some in the Senate and -
Oh, I knwow in the Senate they did. Yeah, Bob, I understood that, but in the House, I understand we picked up five in the House. We can't tell, because california isn't in on that yet.
Well, the most significant result of this election was what happened in four major states: Rockefeller's victory in New York, Scranton's victory in Pennsylvania, Rhodes' victory in Ohio, Romney's victory in Michigan -- means that in 1964 the Republican part will be revitalized.
Now, it will be revitalized, of course, provided the Republicans in California also can under new leadership -- not mine -- because I have fought the fight and now it's up to others to take this responsibility of leadership, and I don't say this with any bitterness, because i just feel that that's the way it should be.
But the Republican party under new leadership in California needs a new birth of spririt, a new birth of unity, because we must carry California in sixty four, if we are to carry the nation.
But when you look at New York and Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan and the solid Republican Midwest, 1964 is a horse race.
I say this with no indication that I don't think that President kennedy has immense popularity at the moment -- popularity which came out as a result of his handling of the Cuban situation.
But, on the other hand, now the problems arise: What will happen in Cuba? Can we allow this cancer of communism to stay there? Is there a deal with regard to NATO? Is there going to be with regard to NATO and the Warsaw pact? Are we going to continue any kind of an agreement in Cuba, which means that Khrushchev got what we said we would never agree to before he made his threat with regard to his missiles and that is, in effect, ringing down an Iron Curtain around Cuba?
These are the things that Mr. Kennedy, of course, will have to face up to, and I just hope -- and I'm confident that if he has his own way he will face up to them, if he can only get those who opposed atomic tests, who want him to admit Red China to the U.N., all of the woolly heads around him -- if he can just keep them away from him and stand strong and firm with the good Irish fith of his, America will be in good shape in foreign policy.
Domestically - I'm answering these questions because I know that some of you will ask them -- domestically, the economy needs to get going again. The Cuban thing, of course, has had a tendency to obscure that. A lot of defense contract have come into California and other areas. I'm not complaining about it. That's the way the political game is played.
But I do feel that it is important that the economy get going again and I trust that through tax reform or some other device, relying on individual enterprise and individual opportunity, that the economy will get going again.
To me, more important than anything else, America has got to move now. It's got to move forward economically, with productivity. It's got to move forward -- I'll say it in the presence of my good friend from Britain here, Ed Tetlow, it's got to move forward relying on individual enterprise and individual opportunity.
One last thing: What are my plans? Well, my plans are to go home. I'm going to get acquainted with my family again. And my plans, incidentally, are, from a political standpoint, of course, to take a holiday. It will be a long holiday. I don't say this with any sadness. I couldn't feel, frankly, more -- well, frankly, more proud of my staff for the campaign. We campaigned against great odds. We fought a good fight. And I take the responsibility for any mistakes. As far as they're concerned, they're magnificent people, and I hope whoever next runs in California will look at my staff and take some of these people -- use them -- because they are- they're gret political properties, shall we say, putting it in the- in a very materialistic way.
One last thing: People say, What about the past? What about losing in '60 and losing in '64? I remember soembody on my last television program said, "Mr. Nixon, isn't it a comedown, having run for President, and almost made it, to run for Governor?" And the answer is I'm proud to have run for Governor. Now, I would have like to have won. But, not having won, the main thing was that I battled- battled for the things I believed in.
I did not win. I have no hard feelings against anybody, against my opponent, and least of all the people of California. We got our message through as well as we could. the Cuban thing did not enable us to get it through in the two critical weeks that we wanted to, but nevertheless we got it through and it is the people's choice.
They have chosen Mr. Brown. They have chosen his leadership, and I can only hope that that leadership will now become more decisive, that it will move California ahead and, so that America can move ahead -- economically, morally and spiritually -- so that we can have character and self-reliance in this country . This is what we need. This is what we need to move forward.
One last thing. At the outset, I said a couple of things with regard to the press that I noticed some of you looked a little irritated about. And my philosophy with respect to the press has really never gotten through. And I want to get it through.
This cannot be said for any other American political figure today, I guess. Never in my 16 years of campaigning have I complained to a publisher, to an editor, about the coverage of a reporter. I believe a reporter has got a right to write it as he feels it. I believe if a reporter believes that one man ought to win rather than the other, rather it's on television or radio or the like, he ought to say so. I will say to the reporter sometimes that I think well, look, I wish you'd give my opponent the same going over that you give me.
And as I leave the press, all I can say is this: For 16 years, ever since the Hiss case, you've had a lot of- a lot of fun- that you've had an opportunity to attack me and I think I've given as good as I've taken. It was carried right up to the last day.
I made a talk on television, a talk in which I made a flub -- one of the few that I make, not because I'm so good on television but because I've done it a long time. I made a flub in which I said I was running for governor of the United States. The Los Angeles Times dutifully reported that.
Mr. Brown the last day made a flub -- a flub, incidentally, to the great credit of television that was reported -- I don't say this bitterly -- in which he said "I hope everybody wins. You vot the straight Democratic ticket, including Senator Kuchel." I was glad to hear him say it, because I was for Kuchel all the way. The Los Angeles TImes did not report it.
I think that it's time that our great newspaper have at least the same objectivity, the same fullness of coverage, that television has. And I can only say thank God for television and radio for keeping the newspapers a little more honest.
Now, some newspapers don't fall in the category to which I have spoken, but I can only say that the great, metropolitan newspaper in this field, they have a right to take every position they want on the editorial page, but on the news page they also have a right to have reporters cover men who have strong feelings whether they're for or against a candidate. But the responsibility also is to put a few Greenbergs on, on the candidate they happen to be against, whether they're against him on the editorial page or just philosophically deep down, a fellow on who at least will report what the man says.
That's all anybody can ask. But apart from that I just want to say this: Among the great papers in this country that the people say that I should be concerned about -- The Louisville Courier Journal, The New York Post, The Milwaukee Journal, The Fresno and the The Sacramento Bee -- I couldn't be -- disagree with that more. I want newspapers- if they're against a candidate I want them to say it.
I believe they should say it. I don't mind reporters saying it. I would hope that in the future, as a result fo this campaign, that perhaps they would try at least simply to see that what both candidates say is reported, that if they have questions to ask of one candidate they ask the same questions of the other candidate.
The last play. I leave you gentlemen now and you now write it. You will interpret it. That's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know- just think how much you're goign to be missing.
You won't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference and it will be one in which I have welcomed the opportunity to test wits with you. I have always respected you. I have sometimes disagreed with you.
But, unlike some people, I've never canceled a subscription to a paper and also I never will.
I believe in reading what my opponents say and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, the press, first recognize the great responsibility they have to report all the news and, second, recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they're against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.
Thank you, gentlemen, and good day.