31 March 1964, San Francisco, California, USA
I don’t seek the presidency to strip this nation of its defences or to abandon the cause of freedom around the world. I seek the presidency so that this nation will be strong enough to deter war and determined enough to encourage freedom.
I ask your help and the help of all Americans.
So that an American president can tell Nikita Khrushchev, “you are wrong, our children will not live under communism, your children will live under freedom’.
I ask your help in this crusade to restore pride at home, and respect abroad.
And this is why I say Republicans should take off the gloves.
This election is not one for the record books. This election is one for the history books.
Americans have plenty tonight to be mad about. And Republicans have plenty to talk about.
Let’s get on with the job with winning this election. We’ll never have a better chance, and we’ll never face a clearer choice.’