NPR logo Flashback Friday: On This Day In 1962, President Blasts Negative Republicans

Flashback Friday: On This Day In 1962, President Blasts Negative Republicans

Republicans made President Kennedy their target during the 1962 midterms. hide caption

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July 23, 1962:

Launching an attack on the opposition party, President Kennedy said at his news conference that "Republicans, by and large, with very few exceptions, have opposed every measure" pushed by his administration, such as Medicare.  He promised that he would wage an aggressive campaign to defeat them in the November midterm elections.

He said the choice in November was clear:  The American people could "anchor down" by voting Republican or "sail" by supporting Democrats.  He also pledged that he would not strike back at Democrats who opposed his agenda — and there were plenty of them too — but he would only campaign on behalf of those who backed the administration and were being challenged by strong GOP candidates.

Meanwhile, a Gallup Poll shows continuing decline in support for Democratic congressional candidates.  In their worst showing since JFK came to office, the poll indicated that 55 percent of Americans would support Democratic candidates, compared to 45 percent for Republicans.

Also on this day, Sen. Henry Dworshak, an Idaho Republican who has spent 23 years in Congress, dies of a heart attack at his home in Washington.  He was 67.  Dworshak, a staunch conservative, was the ranking Republican on the Senate Interior Committee.

Flashback Friday is a weekly feature on Political Junkie.

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