This is a transcription of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A single copy of this speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
SENATOR KENNEDY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Governor Vandiver, Senator Talmadge, Congressman Flynt, members of Congress, ladies and gentlemen: I want to express my appreciation to you for coming out here and greeting a Yankee, and I also want to say as a Democrat and as the Standard Bearer of the Democratic Party, it is a source of satisfaction to me to be in a state which has never voted Republican in the last 100 years. (Applause) And I am confident that Georgia will lead all the rest come November in supporting the Democratic Party. (Applause)
I come here to this state which has been the scene of Franklin Roosevelt's visits throughout his political career and even before, and I come here on this occasion standing here in succession to Woodrow Wilson, who came from this stage originally, to Franklin Roosevelt, and to Harry Truman, and I ask you: What did the Republican Party ever do for Georgia? (Response from the audience.) What agricultural program did it develop which would benefit the people of this state? What programs to move our country forward? What contribution did it make to REA? What contribution did it make to TVA? What contribution did it make to bring this country out of a great depression, to move it forward, to provide a better life for all our people?
I come here and stand where they stood. Mr. Nixon stands where McKinley stood, and Coolidge, and Harding and Landon and Dewey, and I must say, given the contrast between these two records, between records of service to our party, I believe and service to our country, in these difficult and dangerous times, when the security of the United States is threatened, when it is essential to us that we build our strength, that we build in this great country of our a greater country, that we build in this strong country of ours a stronger country, that we build in this powerful country of ours a more powerful country. I believe it is incumbent upon us in this year of crisis to return leadership to those who look forward, to those who wish to move in the Sixties, to those who recognize the unfinished business of our society.
I am glad to be in Georgia again, and I want to say to you that if we are successful on November 8, we are going to give leadership to the United States and we are going to start this country moving again. Thank you. (Applause)