This is a transcript of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A press release of the speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers here at the John F. Kennedy Library. Page images of the press release can be found here.
I am opening today my drive for victory in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary.
This will be a positive, constructive campaign. Let me make it completely clear right now that I do not intend to attack my Democratic opponent, to review his record, or to engage in any argument or debates with him. I do intend, when his name is mentioned, to speak well of him. I request, moreover, that everyone working on my behalf in this state abide by the same principles.
For this is not a campaign against anyone. This is a campaign for the Presidency.
My objective therefore is to convince the people of Wisconsin that I am best fitted to carry the standard of Wisconsin Democrats through the convention, through the November elections, and into the White House. And so I shall speak of future needs and positive programs.
The success of my efforts in Wisconsin will be determined on April 5 by the people of Wisconsin. If a majority of voters in the Democratic Primary endorse my candidacy here, I am convinced that - despite the efforts of those who reject the role of primaries, who refuse to enter their candidates in this or any other primary, who defy the history of 50 years in which no President has been elected without entering and winning at least one contested primary - my candidacy will be in a strong position at Los Angeles.
So I see no further reason to discuss the new change in the Wisconsin delegate formula. Even if it should prevent that majority of voters from being represented by a majority of the delegation, it is nevertheless clear that it will be the voice of the people - their votes, not the delegate count - that really matters.
I regret, too, that Mr. Hoffa and others are coming into Wisconsin to challenge my legislative record, my integrity, and my competence for the Presidency. But I prefer to leave that judgment, too, to the people of Wisconsin - and I shall accept their decision on April 5.