The following is an excerpt from the fourth and last television debate between Vice-President Nixon and Senator Kennedy, in New York, Oct 21, when the two presidential candidates discussed foreign policy.
Transcript: "Good evening, Vice-President Nixon". - "Good evening, Mr..."
"And good evening, Senator Kennedy." - "Good evening".
CRONKITE: "Mr Vice-President, Senator Fulbright and now tonight Senator Kennedy maintain that the Administration is suppressing a report by the United States Information Agency that shows a decline in United States prestige overseas. Are you aware of such a report and, if you are aware of the existence of such report, should not that report - because of the great importance this issue has been given in this campaign - be released to the public?"
NIXON: "Mr Cronkite, I naturally am aware of it because of my close attention to everything Senator Kennedy says, as well as Senator Fulbright. Now, in this connection I want to point out that the facts simply are not stated. As far as prestige is concerned, the first it would show up would be in the United Nations. Now Senator Kennedy has referred to the vote on Communist China. But look at the vote on Hungary. There we got more votes for condemning Hungary and for looking into that situation than we got the last year. Let us look at the reaction to Khrushchev and Eisenhower at the last UN session. Did Khrushchev gain because he took his shoe off and pounded the table and shouted and insulted? Not at all. The President gained, America gained by continuing the dignity, the decency that has characterised us, and it is that keeps the prestige of America up, not running down America the way Senator Kennedy has been running down.
QUESTION: "Any comment, Senator Kennedy?"
KENNEDY: "I really do not need Mr Nixon to tell me what my responsibilities are as a citizen. I have served this country for 14 years in Congress and before that in the Service. I have just as high a devotion, just as high an opinion, what I downgrade, Mr Nixon, is the leadership the country is getting, not the country. Now, I did not make the most of the statements that you said I made. I believe the Soviet Union is first in outer space. We may have made more shots, but the size of their rocket thrust and all the rest...you yourself said to their and all the rest....you yourself said to Khrushchev 'You may be ahead of us in rocket thrust but we are ahead of you in colour television' in your famous discussion in the kitchen. I think that colour television is not so important as rocket thrust. Secondly, I
Secondly, I believe that the polls and other studies and votes in the United States and anyone reading the papers and any citizen of the United States must come to the conclusion that the United States no longer carries the same image of a vital society on the move, with its brightest days ahead, as it carried a decade or two decades ago. Part of that is because we stood still here at home, because we have not met our problems in the United States, because we have not had a moving economy."
Nixon and Kennedy standing behind desks during debates.
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Background: The following is an excerpt from the fourth and last television debate between Vice-President Nixon and Senator Kennedy, in New York, Oct 21, when the two presidential candidates discussed foreign policy. Mr Kennedy comments on Mr. Nixon's answer to a question on American prestige, asked by Mr W. Cronkite of CBS News.