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Rep. John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz.) became the second Republican Congressman to speak at the University in less than 24 hours yesterday. He quickly dispelled any other grounds of similarity to his Congressional colleague Robert Wilson (R-Cal.) who spoke before the Harvard Young Republicans two nights ago, by exuding a conservatism that contrasted strongly to the latter's middle-of-the-road view.
With the Harvard Law and Graduate School Republican Club as an audience, Rhodes accused President Kennedy of "painting over bad spots on the wall" with a "piecemeal" approach to world affairs that showed a "lack of understanding of World Communism."
He was quick to point out that the Kennedy policy of meeting each "Red probe" as it occurs is inadequate since the Communist bloc is committed to the practice of endless probing.
Suggesting that "we start finding Communist weaknesses," he added, "We must convince the Communist that he can't win. Once he realizes this, he will be willing to negotiate."
Rhodes labeled the belief that unilateral disarmament would lead to reduced tension as a form of "mental treason." He emphasized that "there are ways and areas in which we can start an attack." Communist China, North Korea, and Cuba were mentioned as possible "weak areas" for U.S. action.
More informal aspects of the meeting found Rhodes referring to President Kennedy as "an individual who is physically attractive and who has done nothing to hurt the country." He drew laughter at Attorney General Robert Kennedy's expense with the comment, "Glenn was able to go around the world three times and make fewer mistakes than Bobble Kennedy did going around once."
Rhodes discussed civil rights at some length, concluding that "we have always been much stronger on civil rights than the Democrats, always." Speaking positively, he suggested the possibility of federal jurisdiction over state voting procedures. He explained the Republican failure to carry the Negro vote in 1960 as a direct indication that the "Negro is voting his pocketbook rather than his race."
During the question and answer period that followed, Rhodes admitted that the Kennedy image (i.e., "Jackie, Bobbie, Ted, Caroline and ducks") is a "very difficult problem" for the Republicans. Although he acknowledged that the Elsenhower image had lasted eight full years, Rhodes refused to predict the same good fortune for the Kennedy Administration and suggested that the next four years might produce a "nice, very charming type of American failure.
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