Segments in this Video

U.S. Presidential Debate "Housekeeping" (00:55)

Moderator Howard K. Smith explains the format of the debate and introduces the candidates.

Opening Statement: Kennedy (07:13)


Senator John F. Kennedy questions if the world will move in the direction of freedom or slavery. He cites communist activity, the role and strength of the United States, and the need for responsibility.

Opening Statement: Nixon (08:15)

Vice President Richard Nixon agrees that the U.S. needs to move forward but disagrees that the country has been standing still. He cites examples of growth during the Eisenhower administration and questions Kennedy's programs for growth.

Why Should People Vote for Kennedy? (01:46)

Meet local network correspondents. Fleming addresses comments about Kennedy's maturity and leadership. Kennedy cites his experience and the programs he supports.

What were Nixon's Major Proposals During His Vice Presidency? (03:13)

Nixon highlights his recommendations after several trips abroad and within the administration that were adopted. Kennedy questions the success of the President's Committee and cites policies in foreign countries.

Why Can't Farms Operate Like Factories? (04:31)

Kennedy explains the government's support of farmers and the farmers' importance to the American economy. He cites surpluses and tax loads that indicate the current program failed. Nixon believes the government is responsible for helping farmers.

Experience Matters Campaign Slogan (03:41)

Nixon describes Eisenhower's remarks about Nixon's recommendations as facetious. He cites his experience within the administration and the role of the people in deciding what counts. Kennedy highlights the importance of experience and a vision for the future.

Welfare Expansion and Federal Debt Reduction (04:27)

Kennedy does not advocate reducing the federal debt. He explains how he would make welfare and education programs fiscally sound. Nixon states that Kennedy's programs will raise taxes or unbalance the budget.

Supporting Teacher Salary Increases (04:42)

Nixon explains why he voted against the federal government's funding of teacher salaries. Kennedy describes the school funding issue before the Senate in February 1960; he does not support unbalancing the budget.

How Will You Get Action on Proposed Bills? (04:02)

Kennedy discusses the Senate's passing of a minimum wage bill, a federal aid to education bill, and medical care for the aged bill. Nixon does not believe Republicans and presidential veto power are responsible for the Democratic Party's failure to pass the bills in the House of Representatives.

Working with Democratic Majority (03:19)

Nixon believes the Republicans will gain seats in the House and Senate; a president can pass a program if he has the support of the people. Kennedy highlights the bills that Nixon considered too extreme.

How Much of a Threat are Communist Subversive Activities in the U.S.? (02:27)

Kennedy takes the threats seriously and believes that if we maintain a strong society, we can meet any internal threat. Nixon agrees with Kennedy's assessment; we need to be alert and fair.

Funding for Schools (02:40)

Nixon states America's movement happens when the federal, state, and local governments along with individual enterprise moves. Kennedy believes local property taxes are the reason for new schools; leadership needs to provide an outline to maintain growth.

Summation: Nixon (03:33)

The Soviet Union is moving faster than the U.S. because it starts from a lower base. Nixon believes Kennedy would rely too much on the federal government to solve problems of growth.

Summation: Kennedy (03:14)

Kennedy wants to see the Soviet Union's growth stay at a lower percentage than America's. He cites the Democrat's medical care for the aged program and the need to move forward as a society. Smith thanks debate participants.

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John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon Debate (9/26/1960): U.S. Presidential Election Debates

Part of the Series : U.S. Presidential Election Debates
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In this September 1960 debate between Senator John F. Kennedy, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the presidential candidates address U.S. domestic matters. Nixon and Kennedy highlight their stances on economic growth, education, and medical care for the aged. The candidates answer questions from news correspondents about the country's forward progress, Communist activities within the U.S., and the experience of each candidate. An ABC News Production.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL94909

ISBN: 978-1-68272-159-9

Copyright date: ©1960

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.