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October Surprise

Claim:   Text reproduces a statement by President Harry Truman about Republicans.

TRUE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2012]

I got this quote on my Facebook page today, and I re-posted it without thinking. Then I decided to fact check it. A quick Bing or Google search only brings up blogs or sites that are also just re-quoting the same thing.

Did Harry Truman, indeed, say the following:

"Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home — but not for housing. They are strong for labor — but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. They favor minimum wage — the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all — but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine — for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing — but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing — so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it."
 

Origins:   On 13 October 1948, President Harry Truman made an appearance in St. Paul, Minnesota, stumping on behalf of both his own re-election campaign and a bid by the mayor of Minneapolis, fellow Democrat Hubert Humphrey, to land a seat in the U.S. Senate. During that appearance in St. Paul, President Truman delivered an address at the city's Municipal Auditorium which was carried on a nationwide radio broadcast and included the criticism of the Republican Party referenced above:
Today the forces of liberalism face a crisis. The people of the United States must make a choice between two ways of living — a decision which will affect us the rest of our lives and our children and our grandchildren after us.

On the other side, there is the Wall Street way of life and politics. Trust the leader! Let big business take care of prices and profits! Measure all things by money! That is the philosophy of the masters of the Republican Party.

Well, I have been studying the Republican Party for over 12 years at close hand in the Capital of the United States. And by this time, I have discovered where the Republicans stand on most of the major issues.

Since they won't tell you themselves, I am going to tell you.

They approve of the American farmer — but they are willing to help him go broke.

They stand four-square for the American home — but not for
housing.

They are strong for labor — but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights.

They favor a minimum wage — the smaller the minimum the better.

They indorse educational opportunity for all — but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools.

They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine — for people who can afford them.

They approve of Social Security benefits — so much so that they took them away from almost a million people.

They believe in international trade — so much so that they crippled our reciprocal trade program, and killed our International Wheat Agreement.

They favor the admission of displaced persons — but only within shameful racial and religious limitations.

They consider electric power a great blessing — but only when the private power companies get their rake-off.

They say TVA is wonderful — but we ought never to try it again.

They condemn "cruelly high prices" — but fight to the death every effort to bring them down.

They think the American standard of living is a fine thing — so long as it doesn't spread to all the people.

And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.

Now, my friends, that is the Wall Street Republican way of life. But there is another way — there is another way — the Democratic way, the way of the Democratic Party.
Last updated:   2 October 2012

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