The Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Senator George McGovern, was yesterday (Tuesday) joined by his Vice-Presidential running-mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton, in Custer, South Dakota.
SV McGovern and Eagleton arrive at news conference (2 shots)
SCU Engleton speaking - McGovern and pressmen listening
SV McGovern speaking - Eagleton and pressmen listening
EAGLETON: There have been some rumours circulating as to my health and thus today I wish to give you a complete picture as I possibly can as a layman of my own personal health. I charge no one with malice in so far as spreading these rumours is concerned, but I think it is a legitimate question that the press has to ask of me as to whether my health is such that I can hold the high office of Vice-President of the United States. On three occasions in my life I have voluntarily gone into hospital as a result of nervous exhaustion and fatigue. And, as a younger man, I must say that I drove myself too far.
REPORTER: Again, at the risk of being indelicate - was alcohol involved in the exhaustion at all?
EAGLETON: Alcohol was not involved in any iota of way, shape or form whatsoever. Now that has been mentioned....that has been a rumour that has plagued me for all these recent years and I can assure you categorically, without hesitation, unequivocally, there has been no trace, no hint, no iota ??? not one iota - of alcoholism as part of these rumours....I mean as part of the actual facts, albeit it has been part of the rumours.
MCGOVERN: When I talked to Senator Eagleton about my decision to ask him to go as my running mate, I asked him if there were any problems in ??? past that he thought were significant, that were worth discussing with me at that time.
He said no - and I agree with that. I'm fully satisfied on the basis of everything I've learned about these brief hospitalisations that what it manifests in Senator Engleton's part is the good judgement to seek out some medical care when he was exhausted. I've watched him at very close range in the United States Senate for the last four years, and as far as I'm concerned thee is no member of that Senate who is any sounder in mind, body and spirit than Tom Eagleton.
Initials OS/016 OS/019
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Senator George McGovern, was yesterday (Tuesday) joined by his Vice-Presidential running-mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton, in Custer, South Dakota. Together they gave a press conference to dispel the rising rumours about Senator Eagleton's health.
In the last few days, these rumours had grown to include charges of alcoholism. During the press conference, Senator Eagleton explained that he had "voluntarily" gone into hospital three times in past years, suffering from exhaustion caused by driving himself too hard. When queried about whether alcohol could have been one of the causes, he hotly denied even the remotest possibility of alcoholism.
He was followed by Senator McGovern, who also gave full support to his decision to choose Senator Eagleton as his partners on the Democratic ticket in the November elections.
Herewith follows a transcript of the two portions of the press conference used in our film: