Senator Thomas Eagleton on Monday (July 31) withdrew his candidacy as vice-President under Senator George McGovern on the Democratic Party ticket for the November Presidential election.
GV Press conference ZOOM INTO McGovern & Eagleton
CU McGovern speaks. both shake hands & Eagleton speaks
MCGOVERN: "The Public debate over Senator Eagleton's past medical history continues to divert attention from the great national issues that need to be discussed. I have referred to the growing pressures to ask for Senator Eagleton's withdrawal. We have also seen growing vocal support for his candidacy. Senator Eagleton and I agreed that the paramount needs of the Democratic party and the nation in 1972 are unity and a full discussion of the real issues before the country. Continued debate between those who oppose his candidacy and those who favour it, will serve to further divide the party and the nation. Therefore we have jointly agreed that the best course is for Senator Eagleton to step aside." APPLAUSE....BRIEF EXCHANGE BETWEEN TWO MEN AT ROSTRUM.
EAGLETON: "Ladies and gentlemen, as Senator McGovern has just stated, he and I are jointly in agreement that I should withdraw as the Democratic candidate for vice president. Needless to say this was not an easy decision for Senator McGovern or for me. Literally thousands and thousands of people have phoned or have telegrammed or have written to me or to Senator McGovern, urging me to press on. Ladies and gentlemen I will not divide the Democratic party which already has too many divisions. Therefore tomorrow morning I will write to the chairman of the Democratic party withdrawing my candidacy. Mr personal feelings are secondary to the necessity to unify the Democratic party and to elect George McGovern as the next President of the United States." APPLAUSE.
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Background: Senator Thomas Eagleton on Monday (July 31) withdrew his candidacy as vice-President under Senator George McGovern on the Democratic Party ticket for the November Presidential election. The move followed controversy over the disclosure that Senator Eagleton had undergone psychiatric therapy in the 1960's. The decision was announced at a news conference after a long private talk between the two men. Senator McGovern, who made the announcement, said he and Senator Eagleton had agreed it would be the best thing for the party and for the nation. He said the disclosures continued to divert attention from the great national issues that needed to be discussed.