Campaign Smearing

Archive Report

Portents of Campaign Smearing in 1956

Spokesmen of the two great American political parties, warming up for the quadrennial fight for control of the presidency, already have given signs that the 1956 campaign will be rough and hard-hitting. Cries of “Smear!” are being exchanged as leaders of the party organizations jockey for favorable advance positions.

Before the battle between Republicans and Democrats is fully joined, Congress may be persuaded to overhaul the federal election laws for the purpose, among other things, of promoting fair play in political campaigns. A bill reported to the Senate on June 22, 1955, and still awaiting action, would strike in various ways at clandestine political groups which circulate scurrilous campaign literature. By requiring candidates to accept responsibility for activities undertaken by ...

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