During the 1960 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon was hospitalized with phlebitis. John Kennedy called a moratorium on criticizing his opponent as long as he remained in the hospital. Kennedy was questioned about this tactic during a press conference:
Reporter: Senator, did you say you were not going to discuss the Vice President until he is out of the hospital?
Kennedy: That’s right.
Reporter: But you will resume?
Kennedy: Well, we will see what happens. I may discuss some of the Republican shortcomings, but not Mr. Nixon’s.
Reporter: You are not going to mention his part in any of them?
Kennedy: Unless I can praise him.
Reporter: Do you mean as long as he stays in the hospital he has sanctuary?
Kennedy: That’s right. I may go there myself.
As it turned out, Nixon’s recuperation took nearly two weeks. After eight days of Nixon’s “sanctuary” from Kennedy’s criticism, another exchange with the press took place:
Reporter: Senator, when does the moratorium end on Nixon’s hospitalization and your ability to attack him?
Kennedy: Well, I said I would not mention him until I could praise him, and I have not mentioned him.
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