Taft Wins Republican Nomination, Roosevelt Announces Third Party
From the first day of the 1912 Republican National convention in Chicago, Illinois, candidate Theodore Roosevelt realized things would not go his way and he would most likely not be the Republican nominee for president.
Especially after the primary results, Roosevelt feels the presidential nomination is being stolen from him and the American people. He has spoken of starting a third party that would represent Progressive ideals.
“The time has come when I feel I must make certain statements, not merely to the honestly elected members of the Republican National convention, but to the rank and file of the Republican Party and to the honest people of the entire nation. I went into this fight with certain great principals, At the moment I can only serve those principals by continuing to bear the personal responsibility which their advocacy has brought me.”
Yesterday a banner was hung from Roosevelt headquarters at the Congress Hotel declaring a new party – The National Progressive Party. Roosevelt announced to his delegates : Where you go, I go. If you go out, I go with you. I am always willing to take pot luck with my friends.”
On June 22, 1912 through his use of party patronage, Taft was able to get enough delegates (and prevent Roosevelt from getting all of his seated) to win the presidential nomination on the first ballot by a vote of 561 to 107, after 344 of the delegates refused, out of protest, to participate. The aggrieved delegates were supporters of former US President Theodore Roosevelt. Robert M LaFollette got 41 and Albert B Cummins 17.
Roosevelt and his delegates bolted from the convention at The Coliseum and met at nearby Orchestra Hall. There he announced his candidacy as president for the new Progressive Party. “My hat is still in the ring, only it’s a bigger ring.”
“This has now become a contest that cannot be settled merely along old party lines. The principals that are at stale are as broad and as deep as the foundations of our democracy itself. They are in no sense sectional. They should appeal to all honest citizens, East and West, North and South : they should appeal to all right-thinking men, whether Republicans or Democrats, without regards to their previous party affiliations. I feel that the time has come that not only all men who believe in progressive principals, but all men in those elementary maxims of public and private morality which must underlie every form of successful free government, should join our movement.”