T. Roosevelt on W. Wilson

“Under these circumstances our allies and our enemies, and Mr. Wilson himself, should all understand that Mr. Wilson has no authority whatever to speak for the American people at this time. His leadership has just been emphatically repudiated by them.”

Spoken in 1918 subsequent to Wilson’s departure for Paris to negotiate directly in the Peace Conference, in the context of substantial Republican gains in the Congressional election. Wilson was the first President to leave the White House to travel abroad during a term in office, a practice so routine today that we hardly notice it. It goes to show that open criticism of a standing President by a former one–and addressed to America’s enemies no less!–is not anything new.

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