Robert A. Taft

American politician, son of 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft (1889–1953)
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Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953) was an American politician, lawyer, and scion of the Republican Party's Taft family. Taft represented Ohio in the United States Senate, briefly served as Senate Majority Leader, and was a leader of the conservative coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats who prevented expansion of the New Deal. Often referred to as "Mr. Republican", he cosponsored the Taft–Hartley Act of 1947, which banned closed shops, created the concept of right-to-work states and regulated other labor practices. In foreign policy, he was an isolationist who initially supported U.S. neutrality in World War II, and later opposed U.S. entry into NATO and the Korean War.

Robert Taft in 1939


  • About this whole judgment there is the spirit of vengeance, and vengeance is seldom justice. The hanging of the eleven men convicted will be a blot on the American record which we shall long regret
    • Profiles in Courage, Kennedy, p. 191.
  • As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government … too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism. If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Quotes about Taft

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