How Eisenhower Secretly Pushed Back Against McCarthyism

Historians in the News
tags: Red Scare, McCarthyism, Joseph McCarthy, Dwight Eisenhower, anticommunism

Though they were both Republicans and briefly campaigned together in 1952, President Dwight D. Eisenhower “loathed [Senator Joseph] McCarthy as much as any human being could possibly loathe another,” according to the president’s brother. Yet Eisenhower refused to criticize McCarthy to the press, telling aides he would “not get into the gutter with that guy.” Instead, Eisenhower opted for a clandestine campaign to stamp out the senator’s influence. 

Far from appeasing McCarthy, as his critics asserted at the time, Eisenhower played a major role in effecting his fellow Republican’s downfall.

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