On September 26, 1960, in his first debate with Richard Nixon, JFK said: "I'm not satisfied when I see men like Jimmy Hoffa - in charge of the largest union in the United States - still free."
Hoffa responded: "What was he really trying to say? That if elected president he will put Hoffa in jail without trial? Or that he will insist upon an indictment, trial and conviction regardless of the merits?"
After his election JFK appointed his brother Robert F. Kennedy as Attorney General. RFK appointed a special unit informally called the "Get Hoffa Squad." Victor Navasky wrote that "Robert Kennedy allowed the pursuit of justice to look like the pursuit of Hoffa. `You can't have even-handed justice and personal justice at the same time,' [former Atttorney General] Ramsey Clark comments."