Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kemp Vows to Carry Word to All Americans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kemp Vows to Carry Word to All Americans

Article excerpt

Jack Kemp accepted on Thursday the Republicans' vice presidential nomination with an upbeat call for a campaign designed to attract Americans across racial and economic divisions.

"We're taking our cause from the boroughs of New York to the barrios of Los Angeles," he said.

"We will carry the word to every man, woman and child of every color and background that today, on the eve of the new American century, it is time to renew the American promise, to recapture the American dream."

His speech mixed Reaganesque optimism with Kennedyesque idealism.

"We may not get every vote, but we will speak to every heart," Kemp said. "In word and action, we will represent our entire American family."

He was brought on board Dole's ticket to broaden the party's appeal to women, moderates and minorities as an antidote to the GOP's tough-talk, hardline, culturally divisive image left by its strident 1992 convention and reinforced by the aggressive moves by the new congressional majority to reshape social programs.

In his five-page speech, Kemp used a series of compassionate buzzwords and invoked the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with that of former President Ronald Reagan. And Kemp pitched the GOP's economic mixture of tax cuts and balanced budget as the key to "human dignity."

He abandoned - as he has been doing ever since Dole tapped him for the No. 2 spot - some long-held positions. He endorsed, for example, balancing the federal budget along with giving tax cuts, something that as a supporter of supply-side economic theory he had previously dismissed.

His criticisms of President Bill Clinton's administration also were mostly couched in optimistic challenges about the future. Blaming the administration for slow economic growth, Kemp said: "The genius of the American people is being stifled."

In contrast, he said, "Our first step will be to balance the budget with a strategy that combines economy in government with tax cuts designed to liberate the productive genius of the American people. …

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