Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Jack Kemp Welcomed in the Clinton White House

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Jack Kemp Welcomed in the Clinton White House

Article excerpt

Jack Kemp arrived at a recent Monitor breakfast only a few hours after sitting down for a chat with President Clinton at the White House.

"Why in the world would Clinton be talking to you?" a reporter asked Mr. Kemp in a joshing tone that the former Buffalo Bills football star was used to hearing in the locker room. Kemp laughed and said: "I called Clinton's chief of staff and asked if I could present my views on the tax legislation the president is dealing with. So I had about 40 minutes with the president, along with {Treasury Secretary} Robert Rubin and {Chief of Staff} Erskine Bowles."

Kemp said he complimented the president for "keeping {Alan} Greenspan as head of the {Federal Reserve Board} and for his free-trade positions." But he said he argued that Mr. Clinton would be wrong if he vetoed the budget legislation because it contained a lowering of the capital-gains tax. He said he told the president that such tax relief would have a decided stimulus on the economy that would lift the lives of all Americans - the poor as well as the rich. And how did the president respond to this presentation? Kemp said Clinton listened attentively and asked some questions. "It's up to the president - not me - to characterize his views," he added. But the former GOP congressman and, most recently, Bob Dole's vice presidential running mate, left the impression that the president was receptive to his views and is still giving consideration to letting a big capital-gains tax reduction become law. What was particularly interesting to the assembled reporters was that Kemp, a recent opponent of Clinton's and a man who no longer holds a high elected office, could be welcomed in and listened to for such a long time by the president. In addition, Kemp might well be the Republican presidential candidate who, in the year 2000, will try to end the Democrats' stay in the White House - perhaps vying against the president's favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vice President Al Gore. …

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