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What They’re Saying

Sun., Aug. 11, 1996

Quotes on Bob Dole’s choice of Jack Kemp to be his Republican vice presidential candidate:

“Formidable.” - Democrat Mario Cuomo, former New York governor.

“His ability to appeal to voters who have historically voted Democrat at the presidential level, including African-American and Jewish voters, will prove a huge asset to the ticket. That’s why he makes Democrats so nervous, and why they have already begun to attack him personally.” - Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“At a time when what Bob Dole needed most was to reach out to women voters, he chose a different path.” - Ann Lewis, speaking for the Clinton-Gore campaign.

“His charisma, speaking ability and enthusiasm is something this ticket needs. Bob Dole doesn’t do that well.” - Virginia convention delegate Robert McDonnell.

“Kemp may be perceived as a bridge builder but when his record gets known I think women will be concerned about a candidate who voted to gut family-planning services as well as a woman’s right to choose.” - James Wagner, vice president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

“He’s not in a box, he reaches out, and pro-choice people like that.” - Ann Stone, chairman of Republicans for Choice.

“He can take the conservative case and make it universal, not just a white suburban dream but a universal dream.” - Georgia GOP Chairman Rusty Paul.

“I’ve always compared him to a used car salesman. He has a tendency to keep on talking long after the sale has been made. (But) it will energize the whole Republican movement.” - Georgia Rep. Mac Collins.

“I think the thing he can bring to the campaign is compassion. He has always proposed a safety net for the disadvantaged. He has shown he cares about single mothers trying to make a living.” - Quineta Wylie, head of Oklahoma delegation.

“There’s nobody who can any better articulate the tax and economic package than Jack Kemp.” - Virginia delegate Walter Barbee, president of the conservative Family Foundation.

“It says to the Clinton-Gore ticket, ‘You’ve got a Class A team on the field to play against.’ He can walk into any arena and light the fires.” - California delegate Ward Connerly of Sacramento.

“The Kemp selection is impressive enough to get Dole that fresh look.” - William Kristol, editor and publisher of the conservative Weekly Standard.

“I’m pleased.” - Conservative talk-show host Oliver North.

“I’m rubbing my eyes in disbelief that it came to pass. … We’re now the party of the future.” - Publisher Steve Forbes, who had been endorsed by Kemp in the primaries.

“He will have to be comfortable with the positions taken by the nominee and I’m convinced that he is fully capable of that.” - California Gov. Pete Wilson.

“He’s a dynamic speaker, he’s an economist, but very importantly he has the ability to reach out to minorities and young women around the country.” - Arizona Sen. John McCain, who had been a top running-mate prospect.

“He understands urban problems. He understands the blue-collar worker. He’s a great spokesman for inclusive Republican politics.” - Ohio Gov. George Voinovich, another former prospect.

“He was, with Ronald Reagan, the original advocate of a big tax cut program. … I know of no one who has been in more places in America preaching the concept of opportunity than Jack Kemp.” - House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“I’m fine, I’ve still got my day job.” - Former South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell, president of the American Council of Life Insurance and a prospect passed over by Dole.

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