Defying the Republican Party leadership, presidential hopeful Patrick J. Buchanan said Sunday that he will not endorse front-runner Bob Dole before the national convention in August, even if his own bid for the nomination clearly is falling short.
However, in a better piece of news for Dole and Republican Party peacemakers, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp said he would be willing to smooth the political waters between the Dole and his other chief Republican rival, Steve Forbes, clearing the way for Forbes to ease gracefully from the race.
“If Steve wants me to, I would like to play somewhat of a bridge for the party,” Kemp said in an interview with reporters. That bridge, he said, could be built “either now, or in the future. … We may have to wait till San Diego,” the site of the GOP convention.
With Dole now holding what many consider an unsurmountable lead in the race, much of the suspense in the GOP campaign has shifted to how the other contenders decide to give in, and how much damage they inflict on Dole before they do.