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Kemp Continues To Lay Groundwork For 2000

'My appetite is whetted,' he says

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WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 10) -- It's no secret that Jack Kemp is preparing for a presidential bid in 2000. Over the weekend, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he liked last fall's campaign, even though he and Bob Dole got hammered by Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

"My appetite is whetted," Kemp said. "I loved it. We had a great time." And if the Democratic candidate four years from now is Al Gore? "That would be very, very interesting," Kemp said. (192K AIFF or WAV sound)

By the end of February, Kemp said, he plans to have a political action committee in place to finance trips around the country on behalf of GOP candidates and to "lay the architecture nationally for the type of financial effort you've got to make if you are going to be ready to run."

Kemp said he favors doing away with "soft money" contributions to political parties, which are not as tightly controlled as donations to individual federal candidates. He also said he favors maintaining a safety net as the nation tightens its welfare system and eliminates some benefits for legal immigrants.

Kemp has a popular following among some Republicans for his free-wheeling style and efforts to broaden the party's base. But he ran into some criticism for his performance in last fall's debate with Gore. Some analysts thought he was unfocused and wordy and came off badly, even against a wooden and, at times, condescending Gore.


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