May 3rd, 2009
02:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Bennett on Kemp: 'We lost part of our heart today'

Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 1996.
Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 1996.

(CNN) – Republican Analyst Bill Bennett told CNN Sunday that with the death of former GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, "we lost part of our heart today."

In 1993, the two men co-founded conservative think tank Empower America.

"Well, we lost part of our heart today, John, one of our great voices, one of our lions," he told CNN's John King on State of the Union. "You know, there's a lot of talk, these days, about who will be the next Ronald Reagan. A few of us were thinking, this morning, who will be the next Jack Kemp?"

Bennett praised Kemp's efforts to increase the diversity of the GOP and reach out to urban areas and minority voters.

"He led this party into the inner city and said freedom is for everybody; opportunity is for everybody; enterprise is for everybody," he said.

Bennett is a CNN political contributor. Jack Kemp, a former NFL quarterback and New York congressman, died of cancer Saturday.


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Jack Kemp • State of the Union
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Hirotomi Takemitsu

    Kemp was a good man.
    But the views he held-supply side economics, militarism (support of Iran/Contra, Iraq/Kuwait under Bush I, Iraq/Afgranistan and tax cuts under Bush II, the Moral Majority, the Christian Right-were/are not.

    May 3, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Amy from Seattle

    His death is also a metaphor for the passing of voodoo economics that he so heartily embraced and forcefully implemented in the mean spirit of Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan. What a legacy to be remembered for.

    May 3, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. Keeth in California

    "The only way to oppose a bad idea is to replace it with a good idea."
    ~ Jack Kemp

    Today's GOP still has a lot to learn from Jack Kemp.

    May 3, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. nick

    Jack Kemp was one of the good guys. I think his ideas of "inclusion" for the Republican Party, were gained from playing in the NFL, where he learnedthat team work was the only way to will. Sad that he is gone, Sad also that the Party still has not learned this simple solution to it´s problems. Bye Jack, you will be missed.

    May 3, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. I can see Canada from my house!

    Jack Kemp understood what the Karl Roves of the GOP never understood: diversity of thought is not a threat to the nation. He loved the fact that he could learn by freely, vigorously and politely interacting with his opposition. A great loss to the nation, and to the world at large.

    May 3, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Walter

    I disagreed with Representative Kemp about most things political.

    But he was an honest and well-intentioned man who treated those with whom his disagreed with an unfailing respect that did him and the House in which he served tremendous credit.

    His party needs more just like him. But they would have to get one first before they could get more.

    May 3, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Tom

    Today's GOP leaders have much to learn from Jack Kemp. The GOP must open the tent and welcome diversity of thought and color. If not, it will fade from history.

    May 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Ken

    Amy and Hirotomi – thank you for reminding us of what Ronald Reagan said so many years ago. "The problem with liberals isn't that they're ingnorant, it's that they know so many things that just aren't so." The soul crushing oppressiveness of the nanny state is what is "mean." The ideology of Kemp (and Rand and Reagan in their own ways) is that every human being is capable of achieving something, and some are capable of creating great things when they are free to dream and work and achieve. They understood that a government with the power to give you what you want also has the power to take what you have and that governments are much better at taking than giving. That you think that Kemp's spirit was contrary to the core principals of conservatism just reveals your narrow mindedness and bigotry.

    May 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Lex Rex

    Jack Kemp remains a great role model for today's Republicans. He confidently applied conservative principles to empower all Americans to obtain the opportunities of the American Dream. (Enterprise zones for inner cities being a great example.) His passing at this low ebb for the Republicans is a good reminder of the kind of positive politics that made Republicans the majority party from 1980 to 2006.

    May 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. lost part of our heart

    Kemp was a good man to be sure

    but the GOP has and has not had a heart for some time

    May 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. dm00

    wow, what a huge surprise, liberals turning out to support a dead conservative and use him to beat up on live ones! man who would have ever seen that one coming?

    May 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Alexis

    My prayers and thoughts go to Kemp families and friend. Earlier today I was watching Fox News, they were showing Mr Kemp talking about his economic plan in a debate with Al Gore back in 96 when he was the GOP VP nominee, I hear the same and only plan the GOP ever had, TAX CUT. No wonder why the GOP is going down, they don't have any new idea, I heard the same thing doing the campaign with McCain that they were talking about 13 years ago,TAX CUT was, is and will always be the GOP only economic plan.

    May 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Who's this clown trying to kid? It's well known that Republicans don't have a heart!

    May 3, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Donald Reif, Jr.

    As a Democrat, I will say that Jack Kemp was a good man but his ideology was not good. He also had a problem which was ruined many a good man; he liked listening to himself talk and talk and talk and talk..........and not really saying anything.

    May 3, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |

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