Sounding like the presidential candidate he was earlier this year, Congressman Jack Kemp, R-New York, told a Utah audience that the Republican Party must include blue-collar workers, immigrants and others seeking the American dream.
Kemp, a former professional football quarterback, spoke for 35 minutes in a Little America Hotel ballroom at a fund-raiser for Republican congressional hopeful Richard Snelgrove, who is fighting an uphill battle to unseat Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah."People say it's virtually impossible. No way. No way. We're going to win. We have to," Kemp said of the ice cream company executive's race. "If you don't lead the district, it won't get led."
Owens is the only Democratic member of Utah's congressional delegation and the only member not present at the fund-raiser, which brought in about $15,000 for the Snelgrove campaign. Sens. Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch and Reps. Howard Nielsen and Jim Hansen all said they needed Snelgrove with them in Washington, D.C.
Kemp, whose appearance was sponsored by the Republican National Congressional Committee, donated $1,000 to the Snelgrove campaign after bidding lagged on a football he and former Brigham Young University quarterback Steve Young autographed. Another football they both signed was auctioned off for $700.
During his speech, Kemp stressed the need to elect Snelgrove and others to Congress who believe as he does in supply-side economics, the theory that lowering tax rates increases productivity, investment and ultimately, government revenues.
Kemp's economic view, which was adopted by President Reagan, is the basis for his view that the country can move forward only by rewarding productivity rather than imposing high taxes on the wealthy and on big business.
"There are two ways to make people equal. You can make the rich people poor, or you can make the poor people rich," he said.
He said that the Republican Party must remember that his view is shared by people in all classes of society, including blue-collar workers, immigrants and others who want jobs, not government assistance.
"We've got to be their party. We've got to be the party of the American dream," he said.
First elected to Congress in 1970, Kemp entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination in April 1987 and dropped out last March after trailing badly in the early primaries.