He was a sunny and unapologetic supply-sider, who famously declared: “I do not worship at the altar of the balanced budget.” He also was one of the first to recognize–and to speak out about–his party’s failure to reach out to African-Americans and to those who had been left behind by Reaganomics. President Obama said today:
“Jack Kemp’s commitment to public service and his passion for politics influenced not only the direction of his party, but his country. From his tenure as a Buffalo congressman to his ascent in national politics, Jack Kemp was a man who could fiercely advocate his own beliefs and principles while also remembering the lessons he learned years earlier on the football field: that bitter divisiveness between race and class and station only stood in the way of the ‘common aim of a team to win.’ Michelle and I extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the entire Kemp family.”
Here’s Michael Duffy’s story about the legacy of Jack Kemp, who died yesterday at the age of 73.