Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jack Kemp, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 1976 to campaign for Lieberman

Kemp to campaign for Lieberman

NEW LONDON, Connecticut (Reuters) - Jack Kemp, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 1976, will campaign in Connecticut on behalf of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's independent bid for re-election.

Lieberman said on Tuesday he had accepted an offer of help from Kemp after the former congressman contacted him this month following Lieberman's loss of the Democratic Senate primary to anti-war challenger Ned Lamont.

"We've been good friends for a long time," said Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, during a campaign stop in New London. "He called me after the primary, he's a good friend, and I'm grateful."

Many Democrats have turned their backs on Lieberman since his defeat by Lamont, a businessman who claimed the senator was too supportive of the Iraq war and too close to President George W. Bush and Republicans.

Lieberman, who is banking on Republican and independent support to carry him to victory over Lamont in November, said he was not worried that a campaign visit by a Republican like Kemp would anger Democrats.

"I think if anyone complains about Jack Kemp coming in on my behalf, it just shows that they're still blinded by the old partisan politics," he said. "Jack's a devoted Republican, I'm a devoted Democrat, but we agree on a lot of stuff."

Lieberman is running for a fourth Senate term as an independent but has promised to remain a Democrat if he wins.

Kemp, a former star pro football quarterback, served in Congress from New York and was Housing and Urban Development secretary under the current president's father.

Kemp also was Republican Bob Dole's running mate in the 1996 election, which they lost to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.