Jack Kemp Dies

Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and professional football player.

In the 1996 election, he was Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole's running mate for Vice President. He had previously contended for the presidential nomination in the 1988 Republican primaries. Kemp began his political career with nine terms as a Congressman for Western New York, from 1971 to 1989, and subsequently served as Housing Secretary in the George H. W. Bush administration.

The incumbent, Bill Clinton, had no serious primary opposition. Dole promised a 15% across-the-board reduction in income tax rates and made former Congressman and supply side advocate Jack Kemp his running mate. Dole also found himself criticized from both the left and the right within the Republican Party over the convention platform, one of the major issues being the inclusion of the a Human Life Amendment. Bill Clinton framed the narrative against Dole early, painting him as a mere clone of unpopular then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, warning America that Bob Dole would work in concert with the Republican Congress to slash popular social programs, like Medicare and Social Security, dubbed by Clinton as "Dole-Gingrich". Bob Dole's tax-cut plan found itself under attack from the White House, who said it would "blow a hole in the deficit" which had been cut nearly in half during his opponent's term. Dole was defeated by President Clinton in the 1996 election. Clinton won in a 379-159 Electoral College landslide, capturing 49.2% of the vote against Dole's 40.7% and Ross Perot's 8.4% who drew equally from both candidates.