CONCORD, N.H., OCT. 22 -- The state campaign leader for Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) has written a letter criticizing potential GOP rival Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as a liberal on domestic issues.
Charles Douglas, a former state Supreme Court justice who is Kemp's campaign chairman in the state with the earliest presidential primary, wrote what he called the "personal communication" to Joseph McQuaid, editor-in-chief of The Union Leader of Manchester. It was published in the newspaper today, but Douglas said that was not his intention.
The Union Leader, the only statewide daily newspaper, has urged Kirkpatrick to enter the race for the Republican nomination. She has said she will announce her decision by next week.
Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Kemp both are considered strong conservatives.
In his letter to McQuaid, Douglas included a portion entitled "the Best of Jeane" to show that she was not a conservative on domestic issues.
It quoted her as saying:On abortion: "Always tragic . . . but it is not invariably the worst possible evil in every situation," sometimes preferable in cases of rape, incest and severe retardation with hereditary disabilities.
On taxes: " . . . people who make more should pay more than people who are miserably poor."
On welfare: "I'm a welfare-state liberal."
On Republicans: "They so often seem more concerned about fiscal values than human values."
Douglas said Kemp was unaware of the letter and expressed disappointment that it was published.
Douglas said Kirkpatrick is "101 percent" conservative on foreign affairs and would make a good secretary of state. "But that doesn't mean she should be head of health and welfare."
"You have to show the differences in the candidates on the issues," Douglas said. "She's fair game as long as it's not personal attacks." He said voters will be confused "until they know her record," adding that her entry into the race would split the vote and "that's not in the interest of the conservative party."