President John F. Kennedy was a conservative, author Ira Stoll tells Newsmax.
"Kennedy ran in 1960 calling for cutting taxes from the Eisenhower-Nixon levels and for spending more on the military than Eisenhower and Nixon were spending," Stoll says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.
"I would actually call him a 'theo-con,' almost a religious conservative," the Newsmax contributor says. "He saw America as lost in a battle against the godless, atheistic Soviet Union, and he was determined to win."
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Stoll, editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com
and former vice president and managing editor of the New York Sun, which he helped to found, wrote the book "JFK: Conservative," which was released Tuesday.
Nov. 22 will be the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, and that has ignited a renewed focus on the former president, his politics as well as the nature of his assassination.
One of the arguments Stoll makes for Kennedy's conservative ideology is the number of times he was cited by Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush when arguing for their own policies.
"I write in the end of the book that both President Reagan and George W. Bush cited President Kennedy in arguing both for their tax cuts and for firm stands in foreign policy."
Although Stoll says "there is no Kennedy today," two Republicans, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, may be the closest in terms of their ideology and background.
"The people who have maybe a hope of being like him are Marco Rubio, who's a Catholic and who understands the Cuba issue, since his family comes from Cuba, and he represents Florida, and he's also for a strong foreign policy and for tax cuts, and Mike Pence, who's another Irishman, governor of Indiana, who is quite Kennedy-esque in some ways," Stoll says.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey also has some similarities, especially in his willingness to stand up to labor unions.
"Christie's been very hard on the public employee unions in New Jersey, and one of the things I write about in this book, 'JFK: Conservative,' is how Kennedy really made his career in the Senate," Stoll says.
"His signature issue was labor reform. He used to go down to right-to-work states in the South and speak to the chambers of commerce about the cancer of labor racketeering and the way union leaders were extorting private businesses, and corruption in the labor unions."
"On that level, he actually has something in common with Christie."
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