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The Republican party has to shed its image as the party of privilege and wealth if it ever hopes to succeed in Massachusetts, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mildred Fay Jefferson told the Harvard Republican Club last night.
In a 45-minute address which attracted about 30 students, Jefferson said that "snobbishness" and an over-abundance of millionaire candidates have handicapped the Republican party in this state.
"I think I am [a] different kind of candidate," said Jefferson, who in 1951 became the first Black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School.
"If this party takes forth again this image of exclusivity and elitism, we'll lose again, because [the Massachusetts] electorate is unlikely to change what it has for more of the same," she said.
Jefferson, who heads the Right to Life Crusade, called government support for abortions a form of "class war against the poor...They're using an old fascist formula and calling it liberal."
"You keep down the social cost by getting rid of those that are going to run up the cost," she said.
Citing the high rate of abortion among poor urban Blacks, Jefferson said that the nation's Black population will slowly dwindle away unless immigration increases.
"You can predict that by the middle of the next century, people of African descent will have disappeared altogether," she said.
Jefferson also criticized the Massachusetts welfare system, saying that it drains individual initiative.
"If a person has a broken leg and you give him a crutch, you help him, but if he has two good legs and two arms and you give him a crutch and make him use it, you indeed make him a cripple," she said.
In fact, Jefferson accused liberal Democrats of "using the poor to advance their own interests."
"[Proponents of the welfare state] forget there is a human spirit" that helps people overcome economic difficulties, she said.
Jefferson encouraged students to seek public office, saying that up to half of all elective offices in Massachusetts are filled by candidates who run unopposed. "If there is no candidate to challenge an incumbent Democrat, you [should] get your name on the ballot," she said.
The candidate ended her remarks with an attack on "collusion" betweenpro-choice activists and the news media.
"In general, the left takes care of its own,"she said. Jefferson charged the liberal press withcensoring itself and "violating the public's FirstAmendment rights" by "deny[ing] the people theinformation they should have" about abortion andother issues.
Jefferson, who is running for the seat now heldby Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), answeredquestions for about 20 minutes following herspeech in the Dunster House junior common room.Officers of the Harvard Republican Club saidafterwards that state House Minority Leader StevenD. Pierce, the Republican gubernatorialfrontrunner, will address the club soon
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