Tsongas Says He Will Not Re-Enter Race

Election '92

BOSTON--Former Massachusetts Sen. Paul E. Tsongas ended speculation yesterday that he would re-enter the race for the Democratic nomination, asking volunteers to cease their efforts on his behalf.

Tsongas said he would campaign for the eventual Democratic nominee but declined to endorse any particular candidate.

The announcement came two days after Tsongas won second-place finishes in New York and Kansas despite having suspended his campaign March 19.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton took first in those states as well as in Wisconsin and Minnesota Tuesday, a fact that Tsongas said he could not ignore.

"We did very well, but so did Bill Clinton. He won those states," Tsongas said in a press conference at the Copley Plaza Hotel. "That winning removed the argument that my re-entry would rescue this party."


"Indeed, his winning took me back to the option I rejected three weeks ago, the role of spoiler," Tsongas continued. "I reject any such role."

Tsongas said later that if poll results he saw early Tuesday--showing former California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. winning in some states--had materialized, he would have reentered the race.

Tsongas praised voters who supported him--just as he did three weeks ago--saying they had "preserved the message" of fiscal respon- sibility and government reform that he has espoused since entering the race in March of 1991.

"Hear me well, Democrats and Republicans," Tsongas said. "The old ways of taking this country into economic ruin and social chaos are over. The people of America are ready for a new resolve."

Tsongas spent all of Wednesday looking at results and consulting with aides, supporters and prominent figures. Campaign manager Dennis Kanin said Tsongas got calls from former President Jimmy Carter and Democratic National Party Chair Ron Brown.

Kanin hinted that Brown encouraged Tsongas to stay out of the race, but said, "I don't think that had any effect on his decision."

Tsongas refused any comment on the possibility of becoming Clinton's running mate if the position is offered to him.

"I have feelings [about a vice presidential bid] but it serves no purpose to express those," Tsongas said.

The Lowell, Mass. native set two goals for his continued involvement with the campaign.

"I intend to support the nominee and I will do so with enthusiasm," Tsongas said. "Second, I will do everything I can to create an environment where my message is the message the Democrats will run on."

In any case, Tsongas is considering all his involvement options, Kanin said. Such options could include working on the party platform or addressing the party convention in New York in July.