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Former Defense Secretary Won’t Seek Republican Presidential Nod

April 3, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that he would not seek the 1988 Republican presidential nomination because he cannot afford to finance a dark-horse campaign.

″I believe my qualifications are the best among any candidate,″ Rumsfeld said. ″But I am unwilling to incur a deficit without some way of paying it off.″

Rumsfeld, 53, a former Illinois congressman who has served in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations in various posts, said federal election laws present a catch-22 situation.

″We could raise the money, but it would require that I do nothing else, or we could run with a deficit,″ he said. ″It’s against the law to pay the deficit off yourself, or to raise funds to pay it off from anyone who has given previously.

″The election laws have arrived at a point where, although well- intentioned, they really create a barrier to entry.″

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