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Humphrey Apologizes For Remark That Young Mother Shouldn’t Run For Congress

September 9, 1988

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey on Thursday retracted his remark that Betty Tamposi shouldn’t run for Congress because she has small children, calling the statement ″just plain stupid.″

″In plain English, I made a mistake, I am sorry, and I apologize,″ Humphrey said in a statement.

″While everyone knows of the strains congressional families experience as a result of the long working days of members of Congress, I had no right to impugn the motives of any person wishing to serve in Congress,″ he said.

The controversy began Tuesday after a speech when Humphrey suggested Tamposi was negligent to run for the U.S. House with two daughters, ages 22 months and 4. Tamposi, a millionaire officer in her father’s real estate company, pays a nanny to care for her children.

″It’s self-evident that you cannot work 12 to 14 hours a day in Congress and have time left over for a child,″ he said.

″It’s difficult enough being a father of a young child and a member of Congress, as I am,″ said Humphrey, who has a 3-year-old son. ″For the mother, who in our society is the primary care giver, working 10-12 hours a day makes it impossible to give the nurturing the child would need.″

The remarks drew criticism from Tamposi’s campaign which denounced them as irresponsible and insulting and demanded an apology.

Tamposi is one of six candidates in the 2nd District Republican primary on Tuesday. Humphrey supports another candidate, Chuck Douglas.

After two days of insisting he wouldn’t back down, Humphrey apparently changed his mind after he got a call from Douglas.

Humphrey issued the retraction. A spokesman for Tamposi said Humphrey also telephoned her to apologize.

″I want to make it clear that I did not represent the Douglas campaign in making statements critical of Betty Tamposi,″ said Humphrey.

″Chuck Douglas is blameless. Neither he nor anyone in his organization had advance knowledge of my statement,″ he said.

At a Concord news conference Thursday, Douglas reiterated that he had nothing to do with the remark.

″How she raises her children is her own business,″ said Douglas. ″I have not delved into the personal lives of my opponents nor will I.″

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