David Kuo, Former Bush White House Official, Dies


WASHINGTON — A conservative Christian who helped to lead President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative but then criticized the effort has died.

David Kuo was 44 when he died Friday in Charlotte, N.C. His wife, Kimberly, tells The Washington Post that he had suffered from brain cancer for the last decade.

Kuo had been a policy adviser to Republican Sen. John Ashcroft and a speechwriter for conservative Republicans Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson and for Republican Sen. Bob Dole. He joined the Bush administration in 2001 as deputy of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Kuo left the White House in 2003. In a book he described the Bush White House as having sought political gain through the manipulation of religious faith and called the initiative a “sad charade.”

Kuo spoke with PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez about his book “Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction.” “It’s a story of my political seduction … making a journey from being more of a social gospel liberal when I was growing up to being very much a card-carrying member of the religious right,” Kuo told Suarez in 2006. You can watch the full interview from the NewsHour’s archives.