Gore takes campaign to Ventura, Minnesota's land of
MINNEAPOLIS (CNN) -- The morning after winning another round
of primaries on a presumptive march to the Democratic
presidential nomination, Vice President Al Gore met Saturday
morning with Minnesota's Governor Jesse Ventura here.
The two strode into a meeting at the Hotel Hyatt in downtown
Minneapolis clad alike: jeans and cowboy boots. Asked what he
hoped to get out of the meeting, Ventura told a reporter,
Emerging an hour later, they both said they'd eaten well.
Gore said he did not ask the former grappler for his
endorsement. "I purposely didn't because I thought it was way
too early," Gore told reporters.
Voters flocked to Ventura ticket
Ventura won the governor's office in an upset victory that
was fueled by independent voters who flocked to his Reform
Party ticket candidacy. Since then, Ventura has left the
"We're both very well aware that it's naturally going to be
those middle voters who will determine the [presidential]
election," Ventura said Saturday. "I mean, the vice
president's a bright man. He understands that. Naturally, he
has to focus on the independent voter. The independent voter
determines who wins. I'm more pleased about the fact that
we're both wearing jeans today, so my press won't criticize
Instead of discussing endorsements, Gore said, the two
political leaders talked about campaign finance reform,
political reform, and special education.
Concerning campaign finance reform, Ventura had no criticism
for Gore's role in raising "soft money."
Two talked of campaign finance reform
"You've got to play within the scheme of the football game
... whatever the rules are. You can't really criticize
someone for playing within the set of rules the game's at
when you begin. But the vice president and I agree that the
rules need to be changed and there needs to be a cleaning up,
a cleansing of campaign finance in this country," he said.
Gore too talked about the need for campaign finance reform.
"As you all know, the voices that got the most recognition in
advocating campaign finance reform were John McCain and Bill
But now that neither is actively campaigning, "I want to
raise that banner higher," Gore said.
"Not only because of the obvious political reasons -- that I
want to give a home for those voters who were strongly
supporting of Sen. McCain and Sen. Bradley because of that
issue. I acknowledge that's part of what is going on here.
But also because I believe in it. And because I was
advocating it before they dropped out of the race. And
because I advocated it 23 years ago in my very first term in
the U.S. Congress."
Gore is on a two-day campaign swing through the Midwest. He
picked up endorsements Friday from former Vice President
Walter Mondale and Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, a former