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Dem convention speakers hone their rhetoric for fall campaigns

Jon Corzine
Corzine is scheduled to speak at Wednesday's convention session  

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- For Senate candidates like New Jersey's Jon Corzine, the Democratic National Convention offers a chance to sharpen their message, make some contacts and earn some exposure.

"It's an opportunity for me to work my delegation, which aare the people who can help make it happen in November," Corzine said. "It's a tremendous opportunity for me to plug into the national campaign, and build up my own excitement about this process."

Corzine, who is slated to speak Wednesday, is running against New Jersey Rep. Bob Franks in November for the seat held by retiring Democrat Frank Lautenberg. His campaign is debating how to use his appearance in campaign materials in November.

At their convention in Philadelphia, Republicans focused on broad, inclusive themes and generally avoided direct attacks on the Democrats. Most jabs were limited to speeches by presidential nominee George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney.

But Democrats in Los Angeles, who have high hopes of reclaiming control of the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate in November, appear to have been given free rein to blast away at the GOP.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told the handful of delegates who showed up for the afternoon session's opening that Democrats backed diversity "all the time, not just every four years at a convention." And he said Republicans were counting on "collective amnesia," hoping that Americans forget the economic doldrums of the early 1990s.

"Where eight years ago the want ads were empty and the welfare lines were long, we now have 22 million new jobs in our nation," Durbin said. "Where eight years ago stagnation was crippling our economy, we now stand strong."

As President Clinton did in his valedictory Monday night, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island reminded delegates that the administration's 1993 deficit reduction package passed without a single Republican vote.

"Republicans were wrong then and they are wrong now," Reed said.

Corzine said, "I think the way we deal with it compared to how Republicans dealt with it in Philadelphia are two totally different things. We're actually talking about issues on a consistent basis."


Tuesday, August 15, 2000

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