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Dole Pushes Anti-Flag Burning Amendment

[the Doles]

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AllPolitics, June 14) -- It's a red, white and blue day for Bob Dole, who ripped into President Bill Clinton at a Flag Day rally for opposing a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.

Dole said he supports such an amendment and called it "another example of the difference" between himself and Clinton -- this one on a symbolic, but powerful issue.

"I'm very proud of our flag, I'm proud of all the people in Alabama who served under it," Dole told the rally.

In the past, Clinton has indicated support for a federal law banning desecration of the flag, but he has opposed changing the Bill of Rights.

In raising the flag, Dole pulled a familiar page from the GOP presidential playbook. In 1988, George Bush toured a flag factory to promote his patriotism and rip Democrat Michael Dukakis'. But some analysts groused that it merely pointed up the shallow, mean essence of that campaign.

Dole also used part of his "Heartland Tour" campaign swing to try to smooth over the simmering controversy in GOP ranks over abortion and possible "big tent" platform language.

Dole complained that the controversy is subsiding, but reporters are keeping it alive. Dole wants pro-tolerance language added to the anti-abortion plank, but some abortion opponents say that would weaken the party's stand in an unacceptable way.

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