CNN/TIME AllPolitics Vote '96

Dole, Clinton Push On Toward Tuesday's Vote

bob dole

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 3) -- As Campaign '96 nears the end, President Bill Clinton and Republican challenger Bob Dole continued their furious campaign schedules, stumping for votes at opposite ends of the country.

Some polls show the race tightening, and Dole said he thinks undecided voters are breaking his way.

Dole, who spent the day in California, told a San Diego rally he has a lot of differences with Clinton, but the big difference "is that I'm moving in the White House and he's moving out." (128K WAV sound)

"We are excited about the direction of this campaign," Dole said. "All across America, the polls are moving our way. The undecided voters and many Democrats have decided that character does count, character does count.

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"I think the voters believe that when you become president of the United States, you have a higher obligation and a higher standard than anybody in the world," Dole added. "And if you violate that standard, they're going to remember it on election day."

Dole even telephoned startled voters on to ask for their vote. "Next year you'll get a tax cut," he told one person.

Clinton hopscotched his way northward Sunday, beginning the day in Tampa and speaking at a rally in New Jersey before heading on to Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.

At a huge, festive rally in West Palm Beach popular singer and Florida resident Jimmy Buffett helped to bring out and warm up the crowd. Clinton criticized Republican plans to reform Medicare, a hot political issue for the state and its large number of elderly voters. "Let's reform it, but let's not wreck it. Your vote will decide that."

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The president also emphasized his administration's successes at downsizing government. "Our administration has reduced the size of government to the smallest size in 30 years," Clinton said.

This was Clinton's second appearance of the day in Florida, a state usually considered Republican territory that no Democratic candidate has won in 20 years. Earlier in the morning the president attended morning services at a predominantly black church in Tampa and later met with the mayor of St. Petersburg, the site of recent riots.

The president's aides say he's anxious to win more than 50 percent of the vote. Four years ago, he was elected with only 43 percent, and Clinton doesn't want to be the only president elected twice without ever having won a majority of the vote.

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Nevertheless, the Clinton campaign has stuck with the schedule mapped out last week to stump in the Democratic bastions of New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine in order to help out Democratic congressional races and encourage voter turn-out.

In Newark, N.J., Clinton appeared with Rep. Bob Torricelli, who is in a tight race for Democratic Sen. Bill Bradley's vacated Senate seat. At his next stop in Springfield, Mass., the president will try to extend his coattails to the re-election efforts of Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who is in the political fight of his life against that state's GOP governor, Bill Weld.

From the Bay State, the President will travel up the coast for a midnight rally in Maine. He will spend the night in New Hampshire, though he is not scheduled to arrive until 3:30 a.m..

On the flight from Florida to New Jersey, the president told reporters aboard Air Force One that he personally planned tomorrow's schedule for rallies in New Hampshire and Iowa, where his campaign for president began.

bill clinton

In other campaign developments:

  • In Clinton's home state, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gave him a "non-endorsement," just as the newspaper did four years ago. "Do you remember... the wave of Arkansas chic building as the nation began to notice us?" the editorial asked. "What a night it was, and what a morning after it has been."
  • On Dole's campaign plane, reporters struggled to keep up with the candidate -- and stay clean, given the brief rest stops. Time magazine photographer P.F. Bentley, known for his striking black and white images of Dole during his private moments, found a way to cut corners, stuffing his pants pockets with what he called a "bath-in-a-bag" -- a tiny, moist towelette in a foil packet.

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  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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