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Gore Can't Escape Fund-Raising Questions

The vice president says what he did was 'legal and appropriate'


DOVER, N.H. (AllPolitics, Sep. 5) -- Vice President Al Gore, visiting the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire, tried to focus on education today. But he couldn't escape questions about his White House fund-raising calls and the Senate hearings in Washington.

Gore waved off questions about the possible appointment of an independent counsel, though he briefly defended his fund-raising during the 1996 campaign.

"I'm confident that when all the reviews are complete, they will find what I did is legal and appropriate," Gore said. "We're cooperating fully with the review and we went the extra step of making it all public."


The 2000 presidential campaign is still three years away, but Gore's visit looked like a campaign trip, with a visit to an elementary school, followed later today by a Democratic fund-raiser and a speech at a Dartmouth Medical School dinner.

At Woodman Park Elementary School, Gore read a story, "The Wednesday Surprise," about a grandmother who learns to read from her granddaughter, to about 20 children.

In a speech at the school, Gore urged Congress to fund a million reading tutors. The balanced budget deal approved by Congress includes no money for the Clinton Administration's proposal, he said.

"You don't have to be a math whiz to know that zero is not acceptable," Gore said.

During the visit, Gore avoided up-close contact with the national media. A local paper headlined his visit: "Gore visits amid probe of funding."

When a reporter asked him if the campaign spending investigations were a distraction, the vice president's only response was, "I'll see you later."

Gore, President Bill Clinton's heir apparent, is the Democratic front-runner for 2000, but White House staffers are worried about the impact that the fund-raising investigations could have on his presidential prospects.

Gore made no mention of the Senate campaign finance hearings underway in Washington, where senators are focusing on his attendance at an April 1996 fund-raising luncheon at a Buddhist temple in suburban Los Angeles.

CNN's Gene Randall contributed to this report.

In Other News:

Friday Sept. 5, 1997

Gore Aide Denies Temple Event Was Fund-Raiser
Gore Can't Escape Fund-Raising Questions
Feds Resist Demands For Net Phone Rules
Post Article Gave Reno New Info

E-mail From Washington:
Holder Installed As Deputy Attorney General
Four Senators Push Weld's Nomination
Miami Voters Crush Proposal To Abolish City

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