Bush says Americans seek president who will treat 'office with respect'
June 16, 1999
Web posted at: 1:15 a.m. EDT (0515 GMT)
BOSTON (AllPolitics, June 16) -- Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the leading Republican presidential candidate for 2000, said on Tuesday that America is "hungry for someone to treat the office with respect" -- and he described Al Gore as the candidate who might appeal to those who are "happy with what's happening in Washington."
Gov. Bush chats with CNN about Campaign 2000 issues.
Bush, who wrapped up his first presidential campaign trip through the early caucus-primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, told CNN in an interview that he favors some forms of gun control and is pro-life on the abortion issue.
He said that he is now in the race for the "long haul."
"I have a reason to run, though. I have a purpose."
On his way back home Tuesday, Bush was asked by CNN's Candy Crowley to describe the difference between him and Vice President Gore, the leading Democrat candidate. Bush, son of former president George Bush, said, "He's the status quo."
"If (voters) like the status quo, if they're happy with what's happening in Washington," Gore is the one they should vote for, he said.
By contrast, Bush said, "I say what I believe. And if people like it, I hope they'll vote for me."
"I think it's important for a president to have a vision of the world that recognizes that it's America's moment. America must seize the moment, promote the peace in the world," he said.
"People are starved for something. They're looking for something different. They're hungry for leadership. They're hungry for someone to treat the office with respect," he added.
On gun control, Bush said background checks on those seeking to buy guns are "the most practical, sure way to make sure that someone who purchases a gun is not a felon."
He said child safety locks are "fine" but "the question is how do you encourage people to use them."
"I think the thing on gun control that's really important for people to remember is the most effective gun control, in my mind, is to punish people who commit crimes with guns," Bush said.
Under tough questioning about abortion, Bush said:
"I'm pro-life. I believe in the value of life. I've been a pro-life governor ever since I've been elected. I believe ... that we ought to have laws that reduce the number of abortions."
He added: "It seems like to me we need a leader to bring people to understand the importance of banning partial birth abortion, having parental notification laws, not spending taxpayer money on abortion."