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Bush's communications chief leaves campaign

July 14, 1999
Web posted at: 2:57 p.m. EDT (1857 GMT)

AUSTIN, Texas (AllPolitics, July 14) -- Dave Beckwith, communications manager for Texas Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign, is leaving the campaign as a result of "stylistic" differences with the candidate.

"I'm convinced George W. Bush will be our next president and a great one," Beckwith said in a statement released by the campaign. He said he was leaving "to return to Washington, D.C. with his family."

Bush denied that Beckwith was fired. "He resigned. There was not a firing. It was a mutual resignation. It was between Dave and members of my staff. I'm sorry it didn't work," Bush said at an event Wednesday where he received the endorsement of Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio).

Speaking to CNN Tuesday night, Bush described Beckwith as "a good friend," and said, "We just kind of had a stylistic difference. I wish him all the best."

Beckwith is known to have clashed from time to time with Karl Rove, the lead strategist for the campaign. But campaign sources insisted that the major reasons for his departure were personal.

The communications manager was part of a three-member image team on Bush's campaign exploring the GOP presidential nomination. Mindy Tucker is the campaign's press secretary, while Karen Hughes carries the title of communications director.

No replacement was immediately named.

"I'm proud to have been aboard for his campaign launch. He is assembling a terrific team, and I look forward to helping in any way I can," Beckwith said in Tuesday's statement.

Eric Woolson, Bush's Iowa communications director, said: "It was a style thing: D.C., Austin, different styles. From everything I know, it wasn't any big battle or anything. It was really very amicable, a friendly divorce."

Asked whether Beckwith made mistakes, Woolson said, "I would have to think that would be true."

Beckwith has a long history in communications, having served for 17 years as a Time magazine journalist, four years as Vice President Dan Quayle's press secretary and having supervised communications for Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's 1993 and 1994 campaigns.


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Wednesday, July 14, 1999






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