Bush confident he can garner support in traditionally Democratic New York
By Jeanne Meserve/CNN
October 5, 1999
Web posted at: 5:40 p.m. EDT (2140 GMT)
ROCHESTER, New York -- The Empire State has not given its prize of 33 electoral votes to a Republican since 1984 when Ronald Reagan ran for re-election, but Texas Gov. George W. Bush thinks he just might be able to break the Democrats' grip.
"I think I've got a good chance here, I really do," Bush said. "It's a tough state here. I am under no illusions, but I have got a good organization here. There seems to be an outpouring of support that is heartening."
In a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Bush is in a virtual dead heat with Vice President Al Gore in a hypothetical general election match up.But in a hypothetical contest with former New York Knicks forward Senator Bill Bradley, Bush lags behind.
Bush received the endorsement of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Friday, and sided Monday with the mayor in the controversy over the Brooklyn Art Museum exhibit featuring a canvas of the Virgin Mary splattered with dung.
"It denigrates someone's religion," Bush said of the painting. "I don't think we ought to be using public monies to denigrate religion."
New York Gov. George Pataki agreed. At every stop in New York, Pataki was Bush's long, tall shadow. Inevitably he was asked the question: "Would there be two Georges on the ticket?" Bush said it's possible.
At a visit to a ministry in Buffalo known for its community work and at a work scholarship program in Rochester, Bush stuck with his theme of compassionate conservativism.
On Tuesday, Bush gave his second major address on education, the issue many Americans raise as their top concern.