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Election 2000 briefs

October 6, 1999
Web posted at: 12:39 p.m. EDT (1639 GMT)

Bush decides against participating in New Hampshire forum

HANOVER, New Hampshire -- George W. Bush has turned down an invitation to participate in a nationally televised Republican presidential forum later this month, citing a conflict with an event in Texas honoring his wife.

"I hope the organizers understand that while the debate may be important, it's not nearly as important as me being with my wife on that day," he said.

Bush's wife, Laura, is being honored at Southern Methodist University on October 28, the same day as the Republican presidential forum at Dartmouth College.

The campaign said Bush does not plan to participate in any debates before January. Bush has agreed to two debates in the new year -- a forum in Iowa sponsored by the Des Moines Register and one January 26 in Manchester sponsored by CNN and WMUR-TV, according to the campaign and WMUR.

CNN and WMUR are the sponsors of the October 28 GOP forum as well as a forum for Democratic candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley on October 27.



Dole to try to liven up her campaign, aides say

WASHINGTON -- Watching her bankroll dwindle and her second-tier star on the national stage be eclipsed by Sen. John McCain, Elizabeth Dole will try to punch up her strategy and stake a claim to McCain's home turf in hope of winning back some headlines.

Once-gentle Dole aides now make no pretense about the gritty battle the North Carolina native must wage to survive in a Republican presidential field dominated by Texas Gov. George W. Bush and enlivened, of late, by McCain and his best-selling memoir of his Vietnam war days.

"I applaud the McCain people, they've gotten a good ride," said Dole strategist Tony Fabrizio. But it's time for Dole to try and stop him, he added, since McCain's good publicity has yet to carry him above Dole in national horserace polls.

Dole travels Friday to McCain's home state of Arizona to showcase her endorsement by Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza. And she told aides Tuesday she wants to "make a real splash" with a get-tough-on-drugs speech scheduled for Thursday in San Diego.

"The point is that we're not going to cede any territory," said Dole spokeswoman Kathleen Harrington. "We'll fight on as many fronts as we can with our opponents because we want to position ourselves as the principal alternative to George W. Bush."



Quayle talks potatoes and politics with Letterman

NEW YORK -- With his Republican presidential campaign officially over, Dan Quayle has made peace with an old nemesis: David Letterman.

"Maybe you don't know this, but over the years I've actually told a lot of jokes about you," Letterman confessed to the former vice president in a skit at the start of CBS' "Late Show" Tuesday night. "Many of them were less than complimentary, so I really feel like it's a nice thing for you to be on the show,"

Quayle played along, pretending he was on an NBC comedy and saying, "No hard feelings, Dave, but there's one thing I've got to say: 'Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!"'

During an interview later, Letterman quipped: "You've got to be nuts to come here."

Quayle, making his first appearance ever on the program, drew rousing applause when told the comedian: "I'm here for my apology."

Although the pair attempted a serious discussion of politics (Quayle said he quit the GOP presidential campaign because he was dwarfed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush's financial warchest), there was no mistaking this was a comedy show.

Quayle: "Bill Bradley seems to be coming on fairly strong ... I know them both, served with them in the Senate, they're both very accomplished people. But I tell what, if you think Al Gore is boring, just wait."

Letterman: "I know what you're saying ... (Bradley) ain't exactly Robin Williams."



Gore proposes policies to help working families

NEW YORK -- Vice President Al Gore is proposing preschool for every child, "family friendly" policies at work and other steps to ease the burden on working parents.

Gore, addressing a Manhattan fund-raising luncheon Tuesday, promised to put the concerns of families at the top of his agenda if he becomes president.

"If you do not understand the fatigue of the American working woman, then you don't deserve to be president of the United States," he told a mostly female crowd of about 600 supporters. "If you elect me president, I will honor your struggle by making it easier to be a good worker and a good parent at the same time."

Gore, fighting former Sen. Bill Bradley for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he wanted to further women's rights by ensuring equal pay for equal work, keeping abortion legal and offering help to those juggling the demands of jobs and family.


ELECTION 2000

Gore says he's the 'underdog'; announces lower fund-raising totals (9-30-99)

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Wednesday, October 6, 1999






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