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World Today

Bush Pounds Tax Message Home in Iowa

Aired January 14, 2000 - 8:10 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM MORET, CNN ANCHOR: Texas Governor George W. Bush is making sure the people of Iowa learn his side of the story on tax cuts. Bush began a new round of commercials this weekend, responding to Senator John McCain's criticisms the Bush cuts go too far and claims by publisher Steve Forbes that Bush broke a tax-cut pledge in Texas.

Traveling with the Bush campaign tonight, CNN's John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shopping for votes -- Iowa style.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now hear this: Everybody should attend their caucuses a week from Monday. And while you're there, remember, George W. Bush came to ask for your vote. Now hear this.

KING: But as Governor Bush enjoyed some textbook retail politicking in tiny Glenwood, several new TV ads underscored the increasingly pointed Republican campaign debate over taxes spending and Social Security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BUSH CAMPAIGN AD)

BUSH: We can cut taxes for working families and protect Social Security. Some people say we can't. I say we've got to. Help settle the debate. Please go to the caucuses Monday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Rival John McCain says Bush's big tax cut would short change Social Security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN AD)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: : There's one big difference between me and the others: I won't take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy. I'll use the bulk of the surplus to secure Social Security far into the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Elderly voters are among the most reliable causus-goers, and Bush is clearly concerned the criticism might take hold -- and not only here in Iowa.

(on camera): The Bush campaign is preparing a mailing to 100,000 households in New Hampshire. It argues the federal budget surplus is plenty big not only to save Social Security, but also to pay for the governor's $483 billion tax cut plan.

(voice-over): Bush aides say McCain's criticism might just as well have been written by the Clinton White House.

BUSH: And the reason why I need to repeat this is because we have a president who has done had a good job saying if you cut taxes people will lose their Social Security benefits, which is not the truth.

KING: Bush and his five GOP rivals debate again in Des Moines on Saturday, and the Republican front-runner is reminding everyone in sight that Iowa opens the nominating process just a week from Monday.

BUSH: See you on caucus night.

KING: John King, CNN, Glenwood, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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