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Bush Arrested for DUI in 1976 in KennebunkportAired November 2, 2000 - 7:12 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: This is a late and what could possibly turn out to be a significant development learned by reporters on the campaign trail.
Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is following George W. Bush in his campaign. She's in Glenellen, Illinois at this hour. Candy, what have we learned?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joie, aides to Governor Bush acknowledge that in 1976 George Bush was in Kennebunkport and was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving while under the influence.
Aides say that Governor Bush is not proud of this. He was 30 at the time, but they point that he has all along acknowledged from the beginning of his campaign that he did have a drinking problem. Bush often tells the story as recently as this week in California that he gave up drinking on his 40th birthday.
Aides do say that they believe that this leak was political and came with the intent the hurt the governor. As far as we know, the story, according to Bush aides, the governor had several beers in a bar in Kennebunkport -- again, he was 30 at the time -- and he left the bar with three friends as well as his sister, Dora. He was pulled over, again, arrested on a misdemeanor charge of DUI to which he later pled guilty. His license was suspended.
Asked whether they thought this would hurt the governor's campaign, aides say they don't think so. This happened a long time ago, said one aide, and all along the governor has been open about his drinking problem in the past. "We think the American people judge these events and absorb them in their context."
Again, while they acknowledge that Governor Bush at the age of 30 was arrested for DUI while in Kennebunkport, Maine, they say and point out that the governor has always acknowledged his drinking problem, which ended on his 40th birthday -- Joie.
CHEN: All right, 24 years ago, we're talking about here, Candy Crowley. The governor, as you say, has been open talking about his history, but this has not come to light before?
CROWLEY: No, it hasn't come to light, which is, I think, why you hear the aides saying, look, we're four days away from the presidential election, and suddenly there's this leak and we think it has the political intent of trying to hurt the governor.
CHEN: CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley on the campaign trail with George W. Bush and following up on that story. She's in Glenellen, Illinois tonight with George W. Bush, who is campaigning there.
We're continuing to follow this story at CNN. We'll follow-up on it and give you any other late development on it.
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