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Bush ends preconvention road trip vowing to rally 'armies of compassion'

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- On his last stop on the way to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, George W. Bush stood on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol Tuesday and vowed to "rally the armies of compassion" if he wins the White House.

In this story:

Mentions Clinton by name
Social Security issue raised

"These armies are people who say, 'What can I do to help?' They don't wait for government to pass a law," said Bush, adding that he wanted to encourage an "outpouring of giving in this country."

The man who is to formally accept the Republican mantle as presidential nominee on Thursday kept punching away at the Democrat who now holds the job.

Bush addresses a crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  

"America wants an administration that will appeal to our better angels, not our darker impulses," Bush said several times during his road trip.

He also promised that if elected, he and members of his administration would swear not only to uphold the law, but also the honor and integrity of the office.

The Texas governor has on the whole kept his comments about President Clinton veiled, even though they are huge crowd pleasers.

Mentions Clinton by name

Earlier Tuesday in Charleston, West Virginia, Bush did lob a grenade directly at Clinton, breaking a self-imposed pledge not to mention the president by name.

Bush blamed his slip on reporters who got him riled up by asking questions about Clinton's attacks on him, including one that implied the son of former President Bush is coasting on his father's name.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Jonathan Karl explains why the GOP presidential nominee decided to mention Clinton by name.

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Listen to Gov. George W. Bush counter President Clinton's criticism by saying it is meant to protect Clinton's presidential legacy

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"It's amazing to me that the president of the United States would spent time trying to be a political pundit," said Bush. "He's so desperate to keep his legacy intact he'll say anything -- just like Al Gore .

In Harrisburg, with his wife, Laura, by his side, the Texas governor said he would work to make sure every child gets educated and not "passed through the system without learning."

Social Security issue raised

Bush also reached out for the votes of seniors, warning them that Democrats are "going to say, 'George Bush is going to take your Social Security check away.'" He said his administration would work to save and strengthen the program for both seniors and younger workers.

And tax cuts were hinted at: Bush told a crowd of several thousand that "taxes on the working people today are the highest they have been since World War II."

Bush said Democrats think the federal budget surplus belongs to the government. "I believe the surplus is the people's money and we ought to share some of it with the people," he said.

At an earlier stop on the last day of his five-day tour of six key swing states, an energized Bush rallied large crowds of supporters at a war memorial in West Virginia, a state that Republicans haven't captured since 1984.

Bush is trying to claim the battleground states that have voted for Clinton and Gore in the last two presidential elections.

CNN Correspondent Patty Davis contributed to this report.