Gore, Bush say Milosevic should yield to protesters
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan -- U.S. presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore called Thursday for Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic to yield to protesters and surrender power.
Republican nominee Bush, deviating from a speech on education at a school near Detroit, Michigan, called for Milosevic to honor the results of last month's presidential election and surrender power.
Presidential candidate George W. Bush, in Michigan on Thursday, calls for Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic to surrender power
"The people have spoken," Bush said. "It is time for Mr. Milosevic to go. Our country must work closely with our allies in Europe and the international community, including Russia, to pressure Mr. Milosevic to leave office.
"The world will be a better place when he hears the word of his people and leaves his office."
Democratic nominee Gore, who was also campaigning in Michigan, said he felt "in some ways joyful" at the sight of demonstrators in Yugoslavia, but said the joy was tempered by the "volatile situation" in Belgrade.
"We call upon Milosevic to get out of power," Gore said. "It will be taken from him if he does not, because the people of Serbia have spoken and now they're rising up."
Though Gore said he sympathized with Yugoslav protesters who had taken over the parliament building and the state television network by evening in Belgrade, the incumbent vice president said U.S. troops should not be involved in the struggle for power.
"This is an expression of democracy by the people of Serbia, and their will is not to be denied," Gore said. "This is the kind of situation that we saw over and over again when the Berlin Wall came down. It is the will of the people feeling their right to self-determination, and he has to yield, he has to leave."
Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney, in Kentucky for Thursday night's vice presidential debate, said, "You keep your fingers crossed and hope it works out all right and democracy triumphs."
Asked what the role of the United States should be in the crisis, Cheney, a former secretary of defense, said, "Find out for sure what's going on. You always make sure you've got good information."
CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King and The Associated Press contributed to this story.