The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 3, 1996 - 9A
Clinton, Dole trade tax
issue rhetoric in Midwest
U Candidates try to win voters with
promises of lower taxes, 'bridge' to
the 21st century
L1s Angeles Tunes
DE PERE, Wisc. - With dueling bridge metaphors and
arguments over taxes, President Clinton, Bob Dole and their
running mates traversed the Midwest yesterday as they
opened the final phase of a presidential campaign that, so far,
has seen the incumbent transformed from apolitical has-been
an odds-on favorite for re-election.
In St. Louis with Jack Kemp, Dole mocked Clinton's calls
for a "bridge to the 21st century," saying that Clinton's would
be "a toll bridge .. a bridge to a
future of higher taxes ..." By con-,
trast, he declared, he would be "a Th th
bridge to lower taxes.'
Citing Ronald Reagan as an will
example of successful tax cutting,
Dole said that "sometimes it gIV yo i
seems that our opponents have a
ttle - a million little plans for money Voto
how government can dictate to the o o
American people what it thinks is US. wn y
best. Jack Kemp and I have oneo
big plan ... Give American fami- care a o
lies back more of their hard- defiit?"
earned money." i$$
Clinton, diving into what he - Presi
called "the great tax debate,'
remembered Reagan, too, but to
opposite effect, warning that
Dole's proposal for $548 billion in tax cuts would inevitably
well the deficit.
"Our tax cut plan is paid for - line by line, dime by
dime," the president said to a crowd of more than 20,000.
"The other guys will say ... 'We'll give you more money,
vote for us. Why do you care about the deficit?'" Clinton said.
He warned that a larger deficit will force up interest rates
meaning "a higher home mortgage payment; a higher car
payment; a higher credit card payment" and fewer invest-
ments to create new jobs.
Dole, picking up a line used by nearly every trailing candi-
date, compared himself to former president Harry Truman,
.laying that "like Truman I am going to win a come-from-
behind victory for president of the United States."
Should Dole succeed, however, his effort would dwarf
Truman's. Despite visible fatigue and a hoarse and raspy
voice, Clinton enters the final stage of what he calls "the
last campaign of my life" in an enviable spot: No candi-
date with a double-digit lead on Labor Day has lost a pres-
idential election since modern polling began in the 1930s.
Dole's task would seem beyond achievement but for one
fact - just last year, Clinton seemed as much a long-shot
for victory as his Republican challenger appears now.
Both sides agree the election is likely to be won or lost in
he Midwest, where each chose to open their campaigns.
From De Pere, Clinton flew to Milwaukee to attend a
Labor Day festival.
Clinton planned to return to Washington last night, having
canceled a planned campaign stop in Pittsburgh because of
While Clinton stumped through Wisconsin, a closely
fought swing state, Vice President Al Gore hit more partisan
notes as he campaigned next door - in more solidly
At a Labor Day picnic at a park in St. Paul, sponsored by
local AFL-CIO affiliates, Gore declared that the race for
the presidency is a war between the champions of working
families and the proponents of trickle-down economics.
He ran off a list of battles the administration has won
against Republican opposition - enacting the Family and
Medical Leave Act, increasing the mini-
mum wage and killing proposed legisla-
r guys tion that would have weakened unions.
Joe Schaefer, 37, an auto mechanic who
We Ftbrought his three children to the parade,
said he may vote for Clinton and Gore in
}re 1996, even though he voted for former
presidents Reagan and Bush in the last
for four elections.
"I needa little more selling, but I'm prob-
y4FU ably going to vote Democratic. It's because
I'm voting less on a moral agenda and more
on an economic one" said Schaefer, who is
Dole has tried to generate campaign
ent Clinton excitement - his St. Louis event was at
least the eighth that he has labeled his
"official campaign kickoff" since he
announced for president 17 months ago
and the sixth in the last four months.
Yesterday, after St. Louis, Kemp headed to Flint, an indus-
trial town that became synonymous with economic decline in
"We want Flint to be at full employment with rising
wages;" Kemp said.
Kemp vowed to scrap the entire tax code and stop the
"bully tactics of the IRS;" a remark that drew cheers and
praise from some in his audience.
Dole also is hoping to turn voters around by constant rep-
etition of his arguments on two subjects - taxes and drugs.
At his St. Louis event, he told a cheering, sprawling crowd
of some 20,000 beneath the landmark St. Louis Gateway
Arch - almost certainly the largest crowd of his campaign
so far - that he believes "it's time to give a break to every
American who works and pays taxes."
Reiterating his pledge to cut tax rates by 15 percent, the
beaming Republican candidate promised that "even former
President Clinton will get the tax cut when he's gone."
On the drug issue, Dole took aim at what he characterized
as the administration's listless efforts to fight drug abuse and
for the rise in illegal drug use on the president's watch.
What Dole did not do was fill in the difficult gaps 'in his
ambitious and controversial economic program - the ones
that show how he plans to pay for the hefty tax cuts he is
promising a skeptical nation.
Singing in St. Louis
Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole sings "I'm a Dole Man" with
the St. Louis based band the "Mo'town Review" before leaving a
Dole/Kemp rally under the arch in St. Louis yesterday afternoon.
Rvals viefor VoteS
Elephants - large mammals with
tusks. Wild elephants - members of
the Republican Party.
Have you ever been caught in d
stampede of wild elephants? I have. Fo
four days in
Diego, I rubbed
members of the -
Grand Old Party
and other tacky
political apparel. KATIE
veteran reporter W ANG
who left midway through the convene
tion complaining of boredom, the con-
vention was the pinnacle of my young
career as a reporter.
Where else could you find 50,000 bal-
loons, 15,000 members of the press, and
former presidents including Gerald Ford
and George Bush, all in the same room,
other than at a Republican convention?
This was a dream come true for a
rookie 21-year-old college news
reporter and political science student:
A chance to get into the thick of the
action on the convention floor, shoul-
der-to-shoulder with some of the most
powerful political forces in America.
Well, that's what I thought, until I
found my assigned press seat in the San
Diego Convention Center. Left field.
Nosebleed. I would have had abetter
view sitting in my living room thou-
sands of miles away in Silver Spring,
Md., watching the convention on my
I quickly recovered from my disap-
pointment by moving up several rows
until I found a comfortable seat in the
section allocated for "special guests."
As I listened to speeches delivered
by GOP members, I also watched the
endless stream of activity that flowed
on the convention floor. Elderly men
and women walked around the conven-
tion floor wearing all sorts of tacky
apparel, ranging from vests bearing the
Stars and Stripes to hats shaped as ele-
phants. After a while, the sight of an
elderly man wearing an elephant on his
head no longer fazed me. It's all part of
the Republican charm.
Speaking of Republican charm, the
Michigan delegates, I discovered,
were very charming. And they were
party animals. Who says Republicans
don't know how to party? I had an
opportunity to spend time with the
Michigan delegation at a banquet
sponsored by Gov. John Engler in
Point Loma, Calif.
As I interviewed delegates and
inquired about how they had spent their
time in San Diego, many expressed
enthusiasm for the Dole-Kemp cam-
paign. Then they would add privately
that the best part of the convention was
the wild parties at night.
One of the most exciting parts of
the convention was meeting people
and seeing famous faces. The two
most famous faces I saw were billion-
aire Steve "flat tax" Forbes and news
commentator Andy Rooney.
I can't single out the most exciting
moment of the convention for me.
Everything about the convention,
starting from the hustle and the bustle
of politicians and the press corps, to the
elephant hats, the speeches and even
the complimentary hot dogs and pop-
corn served to the press, all made the
convention one of the most exciting
things I have ever covered as a reporter.
Continued from Page :A
"The Republican attack on education
has really backfired on the youth vote;"
Republicans say a Republican-led
Congress has made strides in education-
al opportunities in the last two years.
"We've increased student loans 50
percent," said Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-
Texas). "We believe sincerely that edu-
cation is a top priority for this country."
Kirk said Republican ideas offer a
brighter future. "The Democratic ideals
of larger government and higher taxes
will hurt their future," he said.
"I can point to a record where we have
dramatically increased higher education
funding," Engler said. "We've also made
it easier for students to gain university
credits before actually getting to college."
"Economic issues will be key for
younger voters. We've got to grow the
economy to make interest rates for stu-
dent loans cheaper," said Joe
Fitzsimmons, the Republican candidate
^)r U.S. representative in Ann Arbor.
Both Republicans and Democrats
agree fewer voters in the 18-24 age
bracket went to the polls in 1994, in
part because of the lack of national
attention in election years without a
New outlets, such as MTV's Rock
the Vote and various Internet web pages
devoted to student activism and politi-
cal issues, have recently brought the
Ceneration X crowd into the center
.ing, but some politicians say they have
always courted the youth vote.
"I've always needed the student vote;"
said state Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Flint).
Officials from both parties say they
will actively pursue the youth vote and
campaign assistance from young people.
"To engage younger people in the
political process, somebody's got to
address issues that are really on their
-ninds," Owen said. "I don't know that
anybody has addressed those issues in a
Engler said he and other Michigan
Republicans would target the youth
vote by presenting a series of speakers
at major college campuses.
Fitzsimmons said he is scheduled to
Regental candidates vie
for party nominations
By Jeff Eldrdge
Daily Staff Reporter
Election-year drama can be found in
the University's own backyard this fall as
the two parties prepare to face off for the
top decision-making posts in the admin-
Members of the state's Republican
and Democratic parties will assemble
this weekend at their respective conven-
tions, where each party will nominate
two people to sit at the table of the
University Board of Regents.
In' November, Michigan voters will
elect two of the four nominees to the
board. Regents serve eight-year
The race for the two GOP slots will
focus on Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann
Arbor). Baker, a solid conservative who.
has sat on the board for 24 years, has
not yet been endorsed by Gov. John
Engler - the state's most powerful
"The governor has always supported
getting new people in the process," said
Engler spokesperson John Truscott.
"Since Deane Baker has been a regent
for so many years, the governor thinks
it would be a good idea to get some
fresh blood on the board?'
While Engler's stance might be the
kiss of death for many Michigan politi-
cians, Baker has received endorsements
from other state GOP heavyweights -
including former Ambassador Peter
Secchia and President Gerald Ford.
Baker, who has never lost a state
election, says his experience is an asset.
"I bring to the board a historical per-
spective on the institution," Baker said.
"In the next eight years, we have some
serious questions to answer on the eco-
Also seeking a GOP nomination is
Judy Frey, a Grand Rapids entrepreneur
who says the west side of the state needs
more representation on the board.
"We all need to be heard," Frey said.
"There are different views in this part of
The western side of Michigan is a
Truscott said no other Republican can-
didates have materialized, but added that
it is not unusual for a surprise candidate
to appear in the days before a convention.
Regent Daniel Horning (R-Grand
Haven) said he has heard the names of
other potential candidates "bounced
around," but would not comment any fur-
ther since the names were unconfirmed.
State Democrats enter their conven-
tion with less controversy.
Although the meeting is less than a
week away, only one candidate, Olivia
Maynard of Flint, is publicly seeking
the Democratic nomination.
Maynard is the former chair of the
Michigan Democratic Party, and has
made -two unsuccessful runs for lieu-
"I want to continue to widen the
accessibility to students from all parts
of the state, continue to strengthen the
University's economic development,
and build ties between the University
and the community that builds eco-
nomic strength for the state," Maynard
Leslie Fritz, communications
director for the state Democrats, said
the party will offer two strong nomi-
nees. She said potential candidates
may be working within the party base
instead of publicly seeking the nomi-
"A lot of the process happens
behind the scenes," Fritz said.
"We're not going to have a problem
fielding two very good, qualified
- Daily Staff Reporter Jennifer
Harvey contributed to this report.
The Washington Post
ST. LOUIS - President Clinton and
Bob Dole kicked off the last two
months of the presidential campaign
yesterday with the country in a signifi-
cantly different mood than those that
dominated the elections of 1992 and
But the past two elections are contin-
uing to shape and distort the campaign
debate now entering its final stage.
To hear Clinton on his bus tour from
Missouri to Memphis over the week-
end, the election of Dole would bring
the end of Medicare and Medicaid and
a radical assault on the federal govern-
ment. To hear Dole here yesterday
morning under the Gateway Arch, the
reelection of Clinton would bring a new
effort to significantly enlarge the power
and scope of the federal government.
Both Clinton and Dole are attempt-
ing to cast the choice this fall in dire
and dramatic terms, summoning up the
worst of each party's missteps since
1992. But this is not 1994, nor it is
1992, all over again, and both parties
are more aware of the limits the voters
have imposed on them than the rhetoric
of the campaign so far suggests.
Four years ago, economic insecurity
and the aftermath of the 1991 recession
dominated the presidential campaign
and helped push President George Bush
from office. Two years ago, anger at
Washington and disappointment with
Clinton's leadership dominated the
midterm elections and drove
Democrats from power in Congress for
the first time in 40 years.
Today, with the economy growing,
even if slowly, and the Republican-con-
trolled Congress passing several signif-
icant pieces of legislation before leav-
ing for its summer recess, the public
mood is more upbeat and optimistic.
"The mood of the country is dramati-
cally different than two or four years
ago," said Republican pollster Neil
Newhouse. "The voters are more opti-
mistic. They're not sanguine or gleeful
about their prospects, but it's a far cry
from two or four years ago."
Democratic pollster Geoff Garin
said: "The biggest change is that voters
were outrageously unhappy in each of
the last two elections and their major
goal was to send a message and shake
things up. This is an election where, for
the first time in a long time, voters feel
there's virtue in stability."
The change in mood is most evident
from surveys showing that the percent-
age of people who believe the country
is badly off track has shrunk dramati-
cally, as well as those showing the pres-
ident's job approval ratings as strong as
ever. In addition there are signs that
anger with Congress has subsided in
the past few months and that voters say
they are less likely to turn to chal-
lengers in House races this year.
All of that is plainly good news for
incumbents this fall, particularly the
president, who emerged from his con-
vention by winning back virtually all of
the gains Dole made during the
Republican convention in San Diego
two weeks earlier. A new Gallup poll
for CNN and USA Today showed
Clinton leading Dole 55 percent to 34
percent, with Reform Party nominee
Ross Perot at 6 percent:
But whatever the outcome in
November, the next president will face
an electorate not only less angry, but
one that already has helped to define
the limits of what either party may
attempt to do in power.
William Galston, who served as a
domestic policy adviser to Clinton, said
recently that-the voters have delivered
three rebukes to the parties in the past
Pursuin a arge w a tlei d miotain
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