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September 12, 1996 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-12

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16A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 12, 1996

NATION/WORLD

Dole, GOP try to

maintain
Newsday
WASHINGTON - Republican
presidential candidate Bob Dole
brought his lagging campaign to
Capitol Hill yesterday to boost GOP
congressional candidates, but there
were signs the rally was aimed more at
bucking him up.
Privately, some Republican members
of Congress are trying to figure out
how to campaign independently of their
standard-bearer, who is trailing badly in
the polls. But publicly, those who
appeared at the early-morning rally put
on a brave face.
"We will be with you, we will be
thinking of you and you will be in our
prayers every day," Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) told Dole,
whose retirement from the Senate
vaulted Lott into the top Senate job.
Dole, who is trailing President
Clinton by at least 15 percentage points
in recent polls, told about 100
Republican members of the House and
Senate: "Fifty-four days (until the elec-
tion) is a long time in politics, as all of
us know. Each of us have been in close
races, tough races. And the polls go up
and down, and people get discouraged.
But the candidate can never get dis-

optimism
couraged. The candidate has to be opti-
mistic. And... I am the most optimistic
man in America."
But Rep. Christopher Shays (R-
Conn.) seemed to be more realistic.
"Bob Dole is in a real uphill fight," he
said after the rally. "Anything close to
60 percent (for Clinton) and we're out
of power (in the Congress). So that's
definitely a factor."
Recent polls show Clinton with sup-
port ranging from the low to mid-50s.
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.) who
is chairman of the committee trying to
elect Republicans to the Senate, pre-
dicted the GOP would not only hold on
to its majority there but increase it. He
said many races are very, very close or
will tighten before November.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey
(R-Texas) said the lack of attendance
at the meeting - many of the approx-
imately 200 chairs were filled with
staff members - was not a sign that
congressional Republicans are worried
that the Dole-Kemp campaign would
hurt them.
Armey said the meeting was called
for 8:30 a.m. because Dole and Jack
Kemp happened to be in town and it fit
their schedule.

Clinton offers
new proposals

AP PHOTO
Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole salutes the crowd yesterday at a cam-
paign stop in Hartford, Conn.

Perot-Choate prepare to hit campaign trail

The Washington Post
SUN CITY, Ariz. - President
Clinton yesterday morning played
defense on drugs, and yesterday after-
noon he played offense on health care
for senior citizens.
With Republicans launching a daily
barrage accusing Clinton of lacking
zeal in the fight against drugs, Clinton
proposed new legislation that would tie
federal subsidies for prison construc-
tion to drug testing of prison inmates
and parolees.
The 1994 crime bill provided $8 bil-
lion in aid to the states to build prisons,
and Clinton on Wednesday said the
$7.5 billion of that still unspent should
be contingent on states adapting drug-
testing programs.
"It's time to say to inmates, if you stay
on drugs, you'll stay in jail. If you want
out of jail, ... you have to get off drugs,"
Clinton told a rally in Pueblo, Colo. "It's
time to say to parolees, if you go back
on drugs, you'll go back to jail. If you
want to stay on the street, stay off
drugs."
Later, Clinton flew to Arizona to
exploit what polls have shown is a
GOP weakness: fear among senior cit-
izens that the GOP budget-cutting pro-
posals would damage the Medicare
health-care program.
Clinton made that argument
repeatedly in his standoff last winter
with congressional Republicans over
a plan to eliminate the deficit by
2002, and he hammered the point
home yesterday afternoon to an audi-
ence here made up largely of retirees.
"I thought it was wrong not to keep
up with inflation and population growth
in Medicare and instead to have real
cuts that were going to force people to
make payments out of pocket," Clinton
said, addint that the cuts would have
funded "an enormous tax cut that went
to people like me, and I didn't need it."
Although he vetoed a Republican
budget last winter "and I'd do so again,"
Clinton in the very next sentence said he
agrees with the idea of curbing the rate
of growth in the Medicare program.
"But the changes should be made by
someone who believes in Medicare and
believes it's served our country well,
not someone who doesn't care whether
it exists or not," he said, without nam-
ing Republican presidential nominee
Bob Dole.
Separately, in an interview with
Money magazine released by the publi-
cation yesterday, Clinton signaled he

could support slowing the growth of the
other major entitlement program for the
elderly, Social Security, by raising the
age at which people are eligible for
benefits. The current eligibility of 65 is
being raised to age 67 in gradual steps
beginning in 2003.
"There might be some agreement on
whether we could accelerate the
(planned) increase in the retirement age
a little, or whether we it could be raised
more for people who are a littl
younger like me," Clinton, 50, said in
the interview.
Clinton's arrival here in Arizona

was intended as
a gesture of con-
fidence in his
battle against
Dole. This state
has not voted
for a Democrat
for president
since Harry S.
Truman in 1948.
But Clinton
on aides say their
polls show the
president lead-
little less than two months
election day, and think the

ing a
before

The Washington Post
DALLAS - On his first full day as a candidate,
Ross Perot's newly annointed running mate,
Washington political economist Pat Choate, wasted no
time trying to raise the Reform Party's flimsy standing
in the polls.
He began by asking his mother to support the new
party or at least stop bad mouthing it.
Betty Choate, who lives in the crossroads town of
Maypearl, about 40 miles south of here, was asked
Tuesday night what she thought her son's chances
were of becoming vice president. "I don't think it will
ever amount to much, but I'm proud people have that
much respect for him;" she told a Dallas reporter who
had telephoned.
Yesterday, Betty Choate told another inquiring
reporter, "My son called me this morning and told me
not to give any more interviews."
"She's a straight shooter," Choate said proudly. "I
called her and said, 'well, Mom, I see you're giving
interviews.' She said, 'you guys have a hard job to do,'
and I agreed, so she told tme, 'go work hard."'
That's what Choate began to do yesterday, introduc-
ing himself and taking questions for 45 minutes at
Perot-Choate headquarters here. His access to
reporters was in marked contrast to would-be presi-
dent Perot, who hasn't held a news conference in more
than three years. Perot prefers to communicate with
the public via appearances on television, in 30-minute
paid "infomercials" and on talk shows."

Choate said he too will use the airwaves a lot. "I
love talk radio," said Choate, who until Tuesday host-
ed a weekly show distributed by a radio network that
he began earlier this year. Choate said he won't appear
on his former network, but will appear on other talk
shows and with Perot on his infomercials.
Infomercials are a great way of reaching the "vast
number of angry Americans" who distrust the media,
Choate said. He added that there is "an increasing dis-
connect between the elite and
the masses of people."
Earlier yesterday, Choate,
discounted a recent poll show-
,.<;ing 74 percent of respondents
thought Perot had neither the
personality nor the tempera-
ment to be president. "I think
they feel that way because of
the images that are being pre-
sented to tnem by the national
Perot media, and the spin that comes
out from both political par-
ties," he said on NBC "Today" show.
"Once people come to know Perot,"Choate added, "I
believe that they will swing to him and want him
because, of the three candidates, Perot is the only one
that is really talking in detail about the substantive
issues."
In addition to writing six books and hundreds of
articles, Choate teaches part-time at the George

Washington University graduate school of political
management.
He told reporters yesterday that he will live off his
savings through the election, and will make a "sub-
stantial" contribution to the Perot-Choate ticket, but
said it won't come close to the $50,000 limit imposed
on candidates by federal law.
Because Choate is virtually unknown outside the
Beltway - a Dallas reporter told him people on the
street here didn't even know if
he were a man or a woman -
Choate offered a brief bio-
graphical sketch.
He was born 55 years ago on
a cotton farm in Maypearl, a
town of 150 - named for the
wives of two railroad engineers
- that didn't get electricity
until Choate was 7.
He graduated from Red Oak
Choate High School, and attended
Arlington State College (now
the University of Texas at Arlington) on an ROTC
scholarship. Upon graduation, he was given an army
commission, but he developed diabetes and never
served in the military.
He earned bachelor and master's degrees at Texas,
and a doctorate in economics at the University of
Oklahoma. His first job was with the state of
Oklahoma.

state's eight electoral votes may be
within reach.
Rubbing it in, Clinton yesterday,
afternoon visited former Republican
Sen. Barry Goldwater, who is hospital-
ized following a stroke. Earlier,
Clinton spoke fondly at age 21 of
meeting Goldwater when the
Republican appeared at the University
of Arkansas, and praised the "incredi-
ble kindness and sensitivity .e has
shown toward the first lady over the
last four years" and "his civility and
service to our nation."
The other half of the Democratic
ticket, Vice President Al Gore, also was
campaigning Wednesday.
He told an audience that included
students at Montclair State University
in New Jersey that Dole would sharply
cut student aid and tell young people
"you're on your own" in financing a
college education.
"It doesn't work; that's not the
American way' Gore said to cheers.
"Americans don't want to get rid 0
government. They want to get rid of the
excesses and abuses."
Gore said Dole proposes eliminating
the Department of Education and mak-
ing it more difficult for students to
obtain direct student loans.

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