CAMPAIGN 2000 The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 5
.Former President Bush campaigns in Michigan
HOLLAND (AP) - At a campaign rally
at Hope College yesterday, Former Presi-
dent- Bush called his son a man of charac-
ter, conviction and leadership.
"If we can carry Michigan, George W.
Bush will be the next president of the
United States. Please continue working
hard on his behalf," Bush told about 1,800
"If our son is elected president, I will
indeed be the happiest, proudest father in
the United States," Bush said.
He evoked laughter when he told the
crowd, "Barbara and I have made a deci-
sion. We're going to vote for George W.
Jeff Sharp, a spokesman for the Michi-
gan Democratic Party, said the Bush rally
was less successful than one held two
weeks earlier in Grand Rapids supporting
"The room wasn't full and they bussed
students in just as they chided Democrats
for after the Gore rally," Sharp told The
The Hope College Democratic Party
planned to stage a "nostalgia lunch" in
response to President Bush's visit to dis-
cuss Republican policies of the Reagan and
Local Republican leaders said the Bush
campaign has made repeated stops in heav-
ily Republican west Michigan in recent
weeks to ensure a high voter turnout.
"To me, it makes perfectly good sense,"
Jack Holes, chair of the Ottawa County
Republican Party and a Hope College pro-
fessor, told The Grand Rapids Press. "I
think it's very important to come in here
and get out the vote."
Senate candidates spar on the issues in final debate
Continued from Page 1
Abraham responded with a jab at Stabenow
"She didn't answer the question, so I won't
either," the senator said.
One of the more heated exchanges of the
afternoon took place over the candidates' plans
to spend the projected budget surplus.
"Through an array of programs she backs,
we literally will spend the entire surplus. There
won't be one penny left for tax relief, for the
hard working families that need that help,"
"The last comments he made were just
absolutely ridiculous," Stabenow responded.
The surplus, she said, "I want to use to pay
down the debt. I want to use to protect Social
Security and Medicare. And frankly, his tax
proposal is just too liberal for me," she said,
using a phrase Abraham frequently uses to
An poll released last week by Lansing-based
EPIC/MRA shows the race at 47 percent for
Abraham and 40 percent for Stabenow. This is
a slight loss of ground for Abraham, who was
"I think what is happening is that congresswoman
Stabenow is looking at her numbers in the polls,
and she's getting increasingly desperate."
- Candice Miller
Michigan Secretary of State
ahead by about 10 points in most independent
polls conducted two weeks ago.
The closeness of the race could be one factor
contributing to its caustic nature. The Michigan
Democrats blame the immense amount of cam-
paign spending for the behavior. Combined the
candidates have raised about S13 million - more
than any other previous Michigan campaign.
"It's negative in large part because of the
endless flow of money," Rep. Sander Levin (D-
Royal Oak) said after the debate. If you were to
curtail soft money the last couple months of
the campaign you would have less negativism."
"The demands of modern political cam-
paigning cause the candidates to spend half
their time raising money," said former Michi-
gan governor James Blanchard, a Democrat.
Republicans at the debate had their own take
on the tone of the race.
"I think what is happening is that Congress-
woman Stabenow is looking at her numbers in
the polls, and she's getting increasingly desper-
ate," Michigan Secretary of State Candice
Lieutenant Gov. Dick Posthumus likened
Stabenow's ad campaign to the fourth quarter
in a football game.
"It's like she's the quarterback for a losing
team and she's throwing the bomb into the end-
zone," Posthumus said.
U.S. Rep Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Spence Abraham shake hands after a rigorous debate in
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