- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) President Clinton needs to cede the stage to Al Gore, step back and let the vice president define the party and himself, said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
"We may need to get the Jaws of Life to pry him free from the thing but we've got to pry him free," Mr. Kerry said Wednesday. "The fact is … he is a vastly talented, enormously engaged political person, but he has to step back now. And I think he will."
Mr. Kerry, who had been on Mr. Gore's short list for the vice presidency, told reporters outside the Iowa caucus meeting that he was a little disappointed personally when Mr. Gore announced his choice of Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.
"I'd be less than candid and probably less than human if I didn't acknowledge that in the last days, as it got more possible, you get a little bit invested and you begin to think about what you might or might not say, what the issues are with greater focus," he said. "So yes, there is a sense of disappointment."
Mr. Kerry has been among top Democratic leaders stumping for Mr. Gore before the delegation from Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses kick off the presidential race.


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