- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2000

Almost hilarious

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici says he finds it "almost hilarious" to watch the president call Republicans in Congress "big spenders."
"It is really a joke. I mean, he asks for more things than we can give him in these appropriations, and he's saying we're spending too much, and yet he's insisting that we put more of his spending in these bills," the New Mexico Republican said in an interview Saturday on CNN's "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields."
Mr. Domenici said President Clinton "isn't telling us to cut things… . He's just asking to add his on top of everything.
"So he shouldn't be talking about Republicans; he should be talking about his own budget," the senator said.

Democrat lite

Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of the Christian Coalition, says presidential candidate George W. Bush "has gotten off-message" by sounding more like a Democrat than a Republican.
"You know, you cannot outspend the Democrats if you are a Republican," Mr. Robertson said with a laugh on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"And if you try to match the Democrats dollar for dollar on Medicare spending or on drug benefits for seniors and things like that that really doesn't electrify the people in this country, I don't believe. It's important to some very important but it is not something that you need to be majoring on. And I think Bush went off message when he started debating that with Gore."
Mr. Robertson also complained about Mr. Bush's decision not to address the Christian Coalition convention recently.
"It's a dangerous strategy just to ignore your base especially to play like something you're not, and that's what that [Republican] convention was it was Democrat lite in Philadelphia."

Still spinning

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart has no doubts President Clinton will land on his feet when he leaves the Oval Office early next year.
Interviewed yesterday on CNN's "Late Edition," Mr. Lockhart was asked what he thinks Mr. Clinton will do after leaving the White House.
"He'll be working on his library, of course," the president's former mouthpiece said, adding: "He'll go out and look for an appropriate role for a young, viable, ex-president. He always succeeds. Everyone knows that."

Offer declined

Republican Derek Smith has refused Democrat Jim Matheson's challenge to ban soft-money advertising in their race for Utah's 2nd District congressional seat.
With both parties battling for control of the House of Representatives, the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent nearly $1 million on "issue ads" backing Mr. Smith, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $250,000 on similar ads for Mr. Matheson, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Matheson called for the ban on Tuesday, but Mr. Smith refused, arguing on Friday that there is nothing wrong with the party spending money to highlight issues important to Salt Lake Valley voters. Mr. Smith also accused Mr. Matheson of making the pitch to avoid being aligned with his own party.
Soft money refers to unlimited funds collected by political parties. While hard money contributions, limited to $2,000 per donor, can be used for ads that advocate voting for or against a candidate, soft money can be used only to advocate an issue, boost a candidate or attack a candidate rather than stating: Vote for this candidate.
Keeping soft money out of the Utah race would work to Mr. Matheson's advantage. He had raised more than $720,000 as of the last reporting period on June 30. Mr. Smith had raised only $15,000 and spent nearly all he had, plus $620,000 of his own money, to beat Rep. Merrill Cook in the Republican primary.

In Michigan, Minnesota

Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore's lead over Republican rival George W. Bush has narrowed in Michigan and Minnesota, according to new opinion polls.
In Michigan, considered a key Midwest battleground state, Mr. Gore led Mr. Bush by 45 percent to 39 percent in a survey of 600 likely voters conducted from Tuesday to Thursday by the EPIC/ MRA polling firm and published Saturday by the Detroit Free Press.
A similar poll taken in mid-September showed Mr. Gore holding an eight-point lead. The poll had a margin of error of four percentage points.
In Minnesota, the latest Star Tribune Minnesota poll showed Mr. Gore leading Mr. Bush by 45 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. Mr. Gore held a 10-point lead a month ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said Friday.
The Minnesota poll of 833 persons had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 points.
In the closely watched U.S. Senate race in Michigan, Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham led Democratic challenger Rep. Debbie Stabenow by nine points, the Michigan poll showed.

Third-party debate

They may be battling for fourth or fifth place in the presidential race, but the three candidates who showed up for the season's first debate focused on winning, the Associated Press reports.
John Hagelin, the Natural Law Party candidate, Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party and Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party were the only candidates to participate in Thursday's two-hour debate in St. Paul, Minn., hosted by Minnesota's Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura.
Mr. Ventura told the 150 audience members he would not have been elected if not for the exposure he gained from debates.
"The more parties, the more candidates, the more you have people involved," he said.
Mr. Phillips opened by blasting the Food and Drug Administration's approval Thursday of the "abortion pill" RU-486 and demanded that Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and other Republicans "get to work" to overturn the decision.
Mr. Browne pushed for smaller government. "I want you to be free to live your life as you think best," he said.
Mr. Hagelin said his top priority is to remove the influence of special interests from government. "Our democracy is under siege," he said.
The candidates gave their most passionate answers in response to a question from a student in the audience who asked why they were running. All three said no vote is a wasted vote.

'Conservative' Gore

Vice President Al Gore was probably as surprised as anyone at the way Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, characterized his campaign on "Fox News Sunday."
In response to a charge by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge that Mr. Gore "makes up stories," while Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush "speaks from the heart," Mr. Graham promptly went to Mr. Gore's defense.
"Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are both men of integrity," Mr. Graham said.
He also said Mr. Gore is running on "secure and conservative" positions.
Mr. Ridge, a Republican, could not let that slide.
"Al Gore is a lot of things, but he is not conservative," he told Mr. Graham.

The Clinton legacy

Thought Monica was President Clinton's only paramour? Think again.
Dick Morris, who worked as a political adviser to Mr. Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas and then returned to Mr. Clinton's side at the White House from the end of 1994 through most of 1996, told an audience at Miami University in Ohio, "He's had hundreds of women since he's been in the White House."
Mr. Morris' remark was reported in the New York Post.

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