- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 4, 2002

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — Both Presidents Bush, current and former, teamed up for a daybreak round of golf yesterday before setting out to sea in search of Republican campaign cash.

At the start of his August getaway from Washington, the president also issued in his radio address a to-do list for Congress when it resumes work in September. In their address, Democrats promised a fall fight over prescription-drug legislation.

The president rose before the sun for a 6 a.m. tee time with his father, 78, whose swing from the easier ladies tee at the Cape Arundel Golf Club elicited a presidential order for applause from a nearby crowd of aides and reporters.

"Lets hear it," the younger Mr. Bush instructed teasingly. "Make the old boy feel better."

Former President Bush showed up with bright red sores on his face. Presidential aides yesterday circulated a statement from doctors at the Mayo Institute, dated Thursday, that said the blotches came from treatment for sun-induced lesions, not skin cancer.

The former presidents treatment for keratoses ended July 28, the unsigned statement said, explaining that the former president has, for two weeks, been applying a salve to his face that causes the lesions to become inflamed and then destroyed. As a result, the elder Mr. Bushs face looks badly discolored, but he is in no danger and he told reporters yesterday he felt fine.

"These are not skin cancers and the prognosis for total recovery is excellent," the Mayo statement said.

The father-son duo was heading later by speedboat — the former presidents Fidelity II —31 miles up the Maine coast to Prouts Neck for a fund-raising reception expected to raise around $300,000 for the Maine Republican Party and the states Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for re-election this year.

Re-election politics underpinned the separate radio speeches by Mr. Bush and Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota for the Democrats.

In his radio address, Mr. Bush pressed the House and Senate to make working out their differences on a spending plan for national defense their first priority once they return from August recess.

He also urged Congress to approve creation of the Department of Homeland Security under his terms, including the request for flexibility in dealing with personnel, the legislations most serious stumbling block.

Mr. Johnson, speaking for the Democrats in their weekly talk, said the Senates Democratic majority would stand firm against Republicans in what he called their drug-company-allied effort to defeat Medicare prescription-drug benefits.

The Senate stalemated over competing plans for providing prescription-drug coverage for Medicares senior-citizen beneficiaries, after the House, controlled by Republicans, approved a $320-billion version that Democrats say covers too few people.

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