George W Bush And Mccain


George W. Bush And Mccain Essay, Research Paper

Both campaigns running at full steam; Gore, Bradley release fresh TV ads

CLINTON, S.C. – Texas Gov. George W. Bush expressed confidence Friday that he would win South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary while Sen. John McCain declared that a victory for him would show that the Republican “establishment can’t stop us.”

Buoyed by polls showing him ahead, Bush said he was “very optimistic about what’s going to happen (Saturday). I feel great about my chances.”

In Charleston, McCain told a thunderous rally at the College of Charleston that a South Carolina victory for him would mean he would end up the eventual Republican nominee.

“My friends, if we win tomorrow, we will win – there’s no way we can be stopped,” he declared. “We are starting a revolution.”

McCain asked non-Republican voters for their support: “I say to independents, Democrats, libertarians, vegetarians – come on over, vote for me tomorrow.”

South Carolina once looked like a sure win for Bush until McCain won an upset victory in the Feb. 1 New Hampshire primary, a loss that translated into a gradual erosion of Bush’s poll strength in South Carolina.

After an intense week of campaigning and $3.1 million in television and radio ads from the Bush campaign, four polls of South Carolina voters show the Texas governor with a lead ranging from 2 percentage points to 12.

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup

poll taken Wednesday and Thursday showed Bush ahead of McCain by 52 percent to 40 percent.

McCain campaign officials began looking ahead to the Michigan primary on Tuesday, touting the Arizona senator’s strength in the polls there and the endorsements of some state Republican leaders.

Bush says he is not conceding the veterans vote to McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent five years in a Vietnamese POW camp.

‘He can’t hold a candle to Bush’

On Friday, Bush brought Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, to campaign with him. At a rally at Presbyterian College here, Johnson said he knew McCain both as a POW and a lawmaker in Washington. “He can’t hold a candle to George Bush,” Johnson said.

McCain’s tweaking of the “establishment” refers to the fact that Bush has collected the endorsements of many prominent Republican leaders, including 175 House members, 38 senators and 26 governors. In South Carolina, he has the support of former Gov. Carroll Campbell and veteran Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Campaigning along South Carolina’s seacoast, home to many former Northeast residents, McCain celebrated “the great causes” that still lie ahead for federal government action, including caring for hungry children, senior citizens without shelter or victims of ethnic wars abroad. Americans can still “serve these great causes,” McCain


He touted his success in New Hampshire in getting independents and Democrats to join Republicans to generate the highest voter turnout in state primary history. He reminded voters of his heroic military career, saying he was “fully, totally and completely prepared” to be president.

McCain contended that a Republican capable of drawing non-Republican voters has a better chance of winning in November. Non-Republicans can vote in 16 of the 24 GOP presidential primaries that follow South Carolina, including the first industrial state primary in Michigan on Tuesday.

McCain: GOP an ‘exclusive’ party

McCain said that the Republican party has to broaden its appeal to non-Republicans in the same way that Ronald Reagan did if the GOP hopes to regain the White House after two successive defeats at the hands of Bill Clinton.

“The Republican Party has gone from being an inclusive party to being an exclusive party,” McCain complained “We’ve allowed the special interests to take

it over.”

McCain said the turnout of non-Republicans would decide the outcome in South Carolina. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a McCain supporter, held out the prospect of an upset, telling the roaring rally in Charleston moments before confetti and streamers showered down upon the audi

ence that McCain was winning the hearts of ordinary people despite Bush’s superior campaign treasury and array of endorsements from South Carolina’s GOP establishment.

Money cannot buy what he’s got,” Graham said, referring to McCain. “We’re going to rock their world tomorrow.”

McCain picked up the endorsement Friday of former Michigan Gov. William Milliken and former Michigan Supreme Court James Brickley. In a joint statement, the two Republicans said McCain was a “true American hero who is ready to be president.”

Gore avoids a picket

On the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore straddled a picket line problem Friday, trying to bridge a gap between two major Democratic constituencies gathered on opposite sides of a hotel’s walls.

With striking union workers picketing outside the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., and the National Summit on Africa waiting indoors, Gore was torn. Ahead of him on Monday: a sure showdown over race relations with opponent Bill Bradley when the two debate at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Gore avoided crossing the picket line by addressing the summit across a telephone line.

“The hotel workers’ union local 25 is picketing, and in solidarity with these workers, I will not cross that picket line,” Gore told audi

ence members, some of whom applauded. “At the same time, I did not want to miss the chance to share some words with you about the importance of our protecting the world today.”

Gore followed President Clinton, who spoke to the group a day earlier – at a convention center with no picket line. Both talked about helping Africa’s developing nations by forgiving some of their debt, enacting favorable trade policies and improving public health by fighting AIDS.

In another bid for minority votes, Gore on Friday released an ad in which he speaks Spanish and pledges to improve schools, Medicare and the fight against crime.

Bradley also came out with a new ad on Friday, emphasizing highlights from his life story, as he attempts to introduce himself to voters in states with upcoming primaries. The ad says that Bradley has won a Rhodes scholarship, Olympic gold and two basketball championships for the New York Knicks. It also mentions some of his legislative victories and goals.

“When Bill Bradley wins, you win,” the ad says. “But first you’ve gotta give him the ball.”

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High Stakes For GOP In Primary

South Carolina critical for both Bush, McCain

Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief Saturday, February 19, 2000


Columbia, S.C. — Democrats and independents in this deeply conservative state have a remarkable opportunity today to shape — if not decide — the Republican presidential nomination.

On the eve of today’s South Carolina primary, polls show Texas Gov. George W. Bush holding a 2-to-1 advantage among South Carolina Republicans. But Arizona Sen. John McCain enjoys an even larger advantage over Bush among Democrats and independents, who are free to vote in today’s primary.

Though no one is quite certain who will show up to vote, pollsters give Bush a narrow advantage overall. The outcome hinges on the size of the turnout and the mix of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

“I’m going to win tomorrow — I believe that,” Bush said as he began a day of rallies in the state’s conservative northwest corner. “These people who are getting nervous now are going to regret getting nervous.”

Bush has emphasized his conservative credentials, his strong stance against abortion and his record of reforming schools, welfare, the courts and the juvenile justice system in Texas. Aware of McCain’s appeal as a party maverick, Bush has adopted the motto “A Reformer with Results.”

McCain, meanwhile, has pushed his populist message of standing up to special interests and returning government to the people, emphasizing his conservative voting record and military background.

“It all comes down to turnout,” McCain said on the resort island of Hilton Head. “With the exception of a few brave people, every establishment figure in our party is opposing me. I’m honored by the op


Just 37 delegates are at stake in South Carolina, which has fewer registered voters than the Bay Area. Nevertheless, the outcome is critical to the political futures of both Bush and McCain.

Were McCain to win, he would suddenly become the GOP front- runner. A victory in South Carolina would give him enormous momentum going into Tuesday’s primaries in Michigan and his home state of Arizona, where polls show him leading.

Victories in those states — following his 18-point triumph over Bush in New Hampshire — would destroy the aura of invincibility that has surrounded the Texas governor’s campaign for more than a year.

“I’ll tell you what, my friends,” McCain said at a Veterans of Foreign Wars rally in Spartanburg. “If we win here, I don’t see how we can really be stopped.”


It is an assertion shared by many outside his campaign.

“If Bush loses South Carolina, with all the money and everything he put in here, I think he’s through — done with,” said former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler, who teaches a class on Southern politics at the University of South Carolina.

On the other hand, a Bush victory would help him right the course of a campaign that was thrown off kilter by his New Hampshire defeat. Bush has poured millions of dollars into television and radio commercials, and he has thousands of volunteers and rank-and-file party members helping him to get out the vote.

“I’m going to win here,” Bush predicted on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Now, you mark my words. You can write it down on your pad of paper.”

His financial and organizational support dwarfs McCain’s. Though Bush has spent $50 million, he still has $20 million left — more than twice what McCain has — going into the March 7 primary battles in California, New York and Ohio.


Pushing for independent votes has been a key to McCain’s strategy from the beginning. In New Hampshire, McCain edged Bush among Republicans but crushed him among independents.

Bush and his supporters have voiced concern over the influence of outsiders in determining the GOP nominee.

“I do hear some concern among Republicans that it’s going to be the Democrats who determine the outcome of the election here,” Bush said.

McCain has made no apologies for appealing to non-Republicans, saying that is a crucial component of his ability to win not only the GOP nomination but also the general election in November.

“Call the Democrats, call the independents,” he exulted before a crowd in Aiken this week. “Call the libertarians, call the vegetarians.”

Election officials predict a turnout between 300,000 and 400,000, far larger than the 276,000 voters who cast ballots in the 1996 primary.

Already, there are reports of record numbers of absentee ballots.

By late tonight, both candidates will be off to Michigan. McCain’s “Straight Talk Express,” the customized bus that carries the candidate and a mob of reporters, is already headed for Michigan, where it will spend two days before being dispatched to California.

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