Bush Rejects Tired Suggestionsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Saturday September 16 4:26 PM ET
Bush Rejects Tired Suggestions
By OWEN S. GOOD, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - George W. Bush (news - web sites) waved off suggestions that he is a tired candidate as ``pure malarkey'' Saturday and vowed his campaign against Al Gore (news - web sites) will renew its focus on tax reduction, education and health care.
``My supporters have got to know something: They're working hard and I'm working hard right along with them,'' said the Republican nominee, speaking from his ranch in Texas, on CNN's ``Evans, Novak, Hunt and Shields.''
``If the press is saying I've just got one event a day then they're not the ones traveling with me,'' he said. ``Yesterday I started off early in California, ended up late in New Mexico.
``I absolutely want to win,'' Bush said. ``I'm going to win. I've got a strong schedule to get my message out in front of people.''
Bush also indicated the news media has occasionally made him seem off-message during a month spent grappling with what he considers petty distractions.
``The echo chamber may be distracted, but I'm not distracted, and I can assure you the crowds of people with whom I speak are not distracted,'' Bush said. ``All this business about ads and debates and stuff is just background noise for the American people.
``I talk about tax relief every single speech I give,'' he said, responding to a suggestion Republicans want him to return to subjects that gave him a winning campaign message earlier this summer.
That would be along the lines of education and health care than direct attacks on Gore's character.
``What matters are issues and philosophy,'' Bush said. ``The vice president's a good family man, no question about that, but he has been a part of an administration that violated (campaign) financing laws.
``Character is an issue in this campaign,'' Bush said. ``It is an issue because people want someone who can bring some honor and dignity to the White House.''
Voters want an administration that can ``unite the country,'' not point fingers and politicize every issue, he said.
Bush deferred when asked if reporters have been fair to him.
``If you think I'm foolish enough to criticize the national press corps with 56 days to go, you don't understand me,'' he said.
Bush rejected any description of his campaign capitulating to Gore's debate conditions and said he told his negotiators: ``Let's just get this over with and get the debates on.''
And the Texas governor defended his running mate, former secretary of defense Dick Cheney (news - web sites), from suggestions he is ``disappearing'' when he should be in the campaign spotlight.
``Our focus is on key electoral states, and so while I was on the West Coast, he was in the East,'' Bush said. ``He's drawing good crowds and people are enthused about my selection.''
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