Republicans rebuff Bush

McCain to get his own PAC, Democrats and Republicans working together and the Bush campaign's kosher faux pas.

Published March 16, 2000 1:00PM (EST)

The Democrats are playing games with the GOP, according to the Washington Post, trying to force congressional votes on policies backed by George W. Bush. Wednesday, it was Bush's tax cut proposal. As the Post reports, "House Republicans were offered a chance yesterday to give a full-throated endorsement of Texas Gov. George W. Bush's $1.3 trillion, 10-year tax cut plan. They respectfully declined." The New York Times writes, "House Republicans were left today in the awkward position of backing a smaller tax cut than their party's presumptive presidential nominee."

Another sign that primary season is over

We didn't hear much talk of guns during the presidential primary season. But now that the general election is under way, the Washington Post begins the drill, poking into Bush's record on guns in Texas and his signing of a bill that permits Texans trained in gun handling to carry concealed weapons. How long before we see the press release from Al Gore?

McCain to set up a new PAC

John McCain is still being coy about his support. Now he plans to establish a new PAC to "make sure the reform agenda is a part of the Republican Party," reports an unnamed McCain advisor. McCain may spend the spring taking his message on a Henry Rollins-esque tour of college campuses.

Bush, meanwhile, is conducting primary exit interviews with the New York Times, rejecting McCain's version of campaign finance reform.

From the "I'll believe it when I see it" department

David S. Broder reports that Republicans and Democrats are conferring on a "fix" of the current primary system to "give voters a more meaningful chance to participate." Speaking of broken politics, the New York Times gives a baby pat on the back to Gov. George Pataki's awkward embrace of proposals aimed at reforming the New York primary system.

It's not exactly the Lincoln Bedroom, but ...

The Center for Public Integrity has found that 60 of Bush's overnight guests in the governor's mansion donated or raised a total of $2.2 million for the presidential candidate.

Libertarians revolt

Libertarian candidate for president Harry Browne told MSNBC that he may ask his supporters to engage in civil disobedience and donate more than the $1,000 legal limit to his campaign. He's right in saying "an act of civil disobedience against these repressive laws will truly be a 'man bites dog' story." He adds, "Announcing our intention to willfully violate these regulations might generate more national media coverage than anything the LP [Libertarian Party] has ever done."

Hillary accuses Rudy of hiring racists

Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign has sent out fund-raising letters linking Rudy Giuliani to direct-mail consultant Richard Viguerie, who once said that David Duke has "a very good, sound message."

You mean pork isn't kosher?

The Cox News Service reports that in celebration of Bush's Southern victories on Tuesday, his campaign wanted to feed the traveling press corps with pork barbecue. But the victory party was held at the Dell Jewish Community Center, which refused to allow pork on the premises.

Seizing every opportunity to ding Gore

The Bush campaign released the text of a congratulatory e-mail to Al Gore Wednesday in which Bush asked if Gore wouldn't "encourage the White House and the Department of Justice to release all records and photographs relating to the investigation of fund-raising abuses by you and your administration." The message closed with: "Thank you for your e-mail. This Internet of yours is a wonderful invention."

The Bush campaign's faxes are not enjoying any post-primary time off. But Wednesday they loosened up a bit: "Heard any good jokes lately? How about this one: Al Gore is a campaign finance reformer!" The faxes went on to cite Jay Leno's Monday night monologue: "Kind of embarrassing moment for Al Gore this past weekend. I guess he and Tipper were at home, you know, in Washington. They sent out for Chinese takeout. The restaurant sent over $2 million in cash." Just in case anyone didn't get it, the quote ended with a parenthetical: "(laughter and applause)."

Talking heads

(All EST)

  • C-Span's "Washington Journal":

    7 a.m. -- James Toedtman, Washington bureau chief, Newsday.

    7:45 a.m. -- Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio).

    8:30 a.m. -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

    9:15 a.m. -- Karen Foerstel, political reporter, Congressional Quarterly.

  • CNN's "Inside Politics": 5 p.m. -- William Kristol and E.J. Dionne.

  • CNN's "Crossfire": 7:30 p.m. -- Pat Buchanan on the presidential race.

    Poll positions

  • Bush 49 to Gore 43 (Gallup/CNN/USA Today March 10-12).

  • Bush 47 to Gore 44 (Newsweek poll conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates March 9-10).

  • Gore 46 to Bush 45 (ABC News/Washington Post March 9-11).

  • Gore 46 to Bush 43 (CNN/Time poll conducted by Yankelovich Partners March 8-9).


    "If there were any principles left in journalism, at least a dozen high-profile print, Web and TV reporters would have been fired outright or put on probation by now because of their gross mishandling of the McCain boomlet, which they effectively created to disrupt the campaign of Gov. George W. Bush."

    Camille Paglia writing for

    On the trail

    Bush: Illinois.

    Gore: Maryland and Washington.

    Sound off

    E-mail me with your comments, suggestions and tips at

  • By Anthony York

    Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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    By Max Garrone

    Max Garrone is Salon's Vice President for Operations.

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