Friday, November 12, 1999

Bush hints Voinovich on list for running mate




BY M.R. KROPKO
The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush on Thursday didn't bother to squelch any speculation that George Voinovich could end up running with him.

        Mr. Bush, speaking briefly with reporters at Burke Lakefront Airport, said it's too soon in the campaign to be concerned with a vice presidential choice. But he acknowledged Mr. Voinovich, a senator and Ohio's former governor, as a friend who has impressive credentials.

        “Sen. Voinovich is a good man and he's a good friend,” Mr. Bush said. “He has a lot of experience. He not only understands the U.S. Senate, he understands what it means to be a governor.”

        Earlier Thursday in Clinton Township, Mich., the Texas governor spoke to more than 100 veterans and other onlookers, including Michigan Gov. John Engler. But he was delayed in his departure for Cleveland by about two hours due to a mechanical problem with his plane.

        At the downtown airport in Cleveland, he apologized for the delay and thanked about 150 supporters for waiting as a cold wind came across Lake Erie. Several members of veterans' groups were seated nearby.

        “This is still a world of madmen and terror and missiles, and because a dangerous world requires a sharpened sword, I will rebuild the military power of the United States of America,” he said.

        At a private fund-raiser at a downtown hotel, an estimated 250 supporters made $1,000 contributions each for the chance to meet him.

        Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, chairman of the Bush campaign in Ohio, introduced him and pointed out that Mr. Bush has visited Ohio five times in the last 11/2 years.

        “That tells us how important Ohio is in his future. He is very important to our future in Ohio,” Mr. Taft said.

        In his press availability, Mr. Bush downplayed a recent poll that concluded there is virtually no difference now in New Hampshire between Mr. Bush and his closest GOP rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

       



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