Republican National Convention
Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Bush riding high through Ohio


Democrats stage protests

By Spencer Hunt and Debra Jasper
Enquirer Columbus Bureau

        COLUMBUS — Predicting Ohio will be “Bush-Cheney country” in November, George W. Bush continued to barnstorm through the state Monday, stopping in Dayton and Columbus on his way to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

        A morning rally at the University of Dayton and a 5 p.m. stop at the Statehouse capped a three-day run in which the Texas governor appeared at events designed to beam his face and message into several of Ohio's biggest media markets.

        Mr. Bush told those jammed into the Statehouse atrium Monday afternoon that the response he's been getting this week from battleground states such as Ohio gives him a “good feeling” about American politics.

        “I can't wait to campaign all across this important state and take our message into neighborhoods where Republicans haven't been seen lately,” Mr. Bush said.

        Noting that Republicans haven't done well in Ohio during the last two presidential elections — Bill Clinton won both times — he promised different results this time around. “We're going to win because we're right on the issues,” he said.

        In Dayton and Columbus, Mr. Bush devoted a greater share of his speech to Dick Cheney, his choice for vice president. Democratic Party leaders are expected to spotlight Mr. Cheney's conservative congressional voting record with a series of negative television ads.

        Though his Dayton and Columbus speeches were similar to those offered in Blue Ash on Sunday and in Covington on Saturday, the voters weren't as united as Cincinnati-area voters appeared to be.

        Outside the Statehouse, a crowd of union members and abortion-rights advocates picketed past lines of Bush backers waiting to get inside. As they walked, the picketers chanted, “Read my lips, no new Texans.”

        Democrats, who were nowhere to be found in Blue Ash, also showed up to protest Mr. Bush at his Dayton rally. Encouraged by Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Leland, about 100 union members booed Mr. Bush.

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