Sunday, November 05, 2000

McCain asks Ohioans to vote for Bush

By John McCarthy
The Associated Press

        WHITEHALL, Ohio — Sen. John McCain told the Republican faithful in Ohio on Saturday that they can help the GOP take the White House and control both houses of Congress for the first time since the Eisenhower administration.

        Mr. McCain made his first campaign visit to Ohio since abandoning his presidential campaign in March. He charged up a rally for congressional candidate Patrick Tiberi at a veterans hall in this blue-collar Columbus suburb.

        Democrats, meanwhile, turned to their traditional union allies and intensified their get-out-the-vote drive with phone calls and leaflet drops. The Democrats are counting on a strong turnout to lift Al Gore to the presidency. Recent polls in Ohio have found Republican George W. Bush with a lead of 5 to 8 percentage points.

        Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, was energized during the stop on a six-city campaign swing Saturday. He and Mr. Tiberi were joined by U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio and Reps. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Tom Davis of Virginia.

        Speaking to about 150 veterans and GOP supporters at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, Mr. McCain said Republicans have a chance to overtake the legislative and executive branches for the first time since 1954. Currently, the GOP controls the Senate 54-46 and the House 223-210.

        Mr. Tiberi is battling Democrat Mary- ellen O'Shaughnessy for the seat retiring Republican John Kasich has had for 18 years. Both sides have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into television advertising in recent weeks.

        “Control of the House of Representatives is up for grabs. This is one of about 15 seats that we are watching,” Mr. McCain said.

        Mr. McCain, a Navy pilot who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, criticized the treatment of veterans and active-duty military personnel by the Clinton administration. He said the election of Mr. Bush will restore quality health care for veterans and increase morale among the troops.

        “I say to you, starting next Tuesday, help is on the way,” Mr. McCain said.

        Also Saturday, about 75 supporters of Ralph Nader and other third-party candidates rallied outside the headquarters of the Ohio Republican Party, protesting what they called the financial monopoly of the two major parties.

        Members of Mr. Nader's Green Party mingled with supporters of the Natural Law and Libertarian parties.


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