Allen Tells Supporters His Focus Is Reelection

Sen. George Allen began his reelection campaign by telling backers that it's
Sen. George Allen began his reelection campaign by telling backers that it's "vitally important that you have someone in the United States Senate fighting and working to make sure we don't have tax increases." (By Robert A. Reeder -- The Washington Post)
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

U.S. Sen. George Allen (R) formally asked Virginia voters to reelect him yesterday, even as he travels the country in search of support for a presidential bid that could begin soon after he would start a second six-year term in Congress.

Flanked by his wife, his three children and Northern Virginia Republicans, Allen, 54, called for a national taxpayer bill of rights and a renewed focus on national security, economic opportunity and conservative values.

In front of a biotech facility he helped lure to Prince William County as governor in the mid-1990s, Allen urged about 100 supporters to "reach out to all people," saying that "if they work for a living, if they pay taxes, if they care for their families, they ought to be on our team."

With two Democrats vying for the chance to unseat him in the fall, Allen promised to wage "a positive, constructive campaign based on our ideas to move Virginia and America forward."

Immediately after the 20-minute speech, while speaking to reporters, the senator refused to promise that he would stay in office for a full term. He said he has made recent trips to 2008 presidential primary and caucus states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, because "they invited me."

"If I get elected, I'm going to be the U.S. senator from Virginia," Allen told the reporters.

For how long?

"As long as God gives me the breath to do so, and the trust of the people of Virginia," he said.

Is that a promise?

"When we get to the future, I'll determine the future," he said, then quoting his father, former Redskins coach George Allen.

"My father ingrained in me and his players that the future is now," he said. "I'm paying attention to the present, the now, and we'll worry about the future when you get to the future. I'm focused on running for reelection."

That answer has not satisfied Democrats, who already have begun to savage Allen for running two campaigns at once and for telling the New York Times that being in the Senate is "too slow." In a release yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee derided what it called the "Bored Ambition Tour."

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