Gore Warns Democrats About Bush's Cash
By Ceci Connolly
"They have raised all this money, and they're not even slowing down," Gore said in a spirited attack on the man he expects to face in next year's general election. "We need to keep our powder dry, conserve our resources, develop as much unity of purpose as we can."
Bush, who is preparing to opt out of the federal campaign finance system in order to spend unlimited amounts next year, had raised more than $36 million as of June 30. Gore, meanwhile, had raised about $18.5 million in the same period and hopes to receive about $13 million in federal "matching funds" early next year.
Gore concluded a full day of campaigning in Iowa at a women's event in Des Moines last night by urging the Democratic activists not just to support him, but to hurry to make him the Democratic nominee so he can move on to the general election contest.
"The other side – the Republican side – has raised more money than anyone ever has," he said. "They don't like a lot of change that you and I have brought about."
Gore, who spoke for more than an hour, also criticized Bush for signing a "conceal and carry" gun law and enacting legislation that prohibits localities from suing gun manufacturers.
Traveling in the state that hosts the first presidential caucuses, Gore also made a play for the all-important farm vote, telling several audiences that he jawboned Republican congressional leaders at the White House on Monday to revise the 1996 "Freedom to Farm Act."
Aides say the vice president wants to restore a "safety net" that would build in additional agriculture subsidies to help farmers survive fluctuations in the market. Currently, the federal subsidies are set and do not take into account bad weather, overplanting or foreign competition, they said.
"It's not working as it was advertised," Gore told activists at a house party in Council Bluffs.
At Gore's side for the day was the governor's wife, Christie Vilsack, who yesterday endorsed Gore. Although both Gov. Tom Vilsack and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen have remained neutral in the contest, both governors' spouses are now with Gore.
"I know he stands for working families in this country," Christie Vilsack said. Last night, Gore slept in the governor's mansion in Des Moines.
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