From the beaches of Martha's Vineyard to the lakes of Skaneateles, a vacationing President Clinton can't seem to catch a break from taunting political ads.
The Republican National Committee, which advertised against the president on Martha's Vineyard last week, yesterday launched a cable television spot in Skaneateles criticizing Clinton for staying in a "multimillion-dollar vacation estate" for free and "traveling on taxpayer dollars."
The ad goes on to urge Clinton to sign the $792 billion GOP tax cut bill: "If Bill and Hillary Clinton get to watch a little TV during their so-called 'vacation' to the Finger Lakes, I want them to see that New Yorkers deserve to keep more of the money they earn," says RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson, posing with a briefcase filled with $10,000--the amount the RNC says New Yorkers could save under the tax cut.
Republican presidential hopeful Steve Forbes is running a similar radio spot urging Clinton to sign the tax bill. Does this irk the president? Quite the contrary, according to deputy press secretary Jake Siewert, who said it was unlikely Clinton would be off the golf course long enough to even see the RNC ad.
And if he does see it? "We believe that the longer the Republicans talk about their tax cut, the less popular it seems to be," Siewert said. Any chance Clinton might change his mind about the bill? "Not a snowball's chance. . ."
In other news from the First Vacation, Siewert told reporters that the first lady's Senate exploratory committee would pay "some of the costs" associated with the Clintons' travel in New York as well as for any obviously political events, such as their trip to the state fair in Syracuse on Monday.
Nothing new going on here, Siewert assured. The White House is simply using the "time-honored tradition of looking at the law, looking at the regulations that govern the use of taxpayer money, dividing up costs." Trouble is, the "time-honored tradition" doesn't include a first lady vacationing with her presidential spouse in a state where she might run for office.
In explaining why the exploratory committee will not pick up the entire tab for the Clintons' New York trip, deputy White House press secretary Barry Toiv in Washington said: "To the extent that this is vacation, the costs of travel are official costs. . . . Because the president is the president no matter where he is."
Or to whom he is married.
Ventura 'Just Kidding' About Cancellation
Just a joke. Not revenge. That's what Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said about his declaration last week that he planned to cancel his office's subscriptions to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"I don't think we're going to be canceling any newspaper subscriptions," the Reform Party governor's spokesman, John Wodele, told the Associated Press Monday. "He was kidding when he said it."
Ventura on Friday called the state's second-largest newspaper the "St. Paul Pioneer Porn" for running ads for X-rated movies and strip clubs in its sports section. He was angered by an editorial that criticized his guest appearance Aug. 22 at SummerSlam, a World Wrestling Federation event.
Ventura told listeners during his radio show that he planned to cancel all subscriptions to the newspaper in the governor's office and deny interview requests from the paper's reporters.
Wodele declined to comment on whether Pioneer Press reporters would be granted interviews with the governor.
CAPTION: Guest referee Jesse Ventura acknowledges wrestling fans.