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The Dartmouth
May 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Bayh announces support for Gore

Citing Al Gore's track record in Washington and his platform of healthcare, education and the economy, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced yesterday at Dartmouth that he is supporting the Vice President in the coming elections.

"I'm supporting Al Gore because I think he has the experience and has struck the right balance between continuity and the need to move this country forward," Bayh, a Democrat, said.

He noted that Gore is a strong leader and an insider who knows how policy decisions are made, as he has been a member of Congress. Bayh also said that the hostility against President Clinton in Congress was primarily on a personal level, and Gore would not face the same problem.

"The economy is the strongest its been in decades. After the end of the Cold War, we are the only superpower left in the World," he said. "But none of this is set in stone. We still face many challenges."

Bayh noted that one of the things that differentiates Gore most from Bradley is his ideas on education.

"He wants to be an educational leader," Bayh said of Gore, "The Vice President has announced a very aggressive agenda for education."

Bayh recounted some key elements in Gore's plans for education, which include universal pre-school, higher academic standards and lowering the cost of education.

"Mr. Bradley really hasn't come out with a practical policy on education," Bayh told The Dartmouth in an interview after his speech.

He also argued that Gore's plan for widespread access to affordable, high-quality healthcare was superior to the plan proposed by Bradley.

"I am concerned that the medical program proposed by Bradley will soak up all of the projected surplus," he said.

According to Bayh, Gore's plan would allow families earning up to $41,000 " or 250 percent the poverty level " to qualify for low cost healthcare.

He did note, however, that the plan did not call for a universal healthcare system.

"I don't envision a healthcare system like the one in Canada," he said.

Another issue that Bayh felt was important was campaign financing.

"Money has gotten to be too important in the process," he said. "I am supporting a bill co-authored by Senator [John] McCain to limit soft money donations."

On the issue of foreign policy and defense spending, Bayh said that America should take a vital interest in world affairs to "advance our very strong belief in the free market economy."

"I agree with the Vice President's proposal to increase defense spending. I think maintaining military readiness should be one of our priorities," he said.

Bayh noted that he thinks George W. Bush's victory in the Republican primaries is not a given. He said that he expects competition between Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes and Bush to increase, which could indirectly benefit McCain.

Bayh told The Dartmouth that he did not expect any of the Reform Party candidates to have a major impact on the presidential election.

Bayh was elected to the U.S. Senate from Indiana in 1998. Prior to becoming a Senator, he was the governor of the state for eight years.

"When I was 20 years old, I had no particular desire to be in government," he said. "But after travelling to New Hampshire and talking to different types of people, seeds were planted in me that made me more interested in the field."

Looking back on his first year in the Senate, Bayh said that it had been relatively unproductive, but nevertheless eventful.

"After being sworn in as a senator, I was sworn in as a juror in the impeachment trial of President Clinton," he said.

Other important events that Bayh was involved with last year include debating over the conflict in Kosovo and budget negotiations.

Bradley is currently tied with or slightly ahead of Gore in many N.H. polls. Gore is still considered a considerable favorite nationwide.