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Jewish World Review Dec. 28, 1999 /19 Teves, 5760

Chris Matthews

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Candidate Gore's separation anxiety -- LISTEN CLOSELY and you can hear Al Gore loosening his bonds to Bill Clinton.

Recently, a young woman in New Hampshire she turned out to be a John McCain supporter asked the vice president about Juanita Broaddrick, the Arkansan who accused Bill Clinton of raping her a good many years ago.

Q. Did that change your opinion about him being one of the best presidents in history?

Gore: I don't know what to make of her claim, because I don't know how to evaluate that story. I really don't.

Q. So you didn't believe Juanita Broaddrick's claim?

Gore: No, I didn't say that. I said I didn't know how to evaluate that.

Recently on "Meet The Press," Tim Russert hit Gore with a trio of questions about his service to Clinton.

Q. Will you admit that in 1996 the Clinton-Gore campaign fundraising apparatus was overly aggressive, perhaps unethical?

Gore: I'm not going to use those words. I think that, obviously, we would do things differently if we had to do them over again. The point is, do you learn from mistakes? And I certainly have.

Q. What was the biggest mistake that was made?

Gore: Oh, you know, pushing the limits. All this was reviewed and no charges were brought, but I think it was a mistake nonetheless.

Q. Do you think the taxpayers should pay for the legal defense of Bill and Hillary Clinton?

Gore: They've denied that they've been asking. Under the law they have a right to do it. Would I do it in that position? No, I would not.

Q. On Impeachment day, you said that "Bill Clinton will be regarded in history as one of our greatest presidents."

Gore: We all know who our greatest presidents are, from Washington and Jefferson to Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and John Kennedy and all the others.

Q. So you put Bill Clinton in the same company as Washington and Lincoln?

Gore: No, of course not. Of course not.

JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


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12/15/99: Is Hillary clueless?
12/08/99: Taking Buchananism to the streets
12/03/99: Why are we so obsessed with 'spin'?
12/01/99: Donald Trump, 'Sinatra of Steel'
11/29/99: Why AlGore will be our next president
11/23/99: After the fall
11/17/99: Our conveniently forgetful president
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
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10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
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09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
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09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win

©1999, NEA