October 18, 1996
STATEMENT BY JOE LOCKHART
NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY
Clearly when it comes to learning lessons from Watergate, Bob Dole is the best teacher. Twenty-six year old documents released yesterday by the National Archives make one thing clear. Bob Dole has made a career out of negative politics -- and choosing insults over ideas.
In an internal Nixon White House memorandum dated February 10, 1970, Nixon advisor "P.J. Buchanan" writes to President Nixon that "Dole recommended that Republicans...initiate politically inspired investigations..." Buchanan calls the Dole idea "a good one" and notes that "some publicity-garnering Congressional Investigations might redound to our political advantage."
Another internal White House memo (released earlier by the National Archives) dated March 27, 1970 identifies Dole as the "starter" who would receive ideas that "merit partisan investigation" and give "assignments" to other Republican Senators.
In this election, Bob Dole has replaced Richard Nixon with Newt Gingrich -- who repeated history on June 4, 1996 by telling a meeting of Republicans that scandal mongering "is what this election is going to be all about." (New York Post, 6/5/96)
With Bob Dole insults, innuendo and partisan investigation have sadly always come before ideas. And look at the ideas Bob Dole has opposed over his 35 years in Washington:
Bob Dole voted against creating Medicare in 1965 and bragged about it in 1995, saying "I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare -- one of twelve, because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965." Dole voted against creating student loans in 1965, against the Department of Education in 1979, repeatedly against a higher minimum wage, against creating a drug czar in 1982 and against the Brady Bill and Family and Medical Leave in the 1990s.
The 26-year-old internal Nixon White House memo released yesterday demonstrates one thing clearly. Bob Dole’s decision to spend the last weeks of this campaign attacking the President -- instead of offering ideas or his vision for the future -- is sadly consistent with his 35 year record as a Washington politician.
The American people have a clear choice between a President with a record of accomplishment and forward-looking plan for the 21st Century -- and a candidate with a three decade record of focusing on negative, attack politics rather than offering a positive agenda.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Election Committee, Inc.