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Gingrich: Bush Campaign Not Ready

April 17, 2000

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ George W. Bush’s staff is too inexperienced to handle his presidential campaign, according to fellow Republican and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Speaking to a sold-out audience Saturday night, Gingrich said ``there’s too much Austin″ in the Texas governor’s campaign and said Bush needs to add more experienced advisers if he wants to win the election.

Gingrich drew a gasp when he said first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton would easily beat New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the New York Senate race, then be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2004 if Vice President Al Gore loses this fall.

Bush and Gore are all but certain to be the presidential nominees this year.

Gingrich made his comments at an event staged by the Richmond Forum, a group that puts on several public forums on a variety of subjects throughout the year.

Saturday’s topic was politics. Besides Gingrich, another speaker was James Carville, the Democratic consultant who masterminded President Clinton’s 1992 campaign and has remained a staunch Clinton defender. Carville described Bush as an inexperienced candidate who can’t say no.

His program to spend billions of dollars on politically popular programs while cutting taxes and preserving Social Security would lead the country down another path of massive budget deficits and stifle the economy, Carville said.

Gingrich coutered that tax cuts would keep the economy growing and added that if the taxpayers’ money is left in Washington, ``the politicians will spend it.″

Both men agreed that the presidential election will be won in the Midwest.

``Nobody’s coming to Virginia other than to raise money,″ Carville said.

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