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Disabled Veterans Group Says Dole Sought Chance To Speak _ Too Late

July 30, 1996

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A day after skipping an opportunity to speak to a disabled group that President Clinton addressed, Bob Dole’s presidential campaign asked for another chance. But it was too late.

Citing a full convention agenda, the Disabled American Veterans on Monday turned down the Dole campaign’s last-minute request that he be allowed to talk to the group on Wednesday.

Dole, a DAV member and a disabled World War II veteran, had declined the group’s invitation several weeks earlier, citing scheduling problems.

President Clinton accepted, addressing the group on Sunday and receiving a friendly reception as he discussed new efforts to combat terrorism and said his administration has taken steps to increase veterans’ benefits.

When Dole’s campaign approached DAV on Monday, the group offered Dole a Tuesday speaking spot instead of the seminar-packed Wednesday. But Dole’s staff again turned down the invitation because of scheduling problems, according to the disabled group.

The Dole campaign didn’t immediately comment.

The DAV seemed miffed by the no-show GOP presidential candidate. In its news release, the group noted that Dole sought a speaking spot only ``after receiving public criticism″ for not showing up in the first place.

``We regret that Senator Dole declined our much earlier invitations to address our national convention delegates,″ DAV said. ``He is a life member of DAV, and we believe his remarks would have added to the convention.″

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