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Poking at Dole, Gramm Vows Fight on Tax Cuts

January 2, 1996

CANDIA, N.H. (AP) _ Texas Sen. Phil Gramm vowed Tuesday to fight any GOP concession on tax cuts, trying to draw distinctions between himself and the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

Gramm, beginning a two-day campaign swing through New Hampshire, criticized Dole’s weekend statement that Republicans might not be able to hold to the full $245 billion tax cut included in their budget package.

``One of the things that worries me about Senator Dole is that he’s got too many things on the table,″ said Gramm.

He told maintenance workers at a construction-equipment rental company that the 1994 elections, which put Republicans in control of Congress, were about smaller government and lower taxes.

``I’m going to fight any deal with President Clinton that backs away from that promise,″ Gramm said. ``We didn’t say we were going to do it if it was easy, we didn’t say we’d do it if Bill Clinton cooperated.″

Gramm, who trails far behind Dole in polls in New Hampshire, conceded that he has no power in the budget talks between Clinton, Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

On his own campaign swing through New Hampshire on Sunday, Dole told reporters the $245 billion tax cut might be subject to negotiation in order to end the impasse that has led to a partial shutdown of the government.

``If you have to have everything, you’re not going to have a negotiation,″ he said.

Following Gramm’s brief speech to workers, maintenance technician Jimmy Glennon said he was still undecided on a Republican candidate.

``I’m really disappointed by what’s going on between the Congress and Clinton and it turns me off on everything that’s going on,″ Glennon said.

Co-worker Hollis Cate, another Republican, also was unconvinced by Gramm’s tough talk on tax cuts. ``Is it going to be there or isn’t it? I’ve got to be shown and talk is cheap.″

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