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McCain, Bush Debate Politely

March 3, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ George W. Bush and John McCain differed politely Thursday night over which man could better lead Republicans to the White House this fall, the Texas governor saying in debate he could attract independents and Democrats and his rival saying ``Christian conservatives all over America″ will support him despite his criticism of Pat Robertson.

In the opening moments of a 60-minute debate, McCain also pledged not to walk out of the party convention this summer if he wins the popular vote in the California primary next Tuesday but loses all 162 delegates in a separately counted winner-take-all contest.

Bush, McCain and Alan Keyes clashed in their 10th debate of the primary season, the last one before California and 12 other states hold GOP primaries and caucuses on Tuesday that will go a long way toward settling the nominating fight. In all, 613 delegates will be at stake, more than half the total needed to win the nomination.

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