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Notes, Quotes From Campaign Trail

February 14, 2000

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Valentine’s Day put the Air Force in the mood for hearts and flowers.

Vice President Al Gore and his travel-weary entourage were greeted aboard Air Force Two Monday _ for a campaign flight to blizzardy Rochester, N.Y. _ by stewards dressing the cabin in red ribbons and heart-decorated crepe paper.

Personally addressed Hershey’s ``Hearts and Kisses″ awaited at the seats and, just before the plane touched down on, a handsome steward presented each of the ladies aboard with a single long-stemmed rose the color of pink champagne.

The men got their Valentine’s Day favor a day earlier _ in the form of a sermon _ during Gore’s visit to the Allen A.M.E. Church in Queens.

From the pulpit, Rev. Floyd Flake counseled: ``Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Go out to ‘Bath and Body,’ get some bath-and-body stuff.″ Chocolates are fattening and flowers die, Flake added.

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BY THE NUMBERS:

64 _ Percentage of people who said they react negatively to the sponsor of attack ads compared with the 19 percent who react against the target of the ads. (Los Angeles Times poll of likely voters in the South Carolina GOP primary.)

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VOTER’S VOICE:

``He said a lot of canned stuff at the end that you know politicians just say because they’re political. I would like a debate so I can see more of how he is taking questions.″ _ Alexis Spilman, 21, after hearing Gore speak at the University of Rochester in New York.

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THIS DATE FOUR YEARS AGO:

Texas Sen. Phil Gramm dropped out of the Republican presidential race, declining to endorse front-runner Bob Dole but taking a slap at his chief rival in New Hampshire, Pat Buchanan.

``Our party cannot follow the path of protectionism,″ Gramm told a Capitol Hill news conference announcing his withdrawal after a weak showing in Iowa’s GOP caucuses. ``There always has been a recessive gene in the American character that has found protectionism appealing,″ he added in a poke at Buchanan, who has made his opposition to free trade agreements a keynote of his campaign.

When he walked into the room, supporters gave him a noisy welcome. Gramm looked around and asked, ``Where were all you guys in Louisiana and Iowa?″

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MONDAY’S ROUNDUP:

Texas Gov. George W. Bush campaigned in South Carolina, where he continued to criticize ``inconsistencies″ in rival John McCain’s Senate voting record. McCain responded to the ``savagery,″ defending his voting record and saying compromises are ``the essence of legislating.″

Gore was in New York celebrating Black History Month by meeting influential black leaders. Earlier in the day he spoke at the University of Rochester about his proposals for college tuition tax credits and savings accounts. ``We need to give families new help,″ he said. Bill Bradley spoke about environmental policy in San Francisco, where he also picked up the endorsement of former congressman Stewart Udall, who served as President Kennedy’s Interior Secretary.

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TUESDAY’S TRAIL:

Gore campaigns in Baltimore, where he will discuss lower-income Internet access at Morgan State University. Bradley campaigns in Atlantic City, N.J., and New York City, where he stops in Brooklyn.

Bush, McCain and Alan Keyes meet voters and make television appearances in South Carolina and prepare to debate in Columbia in the evening.

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