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Democratic Debate Begins Early

October 28, 1999

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) _ Al Gore and Bill Bradley began their Democratic campaign debate without waiting for the opening whistle Wednesday.

``What do we do now?″ Gore said shortly after the pair was introduced to the audience at Dartmouth College, before the debate was to begin airing on national television. Taking charge of the event, the vice president said: ``Why don’t you start asking some questions while we’re waiting?″

So they did.

The first question was about bipartisanship, and both pledged to work with Republicans and Democrats alike.

CNN, co-sponsor of the debate, continued to air its regularly scheduled show, ``Crossfire,″ rather than cut to the debate early. WMUR-TV in New Hampshire also did not cover the early start.

CNN spokeswoman Maggie Simpson, on the set and whispering into a phone, said CNN’s coverage was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EDT.

``They decided to take some questions on their own,″ Simpson said.

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