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Bush Plans Good Relations With GOP

November 17, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Asked whether the House majority whip is a compassionate conservative, Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush won’t say yes _ or no.

In an interview with ABC’s ``20/20 Wednesday,″ Bush said only that Tom DeLay, a fellow Texan and Republican, is ``conservative and I believe Tom’s got a good heart.″

He said House Majority Leader Dick Armey, another Texas Republican, was both ``conservative and compassionate.″

Bush, the Texas governor, has built his campaign around the idea of ``compassionate conservatism″ and has criticized fellow Republicans for confusing the need for limited government with a ``disdain for government itself.″

In the process, Bush hasn’t always made friends with conservative members of his party, such as earlier this year when he criticized their proposal to shift money from a tax credit program for the working poor.

But he plans to have good relations with the Republican majority in Congress.

``Should I be the president, I’m not going to agree a hundred percent with the Congress, and they’re not going to agree a hundred percent with me,″ Bush said in the interview to be broadcast Wednesday night. ``But they will agree with the direction I intend to take the country.″

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