race; candidates prepare for debate
January 26, 2000 -- Utah Senator Orrin Hatch announced Wednesday
he will abandon his presidential bid, just two days after a disappointing
performance in the Iowa caucuses.
In a press conference at the U.S. Capitol, Hatch said he had "no
regrets for having tried."
Hatch finished behind the other five Republican presidential candidates
in the Iowa caucuses Monday. He received one percent of the vote.
Hatch announced that he will endorse front-runner and caucus-winner,
George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the Republican candidates have shifted
the some of the debate from taxes to abortion.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, who skipped the Iowa caucuses to focus
on New Hampshire, told reporters that if his 15-year-old daughter
wanted to end a pregnancy it would be a "family decision."
The sensitive question, which other GOP candidates have also faced,
came as the Republicans prepare for their final debate Wednesday
before the New Hampshire primary.
McCain was clearly irritated as reporters on his campaign bus pressed
him on the hypothetical abortion question: Would he tell his teen-aged
daughter she could not get an abortion?
Initially, he answered, "No, it would be a private decision.
Obviously I would encourage her to know that the baby would be brought
up in a warm and loving family. The final decision would be made
by Meghan with our advice and counsel."
Asked if that was the same answer an abortion-rights advocate would
give, McCain added, "I don't think it is the pro-choice position
to say that my daughter and my wife and I will discuss something
that is a family matter that we have to decide."
A few minutes later, he called reporters together to clarify his
"I misspoke. What I believed I was saying and intended to
say is that this is a family decision," McCain said. "The
family decision will be made by the family, not by Meghan alone."
During an earlier debate, conservative activist Gary Bauer said
under circumstances of rape he would pray for his daughter "and
explain to her that she couldn't make right the terrible thing that
had happened to her by taking the life of her innocent, unborn child."
Abortion is expected to be less important in New Hampshire, where
many independents vote in the GOP primary, than it was in the Iowa
in the Granite State...
In other campaigning, Texas Governor Bush continues to emphasize
his tax cut proposal in the Granite State, hoping to continue the
momentum gained in Iowa.
He also said Midwesterners had seen in him what Texas voters had
endorsed through two elections -- as well as what a majority of
Republican senators and governors support through their endorsements.
"I think if the people of New Hampshire listen to the facts
and look at my record and look at the confirmation from United States
senators and governors, they will know and they will be comforted
by the fact that I can lead," Bush said.
Forbes, bolstered by placing second in Iowa with 30 percent of
the vote to Bush's 41 percent, labeled himself the "authentic
conservative" in the race and said: "The Republican establishment
has met its match."
The Democrats are preparing for Wednesday night's debate as well.
Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley campaigned during the morning
at a YMCA in Manchester.
Vice President Al Gore is stepping up his ad campaign and stressing
the current economic success of the country.