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Vice presidents are not often in the news, consequently there were not many reports on Al Gore before his bid for the presidency. In the 2000 election, Rather wondered whether Bush, not Gore, was pandering to the extreme fringe in his party.
See also Florida Controversy, Democrats and Republicans.
George W. Bush had just won a number of primaries in his quest for the Republican nomination:
"Bush has moved the image of himself pretty far to the right, giving up, at least temporarily, some of the middle ground he will need to win in November, if he's the nominee."
"[B]y any reasonable analysis, Gore has not moved as far to the left as Bush has to the right."
--Dan Rather in "Rather's Notebook" at the CBS Web site, February 22, 2000.
"I think maybe I would say [if I were Gore], 'You know, we want the goals of the Clinton administration to be achieved and to go forward. I need your help, First Lady, friend of mine, Hillary Clinton, and if I'm elected President, I will make you the next Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.' That's what I'd do, but Al Gore is a better man than I am and I doubt that he'd do it."
--Dan Rather on Larry King Live, December 3, 1998.
"But, he [Al Gore] will be coming home to face accusations that fund-raising phone calls he made from the White House
violate a law so old it was enacted less than a decade after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, September 22, 1997.
Al Gore had been chosen as Governor Bill Clinton's running mate:
"Environmental expert and Vietnam veteran Senator Al Gore of Tennessee..."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, July 9, 1992.
Uh, Dan, About That Grenade?
From the New York Post's Page Six column:
Independent counsel Robert Ray is still waiting for an apology from Dan Rather.
Last Thursday, when AP broke the anonymously-sourced story that Ray had empanelled a new grand jury to hear evidence against President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, hours before Al Gore was scheduled to accept his party's nomination at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, the CBS News anchor went on the air to rail against the "leak" from "Republican-backed" Ray's office.
"Al Gore must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee," Rather said on the air. "And now Gore must do so against the backdrop of a potentially damaging, carefully orchestrated story leak about President Clinton."
Another correspondent quoted a "top Gore advisor" calling the leak part of a "grand Republican strategy to tie Al Gore to President Clinton" and likened it to "the political equivalent of a hand grenade being rolled onto the floor of this convention." in his "Rather's Notebook" column on CBS' Web site the same day, Rather went even further.
"You don't have to be a cynic to note that this has all the earmarks of a carefully orchestrated, politically motivated leak," Rather wrote. "So you ask yourself--what group has the motive to see that such a leak would occur at such a time . . . None of which is to say that George W. Bush is behind the leak, either directly or indirectly."
But the next day, when Ray confirmed the report, U.S. Appellate Court Judge Richard D. Cudahy, a Democrat and one of three federal judges on the panel that supervises Ray, released a statement that he was accidentally the source for the story.
While telling an AP reporter about the panel's decision to grant an extension to Ray's investigation, Cudahy "inadvertently referred to the existence of a newly-empanelled grand jury," he said in issuing an apology.
Ray is still waiting for Rather to follow suit. "We considered [Rather's reports] to be unbalanced," Keith Ausbrook, senior counsel in Ray's office told The Post. "Except for Judge Cudahy, we haven't received any apology."
He shouldn't hold his breath. Rather doesn't seem in any hurry to make amends. Rather's spokesperson, Kim Akhtar, was out of the office and unavailable for comment, but another
CBS staffer said Rather is off fishing in some remote locale.
--From the New York Post, August 25, 2000.
Rather's On-Air Comments
"In an apparent attempt to embarrass Al Gore on this his big night, someone, for whatever reason, has leaked the story that the Republican-backed special prosecutor, Ken Starr's successor, has convened a new grand jury to investigate President Clinton and accusations related to the President's sex life."
--Dan Rather during CBS coverage of the Democratic National Convention, August 17, 2000.
"Timing is everything. Al Gore must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. And now Gore must do so against the backdrop of a potentially damaging, carefully orchestrated story leak about President Clinton. The story is that Republican-backed special prosecutor Robert Ray, Ken Starr's successor, has a new grand jury looking into possible criminal charges against the president growing out of Mr. Clinton's sex life. CBS' Jim Stewart in Washington has that story and the context."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, August 17, 2000.
Originally posted on cbsnews.cbs.com but removed since by CBS:
"Well-timed leaks and revelations have recently become especially effective weapons for backroom political strategists because they work. Most of us hope and like to think that they don't work. The record indicates otherwise. They do.
"For all the talk by both parties and major candidates about keeping this presidential campaign on the high road, it seems low-road politics remain very much in fashion. Once again, we are reminded that with politicians, especially, you need to watch their feet as you listen to their words.
"All of which comes to mind in light of the leak revealing that Ken Starr's successor, Independent Counsel Robert Ray, has empanelled a new grand jury to look at evidence that President Clinton broke the law while giving testimony on his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
"You don't have to be a cynic to note that this has all the earmarks of a carefully orchestrated, politically motivated leak. The Republican-backed Robert Ray is sponsored by a three-judge panel that must periodically decide whether Ray's investigation should continue. This panel features two federal judges backed by the Jesse Helms wing of the Republican Party.
"Any reporter who's spent time on the police beat learns to look for motive. So you ask yourself - what group has the motive to see that such a leak would occur at such a time, hours before Gore is set to accept his party's nomination in the most important speech of his political life?
"None of which is to say that George W. Bush is behind the leak, directly or indirectly. We certainly have no information that he is. But candidates themselves hardly ever are, as their hands must remain clean and their deniability plausible. (You may want to review some of the more unpleasant tactics used by Bush backers against John McCain in South Carolina earlier this year.)
"The Gore campaign, of course, is trying to shrug off this latest maneuver — and may even harbor hopes that the leak will engender a backlash against the Republicans. But well-timed leaks and revelations have recently become especially effective weapons for backroom political strategists because they work. And regardless of backlash, they plant seeds of doubts about candidates and their parties. Most of us hope and like to think that they don't work. The record indicates otherwise. They do."
--Dan Rather in "Rather's Notebook" at the CBS News Web site, August 17, 2000.
"In the presidential campaign, money, politics and campaign finance reform talk today. Al Gore weighed in
with his proposals for change. They include creating a $ 7 billion-plus endowment to pay for House and Senate races, strict disclosure
rules for lobbyists and outside groups that pay for political ads and free air time to rebut those ads. The Gore plan would
not allow soft money, the unlimited, unregulated cash now being shoveled into many campaigns. Gore himself knows it will be hard to get the
Republican-controlled Congress to approve this or any campaign finance reform."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 27, 2000.
"On another front of the White House Under Fire, fund-raising practices during the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign may soon come under the scrutiny of yet another independent counsel with, as Republicans--insisting that Vice President Gore be a target."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, August 19, 1998.
"Vice President Gore is also on the spot tonight over a new carefully-orchestrated leak involving accusations about Gore's past campaign fund-raising practices. A Justice Department official is calling for an independent investigator in the case."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, June 22, 2000. print_file('footer'); ?>