Mixing praise of the entertainment industry with renewed criticism, Bob Dole saluted films Tuesday that "lift our country up."
He cited "Babe," "Independence Day" and "Braveheart" as examples.
But in an update of his assault on Hollywood last year, Dole denounced "degrading, debasing, tawdry, second-rate, antihero" movies. He mentioned "Striptease" as a film without redeeming social value.
Speaking on a sound stage at the 20th Century Fox Studios, the Republican presidential candidate said, "With every year, that `R' on some movies should stand for `reject.' "
Dole later said he was skipping a planned fund-raiser in Little Rock, Ark., so he could return to Washington to finalize his economic package. His wife, Elizabeth, will attend, he said.
"Starting in San Diego and perhaps before, with the announcement of our economic package, you will understand precisely where I'm coming from, what I believe in and what I will pursue as president of the United States," Dole said.
The GOP convention begins Aug. 12 in San Diego.
Aides said another reason for the scheduling change was that Dole did not want to appear to be grandstanding in Arkansas while a jury in Little Rock was deliberating Whitewater-related charges against two local bankers.
Dole gave what he called "a sequel" to his controversial May 31, 1995, speech that accused Hollywood of corrupting moral values.
That speech "clearly struck a chord" among many Americans even as it was ridiculed by Democrats and the entertainment industry, Dole said.
Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, said he was relieved that Dole didn't reprise his 1995 attack on the industry. …