Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dole Visits Gingrich's Hometown Kansan: We Have `Great Friendship'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dole Visits Gingrich's Hometown Kansan: We Have `Great Friendship'

Article excerpt

MARIETTA -- Venturing into the ultra-Republican hometown of

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, presidential hopeful Bob Dole

denied yesterday that the two are anything but close friends --

cheering Georgia Democrats, who hope some of Gingrich's

negatives might rub off.

At a high school pep rally that continued Dole's Southern

campaign swing, the outgoing Senate Republican leader lauded

Georgia's 6th District congressman as "one of America's truly

great leaders."

"A lot of people say, `Well, Bob Dole and Newt can't get

along,' " Dole acknowledged, as he and the speaker stood

side-by-side in matching open-collared shirts. "I must say we

have developed a great friendship. . . and the great thing about

it is, come January, Newt is going to be able to work with a

Republican president."

He credited Gingrich with marshaling a strong House vote for

the balanced-budget constitutional amendment, which became a

potent Dole campaign theme after it fell two votes shy of

passing the Senate last week.

Democrats, meanwhile, passed out mock "Dole/Gingrich '96"

campaign buttons that quickly became souvenirs for Republican

fans who didn't get the joke.

Though Gingrich remains wildly popular among the kind of

committed Republicans who get up early for Saturday campaign

rallies, his statewide approval rating is just 36 percent, a

recent Georgia State University survey found.

A Democratic staffer handed out literature crediting President

Clinton with vetoing "extremist GOP bills" authored by Dole and

Gingrich, including what Democrats termed an attempt to "gut

Medicare" by $270 billion over seven years.

None of it dimmed the enthusiasm of 1,200 people crammed into

Marietta High School's stuffy gymnasium -- a rainyday stand-in

for the Marietta town square -- who booed lustily at every

mention of Clinton's name.

Dole called on the president to apologize for what he called a

"sad invasion of privacy" in the use of FBI background files by

White House aides.

Presidential aides acknowledged Friday that the White House had

been supplied with FBI records on the fired head of the White

House travel office, Billy Dale, and 328 others formerly

employed in Republican administrations. …

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