Philip Morris is the #1 contributor to the Republican
Party. If you wonder what kind of influence their money can buy, read the
by GIL KLEIN / Media General News Service
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sunday, 8/6/00
ABOARD THE BUSH CAMPAIGN TRAIN, Mich. -- A Bush administration would not
continue the Justice Department's suit against the tobacco industry to recover
Medicare costs, Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush said yesterday
during an interview with Media General News Service.
"I think we've had enough suits," the Texas governor said on the rear
platform of his campaign train as it traveled across rural Michigan.
"I don't think you can sue your way to policy," he said. "We've had this
giant series of lawsuits that the industry settled where the states ended up with a
lot of money. I think what we ought to do now is work on preventing children
from smoking and at the same time keep the compact [between the states and the
industry] in place."
The Clinton administration filed suit against the industry last year seeking
more than $500 billion in payments to make up for the cost to Medicare of
treating tobacco-related diseases. Republicans in Congress have tried to block
money to pay for the litigation, but the administration has vowed to keep it
"The lawyers I talk to don't feel they [the Justice Department] have a case,"
Bush agreed to talk about his tobacco policy as he waved to people who had
gathered at railroad crossings and in back yards to see the presidential
candidate's train pass by.
by ROB CHRISTENSEN, Staff Writer
Raleigh News & Observer, Friday, 8/27/99
RALEIGH -- From a $1,000-a-person dinner at a swank
suburban hotel to a gritty Raleigh inner-city neighborhood,
Texas Gov. George W. Bush brought his message of
"compassionate conservatism" to North Carolina on Thursday
for the first time.
Bush, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination,
promised to blend a conservative's belief in limited government
with efforts to harness public and private interests to help the
He also promised to support the federal tobacco program,
voiced opposition to any future cigarette-tax hikes, and said he
would consider Elizabeth Dole as a vice-presidential running
mate if he wins the nomination.
And he pledged to run to run a clean, positive campaign.
Bush said he would support the federal tobacco price-support
program "because it does not cost the taxpayers any money.''
He said that he is a free trader and that farm exports in general
would help all farmers.
On the question of smoking, he said states need to provide
ample warning about the risks.
"I don't think we should raise the cigarette taxes at the federal
level," he said. "I believe states ought to do a better job of
informing children of the hazards of smoking. But we have
recognized that there are some adults, once properly warned,
who choose to smoke."
Bush's presence in North Carolina drew protests from critics
of his refusal to participate in the presidential public financing
The N.C. Alliance for Democracy held a mock fund-raiser near
the hotel that featured 8-year-old girls, potential future
presidential candidates, according to the scenario for the
protest -- selling $1,000-a-cup lemonade.
Rob Christensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org