DECEMBER 3, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE
McCain attacked for meeting with gay Republicans
Bush C3mp3iQn denies part of the increased scrutiny that comes when Texas, said it would prompt a debate on issue:
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responsibility for S.C. flyer,
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Bush campaign denies
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GREENVILLE, S.C—Officials with
Republican presidential front-runner George
W. Bush's campaign are denying responsibility for a mailing that attacked opponent John
McCain for meeting with the Log Cabin
Republicans, the national group for gay GOP
Meanwhile, fall-out continued last week
over Bush's statement that he would not meet
with the Log Cabin Republicans because it
would prove to be a "huge political scene."
South Carolina supporters of McCain, the
Arizona senator currently trailing Bush in the
race for the Republican nomination, received
in the mail last week anonymous copies of a
Washington Times story about McCain's
recent meeting with Log Cabin leaders.
The Times, a conservative D.C. newspaper,
described the McCain's 30-minute meeting
with the group as "going after the homosexual Republican vote as no other serious presidential nomination contender has in his party
in recent memory."
A paper slip with the typed word,
"Hmmm," was attached to the Times article
sent to McCain's South Carolina supporters,
said House Speaker Pro Tern Terry I laskins,
McCain's state co-chairman.
Reform Party presidential candidate Pat
Buchanan said last week that gays are welcome to join his campaign if they 'endorse me
and support our agenda.'
The Greenville Republican said he talked
with McCain about the meeting and "he made
it clear he doesn't agree with their objectives or
"Why is it bad to meet with a group you
don't agree with?" Haskins said.
McCain's South Carolina campaign director
stopped short of accusing Bush's campaign of
mailing the letter.
Bush said last week he would be angry if he
found anyone in his campaign questioning
rival McCain's temper and fitness for office as
a former Vietnam prisoner of war.
"1 don't think that's taking place," Bush
said. "I certainly hope not."
Although Bush currently has a large lead in
the race, McCain said the apparent attack was
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part of the increased scrutiny that comes when
a candidate demonstrates he is a legitimate
challenger for the no nination.
"Six months ago, when nobody was with
me, 1 could have said the moon is made of
green cheese," McCain said. "I've just got to
move on with my canpaign."
Log Cabin leaders have .said they used the
meeting to "brief" McCain on issues of concern to their members.
While McCain did not announce new policy positions on these issues, Log Cabin
spokesman Kevin Ivers said McCain made
"his general abiding principle very clear."
"He said, T have a visceral dislike for discrimination. ... 1 will work to eliminate discrimination,'" according to [vers.
Still, McCain has not supported the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act that
would ban job discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation, and said he supports the
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bans military service by openly gay men and lesbians,
At the time, Ivers said Bush had also agreed
to meet with Log Cabin, but a date for the
meeting had not been set.
But in a Nov. 21 interview on the NBC News
program "Meet the Press," Bush said he
would "probably not" meet with the gay
Republican group, in part because he is
"someone who is a uniter, not a divider."
Asked by the San Francisco Chronicle last
week how the meeting would divide people, a
spokesman at Bush's headquarters in Austin,
Texas, said it would prompt a debate on issues
Bush opposes like same-sex marriage, adoption by gays and hate crimes legislation.
But Bush would take money or an endorsement from Log Cabin, spokesman Scott
McClellan said when asked.
"He welcomes the support of all people.
[But] I can't imagine that they would want to
[endorse him]," he said. "They differ on a
number of issues."
Log Cabin Executive Director Rich Tafel has
since described Bush's decision not to meet
with his group as "a dumb mistake."
"Ten years ago his father met with gays in
the White House. Pat Buchanan announced
he's welcoming gays to support his campaign
in the Reform Party, jerry l:a!well met with
gays down in Lynchburg, Va. It's just not a big
deal," Tafel told the New York Times in a Nov.
29 interview. "We are way beyond meetings."
In the wake of the controversy over Bush,
Republican candidate Steve Forbes—who has
courted votes from the religious right—said he
would also be willing to meet with Log Cabin,
although he disagrees with many of the
group's positions, the San Francisco Chronicle
Meanwhile, even arch social conservative
Pat Buchanan—who deserted the
Republican Party to seek the Reform Party
presidential nomination—has said that he
wants support from gay voters.
"As long as they endorse me and support our
agenda and help us out, they're welcome,"
Buchanan said after a speech Nov. 23 in Chicago.
"/4 &6wtc6. "Buitt tut ^.ot/e. "
Reverend Sam Kader
"Openly Gay, Openly Christian"
Guest Speaker at Services
Friday • Saturday • Sunday
Daily Services 7:30pm
Sunday Services 11:00am and 7:00pm
Saturday • December 4 • 1pm 'til 3pm
LOBO Bookstore • 3939 Montrose
4305 Lillian Street
www. com m u n itygospel .org