Gore cancels campaign stop; returns to Washington
Possible Senate abortion vote leads to decision
By John King/CNN
February 2, 2000
Web posted at: 1:33 p.m. EST (1833 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Vice President Al Gore abruptly canceled a New York
campaign event Wednesday and headed back to Washington -- summoned, aides said,
because of the prospect of a tie Senate vote on an amendment related to
Gore headed to LaGuardia airport to make the trip to Washington aboard a
commercial shuttle flight because aides said the decision was so abrupt that
Air Force Two could not be readied to make the trip in time.
Gore aides said Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle called the vice
president early Wednesday and said there was a possibility of a tie vote on an
abortion related amendment to pending bankruptcy legislation. The vice
president's duties include presiding over the Senate, with the power to break
The amendment, authored by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, would
prevent those held liable for violence at abortion clinics from having
judgments against them discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.
Gore hoped to resume his campaign schedule later in the day in Columbus,
Ohio, where he is scheduled to have a late afternoon event and then head on to
Los Angeles for an evening town hall meeting.
Gore aides insisted campaign politics had nothing to do with the timing
of the Senate vote: "We did not manufacture a vote," said Gore campaign
chairman Tony Coelho. But the vice president's trip could give him a spotlight
at a time his commitment to abortion rights has been questioned by Democratic
rival Bill Bradley.
Gore voted against federal funding of abortions early in his congressional
career and once wrote in a letter that abortion was "arguably the taking of a
human life." The vice president changed his position on federal funding and now
says he would not use that same language in discussing abortion. But he also
notes that he has consistently spoken in favor of the Supreme Court decision
legalizing abortion, and his campaign has countered the Bradley criticism by
calling the Clinton-Gore administration the most "pro-choice administration" in