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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 abortion rights.

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 tie votes.

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 history.

ELECTION 2000
Bush, Bradley win early vote in Dixville Notch (2-01-00)

One day before the New Hampshire primary, candidates seek to sway voters (1-31-00)

GOP candidates on final swing through New Hampshire before Tuesday's primary (1-31-00)

Democratic rivals focus on voters for Tuesday's New Hampshire primary (1-31-00)

Final tracking poll shows McCain, Gore with solid leads (1-31-00)

NHPrimary.com: Record turnout forecast for New Hampshire primary (1-31-00)

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Wednesday, February 2, 2000


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