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George W. Bush Stumps in New Mexico as Election Day Draws Nearer

Aired October 30, 2000 - 2:08 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: It's already been a busy day for George W. Bush. The Republican candidate has made several campaign appearances in New Mexico. The race for New Mexico's five electoral votes appears extremely tight. And the popular vote could go either way. His official theme for his campaign's final days: bringing America together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are a lot of independents just looking for more civility and more common sense, and more integrity in the conduct of government.

(APPLAUSE)

This is not too much to ask. This is my record. This is my vision. And this will be my pledge to the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: The Texas governor now heads for campaign stops in Burbank and Fresno, California, where he will be joined by one-time GOP rival, Arizona Senator John McCain.

Joining us now the line from the Bush campaign trail: our own senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.

You've been on that trail for a long time, Candy. You can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Can you see any changes in George W. Bush in these closing days?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's -- you know, in the speeches -- part of which you just heard -- he's basically kind of writing the final chapter of this campaign this week. He took all of his core issues -- that is Social Security, and Medicare reform, education, strengthening the military, and tax cuts -- and framed them all in what you heard.

And that is that what Washington needs is leadership that can reach across the aisle. So what he is going to do take an issue every day. Today, it was education. We're in Albuquerque right now. He -- the first stop he made was at a school. He has made, of course, many stops at schools, as has the vice president.

He said: It's really fitting that I start the end of this campaign in a schoolhouse. It has been one of his main issues. But each day he is going to take one of these issues and talk about it a little. But mostly, it will be wrapped around the theme of bringing America together: that is, that he is a bipartisan kind of leader and that he can get things done, where he says Al Gore can't.

WATERS: I was asked today: Will we see any surprises in the last eight days of this campaign? My reaction was probably not. Part of the reason for that, I guess, would be the fact that George W. Bush has been walled off from reporters, as I understand it. So both candidates, I would imagine: What you see is what you get.

CROWLEY: Well, you know, if there's going a surprise, it will be in spite of these candidates, rather than because of them, because neither one of them wants anything major to shake up this race. I will tell you that both of these candidates have stopped doing press conferences: Al Gore in the summer, George Bush in recent three, four or five weeks.

Basically, what they are doing now is having individual news conference -- individual interviews with various news entities, as opposed to the dynamic of a news conference, which often can get in the way of a message.

WATERS: All right, Candy Crowley, out on the campaign trail with George W. Bush.

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