Hatch files for president
By Kevin Landrigan/The Telegraph of Nashua
November 9, 1999
Web posted at: 3:05 p.m. EST (2005 GMT)
CONCORD, New Hampshire (NHPrimary.com) -- Republican presidential contender and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch insisted support here for Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain was "a mile wide and an inch deep.
"I have the most experience of anyone running in either party. I have a better record of accomplishment than any of them and people know that, Hatch said.
After filing formally as a candidate Monday, Hatch said he can do well enough in the first-in-the-nation primary next Feb. 1 to seriously contend for the nomination.
"People dont know I am even in the race. Their (Bush and McCain) support is a mile wide and an inch deep, Hatch told reporters.
The four-term senator got into the race on July 1 and hes been able to raise $1.7 million in contrast to Bush who has raised more than $60 million and McCain who has raised almost $10 million.
Hatch dismissed polls which place him in New Hampshire in low single digits while McCain and Bush each have more than 30 percent support.
"I attribute a lot to the media. Ive also seen polls that say 70 percent of people with McCain were likely to change and 60 percent who are with Bush also could change, Hatch said.
McCains bid for the nomination will be difficult because his campaign finance reform is tilted in favor of organized labor and against special-interest groups that traditionally help get out the GOP vote, Hatch claimed.
"The McCain-Feingold (bill) would destroy the Republican Party and I think most Republicans know that, Hatch said.
"I think he (McCain) will have a ceiling when he cant go any further.
McCains plan would ban soft money or unlimited donations to political parties.
After criticism from GOP senators, McCain agreed to remove one section Hatch referred to that would restrict special-interest groups from launching independent expenditure campaigns for or against candidates during the final weeks of a campaign.
A filibuster in opposition to the bill has put off action in the Senate on the issue until at least next spring.
If elected, Hatch said he would raise the $1,000 limit on individual donations but require all candidates and political parties to report all contributions within two weeks on the Internet.
"Let people make their own decisions about those contributions,