Skip to comments.Bush likely to visit in late October for Thune campaign
Posted on 10/13/2002 8:51:53 AM PDT by Gunder
President Bush will make his third trip to South Dakota in late October to support Rep. John Thune's U.S. Senate candidacy, and a fourth trip in early November also is possible.
Sources close to the White House say Bush plans to package a campaign tour to several states the last week in October and first week in November, penciling in an Oct. 29 stop in South Dakota. A Nov. 3 visit also is being discussed.
This race between Thune and Sen. Tim Johnson is increasingly crucial to the president as control of the Senate comes down to races in a handful of states, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Arkansas, Colorado and Georgia.
Thune says he welcomes the president anytime he wants to come here. But he also says he has to win the election on his own.
"What he says is more important than where he comes in the state," says Thune.
"He needs to speak about issues South Dakotans care about. He needs to talk about why he needs John Thune over there in the Senate. There are 51 pieces of legislation that are not moved. It is flat not functioning," he said.
Jay Carson, press secretary for Daschle, objected to Thune's characterization.
"John Thune should spend less time campaigning and launching negative attacks and more time using his supposedly direct line to the White House and House leadership to convince them to support South Dakota priorities like drought aid, a new Missouri River management plan and aid for disabled veterans," he said.
Presidential visits at this stage can bring some risks. There is still some fallout from the Mount Rushmore trip. Many think it hurt Thune because the president failed to deliver any hope of immediate aid to drought-stricken ranchers.
Johnson's campaign is saying openly they think Bush will bring an October Surprise on this trip - finally realizing he needs to set aside his belief that any aid must come from the farm bill and that there be no deficit spending for relief.
On the surface, that seems to be logical. But that, too, is risky. It won't be hard at this late date to see it as a purely political gesture that may make some cynical.
(Excerpt) Read more at argusleader.com ...