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Gore Kicks Off His Drive in South

February 18, 1988|RON HARRIS | Times Staff Writer

BEAUMONT, Tex. — Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Albert Gore Jr., kicking off the "20 critical days" before the March 8 Super Tuesday election, went on the attack Wednesday, accusing his opponents of lacking experience, being outside the mainstream of Democratic thought and flip-flopping on issues.

During stops in Louisiana and Texas, Gore aimed his sharpest criticism at Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, who he said had been changing his positions and trying to confuse voters with a "slick advertising campaign."

"Dick Gephardt voted against increasing the minimum wage every time he had an opportunity to in the Congress and now comes in these commercials as a friend of the working men and women in this country," Gore said.

"He voted for Reaganomics and tax cuts to the wealthy and the large corporations. Then (during the Iowa caucuses) he criticized it. Then in New Hampshire, he flip-flopped and came back in favor of it again."

Gore also took on another rival, the Rev. Jesse Jackson. The Tennessee senator said Jackson is too far to the left and "has not had a single day of government experience of any kind." Gore leveled a similar charge at Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

Gore, who withdrew from the Iowa caucuses and campaigned only briefly in the New Hampshire primary, is counting on a strong showing in the 20 Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, most of which are in Southern and border states.

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