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Dole Heeds Moderates on Abortion

June 11, 1996|Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, bowing to party moderates, said Monday a "declaration for tolerance" acknowledging diverse views on abortion should be directly linked to the issue in the Republican Party platform.

"It's probably going to be in the abortion plank, not in the preamble" to the platform, Dole said on CNN's "Inside Politics."

"If you want to make it clear to the people out there that we're tolerant--this is a moral issue, it's not like all the other things in the platform--it ought to be right up there where people can see it. It's not negotiable. It's . . . going to be in the plank," Dole said.

Dole's statement immediately drew fire from conservatives who said last week they would accept Dole's proposal to add language to the platform expressing tolerance for differing views but wanted the language put in the preamble of the platform so as not to single out the abortion issue.

Ralph Reed, executive director of the Christian Coalition, said Dole's plan would "lead to opposition in the platform committee."

Gary Bauer of the conservative Family Research Council said Dole had just managed to "navigate some tough shoals" with his actions last week but "today, the ship has been run aground again."

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