Bush, Gore Fight to Finish

“There’s an old African proverb that says when you pray, move your feet,” the vice president added. “I’m sure you’ve heard that proverb. Tuesday is the day to move your feet and take your souls to the polls.”

Gore then spoke at a rally in downtown Philadelphia before flying to Michigan.

Gore’s advisers continue to feel confident that despite their small deficit in the national polls, they are running evenly with Bush in the key swing states.

And while Gore will be criticizing Bush’s plan to allow people to privately invest a portion of their Social Security benefits, he also figures to use Bush’s position on Social Security to challenge the Texas governor’s fitness for higher office.

A TV ad released by the Gore campaign seizes on a misstatement Bush made about the issue on Thursday, when he said Democrats wanted to run Social Security “like it is some kind of federal program.”

“Is he ready to lead America?” the ad asks.

Sharp Attacks

Gore has been increasingly critical of Bush’s readiness for the presidency, and this weekend he has made a series of pointed remarks about the choice facing voters.

At a rally in Pittsburgh Saturday night, Gore alluded to slavery when discussing the so-called “strict constructionist” justices Bush says he would appoint to the court, on the model of the bench’s most conservative justices: Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Such an approach, Gore said, reminded him of “the strictly constructionist meaning that was applied when the Constitution was written, how some people were considered three-fifths of a human being.”

And at a prayer breakfast in Memphis Saturday, Gore seemed to be alluding indirectly to the presidential race when he said, “I am taught that good overcomes evil if we choose that outcome.”

Bush’s aides immediately jumped on the remark, portraying Gore as a candidate resorting to harsh personal attacks.

“I think the American people are going to resent that,” Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes said.

But William Daley, Gore’s campaign chairman defended Gore’s remark.

“The struggle for good and evil will go on after the election in all of our lives,” said Daley today on ABCNEWS’ This Week.

Daley added that Bush has been persistently attacking Gore in personal terms throughout the campaign.

“It’s unfortunate, especially from a campaign that talks about civility and bringing people together,” Daley said.

The Numbers Game

In the final two days of the campaign, Gore and Bush are trying to cover as much ground as possible, hoping to swing the race through sheer geographic reach.

Gore will be in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Florida on Monday, with a final Florida rally set for Tuesday morning. The vice president will then return to his home state of Tennessee, where he will vote and watch election returns in Nashville, where his campaign headquarters is located.

Bush is expecting to campaign Monday in Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee. He will spend election night back home in Austin, Texas.

Bush’s final-day visits to Tennessee and Arkansas, home of President Clinton, have a symbolic value, as the GOP nominee is still contesting each home state of the Democrats’ winning ticket from 1996 and 1992.

Clinton, although used sparingly as a surrogate on the campaign trail by Gore, is stumping for his former running mate today in Arkansas — the only toss-up state where the president has campaigned for Gore.

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