The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 03, 2000, summer edition, Page 5, Image 5

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    Candidate Stenberg addresses RNC faithful
■ The Nebraska
Republican Senate can
didate says eight is
enough for Democrats.
By Brian Carbon
Staff writer
Republican Senate candidate Don
Steinberg addressed the Republican
National Convention briefly on
Monday, utging Nebraskans to join
the “Bush-Cheney-Hagel
Stenbeig team.”
Stenberg, the Nebraska attor
ney general, used his three-minute
speech to present himself as a loyal
Republican in sync with Nebraska
values. He jabbed at the Clinton
administration and contrasted the
visions of the Democratic Party
with those of GOP presidential
candidate George W. Bush, his run
ning mate, Dick Cheney, Sen.
Chuck Hagel and himself.
“After eight years of scandal,
tax increases, missing nuclear
secrets, military decline, partial
birth abortion and liberal judges,
the American people want new
leadership” he sakL
Stenberg Is opponent in the fall
campaign is former Gov. Ben
Nelson, a Democrat. They are
seeking the seat being vacated by
retiring Sen. Bob Kerrey, also a
Stenbeig said his priorities in
the Senate would be rebuilding the
farm economy, strengthening the
military, building a missile defense
system, allowing citizens to invest
pvt of their Social Security payroll
taxes in private accounts arid lower
ing taxes.
He also touted his opposition to
the abortion procedure called “par
tial-birth” abortion by its oppo
nents. In April, Stenbeig defended
Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth
abortion before the U.S. Supreme
Court, but on June 28 the court
ruled 5-4 that the ban was unconsti
“If I'd had just one more con
servative justice on the Supreme
Court, Nebraska’s ban on partial
birth abortion would have been
upheld,” he said. “George W. Bush
can make that happen.”
Stenbeig was one of six GOP
candidates who addressed the con
vention on Monday. They were
introduced by Sen. Mitch
McConnell, R-Ky., the leader of
the Republican Senate campaign
committee, who said a GOP victo
ry in November would be complete
only if the party captured die “tri
fecta” of control of the White
House and both houses of
Stenberg hopes strong support
from his conservative base can pro
pel him to victory over Nelson, a
popular governor from 1990-98.
As an incumbent governor in
1996, Nelson lost the Senate race
to Chuck Hagel. But in 1990 and
1994, he won enough support from
registered Republicans to win gov
ernor^ races. In 1994, he won by a
landslide, gaining more than 70
percent of the vote.
So on Tuesday, Gov. Mike
Johanns.urged Republicans to stay
loyal to their Senate nominee.
A win by Bush, Johanns told
the Nebraska convention delega
tion, “will be a very hollow victory
if we don’t win the Nebraska
Senate seat for Don Stenberg.”
Johanns noted that Nelson was
a Nebraska campaign chairman for
President Bill Clinton and served
as Democratic presidential candi
date A1 Gore’s state chairman
before deciding to run for Senate.
“He’s very, very close to the
Clinton administration, and he will
vote lockstep with a lady who
wants to be senator from New
York,” Johanns said, referring to
first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Nebraska’s Senate race could
be a crucial factor in whether
Republicans maintain control of
the Senate, Johanns said. After the
recent death of Sen. Paul
Coverdell, R-Ga., Georgia’s
Veterans McCain, Hagel speak to GOP
HAGEL from page 4
that sustained him and inspired
“That same faith later inspired
millions of Americans to believe in
something greater than them
selves,” Hagel said. “In this man
they saw character, courage and
strength - a man who fights pas
sionately for what he believes, a
man who says it straight, a man
who has never stopped believing
in the greatness, and the goodness,
of America.
“That man, that fighter, that
American hero, is John McCain.”
When McCain emerged from
backstage, he and Hagel embraced
twice behind the podium, drawing
a standing ovation from the packed
McCain entered to the sounds
of the “Star Wars” theme, a cam
paign themq song. In hi^ remarks,
McCain sought to reassure
Republicans that he had buried
any leftover bitterness from the
primary campaign, endorsing
Bush early, often and forcefully
throughout his speech.
“I am grateful for your kind
ness to a distant runner-up,”
McCain said. “And I am proud to
join you this evening in conunend
ing to all Americans the man who
now represents your best wishes
and mine for the future of our
country, my friend, Governor
George W. Bush.”
Voters should cast their ballots
for Bush, McCain said, if they
believe the United States
“deserves leaders with a purpose
more ennobling than expediency
and opportunism,” and if they
‘‘believe patriotism is more than a
sound bite, and public service
should be more than a photo op.”
McCain, a member of the
Senate Armed Services
Committee, also called for a more
disciplined, coherent foreign poli
cy and a renewed commitment to
military strength. This is neces
sary, he said, in order to “help build
a safer, freer and more prosperous
world, completely free of the
tyranny that made the last century
such a violent age.”
Such a world requires U.S.
leadership and an open interna
tional economy based on free
trade, he said.
“Isolationism and protection
ism are fool’s errands,” he said.
“We shouldn’t build walls to the
global success of our interests and
values. Walls are for cowards, my
friends, not for Americans. No
nation complacent in its greatness
will tong sustain it”
But McCain said the United
States will have difficulty leading
if it did not reach out to voters who
had become distrustful of their
McCain made this a central
idea of his campaign, calling for
campaign finance reform.
“Cynicism is suffocating the.
ideals of many Americans, espe
cially among our young,” he said.
“And with cause, for they have lost
pride in their government
“Unless we restore the peo
ple’s sovereignty over government
renew their pride in public service,
reform our public institutions to
meet the challenges of a new day
and reinvigorate our national pur
pose, then America’s best days will
be behind us,” he said.
McCain and Hagel both are
expected to make frequent appear
ances on the national campaign
trail this fall. Their 20-year friend
ship, Hagel said in an interview, is
something he always will treasure.
“It was a powerful moment,”
he said, “an historic, poignant
moment for me.”
Democratic governor appointed a
Democratic replacement, narrow
ing the GOP’s advantage in the
Senate to 54-46.
Nebraska conservatives would
regret voting for Nelson, Johanns
said, if he “becomes the 51st
Democratic senator, and the first
vote he casts is to make Ted
Kennedy chairman of the Judiciary
Committee.” Kennedy is a
Democratic senator from
“Our effort really needs to be
on the Senate seat,” Johanns said.
“It makes all the difference in the
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