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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Bush's bulge stirs media rumours
US President George W Bush during the first debate with Senator John Kerry on 30 September
A square patch was visible on Bush's back during the debate [TV Pool Photo]
A bulge in the back of President George W Bush's suit jacket during the first TV debate with John Kerry has triggered rumours that he was wired to get help.

Internet websites alleged the apparent bulge, during last week's debate in Miami, was a radio receiver feeding him answers from an offstage aide.

The Bush campaign dismissed the claims, saying it was just a wrinkle in the presidential jacket.

It also denied some web reports that Mr Bush was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

"People have been spending too much time dealing with Internet conspiracies. It's ridiculous," Bush campaign manager Scott Stanzel was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Another campaign official said it was nothing more than a question of tailoring.

"There was nothing under his suit jacket," Nicolle Devenish, the Bush campaign's communications director, told the New York Times newspaper.

"It was most likely a rumpling of that portion of his suit jacket, or a wrinkle in the fabric," Ms Devenish added.

President Bush's tailor later said that the bulge was nothing more than a pucker along the jacket's back seam, according to the Seattle Times newspaper.

Georges de Paris, who made the suit worn by Mr Bush, said the bulge was accentuated when the president crossed his arms and leaned forward.

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