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Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 22:43 GMT
In quotes: South Carolina's dirty campaign

Debate Mutual accusations in Tuesday's debate


The primary in South Carolina turned the Republican campaign into a bitter one.

Both main candidates, Texas governor George W Bush and Arizona senator John McCain, accused each other of using dirty tricks in TV adverts, rallies and interviews.

McCain on Bush

Mr McCain attacked his opponent's slogan and the negative campaign.

McCain Mr McCain attacked his opponent's slogan and the negative campaign
"I guess Governor Bush is now a reformer. If so, it's his first day on the job," he said.

"I don't know if you can understand this George, but that really hurt. That really hurt" - Mr McCain responding to the acusation that he had neglected war veterans.

"Turn on the radio, turn on the television and you'll hear a negative attack against John McCain."

"You should be ashamed" - Mr McCain lectured his rival during the debate for the accusations against him.

Bush on McCain

Mr Bush reacted angrily to the accusation that he was as "dishonest" as President Bill Clinton and made further attacks.

Bush Mr Bush reacted angrily to the accusation that he was as "dishonest" as President Clinton
"Don't compare me to Bill Clinton ... that's about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary," he said.

"We should not allow federal candidates to take money they have raised for one campaign and transfer it to another" - Mr Bush said, accusing Mr McCain of having raised money for a United States Senate race and transferred the money to the presidential campaign.

"If you're tired of no results and simple, empty rhetoric, if you're tired of people saying one thing and doing another, come and join my team."

"Do we really want another politician in the White House America can't trust?" - Bush advert.

"John McCain made a promise not to run negative ads and then he has run them" - Bush advert.

... and sniping from the wings

The attacks prompted Alan Keyes, the third candidate in the race, to react: "Is this the kind of spectacle that actually characterises a serious political process? Because I don't think it does."

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See also:
18 Feb 00 |  Americas
Tight race in crucial primary
16 Feb 00 |  Americas
Sparks fly in Republican debate
08 Feb 00 |  Americas
Republican's negative campaign row
04 Feb 00 |  Americas
McCain gets NY ballot boost
02 Feb 00 |  Americas
Republicans head south
16 Feb 00 |  Election news
Republicans set for showdown

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