Lazio pokes fun at Hillary Clinton at GOP convention
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- Rep. Rick Lazio, R-New York, said Tuesday that New York
voters don't want to be "lectured" for the next six years -- a jab at first
lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his Democratic rival in what has turned into the
hottest Senate race in the country.
Ostensibly in the city of brotherly love to celebrate George W. Bush's
nomination for president, Lazio is also using the political gathering to raise
money for his own race and energize his supporters. He met with the New York
delegation Tuesday morning and held a press conference later in the day. He
criticized Clinton at both events.
"I don't know about you, but I don't want to be lectured for the next six
years by Hillary Rodham Clinton," Lazio said to applause at the delegation
"We've been here for about one day ... maybe longer than Hillary Clinton
has spent in New York," he said in a line that elicited laughter from the party
Still, Lazio insisted he was trying to keep a low profile at the
convention, saying it was Bush's moment to shine. "I'm excited to be here for
Governor Bush," he said later.
Republicans, in fact, are trying not to talk too much about the first
lady at this convention, a break with 1996 and 1992, when several speakers
criticized Hillary Clinton's role in the White House, a pattern that some critics
described as too harsh.
In a Tampa, Florida, television interview Monday night, President Clinton
said his critics are now going after his wife.
"I get more nervous about her than I ever did about me," he said.
"And you know everybody that always hated me all those years and was so mean to
me, they all transferred all their anger to her. It's almost as if they got one
last chance to beat me."
Lazio said his focus was on his home state, where he is currently
leading in the polls over Clinton.
"My job is to get back to New York," Lazio said. "That's where the votes
are. That's what I need to do to connect with the people of New York. We have a
little over three months before Election Day. I am not running for national
office here. I am running to be the senator from New York."
Hillary Clinton was on Long Island on Tuesday, where she was joined on the
campaign trail by her daughter Chelsea.
Judith Hope, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in New York, traveled
to Philadelphia to call on Lazio to release his income tax returns. Lazio said
he would do so.
Even as he poked fun at his Democratic opponent, Lazio said he was not
trying to "tear anybody else down."
"This is about who I am," Lazio said. "I would like to be a good role
model for our children. I'd like to have people look at me and say this is a
good man who has conducted his life in the right way, who restored our faith in
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