AUSTIN â€“ A day after George W. Bush's videotaped address to the Christian Coalition, conservative leader Pat Robertson criticized the GOP presidential nominee for not "swinging like a fighter" at Al Gore and said Mr. Bush risks losing the election.
Mr. Robertson said that Mr. Bush has taken the party's conservative base for granted with his attempts to appeal to moderates.
"He's got to begin hitting Gore where Gore's vulnerable: the big spending, possibly doubling the size of government," Mr. Robertson said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "He's got to come out swinging like a fighter. And if he doesn't do it ... I think he's going to lose."
Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett said Mr. Robertson "obviously hasn't been closely following this election."
"Governor Bush has outlined and explained very clearly that Al Gore's spending proposals will threaten the nation's economic future," Mr. Bartlett said.
Cheney gearing up for Lieberman debate
JACKSON, Wyo. â€“ Dick Cheney reached outside the Bush campaign for familiar surroundings and faces, assembling an inner circle of family and longtime friends to help him prepare for this week's debate â€“ his first such encounter in more than a decade.
At a mock debate Saturday night at a theater near the Republican vice presidential nominee's home in Wyoming, son-in-law Phil Perry played moderator, daughter Mary Cheney timed his responses, and his other daughter, Liz Perry, coordinated the 90-minute session.
Among those on hand was Paul Wolfowitz, dean of international studies at Johns Hopkins University, who was Mr. Cheney's policy chief when he was secretary of defense.
Campaigns costs nearing '96 total
WASHINGTON â€“ The price tag of politics keeps getting bigger. Candidates, parties and special interests spent more than $2 billion by Labor Day in pursuit of the White House and Congress, according to an Associated Press analysis.
The total, coming even before the fall spending splurge, nearly equaled what was spent for the entire 1996 election.