McCain Urges Delegates: Back Bush

Sunday, July 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On the eve of the most unified Republican National Convention in years, Sen. John McCain urged his delegates Sunday to cross over and support Gov. George W. Bush's nomination for president. ``We're on our way to victory,'' said the Texas governor.

Democrats, concerned about the GOP lead in the polls and the Republican's place in the political spotlight, set a multi-million dollar barrage of television advertisements and aimed increasingly sharp criticism at Cheney's conservative voting record while a member of Congress.

Bush described his vice presidential pick as ``a solid man, a man of integrity'' as he continued a pre-convention tour of campaign battleground states. Aides said he also spent part of his day going over the acceptance speech he will deliver Thursday night before 2,066 delegates and a nationwide television audience.

McCain's decision to release his delegates was a political grace note, one that underscored unity in a party that has aired internal disagreements prominently in every convention since 1988.

``I need every one of you to give this (Bush) campaign the same amount of enthusiasm and participation you did for our primary campaign,'' he told the men and women who became delegates as a result of his primary votes. There were scattered groans from his audience, and shouts of ``We love you John.''

With Bush campaigning in the heartland, much of the convention-city spotlight fell on Cheney. He arrived in late-afternoon, to a rousing welcome that contrasted sharply with the Democratic attacks.