Tags: Rivals | Pummel | Riordan | Abortion | Loyalty

Rivals Pummel Riordan on Abortion, Loyalty

Thursday, 14 February 2002 12:00 AM

Last night, the three main Republican candidates for California held their final debate in Long Beach. Here are excerpts of some of the press coverage.

Long Beach -- Women, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and abortion were the hot-button issues last night as a trio of Republican candidates for governor slammed one another relentlessly in their final scheduled debate.

With the March 5 primary less than three weeks away, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, the front-runner in the polls, tried desperately to keep the focus on Davis, whom he called "a pathetic, disgraceful governor." ...

Riordan's GOP rivals, businessman Bill Simon and Secretary of State Bill Jones, turned their fire on the front-runner, slamming him for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and for what they called his inconsistent record on such high-profile issues as the death penalty and taxes.

"The truth is, (Riordan) is just another big-city, liberal mayor," said Jones, who spent 12 years as a Fresno assemblyman. "I'm not sure which primary he should be running in." . . .

Jones again appeared with [former California governor] Deukmejian, who repeated his accusations that Riordan is not trustworthy enough to support.

"Tonight, he said Gov. Gray Davis is pathetic," Deukmejian said. "And yet he and his wife have given $85,000 to get him elected."

Simon noted that Davis has spent millions to oppose Riordan, but said he expects to be the governor's next target. "He's going after the individual that's leading now, but after I overtake Dick, I fully expect he'll come after me."

. . . Secretary of State Bill Jones led the attack, using the third and final Republican debate to pummel Riordan just 20 days before the March 5 primary.

Jones called Riordan "just another big-city liberal mayor" who gave generously to Democrats and who flip-flopped on issues such as the death penalty.

Los Angeles businessman Bill Simon steered clear of most of the attacks, calling his opponents "both good men" but professional politicians who look to government first for answers.

All three found common ground in attacking Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, who Simon said "hasn't led. Under Davis, we've just careened from crisis to crisis."

Riordan, the leader in all pre-primary polls, tried to deflect most attacks on him by attacking Davis, saying the governor goes to the office at 11 a.m. each day and "dials for dollars all day long." . . .

Riordan, who has attacked Davis for accepting money from Enron, also had to defend his own Enron ties, including a meeting last May with Enron CEO Ken Lay. Riordan called that an open meeting attended by Davis supporters, too.

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Last night, the three main Republican candidates for California held their final debate in Long Beach. Here are excerpts of some of the press coverage. Long Beach -- Women, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and abortion were the hot-button issues last night as a trio of...
Rivals,Pummel,Riordan,Abortion,,Loyalty
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2002-00-14
Thursday, 14 February 2002 12:00 AM
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