Bradley, McCain drop out of presidential race

Megan Boldt

In an expected move Thursday morning, former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ended their bids for the presidency.
Both were considered insurgent candidates by many; their missions were to bring about reform. Now, the only candidate left besides the front-runners Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush is former Republican candidate and U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes.

Bradley forfeits the game
After thanking supporters and his wife Ernestine in West Orange, N.J., Bradley said he would call it quits and support Gore.
“We have been defeated,” Bradley said. “But the cause for which I ran has not.”
Although he is dropping out of the race, Bradley said he will not release any of the delegates he has already won.
For Bradley supporters, the scene was an emotional and disappointing one, said Bill Lofy, Bradley’s campaign director in Minnesota.
“It was quite moving,” Lofy said from New Jersey. “We expected Bradley to get the nomination; we wouldn’t work for him otherwise.”
Bradley would not discuss future plans. He said it is time for the Democratic Party to move on.
“Now it is a time for unity,” he said. “I will work for a Democratic White House and Congress.”
With Bradley out, Gore will be the only presidential choice for Minnesota’s Democratic caucus-goers Saturday and Sunday.

McCain’s mission to reform aborted
Standing next to his wife Cindy in Sedona, Ariz., McCain announced Thursday morning his crusade for the Republican nomination had ended.
McCain said the voters have made it clear their choice for the Republican Party is Bush and is honored he was considered in the running.
“I hoped our campaign would be a force of change in the Republican Party,” McCain said.
He added he would continue to fight to reform the tax code, Social Security and campaign finance.
Although disappointed by McCain’s exit from the race, Greg Copeland, communications director for Minnesotans for McCain, said he and others are thankful.
“He had the courage to take an independent course others in the Republican Party were not willing to do,” Copeland said.
He said McCain appealed to younger people and working families, especially with his tax reform plan. McCain, Copeland said, knows simply handing out a tax cut to the wealthiest citizens is not the answer.
“He was willing to speak the truth,” Copeland said. “(Volunteers) view him as the true reform choice of this election.”

Megan Boldt covers government and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.