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Jesse Jackson calls GOP 'wolf in sheep's clothing'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Monday he believed many African-Americans would support Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and called the Republicans "wolves in sheeps' clothing" with no real commitment to diversity.

"You must judge (Republican candidate George W.) Bush against Gore by budget priorities. Bush says leave no one behind, but he leaves them out of his budget," Jackson said as the Democratic National Convention was preparing to open Monday in Los Angeles.

Jackson said Gore's "broad-based tent" of supporters at the convention where 36 percent of the delegates are minorities, stood in contrast to the Republican meeting in Philadelphia, where members of minority groups were highly visible on the podium but scarce among actual delegates. About 15 percent of Republican delegates were minorities.

"It was face, it was not substance," Jackson said. "It really became a wolf in sheep's clothing. It was all image and no real commitment to include all."

Jackson, who has praised Gore for his decision to select Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as his running mate, said Gore's clearly demonstrated willingness to promote diversity would win him "substantial support" among black voters, a group seen crucial to his chances in the Nov. 7 election.

He added that Gore, who has promised a convention of "more substance and less show," would concentrate on real issues facing Americans including health insurance, medical care and the state of the public schools.

"I think that the more Gore makes that distinction, the better off he will be," Jackson said. "The campaign is not about race, not about religion. It's about fair distribution of resources."

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Monday, August 14, 2000


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