ANNAPOLIS -- Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton made another personal bid last night for the backing of Democratic Party regulars in Maryland's March 3 presidential primary, emphasizing his party credentials and sharply denouncing President George Bush.
Representatives of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey urged the party regulars at the meeting to consider their man. Representatives of a fourth Democratic candidate, former Massachusetts Sen. Paul E. Tsongas, were also present. Mr. Tsongas will speak today at the University of Maryland law school in Baltimore.
Mr. Clinton, who claims the support of 100 elected or Democratic Party officials in the state, spoke at a meeting of the Democratic Central Committee at the Ramada Inn here. About 400 persons, including many members of the Maryland General Assembly, heard his remarks.
President Bush, the governor charged, has "torn the living heart out of the middle class" with his economic policies. He accused Mr. Bush of having no strategy for leading the nation to economic recovery.
Until the president's popularity fell below 50 percent, Mr. Clinton said, he seemed to forget his promise to make Head Start available for everyone who is eligible -- and then "boom, $500 million for his favorite program." He was referring to the president's announcement yesterday in Catonsville that he would ask for another $600 million for the program aimed at giving poor youngsters a better chance to succeed.
Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., speaking for Mr. Harkin, said his candidate is the Democrat best able to tap into the indignation and anger of Americans stung by the recession. Mr. Harkin, he said, offers "the politics of conviction." Americans who are estranged from their political system, who believe politics does not work for them, will be stirred by Mr. Harkin, he said.