GOP takes anti-tax show on the road Town meetings target Clinton plans

April 18, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Borrowing a favorite Bill Clinton maneuver Republican lawmakers blitzed the nation yesterday in a series of town hall meetings to rally public opinion against White House economic policies.

In 19 community meetings in 13 states, House and Senate Republicans highlighted their arguments against Mr. Clinton's plan to stimulate the economy.

The road show, the Republicans' first nationally coordinated move against Clinton economic policies, was reminiscent of the campaign that Mr. Clinton and Cabinet members conducted two months ago to try to generate support for the administration's long-term economic agenda, of which the stimulus plan is an element.

During a 2 1/2 -hour town hall meeting in the Republican stronghold of Orange County in Southern California, four congressmen assailed the Clinton economic plan before a friendly audience of about 700 people.

The crowd jeered at the first mention of the health care reform package being developed by Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and repeatedly cheered as the Republican congressmen called the administration's economic stimulus plan a deception.

"There's a crime taking place," Rep. Robert K. Dornan, a California Republican, said in Fullerton at the only Republican town meeting on the West Coast. "They are stealing your money. The taxes have gone way beyond the moral and ethical standards of that relationship between willing citizens supporting the government that they feel is ethical and really works for them."

Bolstering their argument with charts, statistics and other documents, the lawmakers described the Democratic economic plan as "taxing and spending" that will not create jobs. Instead, they said, the policies would make the economy worse.

Rep. Dick Armey of Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said the Republican strategy for the meetings was inspired by the administration's tactics.

"We're taking our show on the road, just like the Cabinet secretaries have done," Mr. Armey said.

Republican leaders said events were also scheduled yesterday in Exeter, N.H.; East Brunswick, N.J.; Elizabethtown, Pa.; Norcross and Waycross, Ga.; Bridgeport and Cadillac, Mich.; Crystal Lake, Ill.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Covington, La.; Farmers Branch and Bellaire, Texas; Casper, Wyo.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.

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