Gore says GOP infighting makes Democrats day's real winner

He criticizes Bush, McCain for their failure to call for Confederate flag removal


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Even before results of the South Carolina primary were known, Vice President Al Gore declared the day a victory for Democrats.

He asserted that Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain had badly hurt each other in the hotly contested Republican race.

"It's pretty clear that they have done a lot of damage to one another," Gore said at a news conference after a town-meeting-style campaign gathering here.

He also harshly criticized the two Republicans for not supporting the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina Statehouse.

"Neither of the two major Republican candidates had the guts to take on bigotry and call for the removal of the Confederate flag," Gore said.

Gore brushed aside questions about his Democratic opponent, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. Instead, the vice president used the interest in the vote in South Carolina to hit the Republicans on issues such as abortion, education and the environment.

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