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Is it just me, or does anybody else care that Al Gore appears willing
to say anything — even at the habitual risk of getting caught — to win
the presidential election?

Mr. Gore, who I might add was to receive the endorsement of the
Internet adult entertainment industry this weekend, recently launched
into yet another campaign falsehood — called an “indignant tale,” by
the Washington Times — when he said a prescription drug cost more for
his mother-in-law than for his dog. The Times reported, “Mr. Gore, who
told the anecdote in Florida to illustrate the need for his $253 billion
drug plan for seniors, fabricated the cost of the drug itself, the
comparative doses for his pet and for Tipper’s mom, and his family’s
bills for them.”

Mr. Gore said he pays $37.80 per month for Shiloh, his Labrador
retriever, to take Etogesic, an animal version of Lodine. He said his
mother-in-law’s monthly bill is $108. “That’s pretty bad when you have
got to pretend to be a dog or a cat to get a price break,” he said.

Mr. Gore’s aides have now acknowledged that those figures are not the
actual costs for Mr. Gore’s family. They were borrowed instead from a
House Democratic study on rising drug prices. What’s more, Mr. Gore
conveniently ignored the fact that human drugs undergo many more
strenuous tests and trials than animal medications, which leads to
obviously higher prices.

This is just the latest in a long series of missteps, exaggerations
and downright fabrications on the part of Mr. Gore in this campaign –
and in his long political service, for that matter.

Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for Republican presidential nominee George
W. Bush, said the episode was only the latest example of Mr. Gore’s
“troubling pattern of embellishing and exaggerating his plans and
personal experiences.”

“This certainly underscores the fact that the vice president will say
anything to get elected,” added Bush spokesman Karen Hughes.

Mrs. Hughes said Mr. Gore’s mistake went beyond the simple
mispronunciations by Mr. Bush that Mr. Gore’s campaign has routinely
reported to the media. “This case is a direct misstatement of fact,
which I think is far more serious,” she accurately said.

A History of Whoppers

Mr. Gore has had a long history of dishonesty — even before he
joined forces with Bill Clinton — that is truly disconcerting.

In fact, Mr. Gore’s own campaign manager once told the vice president
his image “may continue to suffer if you continue to go out on a limb
with remarks that may be impossible to back up.” In addition, his
communication director later chimed in by saying, “Your main pitfall is
exaggeration.”

His two most famous lies were: 1) claiming that Harvard professor
and author Erich Segal used him and wife Tipper as models for his
best-selling book, “Love Story, and 2) claiming that, as a congressman,
he “took the initiative in creating the Internet.” The Internet, of
course, was created years before Mr. Gore even entered Congress, and Mr.
Segal has reported that he has no idea why Al Gore makes the outrageous
claim to be the inspiration for his book.

However, those lies were the tip of a glaring iceberg of careless
political misrepresentations that Al Gore has made through the years.
They include the following:

     

  • Mr. Gore told the Des Moines Register that his tenure as an
    investigative reporter at the Nashville Tennessean “got a bunch of
    people indicted and sent to jail.” The paper later verified that nobody
    went to jail as a result of any Gore stories. But the claim sounded
    good … while it lasted.

     

  • Mr. Gore also has continually spoken of the danger he faced in
    Vietnam. In fact, it was recently reported that he actually had
    bodyguards assigned to protect him there and fellow soldiers have
    revealed that he was given priority treatment to keep him out of harm’s
    way.

     

  • He claimed to have been a co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold
    campaign-finance reform bill when Mr. Feingold was not even in the
    Senate during Mr. Gore’s tenure there.

     

  • And he told a tall tale about discovering “a little place in
    upstate New York called Love Canal.” He added fuel to that lie by
    declaring he “had the first hearing on that issue … that started it
    all.” President Carter had actually declared the Love Canal a disaster
    area months before Mr. Gore’s hearing.

Mr. Gore has stooped to his most amazing lows by lying about his
tobacco connection in the wake of his sister’s 1984 smoking-related
death. During his 1996 speech at the Democratic National Convention,
Mr. Gore said, “That is why, until I draw my last breath, I will pour my
heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the
dangers of smoking.”

The truth: Mr. Gore and his family grew tobacco on the family farm
for years after his sister’s death. In 1988, four years after her
tragic death, he even bragged to North Carolina tobacco growers that he
relished growing and fostering tobacco.

And, as again reported in the Washington Times, “The man who
introduced ‘no controlling legal authority,’ into the political lexicon
has not shied away from lying about his role in the 1996
campaign-finance scandal.”

In that scandal, as most conservatives know (and most liberals
ignore), Mr. Gore, despite White House memos and a Secret Service memo
to the contrary, claimed he did not know that his appearance at the Hsi
Lai temple was a Democratic fund-raising event. Videotape of the event
shows Mr. Gore cavorting with Democratic fund-raiser Maria Hsia, who
delivered illegal “conduit” payments from “straw donors” (namely
impoverished Buddhist nuns) to the DNC. Maria Hsia was later convicted
of five felony counts for illegal actions in the 1996 campaign-finance
scandal.

Despite the blatant fund-raising corruption in the Clinton White
House, Mr. Gore has continually called for campaign finance reform, as
if his connection to the Hsia conviction is nonexistent. (Making
matters worse, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno has refused to
investigate Mr. Gore’s connection to this scandal.)

Lynne Cheney, wife of Republican vice presidential candidate Richard
Cheney, recently spoke of the duality of Mr. Gore’s values-speak. She
said that Mr. Gore talks “values” by day, only to attend an evening
“party with the entertainment industry, raise millions of dollars,
listen to scatological jokes about people who are concerned about the
entertainment industry marketing adult products to our children; sit
there and listen to jokes so — how shall I say this politely –
X-rated, that I can’t think of anyone I could tell them to.”

This is typical of Mr. Gore — saying one thing, and doing another.
But his Hollywood buddies, blind apologists and loyalist Democratic
voters appear content to vote for a man who may or may not tell them the
truth at any given moment.

This cold-blooded willingness to manufacture stories and fabricate
lies has even led Mr. Gore to relinquish his one-time pro-life views in
an attempt to garner votes. As hard as it may be to believe today, Mr.
Gore once eloquently wrote to a Tennessee constituent about his pro-life
views and maintained a solid pro-life voting record.

Recently, you will recall, he falsely stated that he has
always been pro-choice. (There he goes again.) Al Gore’s
pro-life stance was apparently only as good as his word.

Today, after years and years of Clintonizing the facts, Mr. Gore
apparently cannot tell fact from fiction as he callously strives to win
the ultimate political prize.

Maybe this pattern of political concoctions is what it takes to win
the presidency at the dawn of this new century. If it is, I truly fear
for our nation as truth falls by the wayside and we, the people, become
the ultimate victims of this parade of purposeful misrepresentations,
blatant half-truths and categorical lies.

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