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Vice President George Bush rescued his faltering presidential campaign...

By MATTHEW C. QUINN, UPI Political Reporter   |   Feb. 16, 1988

CONCORD, N.H. -- Vice President George Bush rescued his faltering presidential campaign Tuesday with a stunning victory over Sen. Robert Dole in New Hampshire's Republican primary and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis won the Democratic race hands-down.

'Tonight, I somehow feel I have a lot in common with Mark Twain - reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,' Bush told cheering supporters at a Manchester Hotel after winning the nation's first primary election. 'On to the South, where we are going to rise again!'

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Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri finished second in the seven-man Democratic race ahead of Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois. Dukakis, as popular governor of a neighboring state, had been expected all along to win handily so the drama centered on the hard-fought competition between the two Midwesterners for No. 2.

There were indications that sixth-place finisher Bruce Babbitt might be the first Democratic casuality of this year's New Hampshire primary. The former Arizona governor, who schedued a news conference for Thursday in Washington, said: 'I want to be realistic. There's a point when the best thing to do is say you had your chance.'

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Bush had 38 percent of the Republican vote; Dole, 29 percent; Rep. Jack Kemp of New York, 13 percent, and former Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont and former religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, 10 percent each.

With 83 percent of Democratic vote reporting, Dukakis had 37 percent; Gephardt, 20 percent; Simon, 17 percent; civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, 8 percent; Sen. Albert Gore of Tennessee, 7 percent; Babbitt, 5 percent, and former Sen. Gary Hart, 4 percent.

These results project that Bush would pick up 11 GOP delegates; Dole, seven delegates; Kemp, three, and du Pont, two. Democratic projections would give Dukakis, nine delegates; Gephardt, five, and Simon, four.

Dukakis vowed to prove himself more than a regional candidate in the Super Tuesday primaries concentrated in the South in three weeks.

'I always wanted to be an Olympic champion,' Dukakis said at his Manchester victory celebration, a medal around his neck. 'Last week in Iowa, our message started to shine through and we won a bronze. Tonight in New Hampshire our message came in loud and clear. We went for the gold and won.'

In the Republican race, Bush showed surprising strength across the Granite State just eight days after his disastrous third place finish in the Iowa caucuses behind Dole and former religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

Gephardt, who won the Iowa caucuses and sorely needed to show his appeal beyond the Midwest, said his second place finish demonstrated his tough-trade policy economic message 'makes sense anywhere in the country.'

Gephardt told supporters he had carried the state with the exception of the 'Boston suburbs,' the southern part of the state near Dukakis's home state.

Simon, who had finished second in Iowa, conceded his New Hampshire showing 'is not helping' his efforts to raise money but will take his damaged candidacy to the Super Tuesday states. But he said Dukakis, Gephardt and himself had emerged from New Hampshire with about the same number of nominating convention delegates.

Babbitt, whose promise to raise taxes flopped badly in the 'Live Free or Die' state without income or sales taxes, told reporters he would meet with advisers before announcing his plans Thursday. He said it was 'no mystery to that I'm very sympathic' to Jackson and Hart.

But Babbitt was upbeat dancing the 'Twist and Shout' with his wife Hattie at what was supposed to be his victory celebration.

Dole, in a concession speech to cheering supporters, reminded them the campaign had had made a 'remarkable amount of recovery in the last eight days.'

'I must say, it's better to win,' Dole said. 'I congratulate the winner.'

But he insisted the race for the Republican nomination is still between him and Bush. 'In my view, the American people have a very clear choice.'

Robertson, running last in the five-man Republican field for most of the night, congratulated Bush. But he said he was 'throwing the gauntlet down' to Bush and Dole and vowed to beat both in the South Carolina GOP primary March 5 two days before Super Tuesday.

'I go into the South and they're playing in my backyard,' Robertson told cheering supporters.

In a brief exchange over live television. NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw asked Bush what he had to say to Dole, who was standing by in another studio. 'Just wish him well and meet him in the South,' Bush said with a smile.

Asked to respond to the vice president, Dole said pointedly, 'Stop lying about my record.'

Earlier, Bush told his supporters chanting 'We're No. 1' that New Hampshire voters had demostrated, 'You just don't like being told what to do.'

'I think you listen and you judge and you decide and then you do what's right and I'll never forget.' He again promised to say four words to himself when he takes the oath of office in January 1989, 'Thank you, New Hampshire.'

Dole, as he watched the election returns with his wife Elizabeth in his Merrimack hotel room, said he 'didn't quite' win. 'This is one step along the road. It makes it a little steeper but it doesn't make it impossible,' he added.

But Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater said: 'This was a big win by any stretch of the imagination and this is going to be a big wallop when you move into this all-important Super Tuesday.

In a brief exchange over live television. NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw asked Bush what he had to say to Dole, who was standing by in another studio. 'Just wish him well and meet him in the South,' Bush said with a smile.

Asked to respond to the vice president, Dole said pointedly, 'Stop lying about my record.'

Earlier, Bush told his supporters chanting 'We're No. 1' that New Hampshire voters had demostrated, 'You just don't like being told what to do.'

'I think you listen and you judge and you decide and then you do what's right and I'll never forget.' He again promised to say four words to himself when he takes the oath of office in January 1989, 'Thank you, New Hampshire.'

Dole, as he watched the election returns with his wife Elizabeth in his Merrimack hotel room, said he 'didn't quite' win. 'This is one step along the road. It makes it a little steeper but it doesn't make it impossible,' he added.

But Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater said: 'This was a big win by any stretch of the imagination and this is going to be a big wallop when you move into this all-important Super Tuesday. This is a great head of steam to have going into that.'

Kemp claimed a third place finish over du Pont and Robertson and said, 'That's good enough for me.'

Du Pont refused to throw in the towel and said he would compete in the South 'without question.'

Gephardt, who won the Iowa caucuses and sorely needed to show his appeal beyond the Midwest, said his second place finish demonstrated his tough-trade policy economic message 'makes sense anywhere in the country.'

Gephardt told supporters he had carried the state with the exception of the 'Boston suburbs,' the southern part of the state near Dukakis's home state.

Simon, who had finished second in Iowa, conceded his New Hampshire showing 'is not helping' his efforts to raise money but will take his damaged candidacy to the Super Tuesday states. But he said Dukakis, Gephardt and himself had emerged from New Hampshire with about the same number of nominating convention delegates.

Dole, in a concession speech to cheering supporters, reminded them the campaign had had made a 'remarkable amount of recovery in the last eight days.'

'I must say, it's better to win,' Dole said. 'I congratulate the winner.'

But he insisted the race for the Republican nomination is still between him and Bush. 'In my view, the American people have a very clear choice.'

Robertson, running last in the five-man Republican field for most of the night, congratulated Bush. But he said he was 'throwing the gauntlet down' to Bush and Dole and vowed to beat both in the South Carolina GOP primary March 6 two days before Super Tuesday.

'I go into the South and they're playing in my backyard,' Robertson told cheering supporters.

In a brief exchange over live television. NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw asked Bush what he had to say to Dole, who was standing by in another studio. 'Just wish him well and meet him in the South,' Bush said with a smile.

Asked to respond to the vice president, Dole said pointedly, 'Stop lying about my record.'

Earlier, Bush told his supporters chanting 'We're No. 1' that New Hampshire voters had demostrated, 'You just don't like being told what to do.'

'I think you listen and you judge and you decide and then yu do what's right and I'll never forget.' He again promised to say four words to himself when he takes the oath of office in January 1989, 'Thank you, New Hampshire.'

Dole, as he watched the election returns with his wife Elizabeth in his Merrimack hotel room, said he 'didn't quite' win. 'This is one step along the road. It makes it a little steeper but it doesn't make it impossible,' he added.

But Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater said: 'This was a big win by any stretch of the imagination and this is going to be a big wallop when you move into this all-important Super Tuesday. This is a great head of steam to have going into that.'

Kemp claimed a third place finish over du Pont and Robertson and said, 'That's good enough for me.'

Du Pont refused to throw in the towel and said he would compete in the South 'without question.'

In a brief exchange over live television. NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw asked Bush what he had to say to Dole, who was standing by in another studio. 'Just wish him well and meet him in the South,' Bush said with a smile.

Asked to respond to the vice president, Dole said pointedly, 'Stop lying about my record.'

Earlier, Bush told his supporters chanting 'We're No. 1' that New Hampshire voters had demostrated, 'You just don't like being told what to do.'

'I think you listen and you judge and you decide and then yu do what's right and I'll never forget.' He again promised to say four words to himself when he takes the oath of office in January 1989, 'Thank you, New Hampshire.'

Dole, as he watched the election returns with his wife Elizabeth in his Merrimack hotel room, said he 'didn't quite' win. 'This is one step along the road. It makes it a little steeper but it doesn't make it impossible,' he added.

But Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater said: 'This was a big win by any stretch of the imagination and this is going to be a big wallop when you move into this all-important Super Tuesday. This is a great head of steam to have going intothat.'

Kemp claimed a third place finish over du Pont and Robertson and said, 'That's good enough for me.'

Du Pont refused to throw in the towel and said he would compete in the South 'without question.'

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