Bush campaign names debate negotiators

Sept. 7, 2004 at 4:08 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker will head the Bush team negotiating over the presidential debates, campaign chairman Marc Racicot said Tuesday.

Working on Bush's behalf with Baker are U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Indiana GOP Chairman Allan B. Hubbard, former senior Bush communications adviser Karen Hughes and Mary Matalin, a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and the wife of former Clinton political adviser James Carville.

Bush-Cheney '04 deputy campaign manager Mark Wallace will serve as the liaison between the campaign and the debate negotiation team.

Sources close to the process say the campaign will take as the starting point for the negotiations the proposal made by the independent commission on presidential debates for three face-to-face encounters between Bush and Democrat John F. Kerry and one between Cheney and Sen. John B. Edwards, D-N.C.

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