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Bush calls cop-killing lyrics 'sick'

NEW YORK -- President Bush, at the opening of the Drug Enforcement Administration's new Manhattan office, slammed artists Monday who 'glorify' killing law enforcement officers, calling such expressions 'sick.'

After reciting his administration's achievements in the war on drugs, Bush took a swing at rapper Ice-T and Time Warner, without naming either, for the song 'Cop Killer,' which critics have said invites youth to kill police officers.

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'I also stand against those who use films or records or television or video games to glorify killing law enforcement officers. It is sick,' the president said to applause.

'I don't care how noble the name of the company, it is wrong for any company to issue records that approve of killing law enforcement officers.'

'Cop Killer,' which is one track on Ice-T's album, 'Body Count,' is distributed through Time Warner's Warner Bros. Records Division.

The song's lyrics, which contain profanities that have kept it off the radio, tell the story of a frustrated black youth who is stopped by police 'for nuthin'' and plans to retaliate by killing an officer.

Time Warner has come under fire from law enforcement groups and politicians in New York, Texas and Los Angeles, where the City Council last week formally asked Time Warner to pull the song from record store shelves.

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Last Monday, Vice President Dan Quayle said it was 'revolting and outrageous' for the media conglomerate to produce such a song.

A spokesman for Time Warner called the song 'a dramatic slice of life, like a movie' and 'not a call to arms,' adding that the company had no plans to stop marketing the record.

The president joined the attack Monday at the end of a speech delivered at a ceremony marking the opening of the DEA's field division office in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

Bush said his administration had budgeted $12 billion for the war on drugs this year, nearly double the amount when he became president in 1989.

In another development, Bush welcomed the political endorsement Monday of the New York Conservative Party, calling it 'very important.'

The announcement of the Conservative Party's support was made by chairman Michael Long at a fund-raising luncheon in honor of Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., who is seeking his third term in the Senate.

Long said that one of the reasons his party decided to endorse Bush was that he has 'proven himself to be a true champion of the unborn.'

Taking his turn at the lectern, Bush stressed his support of a usual cast of conservative issues such as prayer in the schools, the balanced budget amendment, the line item veto, but conspicuously avoided mentioning the controversial Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

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The 5 to 4 decision upheld restrictions on abortion in the Pennsylvania case, but let stand the right to abortion in the Roe versus Wade landmark case in 1973.

Minutes after he spoke, however, the White House issued a two- paragraph written statement in the president's name saying he was 'pleased' with the ruling upholding Pennsylvania's restrictions, and reiterating his own opposition to abortion.

Bush later flew to Detroit where he told 1,000 people at a $1,000-a- plate GOP fund-raiser at the Westin Hotel that the nation is now the strongest and the world is safer because of his leadership.

The president also also argued for his schools of choice plan, reiterated his efforts to strengthen the economy, again called for a capital gains tax cut and blamed Democrats for failure to pass economic reform packages.

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