Associated Press
February 9, 2000


Giuliani Memo Incenses Mrs. Clinton


BY MARC HUMBERT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) --Hillary Rodham Clinton today angrily accused Senate rival Rudolph Giuliani of "injecting religion into this race" with a fund-raising letter sent to religious conservatives.

"As a person of faith, I am appalled that he would make false statements about me and my respect for religion in order to raise money for his campaign," the first lady told reporters.

Clinton was referring to an eight-page letter, a copy of which was distributed by her campaign and first reported in today's Village Voice. It bears Giuliani's signature and is on his letterhead, but there was no immediate confirmation it came from Giuliani.

The Republican mayor's campaign manager, Bruce Teitelbaum, refused to comment Tuesday and telephone calls for comment today were not immediately returned.

The letter says: "Hillary Clinton further revealed her hostility towards America's religious traditions when she attacked Gov. George W. Bush's idea that we should look toward America's faith-based charities more than government programs to address social problems."

Clinton said today she was "outraged he would inject religion into this campaign in any form whatsoever. And to do it in a way designed to raise money for his campaign is something he should take responsibility for."

"I have worked very hard my entire life to support our fundamental religious values in my own life and in our public life," said Clinton, who was raised in a devout Methodist family.

Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said Clinton never attacked Bush's proposal. He said she supports using faith-based charities to carry out social programs if it is done in a constitutional manner.

On Tuesday, Clinton called for legislation to allow cheaper prescription drugs to be imported into the United States from Canada.

"I didn't give up then and I won't give up now," said Clinton, who led the failed effort of President Clinton's administration to overhaul the nation's health care financing system in 1993 and 1994.

Clinton, outlining her new health care plans before more than 400 medical professionals in Rochester, reiterated her support for a patients' bill of rights, expanding Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit, protecting the privacy of medical records and outlawing genetic discrimination.

But the cornerstone of her proposal was the import of cheaper Canadian drugs that have Federal Drug Administration approval.

Clinton said that "if we want to make health care affordable, we must lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans."

A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical industry said Clinton's plan could leave patients vulnerable to unsafe or ineffective drugs and was likely the product of election-year politics.

"From the pharmaceutical industry's point of view, the answer isn't a scheme like reimportation that could hurt patient safety or importing price controls," said Jackie Cottrell, a spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Cottrell said Clinton's proposal would overturn landmark consumer protection legislation the 1988 Prescription Drug Marketing Act that banned the reimportation of prescription drugs.

Wolfson said the plan could save Americans up to 15 percent in drug costs.

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