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White House Confirms that Bush Lobbied Voinovich on the Bolton Nomination

Despite a reluctance to discuss details of Administration lobbying efforts behind John Bolton‘s nomination to be United Nations ambassador, the White House Friday confirmed that the President made a special telephone call to Sen. George Voinovich (R.-Oh.) on Wednesday afternoon urging his support for the embattled nominee. Voinovich, whose public doubts about Bolton had led to the postponement of a vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced the day after the President’s call that he would vote only to send Bolton’s nomination to the full Senate if it was without recommendation. By a 10-to-8 vote along party lines, the committee did just that–thus setting the stage for a major debate on Bolton on the Senate floor.

Asked by HUMAN EVENTS at the Friday morning (May 13th) press briefing about what the President said to Voinovich, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan replied “I don’t get into the substance of conversations” such as that and refused to say whether Voinovich told Mr. Bush what he would do about Bolton the next day. However, McClellan did confirm that President Bush and the Ohio senator “talked on Wednesday.”

Voinovich was apparently a target of concern by the Administration. Asked by CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux if either Republican Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) or Chuck Hagel (Neb.)–both Foreign Relations Committee thought to be wavering on Bolton–were recipients of similar calls by the President, McClellan said no, that Voinovich was the lone Republican senator the President sought out regarding the nomination.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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