Former Vice President Al Gore will attack President Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program at a Washington, D.C., speech on Martin Luther King Day—with a Republican by his side.
Gore is teaming up with former Rep. Bob Barr, a Republican, for the policy address, which is endorsed by MoveOn.org and sponsored by the American Constitution Society and Liberty Coalition. Barr is an outspoken critic of Bush on issues of national security. He led the drive to impeach President Bill Clinton, Gore’s partner in the White House for eight years.
“The speech will specifically point to domestic wiretapping and torture as examples of the administration's efforts to extend executive power beyond Congressional direction and judicial review,” according to a press release distributed by MoveOn.org. “The extent of bipartisan concern over these issues is highlighted by former Republican Rep. Bob Barr's introduction of the Vice President and by the organizations cosponsoring the speech.”
Gore’s speech marks the second time in two weeks he will make a sympathetic plea to Republicans. On Jan. 5, he appeared before a group of center-right activists at Grover Norquist’s popular Wednesday Group meeting to talk about global warming.
MoveOn.org made a last-minute offer Friday for tickets to Gore’s speech: “Don't worry if you get a waitlist ticket. We expect that everyone on the the waiting list will be able to get into the event, we just can't guarantee it.”
The speech will be held at DAR Constitution Hall, the same location Gore used for a Nov. 9, 2003, speech that denounced Bush and then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft for their “assault on civil liberties.”