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Bush, GOP Conservatives Traveling Separate Paths

US PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

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PRESIDENT Bush, bracing for battle with Democrats in 1992, first will have to fight off conservatives in his own party.The conservative movement - which propelled Ronald Reagan and Mr. Bush into office during the 1980s - is angry and frustrated with the Republican White House. "The level of conservative furor against Bush is just phenomenal," says Burton Yale Pines, senior vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. L. Brent Bozell III, executive director of the Conservative Victory Committee, charges that Bush has abandoned his conservative supporters. The anger on the right now is taking tangible form. This week, conservative columnist Patrick Buchanan is expected to launch his drive for the Republican presidential nomination by entering the New Hampshire primary. Mr. Buchanan, who has hammered Bush on issues like foreign aid and taxes, could potentially embarrass the president in New Hampshire with as much as 40 percent of the vote, analysts say. But Buchanan isn't the only threat. State Rep. David Duke of Louisiana, a candidate even further to the right, announced last week that he would challenge the president in primaries across the nation. If he loses, Mr. Duke threatened to launch a third-party campaign to undercut Bush in the general election. Conservatives have gradually come to the conclusion that "this is not a conservative administration," Mr. Bozell says. "On economic policy, there is not a bit of difference between him and the Democratic Party. In fact, Democrats are the ones championing conservative issues like tax cuts."

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