Lugar Throws Hat Into Ring, Centers '96 Bid on Foreign Policy

Associated Press

Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana said Thursday night he will seek the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, billing himself as an experienced foreign policy hand and "somebody who believes that the best days of this country are yet to come."

"I think this is my time. It's the right time, the right thing to do," Lugar said on CNN's "Larry King Live" program, where he made public his plans for the first time. He cited his background as a businessman, Indianapolis mayor and fourth-term senator.

He described himself as "pro-life" on abortion, but said he would have an "inclusive" campaign, welcoming Republicans from both sides of the explosive issue. "There are no litmus tests as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Lugar, 62, is positioning himself as a leader on international affairs in a race focused so far on domestic issues. He accused President Clinton of setting up a "straw man" in portraying Republicans as advocates of "a new form of isolationism."

Others already in the GOP race are Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas and former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is to follow suit on April 10.

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