Mar 7, 2000
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, after months of dodging questions from the media and civil rights organizers, Governor George W. Bush finally clarified his position regarding what method of census counting he supports. At a 3/5/2000 press conference in Oakland, California, Governor Bush was asked if he supported the anti-sampling position of the Republican Party leadership, and gave the following answer:

[Reporter]: Governor, you mentioned the similarities between California and Texas. One of the issues in the minority community in California is regarding the census and an undercount that they experienced 10 years ago and can expect to experience again. What's your position on the idea of using a sampling method which would count minority communities more fully? Your party is against it.

[Bush]: Yeah, so am I. I think we need to count, an actual count. I think we need to spend the money, make the effort and work hard to get an actual count.

(To view a Real Player clip of this question, visit https://www.cspan.org/campaign2000 and click on the 3/5/00 Oakland, CA Bush press conference. The question is asked at approximately 7 minutes, 20 seconds.)

"Yesterday, George W. Bush told American minorities, and millions of American children, that in his eyes, they don't count," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Census Subcommittee said. "Bush announced that he will back the Republican Majority's party line - a line that effectively reduces African-American males to nine-tenths of a person, under-funds school lunch programs, and reduces emergency services in poor communities. By stating that he is against using modern scientific methods, Bush is clearly letting Americans know that, if elected president, he would prevent the Census Bureau from releasing population data that include more accurate information about America's minorities and poor communities."

"McCain, Gore, and Bradley have all stated that they support Census counting methods that are more accurate for all Americans. Bush was the only candidate without a position, and now he is the only major candidate with an anti-minority position," Maloney continued. "On the civil rights issue of the election, Sen. McCain would lead his party forward and Gov. Bush would lead his party back."

Citing the importance of the 2000 Census to the nation's minority population, Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Census Task Force, Congresswoman Carrie Meek, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Census Task Force and U.S. Delegate Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Census Task Force, have repeatedly requested that Governor George Bush join all of the other Presidential candidates in stating his position on the use of data that more accurately reflects minority populations in the 2000 Census.

Rep. Gonzalez (D-TX) stated "While Governor Bush does not question the validity of a proven and reliable modern scientific method that would more accurately reflect the minority population in the 2000 Census, his opposition to the use of this system to arrive at more accurate population numbers leads me to believe that the Governor's 'compassionate conservatism' does not extend to the millions of people that make up this country's minority population."

Congressman Faleomavaega, Delegate for American Samoa stated "It is a sad day for the tens of thousands of Asians and Pacific Islanders around the United States who would be missed by the Census if Governor Bush becomes President."

Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL) stated "George W. Bush's decision not to use the most modern method of counting all people guarantees an inaccurate count in the African American community. Because census data is used to distribute federal funds ranging from education and housing to transportation and health care, Gov. Bush's decision virtually ensures that African Americans will be shortchanged in these vital areas for an entire decade."