Dole Tries To Pep Up Terrified Troops

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Bob Dole went back to Congress on Wednesday to try and rally the support of skeptical Republicans who are concerned that he's running a stealth campaign and that they're all going to suffer as a result. "We are behind right now," he admitted. But he called on Republicans not to lose faith in the national ticket. "Don't worry about this election. We're going to win," he told a meeting of unconvinced House and Senate Republicans. TIME Washington correspondent James Carney says despite the pep talk, Republicans are extremely worried about the upcoming election. "They are terrified," Carney reports. "Especially the vulnerable Republicans in the House. They are very worried that Dole's poor showing will drag them down with him." That fear, Carney says, has led many candidates to try to distance themselves from the national ticket, as well as from House Speaker Newt Gingrich. While Dole and running mate Jack Kemp were greeted with a standing ovation, Carney reports the setting was akin to a funeral. "The atmosphere was negative coming in, because Dole is taking a defensive stance," Carney says. "He's trying to stifle concern and prevent Congressional Republicans from running away from him on the campaign trail. But it has already begun. Only 120 out of the 288 GOP Congressmen showed up." Those who were there did not leave the meeting more optimistic. "My sense from talking with some of the members after the speech was that they don't feel significantly better about his chances in November," Carney says.-->