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Beatty Pushes Dems Leftward

Actor Warren Beatty still won't say whether he's planning to run for president, reports Dave Robichaud of CBS station WBZ-TV, but after an appearance at Harvard Wednesday night, students there say he's sure sounding like a candidate.

However, he hasn't taken any steps to form a campaign.

"I don't have a single campaign consultant. I don't have any staff. I don't have a nickel that I have raised. I haven't spent a nickel," he declared, "I have only tried to state the issues.

Beatty acknowledged in August that he was thinking about a possible candidacy. He said Wednesday night he has tried to get other liberals to run.

"I fought like hell to try to get a group of guys to run for president," he said. "I wish they had. I still wish they would, but they're not."

Asked directly by a student what it would take for him to run, he said, "Here's the answer: I don't know."

He added that not knowing whether he'll run gives him more flexibility than most potential candidates.

Beatty said his goal is to steer Bill Bradley and Al Gore back on track, toward the liberal side of the Democratic Party.

"We don't need a third party, we need a second party," he said. "What would Hubert Humphrey or Jack Kennedy or Bobby Kennedy say if they could come back today and see how their Democratic Party has failed?"

Student reaction to the speech?

I thought it was a great speech," said one. "I thought he addressed many issues, health care, that needed to be addressed."

Said another, "He's pretty knowledgeable. I don't think people expect actors to know a whole lot and he does...I don't necessarily agree with his politics but it would be fun to see him around."

"I've only tried to state the issues," said Beatty. He said he's pro choice and anti-death penalty. He also said universal health care is a basic human right.

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