Friday, February 24, 2006

Bob Dole says he won't lobby on ports deal

RALEIGH, N.C. - Former Sen. Bob Dole says he won't lobby Congress - not even his wife, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C. - to push through a questioned deal that would allow a Middle Eastern company to take control of six U.S. ports.

Bob Dole, a former GOP presidential candidate, is among a team of lawyers at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Alston & Bird hired to represent Dubai Ports World, which is owned by United Arab Emirates. The company volunteered Friday to postpone its takeover to help give the Bush administration time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal poses no increased risks from terrorism.

Elizabeth Dole was among several members of Congress calling for the $6.8 billion deal to come to a halt.

Bob Dole issued a statement Thursday evening, after the North Carolina Democratic Party called for Elizabeth Dole to recuse herself from the debate, saying he would limit his involvement to discussions with Bush administration officials and efforts to "help the American people understand the real facts."

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