(CNSNews.com) - Bush campaign spokeswoman Karen Hughes adamantly denied Friday that Gov. George W. Bush lied when he was asked in 1996 if he had ever been arrested for drunken driving.
"The only time Gov. Bush has been asked whether he has been arrested for drinking he responded, 'I do not have a perfect record as a youth,'" Hughes said. "That was his response...when he was directly asked this question more than three years ago."
Hughes added that the reporter who asked the direct question back then "was left with the accurate impression that the governor had been involved in a punishment involving alcohol."
A Fox News affiliate in Maine uncovered police records from 1976 that said Bush was arrested and fined for driving under the influence. Bush held a press conference only three hours after the story was reported where he admitted to being arrested.
Just as Bush did on Thursday night, Hughes questioned the timing of the news leak, coming as it does just several days before the election. She indicated that it might be a dirty trick by Democrats.
"I find it interesting that in the closing days of this campaign, the Democratic candidate of Maine has now admitted he is the one who released this information to the public and to the media in the closing days of this campaign for something that happened 24 years ago," Hughes said. "I think the American people are tired of this kind of politics, these last-minute dirty tricks, and the Democrats owe the American people an explanation."
Reporters asked Hughes why Bush had withheld the information from the public. Hughes said Bush wasn't fully open about the incident because he didn't want to set a bad example for his twin daughters, who are now in college.
"He has always been forthcoming in acknowledging that he drank too much in the past before he quit drinking 14 years ago," she said. "He made the decision as a father that he did not want to set a bad example for his two daughters. He regrets this happened, he believes this does not set a good example to our children and it should sent a clear signal to all our children they should not drink and drive."