(CNSNews.com) - Campaigning in an effort to take away what is considered solid Gore turf in Wisconsin, Republican presidential candidate George W Bush carried a 'big spender, big government' message to state voters regarding his opponent.
In Green Bay, Bush, gaining momentum in the national polls, portrayed Gore as a big spending champion of big government. Although Bush did not refer to Gore directly as a liberal, that was the label he indirectly placed on him.
"Vice President Gore has cast his lot with the old Democratic Party," Bush told a cheering crowd at a container factory. "His promises throw the budget out of balance. He offers a big federal spending program to nearly every voting bloc. He expands entitlements without reforms to sustain them."
Bush said Gore was trying to persuade Americans that only the rich would benefit from Bush's tax cut proposals. "Class warfare," Bush said.
Bush's staff cited Wisconsin as one of five traditionally Democratic states, along with Oregon, Washington, Iowa and West Virginia, that Gore has to defend. Wisconsin has not voted Republican since going for Ronald Reagan in 1984. One poll this month in Wisconsin gave Gore a five-point lead over Bush.
Bush visited Washington and Oregon on a Western swing earlier this week. He will visit West Virginia Monday on the eve of his first debate with Gore, which will be held in Boston on Tuesday.
Bush will campaign in another battleground state, Michigan, on Friday. In Michigan, Bush plans to unveil an energy strategy stressing increased domestic energy production, conservation and more production from oil-producing countries.
Meanwhile, Bush's staff raised questions about Gore's plans for a political fund that is supposed to be used only for legal and accounting purposes, not for other political costs such as television ads. In appeals to supporters, Gore said contributions of $1,000 or less to the fund will be used to ''expose the Bush-Cheney voting record.''
Bush's campaign spokesman Ari Fleischer said the Bush camp was ''alarmed'' by the solicitation. ''It's deceptive, to say the least. Either they're expecting a pretty heavy dose of audits, or they're going to be looking for ways to cleverly spend their ... money to offset what should be general election expenditures."
Gore campaign spokesman Mark Fabiani said the solicitations were entirely proper. "Nobody would have contributed without knowing exactly what they were contributing to,'' he said.
"To donate money, a contributor would have go to the Web and click on a link that explains the money is going to the General Election and Legal Accounting Compliance Fund. There is a very bold explanation'' of what the fund is and what the money is for, Fabiani told wire service reporters.