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Breaking News

Bill Bradley to Drop Out of Presidential Race

Aired March 8, 2000 - 10:28 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And we have another breaking news story for you, this time on the political front. We're going to turn to New York where Bill Bradley has made an announcement.

Pat Neal has that story for us.

Pat, go ahead.

PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kyra.

Well, we have learned from sources near Bradley that today -- tomorrow he plans to drop out of the race. As you know, he was trounced yesterday in Super Tuesday and last night he told us that he would not be dropping out of the race. Last night it was widely speculated that he would be dropping out on Thursday and now we have confirmed that he will announce that he is dropping out of the race for the presidency on Thursday.

He will hold a news conference on Thursday, we are told, to take questions from people, and he will also announce his support for Vice President Al Gore.

Bradley, as you know, has been very pleased that in the 14 months that he has been campaigning that he feels like he has shaped the debate on the issues. He has brought up his big, bold ideas, starting with universal health care for all Americans, access to health care for all Americans. He has talked about sweeping gun control legislation. And while a lot of those ideas did not take off as far as registering with the American people, he feels like those things have resonated with the candidates. And, in fact, he has actually moved the candidates, and in fact Al Gore, to being more on point with those issues -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: By Bradley pulling out of the race, how will this, in turn, affect the race?

NEAL: Well, what it does is that already you have the solidifying support behind Al Gore. As you know, he won across the nation last night. Now he does not have to worry about Bill Bradley continuing his insurgency campaign. As you know, Bradley, over the past many months, has been critical of the vice president, questioning his voracity on issues, questioning his position on issues, and challenging him. And a lot of what people have said is that Bill Bradley has given Al Gore a chance to look at what he can expect in the general election from Republicans -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Pat Neal, live in New York, thank you.

Once again, CNN has learned Bill Bradley is dropping out of the presidential race.

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