Tobacco lights up for Bush
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Anyone who watched the three presidential debates over the last few weeks may have noticed one subject conspicuously absent - tobacco.
We had Medicare. We had the Middle East. We had education, but we didn't have tobacco.
That does not mean it's no longer an issue. Neither of the candidates wants to rattle that cage just now, industry watchers said. Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore don't want to come right out and say they are anti-tobacco or pro-tobacco just a few short weeks from the election.
While the candidates may not be talking about it, tobacco companies are bracing themselves for a new Commander in Chief. The outcome of the election could affect their bottom lines.
Without a doubt, cigarette makers are pushing for Bush. The Republican candidate has said that if elected, he would end the Department of Justice lawsuit filed earlier this year charging Big Tobacco with racketeering violations for misleading consumers in advertisements about the health effects of smoking.
On the other hand, Gore has repeatedly said he would support the lawsuit and pursue severe cigarette ad restrictions and FDA regulation of nicotine as an addictive drug.
Taking a glance at tobacco's bottom line, it's easy to see why Bush is the industry's favorite.