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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Cops Endorse Clinton as Crime Takes Center Stage

VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania -- Standing at podiums 800 kilometers apart, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole took aim at the same target, as the U.S. president picked up the endorsement of the biggest law enforcement union in the country and Dole vowed to cut teen drug use in half while doubling current spending on state prison construction.

Scourging the Clinton administration's record on violent crime and drug abuse, Dole on Monday told students at Villanova University, a predominately Catholic school here, that the president "talks like Dirty Harry but he acts like Barney Fife" -- the bumbling deputy on the "Andy Griffith Show."

But in a half-day tour Monday of southeastern Ohio, Clinton stole some of Dole's crime-fighting thunder, as he accepted the endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police -- the first time the 270,000-member organization has backed a Democrat -- and called himself a proven crime fighter.

The president received a government report early Monday morning showing that gang prosecutions had more than doubled during his administration and that violence has dropped in the United States since he took office.

"For four years I've worked hard to stand with the police officers of America, and I am profoundly honored that they have decided to stand with me for four more years," Clinton said at his Cincinnati stop.

Dole cited statistics showing increased drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds, saying "While the administration has looked the other way on drugs, a tragic number of America's youth have gone the wrong way on crime."