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 SPRINGFIELD, Ky., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Late Tuesday night, Senator Ed O'Daniel (a former senator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky) was casually watching the great NAFTA debate between Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot. But as president of the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA), he grew quite attentive when the debaters exchanged a flurry of comments regarding Tennessee Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon.
 "When Bourbon Whiskey became the topic, the Vice President, Perot and Larry King kept interrupting one another," said O'Daniel, president of the KDA, an organization of nine companies that makes the world's supply of Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. "I had a difficult time sleeping Tuesday night, because I wanted to know what they were attempting to say through the constant interruptions."
 But today, after carefully reviewing the program's transcript and slo-motion replay of the debate, O'Daniel shouted: "I've got it!"
 "It became quite clear to me that both gentlemen were attempting to say the same thing," O'Daniel said. "But each was too eager, too excited, to let the other get a word in edgewise."
 Some examples uncovered by O'Daniel:
 The video shows that Perot pointed to a page in the voluminous NAFTA agreement and said to Gore: "Here's the Tennessee Whiskey deal ..." (Interrupted by King)
 O'Daniel determined that Perot, if allowed to continue, would have cited the remainder of the NAFTA paragraph that referred to Tennessee Whiskey: ".... as the best whiskey in the world and our friends in Mexico and Canada should try it."
 Gore, according to the transcript, pointed to the previous sentence on the same page, stating: "... If you look at the line above, it says Bourbon Whiskey...." (Interrupted by Perot)
 Allowed to continue, Gore would have said: "... is just as good as Tennessee Whiskey."
 King attempted to ask his guests if there is anything about Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey that they don't like. But he was interrupted as he said: "Is there anything about ..."
 Rushing to answer the question, the Vice President and Perot talked over one another making their comments inaudible. However, after scrutinizing the video tape, it is obvious that Perot and Gore actually gave King the same answer: "Nothing Larry. Absolutely nothing. Straight, on the rocks, or with our favorite mixers, we think Tennessee Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon are synonymous with American heritage and craftsmanship."
 O'Daniel, noting that Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey were developed about 200 years ago and are the only distilled spirits native to the U.S., said he was not surprised that the beverages became topics of the NAFTA debate. "Anytime you discuss exporting American ingenuity and craftsmanship, the conversation turns to Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey," he said. "We strongly encourage all nations to taste the American heritage that is an ingredient in every bottle of our product."
 In 1992, 14.5 million proof gallons of Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey were exported. Japan was the leading export nation with 5.1 million proof gallons, followed by Australia (2.3 million) and Germany (2 million).
 "As it was repeatedly stated in the debate, consumers in other nations prefer U.S. products," O'Daniel said. "And Bourbon Whiskey, with its distinct taste and American heritage is certainly such a product."
 O'Daniel added that Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey are not "brands" as stated by the Vice President and Perot, but are two uniquely American whiskey categories.
 Asked to predict the final outcome of the NAFTA feud, O'Daniel said: "The two sides should sit down and discuss it like true southern gentlemen -- over a drink of Bourbon Whiskey and with an agreement not to interrupt one another. They would resolve the issue within few moments. And that would leave time to discuss the truly important issues in life, such as why the best whiskey in the world comes from Kentucky and Tennessee."
 -0- 11/11/93
 /CONTACT: Dan Hartlage of Jack Guthrie & Associates, 502-584-0371, or Ed O'Daniel of the Kentucky Distillers Association, 606-336-9611/

CO: Kentucky Distillers Association ST: Kentucky, Tennessee IN: FOD SU:

SB -- CH016 -- 3455 11/11/93 18:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 11, 1993

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