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  • Mon August 13 2007
  • Posted Aug 13, 2007
By JIM VERTUNO | Associated Press Writer 5:36 PM EDT, July 20, 2007 AUSTIN, Texas - Lance Armstrong is pushing his cancer fight into presidential politics. The cancer survivor, activist and seven-time winner of the Tour de France announced he will hold presidential candidate forums on cancer next month in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "For me personally, it's just to make sure that whatever candidates we have now, and then ultimately the two who want to be president, discuss the No. 1 killer in this country, just like they would discuss war or terror or taxes," Armstrong said in a video statement on his foundation Web site. "I think whoever wants to be commander in chief ought to answer the cancer question," Armstrong said. The forums are scheduled for Aug. 27 for Democrats with the Republicans the next day. Organizers said every announced presidential candidate and all-but-declared Fred Thompson, a Republican, have been invited. Five have accepted so far. "We'd like to see them all there," said Sean Mossman, spokesman for the LiveStrong Presidential Candidate Forum. Mossman said the five who have confirmed attendance include Democrats John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator whose wife Elizabeth is battling breast cancer that spread to bone, and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. The Republicans are Tommy Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin and former head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. "We feel very confident there will be more candidates coming on," Mossman said. Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain, has become politically active as a cancer activist since retiring from professional cycling. In May, he played a significant role lobbying Texas lawmakers on a proposal to spend $3 billion in bonds on cancer research. The issue goes before Texas voters in November and Armstrong has said he'll be a visible presence in the campaign to get it approved. * __ On the Net: Lance Armstrong Foundation: http://www.laf.org

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