Sheen Beats Around the Bush

07/02/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

What's all the fuss about? America DOES have a President: Josiah Bartlett, on NBC's "The West Wing." Actually, he really isn't the President, but he does play one. And Bartlett's alter ego, actor Martin Sheen, has a definite opinion about one of the principals in last week's still unresolved political race. Saturday, at a California treatment center (for substance abuse), Sheen called George W. Bush a "white-knuckle drunk" because of his having never received counseling in the wake of Bush's 1976 arrest for drunken driving. "He's still in denial about it," said Sheen, a vocal Gore supporter. "You have got to be in a program. I did not make up the rules about that." Throughout his campaign, candidate Bush sidestepped the subject of drinking and drug abuse by admitting that he made some mistakes while he was young but that he gave up alcohol by going cold turkey at the age of 40. The Associated Press, which picked up Sheen's remarks, did not report a response from the Bush camp.

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