(Newton, IA) Long-shot G.O.P. candidate Orrin Hatch Thursday lashed out at the media for the way it’s characterizing the presidential race.

“The eastern liberal press is telling everybody in Iowa who they should support,” Hatch said during an interview on KCOB radio. “They’re saying this race is only among Bush, McCain and Forbes and I’ll tell you something, if the people of Iowa want to set them back and let ’em know they’re not going to be dictated to by the eastern liberal press, then they ought to vote for me.”

Hatch, a 23-year member of the U.S. Senate representing Utah, launched his bid for the White House late, in July and has raised little cash for the cause when compared to the fundraising prowess of front-runner George W. Bush. Hatch said Bush is courting the “fat cat elites.”

Hatch has repeatedly emphasized his service in the Senate as proof he’s more seasoned than Bush, who is in his second term as Governor of Texas.

“The difference is that Orrin Hatch has been there, done that and the reason I’m running for President is I can do a lot more as President than I can do as Senator,” Hatch said during his radio interview.

Hatch contends he’s shooting for a top three finish in Iowa’s Caucuses, scheduled for January 24, 2000, as the kick-off event of the presidential campaign season.

“If I finish in the top, Iowans would be sending all the major media people in this country who are just telling ’em who to vote for, who’re telling ’em who they have to pick, they would send a message to them that I think would be revolutionary. It would straighten things out in this country for a long time.”