'Tax, Spend Crew' Lurks, Reagan Says : Pushes GOP, Warns New Congress Could Be 'Totally Hostile'

Associated Press

President Reagan, campaigning in Louisiana today for Senate candidate W. Henson Moore, warned Moore's supporters that "like gators in the marsh grass, the tax-and-spend crew is still lurking in the shadows," waiting for a chance to raise taxes and cut military spending.

Moore, a GOP congressman, is seeking election Sept. 27 as Louisiana's first Republican senator in more than a century. His election would give the GOP a leg up in Reagan's drive to retain control of the Senate in the Nov. 4 elections.

"I did not seek reelection to be a six-year President," Reagan said at an outdoor rally in a Jefferson Parish park. "I cannot have my hands tied by a totally hostile Congress."

Audible Support

He pulled off his jacket in the steamy Louisiana heat to address the crowd of several thousand--whose enthusiasm for the President was decidedly more audible than its support for the candidate he came to promote.

Trying to focus blame for Louisiana's economic problems on the Democrats, Reagan blamed its high unemployment and deep recession on "old-style politics as usual." The state has long been dominated by a Democratic dynasty.

Without mentioning the collapse in world oil prices most often cited as the dominant cause of the state's problems, Reagan said Louisiana's "total domination by one party has led to stagnation, arrogance and the abuse of power."

Reagan told the rally crowd that he is seeking to avoid a return to "the days when big government, taxes and inflation were destroying our economy and military weakness made America a punching bag for every fanatic and two-bit dictator around the world."

'Time for New Day'

"It's time for a new day to dawn in Louisiana," the President told a separate fund-raising luncheon for Moore before heading for Alabama to push the reelection campaign of Republican Sen. Jeremiah Denton.

Stumping in Montgomery for Denton in his race against Democratic Rep. Richard C. Shelby, Reagan in prepared remarks castigated Democrats for the political disarray in the governor's race that has split their party and boosted Republican election hopes.

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