North No Hero, Simon Says--Audience Boos
Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) was met by a chorus of boos and jeers today when he told a national convention of county officials that Oliver L. North should not be portrayed as a hero.
“I don’t question the sincerity of Lt. Col. North, but he is not an American hero,” the candidate for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination said at the National Assn. of Counties convention.
“No one deserves the hero rank who admits he lied, he deceived, he shredded evidence, he violated laws of the nation he swore to uphold,” Simon said. “Our heroes should be people who uphold the law.”
Simon was booed twice during his description of North, but he later was cheered by many among the 4,000 delegates as he again said heroes should be law-abiding citizens.
Both Simon and Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, also a Democratic presidential candidate, attacked President Reagan’s economic policies in their morning speeches to the county executives.
“We shouldn’t confuse the aura of the presidency and the likability of the man who holds the office with the flawed policies that are harming your counties and our nation,” Simon said.
He said Reagan’s endorsing spending restraints and balanced budgets is “like W. C. Fields leading the charge for Prohibition.”
Dukakis called Reagan’s so-called economic bill of rights “a dreary list of item vetoes and budget balancing amendments and super majorities for tax increases.”
“I hope you’ll tell him that you and I have a different vision for America,” Dukakis said. “A bill of rights with a different set of articles--good jobs at good wages, good schools and good skills, decent and affordable housing, a clean and wholesome environment, safe and attractive neighborhoods.”
Simon also outlined an extensive economic program that included restoring federal revenue sharing to local governments by 1990.