Quayle Says Gorbachev Is Like Other Soviet Leaders

Associated Press

Republican vice presidential nominee Dan Quayle said in an interview published today that Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev is no different from previous Kremlin leaders and it is unfortunate that he has a style “pleasing to the West.”

The Indiana senator also told the Washington Post that perestroika, the restructuring of the Soviet economic system, is “nothing more than refined Stalinism.”

GOP presidential nominee George Bush said in August that he is pleased by changes in the Soviet Union, but he cautioned against complacency, saying, “We’d better not let our guard down.”

Earlier this summer, the vice president had called the Soviet reforms “revolutionary,” but also said “the Cold War is not over.”


Quayle, in the newspaper interview, said, “As far as Gorbachev is concerned, he’s new . . . he has a different approach to things, and his mannerisms and style are unfortunately pleasing to the West. . . . unfortunately because I don’t think, from an ideological point of view, he’s any different from (Leonid I.) Brezhnev or anybody else.”

‘Not Changing the System’

Quayle said perestroika is “nothing more than refined Stalinism. Kick their people out and bring your people in. That’s his reorganizing. It’s not changing the system.”

The GOP nominee described Soviet efforts toward glasnost, or openness, as “something different” that might prove to be a positive sign, similar to the signing of the INF, intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty by President Reagan and Gorbachev last December.


Quayle said the true test will be the Soviet leader’s dealings with dissent in Eastern Europe, especially current problems in Poland.

“The bottom line is that Gorbachev wants trade and credits from the West . . . to help his economy out, and we should not give it to him in a casual, easy way,” he said.