A sixth member of an ethnic coalition supporting Republican George Bush’s presidential candidacy resigned Tuesday as President Reagan declared that “there isn’t one iota of discrimination” among the group’s members.
Bush campaign spokesman Mark Goodin said the resignation of Radi Slavoff as national co-chairman of Bulgarians for Bush had been accepted.
Slavoff quit Bush’s Coalition of American Nationalities after the Philadelphia Inquirer identified him over the weekend as former head of the Bulgarian National Front, which the paper said had been formed after World War II by members of the Nazi-aligned Bulgarian Legion.
Reagan told reporters at the White House that he believed five other ethnic advisers resigned Monday “because they didn’t want to harm the campaign.”
The President was not asked specifically about the resignation of Frederic V. Malek, a key Bush operative and deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee who was named in a published report about possibly anti-Semitic activities during the Richard M. Nixon Administration.
When asked whether he thought the Bush campaign suffered from an appearance of anti-Semitism among some of the vice president’s supporters, Reagan replied, “No.”
And, when asked to elaborate, he said: “Because I know (Bush) and I know the people involved, and there isn’t an iota of discrimination in any of them.”
The controversy arose after publication last week of an article in Washington Jewish Week, which said the Bush ethnics coalition included Florian Galdau, described as the New York chief of the Iron Guard, Romania’s anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi movement, and Philip Guarino, a Roman Catholic priest listed as a member of an illegal neo-fascist Italian group.