Reagan Assails Democrats as Reborn Pattons

Associated Press

President Reagan hit the campaign trail for George Bush today with ridicule for “born-again Gen. George Pattons” in the Democratic Party who say they support a strong national defense.

Without mentioning the name of Democratic candidate Michael S. Dukakis, the President told a Republican “Texas Victory ’88" rally that liberal Democrats have had “a deathbed conversion” to GOP positions supporting the submarine-based Trident missile and the Stealth bomber.

Reagan was interrupted repeatedly by deafening screams and applause from about 9,000 Baylor University students who hissed at his frequent mention of liberal Democrats. Signs on the wall read “Rock ‘Em Ron” and “Push For Bush.”

“When the liberals say ‘family,’ they mean ‘big brother in Washington.’ When we say ‘family,’ we mean ‘honor thy father and mother,’ ” Reagan said. The crowd went wild.


Reagan declared that under his and Bush’s leadership, “our nation is again respected in the world, our armed forces are strong and America is at peace.”

On Stump for Bush

Reagan was stumping for Bush and Rep. Beau Boulter (R-Tex.), who is seeking the Senate seat of Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, before joining the vice president at a fund-raising dinner in Houston tonight.

Reagan said he recently vetoed a $299.5-billion defense authorization bill because he was convinced it would have harmed U.S. military strength. He then invoked the name of Gen. George Patton, a crusty and venerable World War II combat hero, in lambasting the Democratic ticket.


“But lately, some liberal leaders have seen what was happening to them in the polls and had a deathbed conversion,” he said. “They’d have you believe that they’re born-again Gen. George Pattons. But if we go the way they want to go, our defenses will run out of gas in no time.”

Bush has charged repeatedly that his Democratic rival, the governor of Massachusetts, is soft on defense issues and would weaken the national security.