Republican vice presidential nominee Dan Quayle said the United States should make completion of a treaty on long-range nuclear weapons conditional on Soviet concessions on conventional arms, a position that differs from that of Bush, the New York Times reported.
In an interview reported in the newspaper’s Sunday editions, the Indiana senator said he was worried that the Soviets would not negotiate seriously on cutting conventional weapons if the two superpowers reach a prior agreement in their strategic arms reduction talks.
“If we negotiate on START, what leverage do we have on conventional,” Quayle, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the New York Times.
The Reagan Administration has rejected the idea of linking talks on strategic nuclear arms with talks on conventional arms, saying it would delay completion of a strategic arms treaty. The Bush campaign has endorsed that position.
Quayle said he would follow Administration policy if he became vice president.
Dukakis and his running mate, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, have said they would try to complete a strategic nuclear arms treaty as soon as possible without injecting new demands into the talks.