CAMPAIGN ’88 : O’Neill: Throw Punches

Former House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Jr. does not think very highly of the campaign either.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who retired in 1986, returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday and forecast an “extremely close election.”

Speaking at a luncheon with reporters, he criticized Bush for allowing his campaign to be taken over by the same “selfish, mean-spirited” people who helped elect President Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

But he also said Dukakis was running a lackluster race and needs to “start throwing punches.”


“It could be going a lot better for the Democrats,” O’Neill said, suggesting that Dukakis focus on the issues of Social Security benefits, scandals during the Reagan Administration and leadership in the 21st Century.