Republican George Bush renewed his attack today on Massachusetts’ prisoner-furlough program, saying Gov. Michael S. Dukakis lacks compassion for crime victims. Dukakis said he would keep up his criticism of Dan Quayle as a potential President and of Bush for choosing him as running mate.
Dukakis, commenting today as he campaigned in Missouri, said there are two issues: Whether GOP vice presidential nominee Quayle is qualified to be President and whether Bush has good judgment.
“I’m going to hit it and hit it hard,” he said.
Not Worried, Quayle Says
Quayle himself said today he was not worried about new television ads questioning his worthiness for high office. He said the Democrats’ ads focusing on him mean “they obviously don’t have anything bad to say about George Bush.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen, still energized by what is widely seen as his debate victory over Quayle Wednesday night, made fun of Bush’s comments that Quayle had done well.
“And yet every poll showed we won, and I’d say, ‘George . . . facts are very troubling things,’ ” Bentsen said.
Bush was in Xenia, Ohio, today, concentrating on crime and declaring that “on no other issue is my opponent’s philosophy so completely at odds with mine, and I would say with the common-sense attitudes of the American people.”
‘Lack of Sensitivity’
“While the governor has shown great compassion for the difficulties of prisoners and their families--and no doubt their hardships are severe--when it comes to the plight of the victims and their families, there is what one can only describe as an astounding lack of sensitivity, a lack of human compassion,” Bush said in remarks to law enforcement officials.
He said Dukakis should have apologized to a Maryland couple who were attacked by convicted murderer Willie Horton, who had been granted a weekend Massachusetts furlough in 1986. Dukakis has called the incident “a tragic occurrence.”
Quayle, in Chattanooga, Tenn., was asked by reporters as he toured a technical school whether he had become the key issue in the campaign.
“We can stand the attention. We can stand the heat,” he said. “George Bush is going to be the next President of the United States. The voters will vote for him.”
‘Turning Point’ in Race
In Dallas, Texas Sen. Bentsen said his debate with Quayle might eventually be seen as “a turning point” in the campaign.
Bentsen renewed his criticism of Quayle for trying to compare his experience to that of John F. Kennedy in 1960. Bentsen listed Kennedy’s pre-presidency accomplishments, including his war record and his winning of a Pulitzer Prize, and said a comparison of Quayle and Kennedy was an “incredible misfit.”
President Reagan, campaigning for Bush in a key campaign battleground state today, told Michigan high school students that this year’s election is “a referendum on liberalism in America.”
“Michigan has voted twice for what we stand for,” he said. “But the liberals are now saying that, come January, they will wipe away all that we have been working for.”