President Reagan, bucking polls that have panned the debate performance of Sen. Dan Quayle, praised--and even quoted--the Indiana Republican on Friday, urging voters to give him and Bush “the checkered flag” in the race for the White House.
It is unusual for Reagan to mention Quayle’s name in his weekly political appearances, but he departed from custom in three speeches in the Detroit area.
In remarks added to the original version of his text, Reagan, speaking at a rally in Sterling Heights, said: “America’s economy is a Grand Prix racer. The way to keep it on track is to give George Bush and Dan Quayle the checkered flag.”
Speaks to Two Groups
Later, in speeches to a group of Macomb County business executives and at a Republican Party dinner in Detroit, the President asserted: “The Bush-Quayle ticket will continue the policies of peace and prosperity that have, as Dan said, made this great nation ‘the envy of the world.’ ”
Quayle made that remark in Wednesday’s debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen, a contest that Quayle is widely perceived to have lost, according to post-debate polls.
However, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater denied that Reagan was trying to control any damage Quayle might have done to the GOP’s chances of winning the election.
“No,” Fitzwater said, “he just wants to make sure no one has any misunderstanding about his support” for Quayle.