Michael S. Dukakis said today that he cares about the future of rural America, while George Bush “has never expressed any particular concern.” Bush said the White House and Congress should extend “the hand of partnership” on foreign policy and again pointed a finger at his rival’s lack of experience in world affairs.
Dukakis’ ticket-mate, Lloyd Bentsen, accused the Republicans of lowering the presidential race “to the level of a mud-wrestling” contest.
“They have viciously slandered the patriotism and record of Michael Dukakis and then turned around and whistled sweetness and light,” he said in Palo Alto, Calif.
Small Farmers’ Interests
En route to a rally at a southern Illinois farm, Dukakis said: “I don’t remember any time in this campaign (when Bush has) expressed any concern about family farmers. They (the Republicans) like corporate operators.”
The farm owned by Jim and Mabel Reed was the Democratic nominee’s first stop on a bus tour of southern Illinois and Missouri.
Dukakis’ meeting with farmers at the Reeds’ home was being broadcast on a hookup to 20 states via satellite television.
The Massachusetts governor’s aides said he has requested half an hour of air time on each broadcast network the night before the Nov. 8 election.
Says He Cares
Dukakis said he was making the bus tour to show “how much I care about family farms and how little George Bush cares about family farms.”
He said Bush’s philosophy was “the fewer farms the better.”
Dukakis said he also was concerned about the decline of other facilities in rural areas, particularly hospitals.
Bush insisted in Michigan that he will “fight like we’re 10 points back,” although public opinion surveys indicate a lead of that margin, not a deficit.
The Republican nominee said the President and Congress should “extend to each other the hand of partnership, not the finger of blame.” He couldn’t resist a shot at Dukakis, saying the Massachusetts governor’s shortage of foreign policy experience has given him “a rather unrealistic view of American’s role and the way in which we lead.”
Dukakis “apparently believes that the Soviet economic problems have left them too weak to make trouble,” Bush said. “The liberal Massachusetts governor seems to think that all we need to do is offer Moscow economic inducements and a less aggressive, less threatening Soviet Union will be the result. He’s wrong.”