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Marilyn Quayle Takes Issue With Issues

Times Staff Writer

Of all the questions Marilyn Quayle has been asked while campaigning for her husband, the one she dislikes most, she said Wednesday, is “What will George Bush and Dan Quayle do about women’s issues?”

Quayle, wife of the GOP vice presidential candidate, told a group of Orange County supporters that it is not necessary to separate the issues that concern women from those that are of interest to all Americans.

“That intimates to me that, for some reason, women have one exclusive area in which they are interested and nothing else matters. That we, for some reason, don’t care about the economy, that we don’t care about national defense, that we don’t care about all the things that make our country strong,” Quayle said, speaking to about 350 supporters, most of them female, at an Irvine Hilton luncheon.

“Women and men work for the same reasons, to provide for themselves and to provide for their families. We all have the same liberties . . . and we all hold an equal stake in our nation’s destiny,” she declared.

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The luncheon, sponsored by the Newport Harbor Republican Women, was rescheduled from a late September date that Quayle was forced to miss when her commercial flight was canceled.

Quayle, who took leave from her law practice to campaign, said a Bush Administration would continue the commitment started by President Reagan of keeping interest rates and inflation down, establishing more on-site day care facilities, maintaining America’s position as a strong military force, creating jobs for the unemployed through public-private sector partnerships and training workers with the skills necessary to adapt to a changing society.

“Washington doesn’t solve problems, it’s the people of America who solve problems. In the last year, we, the American people, have created over 600,000 new small businesses . . . and two-thirds of those small businesses were started by women,” Quayle said.

“A strong economy is a woman’s best friend because it allows us to use our creative forces to go out in the work force . . . and accomplish things for ourselves and for our country. We must keep building on the base Ronald Reagan has given us. We can’t afford, especially women, to change in midstream.”

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During her brief speech, Quayle criticized the news media for what she termed its harsh treatment of her husband and accused the media of ignoring the issues. Shortly after his nomination, Quayle was accused of using his family’s influence to serve in the National Guard rather than the active military during the Vietnam War.

“Our media had so little interest in issues that when a United States senator who sticks to the grindstone . . . and doesn’t invite members of the national press to his home so that he can . . . entertain them and stroke them . . . their egos were so out of joint.

“We saw a bunch of people trying to cover their own big egos, and I really think that was part of the reason for these severe attacks on Dan Quayle. There were a lot of noses out of joint because they didn’t know Dan Quayle personally.”

Though recent polls in California and nationwide show the Bush-Quayle ticket far ahead of Democrats Michael S. Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen, Quayle urged the group not to become apathetic.

“There is only one poll that counts, and that’s on Nov. 8,” she said.

Responding to questions from the audience, Quayle remained noncommittal to questions about her future.

She sidestepped a suggestion from the audience that she seek her husband’s unexpired term in the Senate should he become vice president. She said that seat would be filled through an appointment by the governor of Indiana.


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