Democrat Michael S. Dukakis struck back at George Bush’s negative attacks today by comparing his Republican rival’s campaign to the Watergate cover-up of the Nixon White House.
“Truth was the first casualty in the Nixon White House and it was the first casualty in the Bush campaign,” Dukakis said in a speech to Southern New England Telephone Co. employees.
“I believe the American people value the truth in politics and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the truth wins,” he said.
In campaign appearances in Illinois and Missouri on Wednesday, Dukakis denounced Republican campaign literature as “garbage.”
The Massachusetts governor also stressed his commitment to family values and the concerns of working Americans today, and said Bush is both unknowing and uncaring.
‘Not a Cold Shoulder’
“I’m never going to forget the people I’ve met during this campaign,” Dukakis said. “People who need a helping hand, not a cold shoulder.”
“George Bush doesn’t care that working women earn only 64 cents for every dollar that men earn,” Dukakis said.
“George Bush doesn’t even know that almost 40 million Americans--mostly working people and their families--don’t have a dime’s worth of health insurance. . . .
“George Bush wants to help the people who already have it made. I want to help every American family make it.”
Later today, Dukakis was heading for New York to film campaign commercials and attend the annual Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, where he will share the spotlight with Bush.
Efforts to Close Gap
Dukakis campaign officials, trying to counter the damage done by Bush crime ads, were considering airing their own commercial.
With Dukakis admittedly trailing Bush in these closing weeks of the campaign, his strategists were looking for ways to get his message out to voters and close the gap.
“We’re playing with different ways to more dramatically communicate with people,” said Dukakis adviser Leslie Dach.
Among those under consideration were buying five minutes on the major television networks for a Dukakis speech, and the purchase of larger blocks of time--as long as 30 minutes--for either a town meeting style program or a national call-in show.
In the effort to widen his audience, Dukakis also is appearing on the ABC show “Good Morning America” on Friday and probably will be on the ABC program “Nightline” next week.
Dukakis and Bush were invited to separate interviews on “Nightline,” but the vice president declined.