After the second presidential debate and his latest spurt upward in the polls, George Bush vowed he would not let up in these final weeks of the campaign for fear of getting overconfident. But for this weekend at least, Bush chose the risk of rest instead of the road.
He posed briefly for pictures Saturday at his home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, making a renewed pitch for the votes of Cuban-Americans. And, when questioned, he disassociated himself from lurid Republican Party campaign brochures that have been distributed against Democratic opponent Michael S. Dukakis in the state of Illinois.
“I disapprove of that,” Bush replied when asked about the brochures.
The disputed Illinois pamphlet, prepared by state party officials, charges that Dukakis “let murderers, rapists and child molesters free on weekend passes.” It further alleges that the Massachusetts prisoner furlough program, until it was altered recently, would have resulted in the release of Chicago mass murderer John Wayne Gacy.
Bush said, however, that he also was being victimized by unfair materials. “I don’t back some of the stuff they’re saying about me.” He was not specific.
View of Marcos Indictment
The vice president gave a noncommittal response to another question--his view of the U.S. racketeering indictment of former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
“That speaks for itself, and let the justice system go forward; that’s what I say,” Bush said.
After that, an aide swooped in and forbade other questions on this day. The purpose of summoning reporters, he said, was only to have them take pictures and record a brief statement by Bush and his house guest, Armando Valladares, the Cuban human rights activist and writer who served 22 years in Fidel Castro’s jails before being released in 1982.
Valladares was one of the men Bush identified during the Los Angeles presidential debate when asked who were his heroes. On Saturday, Bush repeated the praise and called him “a living monument to the human spirit.”
Valladares, who wrote the book “Against All Hope,” said he was not really a hero. “Heroes are those still suffering now in prison,” he said.
In a second brief ethnic campaign event Saturday, Bush spoke briefly at an Italian-American dinner.
No campaign events were scheduled for today.