Michael S. Dukakis rallied supporters at a black church today with a declaration that “11 days is an eternity” and time enough to catch George Bush before Election Day. Bush suggested that Americans would wake up to a gloomy morning if Dukakis is elected.
Bush celebrated like the front-runner he is Thursday night at a party at Bob Hope’s house. But Dukakis also was upbeat at a rally early today at a Baptist church in Kansas City, Mo.
“In politics, as you all know, 11 days is an eternity,” Dukakis said. “There is time to do it.”
He was introduced by the Rev. Wallace S. Hartsfield, who said that during the Reagan Administration there have been “a few at the head of the table who refuse to pass the bread.”
Dukakis, who opened his remarks by saying, “I’ve got a little preaching to do,” promised Hartsfield that things would change in a Dukakis White House.
“We’re not only going to pass the bread, but you’re going to be at the table,” he told the predominantly black audience.
Dukakis, who hosted a town meeting Thursday night in nearby Independence, Harry Truman’s hometown, said he was inspired by the visit and confident that he could, like Truman, pull off an upset.
To win he will have to defy the polls much as Truman did in 1948. The newest batch of surveys--including one Thursday showing a nine-point Bush lead--range from eight to 15 points.
Bush said Thursday night that he would not be “talking on the negative side” in the closing days of the race, but that didn’t seem to last long.
He told a business group in Los Angeles today that Dukakis “wants to torpedo the prosperity we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”
Bush said: “Peace means you can sleep at night knowing the world will still be there in the morning; prosperity means you can sleep at night knowing that opportunity will still be there in the morning.
“You know about our mornings. But I ask you to consider: What kind of morning would electing the liberal governor of Massachusetts bring? Will it be gloomy? Will the dark clouds of pessimism and limited possibility obscure our vision?”
Earlier, in a speech to the Town Hall of California, Bush cited a “barrage of statistics” in an effort to rebut his challenger’s contention that the average American family is worse off economically than when the Republicans entered the White House in 1981.
Women Forced to Work
Bush noted that Dukakis “likes to claim that families are better off only because women have been forced to work.”
“Frankly, that strikes me as sexist, because it implies women wouldn’t choose to work unless they had to,” Bush told the breakfast crowd at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.
Dukakis was to continue campaigning in Missouri today before heading to Michigan and later Boston. His running mate, Lloyd Bentsen, was focusing on California before returning to his home state of Texas.
After his California appearances, Bush is to travel to Nebraska, where he planned a joint appearance with GOP Sen. David Karnes, who faces an uphill battle with former Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey for the Senate seat.
Bush running mate Dan Quayle was touring the Pennsylvania Dutch region in the East.