Bush Given Enthusiastic Welcome at White House
President Bush returned home to a warm White House welcome today after a 10-day European trip, expressing fond memories of love for America in Eastern Europe and saying he clearly feels “there’s too much hope” in Hungary and Poland for reform movements to be reversed.
At a well-staged reception on the White House grounds with his Cabinet and aides cheering him, the President said: “Everywhere--in Warsaw, Gdansk and Budapest, among the leaders of the (economic) summit nations, in the Netherlands--I found an enormous amount of excitement.
“Excitement at the times in which we are living and the possibilities . . . to move beyond containment, to end the division of Europe, to make that continent truly whole and free.”
Wearing a golf sweater and appearing relaxed, Bush singled out the presentation to him by Hungarian Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth of a plaque containing fragments of a barbed wire fence that had stood between the Communist nation and neutral Austria as probably the highlight of his 9,000-mile trip.
Earlier aboard Air Force One on his flight home, Bush said he was troubled by a new book that suggests Vice President Dan Quayle lacks the competence required by his job.
“This is the ugly side of politics,” Bush said.
The new book, “Whose Bright Stripes and Bright Stars: The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency 1988,” is a study of last year’s White House race by veteran political columnists Jack Germond and Jules Witcover.
Among its revelations is the depth of frustration Republican operatives working with Quayle felt. Several workers told the authors that the candidate was a “lightweight” and “like a kid” who needed detailed instructions for minor duties.
Bush said he saw “an item” about the quotations and said they “offended” him.
Bush said heatedly that his vice president’s performance has “vindicated my judgment all along.”