Bush Wanted Quayle Off ’92 Ticket but Refused to Push Him, Book Says

From Associated Press

George Bush concluded that Dan Quayle was hurting his bid to be reelected President but refused to force him off the ticket, according to a new book excerpted in Newsweek.

The book, “Quest for the Presidency 1992,” includes quotes from unidentified sources who discuss what Bush said and thought during the campaign.

“Quayle had become the mouthpiece for the party’s farther right,” Bush thought, and pressure was heavy to push him out, according to excerpts in the Oct. 24 issue.


Two top campaign officials, Robert M. Teeter and Frederic V. Malek, were behind the dump-Quayle campaign, and even former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon told Bush that Quayle should go, the book says.

“He hadn’t objected in principle to the idea of doing Quayle in,” an unidentified source said of Bush. “He didn’t want his fingerprints on the weapon. . . . He could not bring himself to be more than a passive actor in the drama, hoping against hope that Quayle would jump without having to be pushed.”

The book by Peter Goldman, Thomas DeFrank, Mark Miller, Andrew Murr and Tom Mathews will be published Nov. 7.

Bush’s strategists wondered about replacing Quayle with Gen. Colin Powell.

“He gave the strong impression that he would accept a place on the ticket if it were offered to him,” the book says of Powell.

So why did he keep Quayle? If he forced Quayle out, he told aides, “I think the press would murder me.”