Michael Dukakis Monday celebrated Labor Day by denouncing George Bush as the leader of the party of the rich and asking voters to "look in the mirror" and ask whether they can afford four more years of Reagan-era indifference.
Dukakis, on the workers' holiday that marks the traditional start of the fall presidential campaign, began the day visiting families in a working-class neighborhood of Philadelphia and then headed for Detroit and a rally in the auto capital with labor chieftains and Michigan's Democratic leaders.Fifty anti-abortion activists staged a protest at his Philadelphia stop, waving signs and chanting, "Life yes, abortion no. Duke of death must go."
The Massachusetts governor, in his chat with the Philadelphia residents, ridiculed Bush's call for a ban on ocean dumping.
"I don't think Mr. Bush gets it. We want to stop ocean dumping, right? That means we've got to treat the sewage, right? . . . But you can't be for an end to ocean dumping when you're also for ending federal grants for sewage treatment," said Dukakis.
He also hit Bush on housing, saying, "I don't think I've ever heard Mr. Bush talk about housing, have you? . . . He hasn't. He doesn't appreciate what average folks are going through."
Meanwhile in New York, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, Sen. Dan Quayle kicked off his fall campaign with a tribute to the Pledge of Allegiance and a declaration that the values it embodies "are not hokey or cornball."
"The people of America want to know the kind of values that underscore our beliefs, and George Bush and I proudly and unapologetically embrace the values embodied in the Pledge of Allegiance," the Republican vice presidential nominee said.
The Republicans have used the pledge as a rallying point in the campaign, attacking Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis for his 1977 veto of a Massachusetts bill that would have penalized teachers who refused to lead their classes in the pledge.
Dukakis cited an advisory opinion by Massachusetts' highest court that the bill was unconstitutional, as well as a 1943 Supreme Court decision that students could not be forced to salute the flag.
But Quayle said that "the same mindset that would impede the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance . . . could well sterilize public education of its proper role as a transmitter of the values and standards upon which we must rely."
For him and Bush, Quayle said, the spirit and values of the pledge "deserve to be transmitted to our children."