George Bush concluded that Dan Quayle was hurting his bid to be re-elected 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 magazine's Oct. 24 issue.
Two top campaign officials, Bob Teeter and Fred Malek, were behind the dump-Quayle campaign, and even former Presidents Ford and Nixon told Bush that Quayle should go, according to the book.
"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 by Texas A&M University Press.
In the weeks before the Republican convention, 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 and if he were certain that the tender had come straight from Bush," the book says of Powell.
So why did Bush keep Quayle after all? If he forced Quayle out, he told aides, "I think the press would murder me."