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Bush Takes Offense At Dukakis Fish Remark

August 1, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The use of an old Greek saying about rotten fish by Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis to blame the Reagan administration for alleged corruption in military procurement was ″a very tasteless and offensive attack″ on the president, Vice President George Bush said Sunday.

″You don’t make tasteless, offensive analogies to the president of the United States, that’s what I think,″ Bush told Cable News Network.

″I’ll tell you, what bothered me a little bit about what he said yesterday was that very offensive and very tasteless attack on the president where he made a comparison to a dead fish, and I think the American people will reject that kind of campaign tactic.″

Dukakis, appearing in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, referred to the saying when he was asked whether President Reagan or the vice president should be blamed personally for the alleged misdeeds of Pentagon contractors, consultants and administrators.

″There’s an old Greek saying, and I suspect the Italians have the same one: ‘You know, the fish rots from the head first.’ It starts from the top.″

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