Quayle Suggests Colin Powell Would Join Dole Ticket _ if Asked
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Vice President Dan Quayle predicted Wednesday that Colin Powell would accept the GOP vice presidential spot if asked directly by Sen. Bob Dole, despite his repeated disavowals of interest.
``Assuming that he (Powell) wants a future in politics, you cannot say `no’ to your presidential nominee,″ Quayle said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Fresh from a 45-minute long private meeting with Dole, Quayle said that the Senate majority leader has not made up his mind yet on a running mate.
He stressed that he wasn’t urging Dole to offer the No. 2 spot on the ticket to Powell. ``This is Bob Dole’s decision,″ Quayle said.
But if he ``wants Colin Powell and he feels he’s the man, that he is best for a Dole presidency as vice president, then he ought to go and ask Colin Powell to be his running mate.
``And then George Bush, myself, Dick Cheney, others will talk to Colin and say, `Colin, this is the way it is,″ said Quayle, who was Bush’s vice president from 1989-93. Cheney served as defense secretary during Bush’s term.
``I can tell him what a wonderful position it is,″ Quayle said. ``He’ll enjoy the job.″
Quayle also suggested that Dole announce his choice for vice president in the week before the GOP convention in San Diego in August.
``So you have the running mate there. You get his two or three day story out of the way. And then you go in as a team and have a good convention and we’re well on our way,″ Quayle said.
In town to raise funds for his political action committee, Campaign America, and to promote his new book, ``The American Family,″ Quayle disputed that the GOP party was in ``a funk,″ as suggested by House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
But, he said, ``This is a down time of any presidential campaign when you’re the opposition, between now and the convention. You don’t have money at your disposal. ... Everyone wants the convention to start tomorrow and it doesn’t start until August.″
Quayle’s book is based on interviews with five families in cities and small towns across the nation. In it, he concludes that strong families are built around traditional values such as respect, education, religion and curtailment of television access.
``I wanted to illustrate that there are a lot of successful families in America. I wanted to sort of get away from all of these dysfunctional families that we see displayed on television all the time,″ Quayle said.
Of his meeting with Dole, Quayle said, ``He’s in good spirits.
``Look, he knows what the lay of the land is. He knows these things go in cycles. He’s fully prepared to make sure that strategy developed is geared toward Election Day.″
Although Dole has not publicly indicated a preference for a running mate, he has mentioned Powell among those he would consider.
Many Dole aides and associates believe the senator remains intrigued with the prospect of picking Powell.
Powell has repeatedly suggested he is not interested, and associates of the retired general say that opposition of his wife Alma is a major factor.
In Rolla, Mo. where he was giving a speech Wednesday night, before Quayle’s comments were made public, Powell repeated his disinterest in running.
``I am not seeking any political office in 1996 at any level,″ he said. ``The decision’s been made.″
But, Quayle said, ``I know, I’ve read the same thing. Colin has hinted to me that too, has said in various ways to me that he’s not sure he’s interested.″
``And I can understand. You don’t run for vice president. No body runs for vice president. I didn’t run for vice president. George Bush didn’t run for vice president. Gore didn’t run for vice president. You get selected.″
_Rejected as ``a little farfetched″ the contention of his former chief of staff, William Kristol, that a Dole loss to Clinton in November was likely. Kristol made the suggestion in the conservative journal he publishes, ``The Weekly Standard.″ Said Quayle: ``Bill is in a different business now. This is a new magazine. It needs some publicity.″
_Said he doesn’t regret deciding not to seek the GOP presidency this time around. ``I’ve got seven presidential elections to go before I turn 73. ... And in one of those years, I may run.″