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Dukakis Back At Home After Two Days Of Sharp Attacks On Reagan-Bush

August 26, 1988

BOSTON (AP) _ Michael Dukakis was catching up on state business today, back home after two days of wooing support in key industrial states with his harshest attacks to date on President Reagan and Vice President George Bush.

The Massachusetts governor planned to spend most of today in his office, emerging only to swear in a new member of the state authority which oversees Logan International Airport.

The Democratic presidential nominee arrived home Thursday night and attended a fund-raising event after campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He also returned with the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, which he accepted Wednesday in Washington before heading out to campaign in Michigan.

Dukakis already had been to Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania since accepting the nomination, and his return visits accentuated his campaign’s determination to secure a Democratic base in industrial states.

He toured a steel mill outside Pittsburgh on Thursday before addressing an evening rally, telling both reporters and the rally that economic growth during the Reagan years has left the average American family behind.

″Opportunity for some isn’t the goal we set for ourselves in this America,″ Dukakis said. ″And maintaining the status quo - running in place, standing still, isn’t the future we want for our country.″

Dukakis chided Bush, the GOP presidential nominee, for not telling the Republican National Convention last week how he would erase the deficit.

In Boston on Thursday night, about 150 gay rights activists demonstrated outside Dukakis’ fund-raising event to criticize a state policy they say virtually bans placement of foster children in gay and lesbian homes.

There were no arrests, and by the time Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, arrived, only a handful remained, chanting, ″Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia’s got to go.″

″We want Dukakis supporters to know that he’s anti-gay,″ said Mike Friedman, a spokesman for Mass Act Out, a gay rights group that sponsored the protest with the Gay and Lesbian Defense Committee.

A Dukakis campaign official at the scene refused comment.

In Cleveland, Dukakis delivered his sharpest attack to date on Reagan-Bush drug policies, accusing the president and vice president of failing miserably in the war on drugs.

″Today, after seven years of tough talk, the American people want some answers,″ Dukakis told an audience. ″Why, after seven years of task forces and policy boards and grandiose claims, have cocaine imports tripled, drug- related deaths doubled, and heroin imports risen by 50 percent?″

Dukakis chided Bush for supporting spending billions of dollars on the Star Wars space-defense plan at a time when the administration has cut federal aid to state and local drug programs by two-thirds.

″The drug cancer is eating away at the foundation of fragile democracies throughout this hemisphere,″ Dukakis said. ″It’s corrupting governments, destroying economies, ravaging communities, spawning terror and crippling lives.″

He also blamed Reagan and Bush for a litany of drug-related problems in the nation.

″Now the vice president says that if elected, he’ll put his vice president in charge of the war against drugs,″ Dukakis said. ″President Reagan tried that. It didn’t work.″

Dukakis stepped up his criticism of Reagan and Bush for dealing with Panamanian military leader Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, saying for the first time that he considered the administration’s conduct criminal.

″For years, while General Noriega of Panama was actively involved in the drug business, we were actively in business with General Noriega,″ Dukakis said. ″My friends, that’s criminal.″

If elected, Dukakis promised to sign an executive order prohibiting the CIA and other federal agencies from making payments to suspected drug traffickers except during undercover investigations.

After spending today at the Statehouse, Dukakis was heading to Washington on Saturday to be with Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King and other civil rights leaders to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the March on Washington led by the late Martin Luther King Jr.

He was to spend the weekend relaxing in western Massachusetts prior to a gubernatorial trip to the region Monday and Tuesday.

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