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Group Praises Reagan On ‘Come On America’ Tour With PM-US-Iran-Contra Rdp, Bjt

December 19, 1986

CHICAGO (AP) _ A group called Come on America is conducting a letter-writing campaign to express support for President Reagan during the Iran-Contra arms investigation, the worst crisis of his presidency.

Leaders of the group, formed last week in St. Paul, Minn., in response to the arms affair, says they’ve received 5,000 letters and are looking for more to forward to the White House.

″We’re trying to say: ’We’re still with you, Mr. President. We feel you’ve done a good job. We want to support you through this small factor and help you get on with the business of running the country,‴ co-chairman Sal DiLeo said at news conference held here Thursday.

The group is taking no stand on the Iran arms deal, said DiLeo, a Minneapolis business consultant.

The news conference by DiLeo and publicist Mark Vukelich launched a nine- city tour to drum up support for Reagan.

A woman in Baton Rouge, La., is bankrolling the 30-day publicity tour, which is headed for New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle, DiLeo said. He would not disclose the backer’s name, saying she preferred anonymity.

The organization has 10 staff members. It takes its name from the title of a patriotic song DiLeo wrote in 1983 when he felt support for the president was flagging.

″What’s this country coming to,″ the song’s chorus says. ″We’ve got The New Duke, come on America 3/8 We can sink or we can swim, but with a godly man like him, we can do it America.″

DiLeo said he decided Reagan needed help after noticing how weary the president looked on television newscasts about the Iran arms deal.

Letters began pouring in last weekend after the group held a news conference in St. Paul, DiLeo said. None of the letters has been sent to the White House, which has not commented on the campaign, Vukelich said.

DiLeo brought some sample letters to Chicago.

A. Wazlakowsky of Crystal, Minn., wrote: ″Come on, news media, get off Reagan’s back. Come on, America, cheer on a great president. Support Ronald Reagan.″

A letter to the president from Pearl Sowa of Duluth, Minn., read: ″I am writing to tell you I am 100 percent behind you in everything you do. Never have we had a president more deserving of our support than you are.″

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