Bush speaks to crowd at COD

By Stephanie Bradley

GLEN ELLYN—About 5,000 campaign supporters for George Bush, vice president and republican presidential nominee, waited impatiently for about an hour for Bush to appear at a rally held at the College of DuPage Monday.

Supporters sporadically shouted, “We want Bush,” while bands played, and 50 to 75 Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis backers, who tried to be heard above the noise, chanted, “Where was Bush?”

The rally was to have been held outside on the grounds of the college, but because of the downpour, had to be moved indoors. COD issued 10,000 tickets for the event, but only about half of the ticket-holders were allowed in the gymnasium, where the rally was held. A fireworks display was held after the rally since the rain had let up.

When Bush finally appeared, he spoke for only about 15 minutes, and bowed his head whenever the crowd cheered. His message was mainly a pep talk to DuPage County backers, telling them how much he needed their support to win the election.

“The DuPage County area is our strength. We need to capitalize on that strength. That’s where you come in,” Bush said to the audience. His message of opportunity, hope and peace is good, he said.

Bush criticized Democratic Presidential Candidate Dukakis for telling the American people that the United States is in bad shape. He disagreed with Dukakis, saying the U.S. has had the largest economic expansion in American history.

He also blasted Dukakis for his affiliations. “I didn’t say I was a card-carrying member of the (American Civil Liberties Union). That was the governor of Massachusetts.”

Bush reiterated his commitment to not raising taxes. “I’ll say it again—I am not going to raise your taxes.” He also indicated his support of a line-item veto for the president.

National security is one of Bush’s top priorities. “Our pride is back in the world. I will keep the U.S. strong…You do not deal with the Soviet Union by making unilateral cuts. The Soviet Union understands strength.” Bush vowed to “ban chemical and biological weapons from the face of the earth.”

Bush pointed out some of the Reagan administration’s victories such as bombing Libya and the war in Grenada. He derided Dukakis for wanting to turn U.S. sovereignty over to the United Nations.

On other issues, Bush said he believes it is “perfectly okay to have voluntary prayer in public schools.” He also supports mandatory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. “I want to be the education president,” he said.

Bush ended his speech with a final appeal to the voters. “It is only 21 days before the election. With strong support, if we drive right down the middle, you can say you saw the next president of the United States.”

Tim Dinan, Dukakis supporter and COD student, said Bush’s speech was nothing new. “It’s the same boring 30-second bit he’s said the entire campaign.”

Bush supporter Mary Anne McGrath said she was pleased with the speech, although she wished he had spoken longer. “His strong point was getting the people into a patriotic mood. We really need that right now.”