Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis was focusing on state crime and prison issues Wednesday before heading out on a three-day campaign swing that will take him to seven states.
The Massachusetts governor was touring a prison construction site, meeting with his anti-crime council and signing legislation imposing stiff penalties on producers and sellers of child pornography before heading home to pack for the campaign trip that begins Thursday.Dukakis spent most of Tuesday tending to state business as well but took time at an afternoon news conference to blast President Reagan and Vice President George Bush for supporting Attorney General Edwin Meese III even after two Justice Department officials quit because of the attorney general's conduct.
"When that happens, I don't think there are any further questions," Dukakis told reporters. "He's got to go and he's got to go immediately. Instead, they continued to defend him and with their support he continued to serve as attorney general."
Dukakis - pointing to Bush's inaction in the Meese case - appeared unimpressed with Bush's call Tuesday for new government ethics standards.
"You've got to act," Dukakis said. "You don't need codes. You don't have to have a book."
Dukakis said the American people "are embarrassed and ashamed by some of the things that they see" in the Reagan administration.
Dukakis also renewed his criticism of Bush for not trying to block the arms-for-hostages deal at the center of the Iran-Contra affair.
"How can anyone possibly just sit there when someone came up with a proposal so crazy?" Dukakis said. "That's the issue. It's a question of judgment. You can't make deals for hostages. If you do, you better forget about breaking the back of international terrorism."