Vice President George Bush says Michael Dukakis' use of an old Greek saying about rotten fish to condemn the Reagan administration's record on ethics was "very tasteless and offensive."

"I'll tell you, what bothered me a little bit about what he said yesterday was that very offensive and very tasteless attack on the president where he made a comparison to a dead fish," Bush said. "And I think the American people will reject that kind of campaign tactic.""You don't make tasteless, offensive analogies to the president of the United States, that's what I think," Bush told Cable News Network on Sunday.

Dukakis, appearing in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, used the saying when asked whether President Reagan or the vice president should be blamed personally for the alleged misdeeds of Pentagon contractors, consultants and administrators.

"There's an old Greek saying, and I suspect the Italians have the same one: `You know, the fish rots from the head first.' It starts from the top," said Dukakis.