National Democrats are urging candidates nationwide to follow Larry LaRocco's lead in blasting Vice President Dan Quayle for remarks he made in Boise.
Quayle was in town Wednesday to help the Boise stockbroker's opponent in the 1st Congressional District race, Republican Skip Smyser, raise money.Quayle told Idaho reporters he saw no evidence of price gouging by oil companies. But Howard Schloss of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said that probably was because he wasn't looking.
"From now on, we're not only going to make Vice President Quayle, but the candidates he's stumping for, explain why they think the big oil companies have not taken advantage of consumers," Schloss said Friday. "He should call the General Accounting Office and find out how much that jet fuel he's using riding around campaigning is costing taxpayers."
Schloss said newspaper clippings recounting Quayle's Boise remark had been faxed to about 40 Democrats in tight races nationwide. "We tell them it's a good issue - they should use it."
LaRocco took a swipe at Quayle, saying he was out of touch and should "get out more" and "talk to his chauffeur."
He also noted Smyser's contributions from oil companies, which total $8,500. "Skip Smyser has pumped the oil companies to run his campaign," LaRocco said, "so you know whose song he'll be singing in Congress."
But Smyser's press secretary, Kevin Phillips, said the Parma attorney and state senator "got this `big oil' money - which really doesn't amount to that much - because Skip is considered by the business community as kind of the business candidate."
Overall, Smyser said Friday, Quayle's visit has helped the Republican's campaign raise more money than any other candidate in the 1st Congressional District.