President Reagan, personally appealing to Americans Saturday, defended Vice President George Bush from Democratic attacks and said only Bush will secure the president's dreams for the nation's future.
"My name won't appear on any ballot this fall," Reagan said in his weekly radio address previewing next week's Republican convention. "What's at stake for me in this election is my love for America and my dreams for her future."And that's what my support for Vice President Bush comes down to. You see George Bush understands that the question for America today is not what's different, but what's next."
The president spoke from the Oval Office. He and first lady Nancy Reagan fly Sunday to New Orleans, where the president will address the Republican National Convention on Monday night.
The president gave his warmest endorsement to date for his vice president of two terms and took aim at Democrats, saying "the leadership of the other party has my Irish up" with assertions that the economy is in decline.
"In this campaign season some in the other party are parading around the country talking and talking about what they claim they would do if they were elected. Well, while they talk, we deliver," Reagan said.
Reagan devoted much of his speech to his support of aid for Nicaraguan rebels, his veto of a defense spending bill that he says would weaken vital Pentagon programs and his advocacy of "trade that is both free and, yes, fair."
Reagan, who will be greeted by a "Mardi Gras" welcome in New Orleans, addresses the GOP delegates in the Superdome Monday night.
He predicted a renewed commitment to party ideals of "strong defenses, low taxes and limited government."