Two of the five finalists in the "veepstakes" for possible running mates to Vice President George Bush spoke Tuesday at the Republican National Convention - Jack Kemp and Elizabeth Dole.
And Kemp, the darling of party conservatives, seemed to receive the strongest support from delegates, being interrupted many more times by applause and cheers than Dole.His supporters had also passed out signs and banners, and led riotous cheering when he was introduced. Elizabeth Dole, on the other hand, had trouble being heard over delegates talking in the hall.
Bush, who arrived in New Orleans Tuesday, said he has already made up his mind who his nominee for vice president will be.
Looking at Reagan, who was seated among delegates across the podium in the huge Superdome, Kemp said his favorite Reagan movie was "Knute Rockne, All-American, in which Reagan played freshman football running back George Gipp. "Win one for the gipper" has become a cliche to win one for the underdog. Kemp, who was a National Football League quarterback, said the best scene in the film is when Pat O'Brien, playing Rockne, turns to Gipp and sends him into the play.
"You just run with the ball," says O'Brien.
"How far?" smiles Reagan.
"No one could have imagined how far you would carry it," Kemp said, referring to the Reagan presidency.
Praising Bush as well, Kemp, who has said he'd readily accept the second spot on the ticket, said the work of the Reagan administration must go forward. He also slammed the Democrats, something Bush's vice president must be adept at doing.
"The Democrats measure compassion by how many people receive government assistance; we measure it by how few need it," he told the cheering Republicans. "They see America locked in a class struggle between owners and workers, between rich and poor. We want an America where workers can become owners and poor people become rich. They see an America in terms of its limits. We see America in terms of its possibilities."
Elizabeth Dole also praised Reagan and Bush for overcoming troubles she said were left by Democrats and talked directly to the nation's women, telling them they would be better off supporting Republicans.
"In the past eight years, President Reagan has created an incredible jobs machine - more jobs for more Americans than ever before. And two-thirds of the 17 million new jobs created since 1982 went to women. Good jobs, not bad jobs. Real work, not make work. That's our freedom. So I ask you, women of America, not just to support us. Work with us to ensure that this growth continues."