President Reagan, rounding out a million-dollar week of Republican fund-raising in his crucial home state of California, warned Saturday that Democrats threaten to "send the ship of state into drydock."
"Our economy and our national defenses are strong, but they're also under threat," Reagan said in a speech at a $200-per-person money-raising event for Rep. Robert Lagomarsino, the congressman from his district."They're threatened by those who want to use the law to engineer the changes in our nation that American people do not need and do not want and that would hurt," he said.
After his speech on a spacious estate near Santa Barbara, the president left for his 688-acre ranch north of here, ending a five-day outing to Los Angeles. He will return to Washington after Labor Day.
Earlier in the day, Reagan appeared at a private party for Republicans who contributed or raised $5,000 for the California GOP. On his way to Los Angeles Monday, he spoke at a fund-raiser for Sen. Pete Wilson.
White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the events raised about $1 million altogether. Reagan is expected to play a key role in the campaign for California's 47 electoral votes.
In his speech for Lagomarsino, Reagan commented for the first time on the dispute over Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis' veto of a proposed Massachusetts law that would have required teachers to lead their classes in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Touching on a Massachusetts program giving furloughs to prisoners, for which Dukakis has been under fire in the campaign, the president asked, "And how about a furlough for the Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reagan also reiterated his support for the stand taken by Vice President George Bush, the Republican nominee, in support of Reagan's opposition to tax increases.
Speaking to Californians accustomed to seeing tax measures appear on the ballot under proposition numbers, he said, "George Bush is going to Americans with his own Proposition Number One: No new taxes."
"Our liberal friends seem to love to fiddle around making big government even bigger," the president said. "And then, before you know it, they've fiddled around so much that they've sent the ship of state into drydock."
Reagan conceded that Lagomarsino "has a tough race, his toughest ever" from Democratic challenger California State Sen. Gary K. Hart. But, he said, "The job Bob has done these past 14 years has earned my vote this year."
In his weekly radio address, the president spoke of "a move toward peace that shows how successful this nation's commitment to peace through strength has been."
Expanding on a theme he is expected to sound throughout the campaign, he said, "Peace is a godly thing, but men are seldom godly. What we've learned is that peace is hard to achieve unless the forces of good have the strength to stand firmly for it."
Ticking off areas of the world in which he said there have been advances toward peace, he added, "There is still time to turn the tide in Nicaragua."