Republican George Bush accused Democratic rival Michael Dukakis Tuesday of making "appeals to class conflict" in charging that a Bush administration would be slanted toward the rich - including the vice president himself.
Dukakis, who was campaigning Tuesday in California, said Monday that Bush's proposal for a cut in the capital gains tax would benefit the well-to-do and would have meant tax savings to Bush personally of about $22,000 a year if it had been in effect the past three years.Bush said Tuesday, "I've been disturbed, as I've witnessed my opponent's campaign of the last several weeks, at the increasing appeals to class conflict. In my view, there is no place in American public life for philosophies that divide Americans one from another and that excite conflict among them.
"America will find her future by keeping with the traditions of her past, traditions of openness, generosity and cooperation," Bush said. "We will move forward not by succumbing to the base temptations of fear and envy but by following as Abraham Lincoln said, those better angels of our nature."
Bush said Dukakis "clings, despite all the evidence of the last two decaes, to the discredited policies of high taxes and government spending."
His comments came in a speech prepared for the Ohio Association of Broadcasters. Polls show Bush leading in Ohio, which is considered a must-win state for Dukakis.
With two weeks remaining until Election Day, Dukakis was seeking votes in California, where the latest poll showed Bush holding an 11-point lead over the Democratic nominee in the battle for the state's 47 electoral votes.
"George Bush wants to give people like himself a tax break that's more, in some cases, than the average worker in California makes in a year," Dukakis told supporters in Los Angeles Monday.
The Massachusetts governor also accused the GOP ticket of distorting his record in campaign advertising.
"We've seen a campaign of distortions and misrepresentation and of outright lies now for many, many months," Dukakis told a San Diego audience.
The Republican nominee, stumping for votes in New England, said Monday his campaign has "complete documentation" for its commercials criticizing Dukakis on crime and defense.
"He cannot take it," Bush said of Dukakis. "He cannot take it and now he's trying to turn and make the issue what we are saying."
The vice president was campaigning Tuesday in the Ohio cities of Columbus, Akron and Lima before flying to Detroit.