Democrat Michael Dukakis, stepping up his counterattack on the campaign tactics of opponent George Bush, decried Saturday the "fear and smear" he said he has endured on issues of crime, the environment and trade.
In a five-minute, paid political spot scheduled to be aired on ABC-TV at the end of prime-time programming, the Massachusetts governor said, "It isn't easy for the truth to catch up with the lies - and to clear up the fog and deception that has been spread across the campaign."But I am determined to do so," he pledged.
A Newsweek magazine poll released Saturday shows the Republican ticket holding a 50 percent to 41 percent edge over their Democratic rivals. The telephone survey of 1,013 registered voters conducted Thursday and Friday had a margin of error or plus or minus 4 percent.
In addition, Chicago's two major daily newspapers endorsed Bush for president in their Sunday editions, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the nod to Dukakis. The St. Louis paper cited the Massachusetts governor's "common sense, compassion and commitment."
The Sun-Times noted Bush's extensive experience in government. The Tribune backed Bush reluctantly, saying he has run an "abysmal" campaign and picked a "lousy running mate" in Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana.
The two candidates attended the Italian American's Dinner Saturday night in Washington.
Meanwhile, Utahns continue their strong support for Bush. A just-completed Deseret News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates shows that the Bush/Quayle ticket gets 63 percent support while the Dukakis/Bentsen ticket gets 31 percent support. Bush has been increasing his lead over Dukakis since the Republican National Convention in August.
Earlier Saturday, Bush met with human rights advocate Armando Valladares at the vice president's residence in Washington. During the second of two debates with Dukakis Oct. 13 in Los Angeles, Bush mentioned Valladares, a political prisoner for 22 years in communist Cuba, when asked to name his heroes.
Valladares presented Bush with a copy of his book, "Against All Hope," and with a framed manuscript page from it.
"It must be our mission in the days and years ahead to stand firmly against those nations and ideologies that would extinguish our neighbors' new and hard-won liberty," Bush said during the meeting, which came on the sixth anniversary of Valladeres' release from jail.