President-elect George Bush on Monday asked Dick Thornburgh to stay on as attorney general and Lauro Cavazos as education secretary and named Richard Darman to be his budget director.
Bush announced the intended nominations at a White House news conference, saying Thornburgh and Cavazos would be able to extend their brief records with a full term in their Cabinet positions and calling Darman especially qualified for the Office of Management and Budget."The key goal of my transition is to appoint people of quality," Bush said, stressing qualities that dovetail with challenges for his administration.
In Thornburgh's case, he noted the former Pennsylvania governor knows the Justice Department well and already has immersed himself in the war against illegal drugs. Moreover, since taking over last summer for the beleaguered Edwin Meese, Thornburgh has shown "unquestioned integrity," he declared.
Of Cavazos, who during the campaign was chosen by President Reagan as the first Hispanic Cabinet member, Bush said the former Texas Tech University president "shares my commitment to be the education president."
Finally with Darman, who served Reagan
as deputy treasury secretary, Bush said he would have a man of broad government experience and acknowledged intellect for "perhaps the most difficult job" of the three.
"Dick Darman understands the numbers, and he understands something else as well - that cutting the size of the federal deficit is a
top priority," the vice president said. "And let me simply re-emphasize that point today."
Wall Street and world financial markets have been jittery since Bush was elected two weeks ago, and he is trying to make clear that his approach to the federal budget deficit is solid. He announced last week that Nicholas Brady, one of Wall Street's own, would be asked to stay on as treasury secretary.
Bush noted Darman is merely "the second key member of my economic team that I have announced will play a central role in that important (deficit) effort, which will commence immediately when we assume office."
But Bush also indicated he has tapped the last of Reagan's Cabinet, responding when asked that question: "In all likelihood."
Whatever peaceful honeymoon Bush may have expected in the triumphal aftermath of the election has been shattered by the sound of alarm bells ringing on Wall Street, forcing the economy to the top of his transition agenda.
Despite assurances that he is determined to work with Congress to reduce the deficit, the financial markets remain unsettled, with many analysts uneasy about Bush's campaign pledge of "no new taxes."
Bush told Monday's news conference, "I'm not going to change my view as to how we get this deficit down," and Darman stood firm with him on the tax question.
A report over the weekend by the General Accounting Office said that tax increases and cuts in defense and Social Security must be considered to slash the budget deficit.
Rep. Bill Gray, D-Pa., chairman of the House Budget Committee said on "CBS This Morning" Monday that Bush will probably have to reassess his economic assumptions once he gets into office and will "submit his own budget, which will reflect the new realities."
Following Monday's announcement, Bush met with two former presidents, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, who have made some bipartisan recommendations for the incoming president.
On Tuesday, the president-elect plans to fly to Alabama to visit a conference of Republican governors and to Houston for a get-acquainted meeting with Mexican President-elect Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who takes office Dec. 1.