Democrat Michael Dukakis campaigned side-by-side with Sen. John Glenn of Ohio Friday, playing up Glenn's vice presidential prospects after doing the same with Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton the night before. He invited Jesse Jackson, another prospect, to his home for a July 4 dinner.
While Dukakis was winding up a Midwestern campaign swing, Republican George Bush was relaxing and celebrating his mother's 87th birthday at his vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.On Wednesday, the two presidential aspirants had given contrasting pictures of the economy as Republicans continued work on a party platform that they said would have more meat than the Democratic document.
Friday, in Dayton, Dukakis said with the grinning Glenn standing by that he does not think talk that the former astronaut is boring would be a problem in choosing a running mate.
"Dull and boring? I kind of like that," said Dukakis, who himself has been accused of failing to excite audiences.
At a United Auto Workers hall where they appeared, there was no question who was the crowd favorite.
"I've been taking a poll all over America about running mates. What do you think about John Glenn?" Dukakis asked. Hearing the response of loud applause and whistles, Dukakis said, "Sounds unanimous to me."
Jackson, who has pressed for an offer of the No. 2 position on the Democratic ticket, will meet Monday night with Dukakis, said Dayton Duncan, Dukakis' campaign press secretary. The aide gave no indication what the two might discuss.
Bush told a luncheon group in New York that paid $10,000 a couple to hear him speak that the country has been enjoying an economic recovery since late 1982, the longest peacetime expansion in history. He said that two years ago economists predicted a downturn that hasn't arrived.
"Wrong, wrong, wrong," Bush said. "No wonder it's called the `dismal science.' " Bush continued: "Liberals promise compassion but they deliver misery."
Dukakis told employees at a Reynolds Aluminum Co. plant outside Chicago that the average weekly wage for jobs lost between 1979 and 1985 was $440, while the average weekly pay for new jobs during that period was only $270.
"Too many of our families are struggling to hold on, burdened by the rising costs of health care and housing and college tuition, troubled by the lack of quality affordable child care," Dukakis said.
Republicans meeting in Los Angeles to draft a party platform criticized the Democrats' platform document as lacking content and trying to conceal a tax and spend policy.
Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas said the Democrats kept their platform short because "they don't have much to talk about. I mean, who wants to talk about raising your taxes and more regulation and more spending?"
Dole, asked if he wanted the No. 2 job, said: "I don't think it's a question of wanting it. It's a question of winning the election. I'd want to be majority leader if I had my choice."
Dukakis won the backing Thursday of the political action committee of the National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher union. The 1.9-million member union's board is scheduled to meet Friday and almost certainly concur with the PAC's choice.