George Bush / Dan Quayle 1988 Platform

  • Opposes the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy.
  • Opposes the funding of abortion with taxpayer dollars.
  • Favors a Human Life Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision.
  • The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) says: “George Bush has been a consistent supporter of pro-life efforts while serving as Vice President with Ronald Reagan.”
  • The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) says:

“Vice President Bush is anti-abortion and supports President Reagan’s opposition to abortion.”

  • “I believe that abortion is wrong … Federal funds should not be used to finance abortion … I believe we need a Human Life Amendment. Our Constitution is and should be designed to protect human life.” – George Bush

Dan Quayle

  • Voted in 1982 for pro-life legislation which stated that life begins at conception.
  • Voted in 1983 for the Hatch/Eagleton Human Life Amendment (HLA), which stated that a right to abortion is not secured by the Constitution.
  • Has voted consistently against federal funding of abortion.

Republican Party Platform

  • Calls for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Calls for the appointment of federal judges and justices who support the sanctity of innocent human life and traditional family values.
  • Opposes federal funding of abortion; commends providers of alternatives to abortion.
  • Declares that, “The unborn child has a fundamental, individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

George Bush

Opposed to abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

Supports limited freeze on government spending. No new taxes.

Supports the death penalty including capital punishment for drug kingpins.

Supports strong military defense, including conventional, nuclear and strategic weapons.

Favors conservative Judicial appointments in the tradition of O’Connor, Bork, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Kennedy.

Supports U.S. Aid for the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters.

Opposes homosexuals serving as foster parents.

Strong supporter of Israel.

Supports laws requiring teachers and students to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Supports voluntary prayer and co-sponsored Prayer in School Amendment.


“Should society be allowed to impose the death penalty on those who commit crimes of extraordinary cruelty and violence? My opponent says no – but I say yes.” – George Bush, Excerpt from Speech Republican National Convention

  • Supports death penalty and capital punishment.
  • Supports reforming the exclusionary rule to prevent the release of guilty felons on technicalities.
  • Supports reforming the cumbersome “habeas corpus” procedures used to delay cases and prevent punishment of the guilty.
  • Supports constitutional right to bear arms. However, when right is abused by an individual who uses the gun in the commission of a crime, will call for stiff mandatory penalties.
  • Supports state laws implementing preventive detention to allow courts to deny bail to those considered dangerous and likely to commit additional crimes.

“As vice president, George Bush made a difference in the victims rights area, and as President, he will make an even bigger difference.” – Janie Wilson, International Director, “We the People” (a victims rights group)

National Defense

“We’re now spending six percent of our GNP on defense; that is 25 percent less than the figure under Eisenhower and Kennedy. We must … stabilize funding. – George Bush, Press Statement

  • Supports the Midgetman Missile
  • Supports the MX Missile
  • Supports deployment of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
  • “As president, I would overhaul the defense acquisition process. We can eliminate unnecessary and expensive steps and reduce the time and cost it takes to get weapon systems in the field.”
  • “We will insist on effective verification of compliance with any and all treaties and will take proportional, compensatory actions in cases of non-compliance.”
  • Supports verifiable elimination of chemical and biological weapons.
  • Pledges to spearhead efforts to commit every nation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and having more countries open to on-site inspection.

“The Dukakis Democrats do not understand how American power helped to promote arms negotiations with the USSR, but the good news is George Bush knows better.”

- Jeane Kirkpatrick, Former UN Ambassador

Foreign Policy

“In foreign affairs I will continue our policy of peace through strength.” – George Bush, Excerpt from acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention

  • Supported liberation of Grenada.
  • Opposes normalization of relations with the government of Cuba as long as Fidel Castro continues to oppress Cubans and to support international terrorism and drug trafficking.
  • Supports aid for freedom fighters in Nicaragua and Angola.
  • Supported sending U.S. troops to Honduras in response to Nicaraguan invasion.
  • Supports maintaining a strong relationship with Israel.
  • Opposes economic sanctions upon South Africa. Instead, supports diplomacy and negotiations for constructive changes.

“We need a president who knows world leaders and world problems and understands that we must participate and cooperate and contribute and protect our national interests at the same time. George Bush knows those things.” – Jeane Kirkpatrick, Former U.N. Ambassador


“If people can lose their cars for parking violations, surely they should lose them for carrying drugs. ‘Zero Tolerance’ should be the policy of every state in the Union.” – George Bush, Press Statement

  • Directed South Florida Task Force to combat drug smugglers which resulted in a substantial drop in violent crime.
  • Supports the death penalty for “drug kingpins.”
  • Headed up National Narcotics border interdiction system which united efforts of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs, Coast Guard, FBI, the U.S.Border Patrol, the DOD, the intelligence community and other state and local agencies.
  • Supports drug testing of those with occupations involving public safety; i.e. airline pilots or prison guards.
  • Opposes legalizing or decriminalizing any illicit drug
  • Conviction for any drug crime should make the offender ineligible for discretionary federal assistance, grants, loans and contracts for a period of time.

“…(M)y administration will be telling the (drug) dealers: whatever we have to do we’ll do, but your day is over, you are history.” – George Bush

Taxes and Government Spending

“And all I can say to them: read my lips – no new taxes.” – George Bush, Excerpt from Speech at the Republican National Convention

  • The Reagan-Bush Administration has cut the top marginal tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.
  • Inflation was 12 percent at the beginning of the Reagan-Bush administration; now its four percent.
  • Unemployment is at its lowest in 14 years.
  • Over 17 million new jobs have been created over the past five years which pay an average of $22,000 a year.
  • Supports limited freeze on government spending. No new taxes.
  • Opposes tax withholding on savings.
  • Supports a balanced budget amendment.
  • Supports incentives for private saving such as a deductibility for IRA contributions.

“Bush is unlikely to create new social-service bureaucracies.” – Mickey Kaus, Newsweek, 8/22/88


“And should our children have the right to say a voluntary prayer, or even observe a moment of silence in schools? My opponent says no – but I say yes.” – George Bush, Excerpt from Speech at the Republican National Convention

  • Supports prayer in public schools.
  • Opposes allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.
  • Opposes abortion on demand.
  • Opposes federal funding of abortion.
  • Opposes amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include special rights for gay men and lesbians.
  • Supports requiring the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

“I am guided by certain traditions. One is that there is a God and He is good, and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: we must be good to one another.” – George Bush, Excerpt from Speech at Republican National Convention

Bush Positions Analysis

Vice President George Bush’s record of political service and experience, when viewed apart from standard media reports, demonstrate that he was closely involved in the Reagan administration and that he shares most of Mr. Reagan’s goals and objectives. A war hero at 20-years-old, later the founder of an oil company, Bush has served as a congressman, an ambassador to the United Nations, and director of the CIA.

During the Reagan administration, Bush spearheaded the task force which cut unnecessary federal regulations. An estimated 600 million man-hours of bureaucratic paperwork per year were eliminated by this effort. Bush also represented the U.S. during NATO negotiations in Brussels; after the meeting, the Soviets agreed to sign the INF Treaty and began removing their SS-20s.

President Reagan has been outspoken about the need for follow-up on his administration’s efforts. “None of our achievements happened by accident, but only because we overcame liberal opposition to put our programs in place,” said President Reagan at the Republican National Convention in August. “And without George Bush to build on those policies, everything we have achieved will be at risk. All the work, sacrifice, and effort of the American people could end in the very same disaster that we inherited in 1981.”

The following is a brief assessment of Bush’s record on key issues which are of concern to the Christian community:

  • Dealing with the Drug Problem. Dukakis claims that Bush has failed to address the “avalanche of drugs … pouring across our borders.” However, Bush’s record shows he was committed to fighting against drugs before it was a popular cause in the late 1960s. In his first session of Congress, Bush voted to authorize $1.5 million to start programs authorized by the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966.

The following year he voted in favor of a resolution creating a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the Justice Department. The resolution was rejected. In July of 1968, he voted for the Drug Abuse Control Bill which provided criminal penalties for the possession of illegally obtained stimulants, depressants or hallucinogenic drugs, and increasing existing penalties for the illegal sale of such drugs.

During the Reagan administration, Bush was appointed head of the South Florida Task Force to combat drug smugglers. The FBI was introduced into drug enforcement for the first time, and 13 inter-agency task forces were created. As a result, violent crime in South Florida dropped substantially in the first six months of task force operations.

Dukakis says the program was a failure; but according to official statistics, the murder rate fell by 15 percent in Dade County, 25 percent in Broward County, and the task force continues to operate. In 1983, he led the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System (NNBIS). According to Ronald Reagan, “ … if you want to see effective leadership, take a look at Vice President Bush’s role in this. While others talked about leading the military into the fray against drugs, the Vice President has led.”

Bush has pledged his support for the death penalty for drug kingpins. His anti-drug program consists of education and prevention; eradication and interdiction; tougher enforcement, and treatment and rehabilitation. He also advocates testing for drug use by anyone responsible for public safety, such as airline pilots or prison guards.

  • Budget and Taxation. George Bush says he would ask for a balanced budget amendment, and he answers Dukakis’ charge – that Reagan never submitted a balanced budget – with the counter that the Democrat-dominated Congress “appropriates every dime” of government spending. Says Bush: “I support the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction targets. Our hard work is beginning to show results. The budget deficit will shrink by almost $70 billion from last year’s level. I support a line-item veto to cut the fat from appropriations bills and put the national interest above the special interests.”
  • Moral issues. On federal funding of abortion, Bush says, “I oppose abortion. I support an amendment. I oppose federal funding for abortion. I favor family planning that has nothing to do with abortion.”

According to a campaign spokesmen, Dave Sandor, Bush supports sustaining present federal funding of AIDS research and education; however, he opposes homosexuals serving as foster parents.

George Bush has been outspoken about his faith in God and has pledged to support the values of the Christian community. During his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention in New Orleans, he told the audience: “There is a God and He is good and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: we must be good to one another.”

Bush has also pushed for voluntary school prayer, as well as defended the need of parents to receive tax-credit vouchers when they send their children to private, religious schools.

  • Record on Crime. Bush recently formed the “Citizens Against Crime Coalition” which is being led by Illinois Governor Jim Thompson and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). “The vice president’s position on crime issues are so in line with what the law enforcement and criminal justice communities stand for, that we are very enthusiastic about a Bush administration,” said Donald Baldwin, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Council and co-chair of the coalition.

“The Democratic nominee has been so vague on some of the crucial issues of law enforcement that he leaves us uncertain about how he would react to our needs,” Baldwin explained.

Bush’s proposed program against crime is to implement new federal sentencing guidelines that mandate consistent, tougher sentencing for drug offenders; change the legal technicalities that set criminals free; and have Congress pass the Criminal Justice Reform Act.

  • Defense Policy. While George Bush was a strong proponent of the INF Treaty – which calls for drastic reductions in the nuclear arsenal – he says he still believes that foreign policy development must be realistic. “From my days at the UN and the CIA to the White House, I have observed that the Soviets test every President and push every agreement to its limits and beyond. We must be vigilant, and we must be tough, and we must stand up for the values that define us as a nation.”

The on-site inspection procedures which he cites as major steps forward will “demonstrate just how far the Soviets are willing to go in seeking a new kind of relationship with us …” says Bush. On U.S./Soviet relations, Bush believes that “we must act with a strength that is not only real, but is recognized by the world as real.”

On the topic of Central America, Bush says the goal is to promote peace – but not peace at any price. “Our main objective is the maintenance and establishment of governments committed to freedom and democracy, governments that respect human rights and the sovereignty of their neighbors. A peace that does not accomplish this objective is just another word for surrender.”

  • Child Care. Dukakis’ campaign analysts are saying that Bush is seizing on the key issues of the election and is reversing his earlier position on child care. However, while Democrats are proposing subsidizing child care and creating a huge bureaucratic, state-controlled babysitting service, Bush’s plan calls for a tax credit for low-income mothers deciding to stay home to take care of their children instead of succumbing to the pressures of a two-earner economy.

Dukakis’s Dodd child care bill would benefit middle-income, two-earner families (because the mother must be employed to be eligible), whereas the Bush plan would exclusively benefit low-income working families – those who need it most. The goal of Bush’s child care plan is to reduce the tax burden and to let families make their own decisions. It is clearly the most pro-family position.

“I do not believe the federal government should, or could afford to, provide day care services,” Bush said. “But the federal government can provide leadership and research in determining what constitutes a good day care environment and can assist in weeding out of the system individuals whose criminal record make them unfit to take care of our children.”

Bush is proposing a “Toddler Tax Credit” for pre-school children which would be available to all families, and would help them support and care for their children in a manner best suited to their families’ values and traditions. This would encourage mothers to stay home with their children.

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