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Reagan Stumps Nev., Calif. in Final Push for Senate

November 03, 1986|Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — With a final burst of campaign rhetoric, President Reagan today ended his determined battle to keep Republican control of the Senate, stumping in Nevada and California for GOP candidates believed to be trailing Democratic opponents.

Winding up a two-month, 25,000-mile odyssey, Reagan spoke first to a cheering crowd at an airport rally in Las Vegas for former Rep. James D. Santini, who wants to succeed Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt.

Afterward, Reagan was to stage a campaign finale in Costa Mesa, Calif., at an Orange County rally for Republican Rep. Ed Zschau, who is trying to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston.

They were Reagan's second appearances in both states in less than a week.

Without mentioning the name of Santini's rival, Democratic Rep. Harry Reid, Reagan said, "It's time we got the facts out about Jim's opponent. I don't think the fiercely independent people of Nevada want as their senator a tax-and-spend liberal who is against a balanced budget amendment.

"And I don't want anybody to think I'm taking this personally, but Jim's opponent voted against me more often than Teddy Kennedy--and that's saying something."

The strain of the long campaign and its final day was evident as Reagan muffed one of his standard attacks against Democrats and unintentionally blasted Republicans.

Reagan said he imagined there were some Democrats in the Las Vegas audience and added, "Like millions I've run into across the country, they have found they can no longer follow the leadership of the Republican Party which has taken them down a course that leads to disaster."

The audience appeared not to have noticed the slip and was enthusiastic about the President's address.

Most of Reagan's remarks were a reprise of the campaign stump speech he has delivered across the country, blaming Democrats for problems great and small in government and society in general.

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