WASHINGTON — President Reagan, invoking the same words fired national security aide Oliver L. North used in Iran- contra congressional testimony, chided Congress today for pursuing "an on-again, off-again" policy toward Central America.
In a speech to a Captive Nations Conference, Reagan, without alluding to the congressional hearings, said, "I predict the increased awareness of the American people will permit us to continue providing weapons and support to those brave individuals who are struggling for the right to choose freedom--and not to continue a communist dictatorship in Nicaragua.
"The threat is too close to home to ignore or to be deluded with wishful thinking," Reagan said at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine here. "It is too close to home to tolerate an on-again, off-again, vacillating congressional policy toward that region."
During his testimony to the Iran-contra committee on July 9, North said Congress must "accept the blame" for things that went awry in Central American policy.