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Du Pont Hits at Bush as Being 'Out of Touch'

October 31, 1987|From Times Wire Services

SAN FRANCISCO — Republican presidential candidate Pierre S. (Pete) du Pont IV stepped up his attack on Vice President George Bush Friday, suggesting that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue of Social Security and is the candidate of the status quo.

During a GOP debate Wednesday, Bush called Du Pont's plan for a voluntary alternative to Social Security "nutty."

Under Du Pont's plan, 100 million Americans could receive tax credits to set aside retirement money, in a manner similar to an individual retirement account, and would receive reduced Social Security benefits.

"I would suggest the vice president is a little out of touch with those 100 million Americans," Du Pont said.

Wants Real Changes

Du Pont told a news conference that he is the only candidate who wants to make real changes in the government.

"George Bush is a status quo candidate," he said. "All the other candidates were trying (during the Houston debate) to be like George Bush," he said.

Du Pont tried to put a good face on a post-debate poll that depicted him as the big loser. The poll of 400 Republican voters in New Hampshire, Iowa and 11 Southern states showed that 35% of them felt that Du Pont lost momentum and performed worse than they expected.

However, Du Pont pointed out that the survey, conducted by SRI Research Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., found also that his level of support from the polled voters increased from 2% before the debate to 5% afterward.

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