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Dole Rebukes GOP Right Wing for Attack on Nuclear Treaty

December 08, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leader Bob Dole said Monday that right-wing Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for attacking President Reagan for negotiating a medium-range nuclear pact with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Dole, who has withheld his own support for the treaty, asked both liberals and conservatives to apologize to Reagan, who was to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) pact today.

"Ronald Reagan deserves every ounce of credit he is getting," Dole said in a speech here. "He deserves an apology, too, from his liberal critics, who have been castigating him for seven years for being 'anti-arms control.' "

He added: "Ronald Reagan deserves a personal apology from a few gadflies on the right fringe--who owe what little political profile they have to this President and who ought to be profoundly ashamed of themselves for their attacks on a great President."

Dole did not name any critics, but on Friday, hard-line conservatives lashed into Reagan for the agreement.

In a speech on Monday to the Gannett/USA Today year-end management meeting, the Kansas senator again defended his fence-straddling position on the treaty, saying that the Senate has a right to withhold judgment until it is submitted.

"Let's withhold final judgment until we see what we have," he said.

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