Quayle Tests Iowa's Presidential Waters (7/14/97)
Quayle Challenges Gore To Debate 'Values'
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AllPolitics, Oct. 27) -- At a gathering of GOP faithful in New Hampshire, former Vice President Dan Quayle on Sunday challenged Vice President Al Gore to come to New Hampshire and debate him "on the issue of values."
At the annual state Republican dinner, Quayle talked about the challenges facing the United States, including education, national security, and most prominently, a crisis in values. He reminded his audience of his speech in May 1992 when he criticized the sitcom "Murphy Brown" for depicting voluntary single motherhood.
Addressing Gore's recent comments on the sitcom "Ellen," Quayle called for tolerance of homosexuality but lashed out at Gore for pandering to "Hollywood values."
Gore said last week in Los Angeles that, "When Ellen came out, Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light."
Earlier in the day, appearing on CNN's "Inside Politics Weekend," Quayle said, "Al Gore and the Hollywood elite want to force Americans to accept their agenda. They want to force Americans to accept their particular values." Quayle said this would not be well-received.
"I am tolerant of the gay lifestyle," the former vice president said. "If somebody wants to choose to live the gay lifestyle, that's their choice. But what Al Gore and the Hollywood elite are doing are saying to me and the rest of America, you have to go beyond tolerance. You have to endorse and approve this lifestyle. I don't believe most Americans will do that."
Quayle also criticized the vice president and the president for their campaign fund-raising troubles.
"I'll tell you what," said Quayle, "there's no controlling moral authority in the White House. That's what the fact of the matter is, because ... these guys have been around for a long time. Al Gore grew up in this town. ... Bill Clinton is a little newer to this town. But Al Gore clearly knew what the law was. And what they both did was they went right up to the line."
Quayle also denied that he or President George Bush ever made any fund-raising phone calls from their offices. And he had positive comments for Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate investigation into campaign fund-raising abuses.
"I give Fred Thompson high marks. I find him to be a very effective, intelligent senator. He's tried, to the best of his ability, to get to the bottom of this. Obviously the White House has not cooperated."
As for his own presidential aspirations, Quayle said he'll make an announcement in 1999.
Quayle also reacted to the controversy surrounding the recently released quotation from George Bush's diary, that he "blew it" in selecting Quayle as his running mate in 1988.
"The word 'decision,'" said Quayle, "was not referring to the decision of me being his running mate. George Bush has stated that publicly." Quayle said he has spoken to Bush about the remarks and confirmed that with him.
Quayle will address the Nashua rotary club today. At a press availability in Manchester Sunday night, Quayle acknowledged he is seriously considering a run for president in 2000.
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Monday Oct. 27, 1997
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