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Horton Says He Was Portrayed As ‘Devil’ In 1988 Campaign

October 28, 1989 GMT

BOSTON (AP) _ Convicted murderer Willie Horton said his portrayal during the 1988 presidential campaign was an example of racist politics.

President Bush’s campaign fueled racial fears ″by implying that if Governor (Michael) Dukakis were elected, he would unleash monsters like myself on an unsuspecting public,″ Horton said in an interview published in the December issue of Playboy.

Horton defended the Massachusetts prison furlough program that Bush criticized in his campaign, and said he was contacted during the campaign by a Republican pollster who tried to pressure him to declare support for Dukakis.

Horton, who is black, escaped in 1986 while on his 10th furlough from a life sentence for a 1974 murder. He was arrested in 1987 and charged in the brutal assault of a Maryland couple.

Horton must serve two life sentences plus 85 years in the Maryland State Penitentiary before resuming his Massachusetts sentence.