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Hightower: Bush is a ‘Toothache of a Man’

July 20, 1988 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) _ George Bush is a ″toothache of a man″ who doesn’t care about the problems of anyone but the rich, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower told delegates to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.

″George has always been in another world,″ Hightower said of the vice president, who has this year’s Republican presidential nomination locked up. ″His is an upper-class world in which wealth is given to you at birth. He is a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.″

Hightower’s speech during platform debate drew cheers and laughs from the delegates.


It was the second night in a row that a Texan hurled insults at Bush, who claims a Houston hotel suite as his legal residence. State Treasurer Ann Richards skewered Bush in her keynote address Monday night, causing delegates to roar with delight when she said the vice president was ″born with a silver foot in his mouth.″

Hightower, who supported Jesse Jackson in this year’s Democratic primaries, honed in on Bush early in his speech.

″Now here comes George Herbert Walker Bush II, perpetual preppie. He’s of the Kennebunkport Bushes, don’t you know. He’s a toothache of a man, telling us to stay the course and threatening to lead us from tweedledum to tweedledumber,″ Hightower said.

He asked delegates to look at their family finances and see whether the Reagan-Bush policies have made life better. Hightower said the wealthy have benefited.

″Bush’s elite are out at the yacht club tonight, sitting about in their Guccis and Puccis, sipping a delightfully fruity and frisky white wine, saying, ’Play it again, George,‴ he said.

He said Democrats can help family farmers, small businesses and working families that have suffered under the GOP administration.

″Let George Bush side with the Rockefellers. We Democrats will side with the little fellers,″ he said.