Economy To Determine President?

Posted: January 29, 1988

WASHINGTON — Rep. William H. Gray III, D-Pa., chairman of the House Budget Committee, said yesterday that Democrats have a chance to win the White House in November, particularly if the economy goes sour before then.

"If the economy is doing very well and foreign policy is doing well, the Republicans will have a leg up," said Gray, who plans to announce his endorsement of a candidate next month.

He warned that the economy's "fundamentals," such as the trade deficit, the sagging value of the dollar and a downward trend in consumer spending," are so out of sync" that the chances of a recession are "50-50."

He said GOP hopes of retaining the White House for another four years also could be clouded by whom the party eventually selects as its candidate and polls that suggest "there's a public unease about four more years of Republican leadership."

Gray, addressing reporters for Knight-Ridder Newspapers at a luncheon here, echoed other political analysts who said none of the presidential candidates had gotten specific about how they will deal with the challenge of reducing the federal budget deficit.

As for the Democratic contenders, Gray showered praise upon Jesse Jackson but gave no indication that Jackson would be his choice.

"To say this year that Jesse can't win is not necessarily true," he said of Jackson.

Gray said Jackson, who carried Gray's congressional district in the 1984 presidential primary without Gray's support, "is running a very good campaign, showing a lot of maturity," and addressing issues that appeal to a broad base of voters.

|
|
|
|
|