Vice President Dan Quayle told a Baltimore audience today that he has strong doubts about the Soviet Union's stability and warned that the United States must continue to protect itself against possible threats from that country and others.
"We do not know what will happen to the tactical nuclear weapons that are widely dispersed throughout the country," Quayle told the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs.
"We do not know who will ultimately control the chemical warfare facilities located in most of the [Soviet] republics," he added.
He went on to say, "Yes, the Cold War is over. Some traditional adversaries have become less hostile; others have become our friends. But that doesn't eliminate the threat. It merely changes it."
Quayle also brought up the issue of Iraq and said, "Saddam Hussein continues to play a cat-and-mouse game with UN inspection of Iraq's nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities."
But Quayle did not go beyond President Bush's statement that the United States would ensure that UN inspectors have access to sites in Iraq.
Earlier in the day, Quayle gave the Maryland Republican Party a pep talk at a fund-raiser in Baltimore where he lambasted Democrats and exhorted state Republicans to elect a U.S. senator.
"You're setting a tremendous example for Republican organizations in every state," Quayle said to an audience of more than 150 GOP members who paid from $150 to $500 for the privilege of hearing him.
Quayle was also planning to visit Matthew A. Henson Elementary School in Baltimore.
The vice president was applauded several times during his 15-minute talk to the Republicans, particularly when he praised Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and predicted his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Well-briefed on the state party's recent successes, Quayle called 1990 "a year of great progress" in Maryland, with Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest winning election in the 1st Congressional District and other Republicans taking local offices.
"Isn't it about time Republicans had a U.S. senator?" Quayle said. Although he didn't mention Rep. Helen D. Bentley, R-2nd, she is under pressure from state party leaders to challenge Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., next year.
Quayle characterized the "Democratic agenda" as "higher taxes, more government regulation, socialized medicine and quotas," defended President Bush's domestic initiatives and strongly praised his foreign policy achievements.
Republican state party chairwoman Joyce L. Terhes, who was hoping to raise $35,000 to $40,000 from the fund-raiser, presented Quayle with a framed collection of illustrations of Chesapeake Bay lighthouses.