President Reagan, responding to Vice President Bush's suggestion that he "clear the air" about his 1984 reelection plans, said through his spokesman yesterday that "the people would tell him" whether he should seek another term.
"The president said the people would tell him whether he should run or not," White House deputy press secretary Larry Speakes told reporters yesterday. "And he has said that, hopefully, the record would be such that maybe the people will think he should carry on what he has started."
Bush was quoted earlier this week as saying he believed Reagan would run again.
"I'm convinced he should run. And my gut feeling is he should say it and say it very soon, which would clear the air," Bush said in an appearance in Old Saybrook, Conn.
Bush said he had no plans to run himself, but there has been constant speculation recently both in and outside the administration that he will try again for the presidency if Reagan bows out.
Bush's comments apparently caught the White House by surprise. Speakes made a point of recalling Reagan's statement of June 30 that it would be unlike him "to walk away from an unfinished job."