Vice President Bush took on hecklers and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo's criticism of the Reagan administration here today, telling the hecklers that they are "out of step with the people" and saying the Democratic governor is like "Batman -- he's everywhere" with criticisms of Reagan.
At an "Ask George Bush" forum here, Bush ran into about a dozen Syracuse University students seated near the front of the audience with Mondale-Ferraro signs. One student asked the vice president how the administration's "voodoo economics and $200 billion mortgage" would affect the growing number of "desperate" people in the nation. The student described the Reagan-Bush ticket as "the most selfish, arrogant and uncaring administration in recent memory."
Bush, who originated the term voodoo economics in the 1980 Republican primaries to describe Reagan's economic policies, began by responding that lower inflation and interest rates are helping the poor. The other students then began waving their Mondale-Ferraro posters.
"We know who you are," the vice president said. "You don't wave the banners. Ah, go on if you want. But the reason the people are not going with you, the reason the people are against you, the reason the young people are is that they want opportunity and hope, and they see a future for this country again, when all they got under Mr. Mondale's last regime was desolation."
Bush was questioned by reporters about whether he would run for president in 1988, something he has been asked often this week. Today he responded that "something is wrong with a system" where the voters are focusing on 1988 before the end of the 1984 election.
He said earlier in the week that he was leaning "to the negative" on running in 1988 and was fatigued from this year's campaigning because he has found it "no fun."
Bush said today that he is not considering 1988 and is "running to the wire with blinders on for '88."
In Washington, Edward J. Rollins, campaign director of Reagan-Bush '84, said Bush would spend next week helping Republican congressional candidates. Rollins did not specify the House races.
Campaign aides said Reagan is expected to return to the Midwest to help Sen. Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.) and Sen. Roger W. Jepsen (R-Iowa) and may return to North Carolina to help Sen. Jesse Helms.
Reagan also may campaign for Republican Senate candidates in Massachusetts, Nebraska and West Virginia.