Vice President Bush, a constant target of political columnists recently because of his effusive loyalty to President Reagan, told reporters today, "I'm for Mr. Reagan -- blindly."
The comment came when a smiling Bush was asked what he thought of a woman vice president.
"This year I am unenthusiastic about the question of a woman being vice president, for various reasons," Bush said, drawing laughter from an audience at a rally.
"It should happen and will happen," he said. "And I wouldn't say vice president or I wouldn't say president. I wouldn't say it has to be a blended ticket -- one man, one woman. I believe that quality and the whole process has been opened up."
Asked if he agreed with Reagan's assertion that Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine A. Ferraro was put on the national ticket because of her sex and not her qualifications, Bush replied, "I'm for Mr. Reagan -- blindly."
Peter Teeley, Bush's press secretary, said the vice president meant the remark as a "barb" at reporters, who have peppered him throughout the campaign with questions about his role as Reagan's self-described "cheerleader."
Bush was asked at a news conference about a spate of criticism from columnists.
"I don't worry about the columnists. I worry about the American people," he said. "I'd rather have a poll showing me head on head with Ferraro, showing me whipping her, than I would worry about the editorials in The Washington Post."
Bush was characterized by conservative columnist George Will last month as "goofy," and by more liberal columnist Joseph Kraft as "foolish."
And the cartoon strip "Doonesbury" lampooned him for swallowing his past differences with Reagan and portrayed Bush as having "placed his politicial manhood in a blind trust."
Bush is traveling this week to 17 congressional districts in nine states to campaign for Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives that is controlled by the Democrats.
In one of the funniest vignettes of the campaign, Ferraro's motorcade came to an unexpected halt while returning to LaGuardia airport this morning in order to yield to the motorcade of the vice president, who waved cheerfully to his opponent as he zoomed past.