President Reagan said in an interview published yesterday that Vice President Bush has been "actively engaged" in the major decisions of the administration, but he said he could not cite examples of Bush playing an important role.

In an interview with the newspaper USA Today, Reagan said he thinks that being governor is the best preparation for the presidency. He also commented on a number of other personal topics such as growing up in Dixon, Ill.

Asked about the experience of his vice president, who is preparing to formally open his presidential campaign next month, Reagan said, "I don't know that there has ever been a vice president who has been more completely involved in all that goes on than this vice president."

When asked whether he could "give us an example or two" of Bush having been "a pivotal player in policy decisions," Reagan said, "I can't answer in that context."

Bush has often based his political campaigns on his foreign policy experience, both before and during the Reagan years, and frequently voiced his support for Reagan policies. But Bush has said recently he was left out of key meetings on the Iran arms sales, the most serious foreign policy crisis of the Reagan administration.

Records show that Bush attended some meetings but was absent at others, including one important session when he went to the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Reagan said in the interview that he had given authority to his lieutentant governor in California. "I had the same resolution when I came here about the vice president. You don't leave that kind of ability out in another room while you're discussing all the decisions to be made. And so he {Bush} just hasn't been feeling my pulse, sitting by. He has been actively engaged. He's been all over the world in our behalf as an emissary. And not just at funerals -- with actual missions," the president said.

Steve Hart, a spokesman for the vice president, said Bush and Reagan have a "confidential relationship" in which Bush has said he does not talk about his advice to the president, "and I think that's reciprocal."

Reagan has previously refused to provide examples of Bush's role in major decisions of his presidency.

In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower damaged Vice President Richard M. Nixon's presidential campaign when he was asked to say what decisions Nixon had participated in and Eisenhower responded, "If you give me a week, I might think of one."