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The Roy Faires Collection, no. 53 - Lloyd Bentsen Press Conference (1988)

Austin History Center

Sound | 1988

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TAMI Tags
  •  Unedited footage of a press conference with 1988 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, who was then representing Texas as a United States Senator 
  •  Bentsen responds to accusations levied against his running mate by his opponent, George H. W. Bush 
  •  Michael Dukakis’s successes of his running mate in the wars against drugs and crime as the Governor of Massachusetts 
  •  Dukakis’s stance on gun control 
  •  Bentsen and his wife, Beryl Ann, leave the press conference 
 
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  • About the video
  • Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr.
  • George H.W. Bush George H.W. Bush
  • Texas Locations
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In this unedited footage for Austin’s KVUE-TV, 1998 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen holds a press conference in Austin. Bentsen was born and raised in Texas and was currently representing the state in the United States Senate. On behalf of his running mate, presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, Bentsen addresses criticisms voiced by the Republican presidential nominee George H. W. Bush about Dukakis’s ability to combat the wars against drugs and crime.
Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. was born in Mission, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley on February 11, 1921. He attended the University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 1942. After graduation, Bentsen joined the United States Army Air Corps, serving in the 449th Bomb Group during World War II. Bentsen received several awards for his military service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war, Bentsen returned to Texas to begin his political career, first as a Hidalgo County Judge. In 1948, Bentsen was elected to the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas’s 15th District. He served three successive terms. Bentsen then took a break from politics to seek a business career in Houston, founding the Consolidated American Life Insurance Company and eventually becoming president of Lincoln Consolidated, a financial holding institution. Bentsen returned to politics in the 1970 race for United States Senate, defeating future President George H. W. Bush in the general election. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1976, 1982, and 1988. In 1988, Democratic Party nominee Michael Dukakis selected Bentsen as his running mate in that year’s presidential election. Bush and Dan Quayle from the Republican Party ultimately won the election. Bentsen resigned from the Senate in 1993 to serve as the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton until 1994. (Bentsen had previously served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.) The Clinton economic plan for which Bentsen was the primary architect ultimately reduced the federal deficit by $500 billion and led to the lowest inflation and unemployment rates in 30 years. In 1999, President Clinton awarded Bentsen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the highest civilian awards of the United States. Bentsen died on May 23, 2006 at his home in Houston at the age of 85. 
George Herbert Walker Bush is the 41st President of the United States and the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. 
 
Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott Bush, a US senator from Connecticut, and Dorothy Walker Bush. He spent his youth in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Andover, Massachusetts, where he become involved in student government, sports, and the school newspaper. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he became an aviator for the US Navy. 
 
Bush married Barbara Pierce in 1945, and they eventually had six children: George, Robin, John (called Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. After earning a degree from Yale University, Bush moved to Midland, Texas, to work in the oil industry, eventually starting two companies. The family then moved to Houston, where Bush began to pursue a career in politics and served as chairman of the Republican Party in Harris County. After a failed campaign for US Senate, he won an election to the US House of Representatives in 1966 and served two terms for Texas. In 1970, he attempted to win a seat in the Senate, but lost again. 
 
After this defeat, Bush was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be an ambassador to the United Nations. He then served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief of the US Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and director of the CIA. In 1980, Bush lost the Republican nomination for president, but was chosen as Ronald Reagan’s running mate. He was Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. 
 
Following Reagan’s second term, Bush was elected president. During his term, he secured a peaceful partnership with Russia at the end of the Cold War, and he led Operation Desert Storm to free Kuwait from Iraq. Despite these successes, Bush’s popularity suffered due to the weak economy, and he lost reelection for a second term to Bill Clinton. He and Barbara returned to Houston in 1992, where they continue to live.