WASHINGTON -- Vice President George Bush, noting the Reagan White House has been 'undisciplined' in its relations with the press, said Sunday news leaks by badly behaved and immature officials have hurt the president.
Bush, in an interview with U.S. News & World Report, said he is convinced most unidentified sources cited in news accounts do exist.
'I know the people writing these stories, and I have confidence in the integrity of many of them,' he told the magazine.
'So when certain reporters say they've got a high White House source or State Department source or Defense Department source, I'm convinced they've got a source. That means somebody has behaved very badly and in an immature way.'
Bush said, 'I really feel we have been undisciplined in this White House. We've not served the president well by these leaks.'
The vice president said he freely offers Reagan his own views during private meetings, but there is 'no point' in publicizing any divergent opinions he may hold. That, he said, would 'play into the hands of the speculators around Washington.'
'I just won't do that,' he said.
Bush defended the vice president's role in the Reagan administration against the suggestion that it is an 'empty title.'
He told the magazine, 'there's no reason' for the public to hear about his duties as the administraion's crisis manager.
'There have been only a few meetings, and I've presided at them. But I don't put out a press release,' he said, declining to say what the crises have been.
However, the vice president was willing to talk about the administration's effort to reduce bureaucratic regulations, a drive he also heads.
'We've reduced the number of regulations by almost 50 percent in our first nine months in office,' he said. 'Even that is just scratching the surface.'