CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Vice President George Bush said Sunday President Reagan 'probably' would take responsibility for the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut but such terrorist attacks are 'extraordinarily difficult to guard against.'
Meanwhile, an aide said 'essential information' from Bush's tax returns will be released on Wednesday in Tulsa, Okla., during a campaign stop.
The release of the information will be accompanied by a briefing by Bush's lawyer, Dean Burch, the aide said. Bush announced last Wednesday that he would release a portion of his tax returns. Until last week, he had contended that he was unable to make the information available to the public because of provisions of a blind trust in which his assets are held.
At a news conference, Bush was asked about the carbombing 10 days ago that devastated the embassy, killing 25 people, including two Americans. It was the third such bombing of an American post in Lebanon in 17 months.
The vice president referred the questioner to the president for an authoritative answer but added, 'my own view is that as in Lebanon, he would probably say, 'well, sure ... I'm president and if there's responsibility I'll take it,' but I think fair-minded people would say a terroristic attack is extraordinarily difficult to guard against.'
Reagan last week compared the delay in installing security devices at the new embassy to remodeling a kitchen, saying such work is never done as soon as you would like.
The president angered many Democrats last Wednesday when he suggested in a speech that the security problems in Beirut were the result of a 'near destruction of our intelligence capability in recent years.'
Reagan called former President Carter Friday to say he had not intended to suggest the Carter administration was responsible for the bombing.
Bush also defended the Reagan administration against the charge of 'selfishness' made by Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro Saturday in Pittsburgh.
She said there that the 'single issue of selfishness tells us more about the true character of this administration than all their apple pie.'
She said the administration was interested only in talking about how much money they put in people's wallets. 'This is an election, not an auction,' she said.
Bush, shooting back during a $50-a-ticket picnic at the private German Central Farm in Parma, said, 'The opposition talks as if it were immoral to want to take care of your own family, loved ones and work toward the good life and, you know, maybe buy a new car or get a mortgage on a house, or save up for your children's education.' Bush said.
'We've got news for them,' he said. 'That is the American dream. There is nothing wrong about it.'
Bush said the Democratic opposition 'goes around buying off every single special interest group in sight with promises that our nation can't afford.'
He said the Democrats 'get all ... preachy about selfishness. If they're talking about greed they ought to talk about the greed of big government, which under the last administration knew absolutely no bounds.'