On August 16, 1988, at the Republican convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, George H. W. Bush chose Quayle to be his running mate in the 1988 United States presidential election. The choice immediately became controversial. Outgoing President Ronald Reagan praised Quayle for his "energy and enthusiasm". Press coverage of the convention was dominated by questions about "the three Quayle problems". The questions involved his military service, a golf trip to Florida with Paula Parkinson, and whether he had enough experience to be vice president. Quayle seemed at times rattled and at other times uncertain or evasive as he tried to handle the questions. Delegates to the convention generally blamed television and newspapers for the focus on Quayle's problems, but Bush's staff said they thought Quayle had mishandled the questions about his military record, leaving questions dangling. Although Bush was trailing by up to 15 points in public opinion polls taken before the convention, in August the Bush/Quayle ticket took the lead, which it did not relinquish for the rest of the campaign.