Ford said Reagan, who challenged him unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 1976, was "a great spokesman for attractive political objectives" such as a balanced budget and defeating communism, "but when it came to implementation, his record never matched his words."He also said Carter -- who challenged him successfully in 1976 -- was "a disaster." Who did he like? Eisenhower. And Nixon wasn't so bad.
Reagan was "probably the least well-informed on the details of running the government of any president I knew," Ford said. In a separate interview, he said Reagan "was just a poor manager, and you can't be president and do a good job unless you manage."
Ford contended his own negotiation of the Helsinki accords on human rights did more to win the Cold War than Reagan's military buildup. Other key factors were the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II and the establishment of NATO, he said.
January 13, 2007
According to Gerald Ford in old interviews The Grand Rapids Press is now free to release.