Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, June 02, 1980, Page 11, Image 11

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    Carter campaign raises question of honesty
Analysis by
WILLIAM KOGUT
Of the Emerald
Jimmy Carter said in 1976 that
he would never lie to us.
But it seems that didn't mean
he would never resort to using
v excuses or selfishly manipulat
ing events.
Wrapping himself in the flag
during the Iranian and Afghani
crises, Carter deftly rallied the
nation around him. “Breaks" in
the hostage crisis had a way of
occurring just before crucial
primaries — remember Carter
announcing on the morrgng of
the Wisconsin Primary that the
hostages might shortly be
released to the custody of the
Iranian yqverrimenir
The Carter camp claimed all
these little breaks or near
breaks were coincidences, not
examples of cynical manipula
tion. And neither, according to
the Carter camp, was it a
grandstand gesture when the
president visited three burned
commandos in Texas just
before the Texas primary. No,
said the Carter people. That was
a humanitarian gesture.
When Carter emerged from
the White House Rose Garden it
was, he said, because events in
Iran that had been pre-occupy
ing him for six months, suddenly
became more “manageable.”
The failed rescue mission,
death of eight commandoes and
scattering of the hostages to the
four corners of Iran apparently
worked wonders.
A more plausible explanation
is that Carter, apprised of poils
showing his standing slipping,
used a phony excuse to justify
his return to the campaign trail.
Carter’s latest excuse is that
he won’t participate in any
debate that includes indepen
dent candidate John Anderson
because, said White House
press secretary Jody Powell,
“once you start opening up the
system it is hard to say where
you draw the line.”
The truth is, if Carter had
something to gain politically
University awards three for service
Two Oregon historians and
an Oregon author have been
named the winners of the
Distinguished Service Awards,
presented annually by the
University for service to Oregon
or society as a whole.
The three, Robertson Collins,
leader in the fight to preserve
historic Jacksonville, Ore;
Thomas Vaughan, executive
director of the Oregon Historical
Society, and Ursula Le Guin, an
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Collins was responsible for
restoration of the post office
and railway station in Jackson
ville, and has traveled through
out Oregon to gain support for
preservation of historic sites.
Executive director of the
Oregon Historical Society since
1954, Vaughan shaped the
society into one of the three of
four largest historical societies
in the nation. He also edited
“Oregon Historical Quarterly”
and is the author of numerous
history books.
Le Guin has authored 15
novels and other short works
and is the recipient of the
Nebula Award, the Hugo Award
and the prestigious National
Book Award.
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from a three-way debate, he
would find a way to justify
debating Anderson. If, for in
stance, Anderson’s candidacy
threatened to draw more votes
from Ronald Reagan rather than
from himself, Carter would no
doubt welcome Anderson’s
participation. But, as it is, An
derson threatens to draw more
votes from Carter than from
Reagan. Indeed, that’s probably
why Reagan volunteered a
willingness to include the Illinois
congressman in a three-way
debate during his May 19 visit to
Oregon.
"Carter must be running away
from reality," says Anderson’s
campaign manager. "My God,
we’ve got over 20 percent of the
people, depending on what poll
you use. Besides turning his
back on those people, he is ig
noring the 58 percent of the
American people who have in
dicated dissatisfaction with a
choice between him and
Governor Reagan."
While Carter attempted to
fend off Anderson, Ted Ken
nedy made yet another offer to
debate the president before
"Super Tuesday,” tomorrow's
round of primaries in Ohio,
California, New Jersey, Mon
tana, New Mexico, Rhode Is
land, South Dakota and West
Virginia. Debate me, challenged
Kennedy, and then let's release
our delegates to vote according
to their consciences at the par
ty’s convention in New York.
But Carter has continually
declined Kennedy’s recent
debate challenges on the
grounds that incumbent pre
sidents just don't debate chal
lengers trom within the ranks of
their own party.
Carter’s camp neglects to
mention that Carter was all set
to debate Kennedy in January,
before the Iowa caucuses. Sub
sequently, Kennedy’s poll
standing dropped, and it didn’t
make political sense for Carter
to debate, so he used the Iran
ian crisis as an excuse not to
appear in Iowa.
If Carter had been honest, he
would have said he wouldn’t
debate Kennedy because it
would not have been expedient,
and that he wouldn’t debate
Anderson because it would be
political suicide.
Now Carter has at least ad
mitted that debating Anderson
would harm his own candidacy.
“Whatever success Anderson
has in the general election per
iod will be of help to Ronald
Reagan and at my expense,”
Carter admitted Sunday on
CBS's ‘ Face the Nation” pro
gram. But he didn't give that as
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his reason for declining to
debate the Illinois congress
man
Instead, Carter said, "I see no
reason why I should debate
against two Republicans who
have been active in the Repub
lican party. It's ridiculous for an
incumbent Democratic
president who's the Democratic
nominee, if I am successful, to
debate two Republicans simul
taneously who come from the
same party and who represent
generally the same philo
sophy.''
Saying that Anderson and
Reagan represent generally the
same philosophy is absurd, as
absurd as saying the same
about Carter and Kennedy
Carter is making yet another
phony excuse. He’s once again
failing to be candid. That may
not mean he's lying, but that
depends on how you draw the
line between truth and
falsehood.