Page:Carter Interview with Harry Reasoner (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter 1st debate)(Gerald Ford Library)(1554406).pdf/8

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Turning to foreign affairs, you have had your briefing from George Bush, not from Henry Kissinger, and some people thought when you referred to a "lone ranger" kind of foreign policy you might possibly have meant Henry Kissinger. (Laughter) Do you disapprove of him in some manner, sir?

GOVERNOR CARTER; Yes. I think Secretary Kissinger is a brilliant man and a good negotiator and has a good sense of humor. I like him personally. I think the thing I don't like about Henry Kissinger is that I don't believe he trusts the American people, our judgment, our common sense. I don't think he has a deep commitment to the views and high moral character of the people to be mirrored in what our country is. He is much too inclined to act secretly, excluding us from participation in the decision-making process and that includes the Congress as well.

Secretary Kissinger has been inclined to establish his own reputation with highly publicized and sometimes nonproductive trips to Peking seven or eight times, to Moscow five or six times. He has made decisions that affect our natural allies and friends, those in Europe, this hemisphere, Japan, without adequate prior consultation. Only recently has he shown any interest in the developing nations of the world. So those are some of the criticisms I have of him.

He has responded to some of my foreign policy speeches by saying he can't see any substantial difference between my attitude and that of himself, which is kind of a compliment to me. But there are some differences, primarily in getting the American people and the Congress to form a much better informed and a much more bipartisan nature of support of what our country is and what we do in relationships with other nations.

MR. REASONER: What would be some changes, what would be some differences between a Carter foreign policy and a Kissinger foreign policy apart from the form?

GOVERNOR CARTER: I would strengthen it in every way I could through relationships among European countries in the NATO area. I think Secretary Kissinger has been inclined to treat those nations as individuals and to discourage their closer correlation. I think a strong Europe, militarily, economically and politically would be to our own advantage. I would have a much greater emphasis on recementing foreign relationships that presently exist between our country and Canada, our country and Mexico, our country and the other nations of Central and South America.