Segments in this Video

U.S. Presidential Debate Introduction and "Housekeeping" (02:46)


Harry Reasoner introduces the Carter/Ford debate. Moderator Edwin Newman explains the rules governing the first Presidential debate in 16 years,

Ford Carter Debates: Carter on Unemployment (04:43)

Jimmy Carter promises Presidential leadership to bring cooperative efforts between business, government and labor to reduce unemployment. Reporter Frank Reynolds says this will bring inflationary pressure, and asks if Carter will support an income policy and wage and price controls. Carter says productivity growth will check inflation, and opposes a fixed income, preferring tax incentives to encourage the poor to work.

Ford Carter Debates: Ford on Unemployment (02:06)

Gerald Ford says the Humphrey-Hawkins bill, supported by Carter and intended to reduce unemployment, would bring government control of the economy, with export controls on agriculture. Ford advocates tax cuts, and tax incentives for business in the inner-city.

Ford Carter Debates: Ford on Taxes (04:51)

James Gannon asks Ford how he can bring tax cuts and a balanced budget. Ford says his proposed tax cuts were part of a budget proposal that held the line on spending.

Ford Carter Debates: Carter on Taxes (01:53)

Jimmy Carter criticizes Gerald Ford for support a tax hike during a recession and vetoing tax cuts. He says Republicans have shifted the tax burden onto low-income people, away from corporations and the rich.

Ford Carter Debates: Funding Carter's Programs (06:39)

Elizabeth Drew tells Carter he can't balance the budget and fund all his proposed federal programs. Carter argues that economic growth will make this possible. Ford says if such growth really happens, we should cut taxes rather than fund new programs.

Ford Carter Debates: Nixon, Draft Dodgers and Pardons (05:49)

Reporter Frank Reynolds argues that under the national healing rationale for his Nixon pardon, Gerald Ford should pardon draft dodgers. Ford defends his program of case-by-case pardon for draft dodgers, and his pardon of Nixon. Carter advocates pardon for draft evaders, and discusses criminal justice reform.

Ford Carter Debates: Carter's Government Reorganization Plan (07:46)

Reporter James Gannon says Jimmy Carter's proposed government reorganization will not cut spending. Carter points to his restructuring of Georgia's government, and notes federal inefficiencies. Ford criticizes Carter's record in Georgia, and talks about his own record on efficiency.

Ford Carter Debates: Funding Ford's Programs (05:45)

Reporter Elizabeth Drew questions Gerald Ford's promise to address social problems, given his past emphasis on deficits. Ford says economic improvements and lower deficits make his programs possible, whereas Carter's proposals are unaffordable.

Ford Carter Debates: Carter on Ford's Economic Record (02:16)

Jimmy Carter places Gerald Ford in a long Republican tradition, bringing up Herbert Hoover, and Alf Landon's opposition to social security. He attacks the Nixon-Ford economic record.

Ford Carter Debates: Carter on Energy Policy (05:09)

Jimmy Carter says Gerald Ford lacks an energy policy, and criticizes Nixon's Federal Energy Agency. He says the world has only 35 years of oil and advocates mandatory conservation. He advocates coal and solar power.

Ford Carter Debates: Ford on Energy Policy (02:07)

Gerald Ford says he has proposed a comprehensive energy program, pushing increased domestic oil production and coal extraction, and conservation.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford on Job Creation (04:14)

Gerald Ford says the jobs bills he vetoed were inefficient, and federal spending leads to inflation, while his record proves we can fight inflation without sacrificing jobs. He rejects make-work jobs.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford's Vetoes (03:24)

Gerald Ford says his vetoes reduced federal spending, while Congressional overrides added to the deficit; Jimmy Carter is wrong to blame him for deficits and criticize his vetoes. Carter says Ford's vetoes show he doesn't care about the unemployed.

Ford Carter Debate: Carter and Ford on Tax Code (07:44)

Jimmy Carter says the tax code favors the wealthy and corporations, and eliminating loopholes will fund middle class tax relief. Gerald Ford says Carter has advocated middle class tax hikes, and that Democratic Congresses created the tax code.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford on Anti-Washington Sentiment (03:24)

Reporter Frank Reynolds criticizes Congressional ethics investigators over perceived double-standards and about anti-Washington sentiment. Gerald Ford says he has restored integrity to the White House, and anti-Washington sentiment should focus on Congress.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford on Congress (04:13)

Reporter Frank Reynolds asks Gerald Ford whether he can work with the Democratic Congress. Ford says we need checks and balances, and Carter would not check a Democratic Congress. Carter says Ford has not worked with Congress as well as Eisenhower or Nixon, creating stalemate.

Ford Carter Debate: Carter and Ford on Federal Reserve (03:28)

Jimmy Carter says a President should be able to appoint a Federal Reserve chairman upon taking office, and criticizes Arthur Burns' "Republican" approach of excessive interest rates, but does not say he would ask for his resignation. Gerald Ford defends Federal Reserve independence.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford and Carter on Intelligence Agencies (02:09)

Gerald Ford has created rules for the FBI and intelligence agencies through executive orders, but reporter Elizabeth Drew says legislation is needed. Ford disagrees, and says Congress should allow wiretapping in national security cases.

Ford Carter Debate: Technical Difficulties (08:14)

Audio cuts out during Jimmy Carter's response. The ABC broadcaster tries to amuse and entertain the TV audience, tries to gather information on attempts to fix the problem. He and a colleague complain that the League of Women Voters rather than the networks are running the debate, and analyze the debate to this point,

Ford Carter Debate: Coverage During Technical Difficulties (04:11)

With technical difficulties disrupting the Ford-Carter debate, Howard Smith joins Harry Reasoner in the ABC broadcast booth. They complain about the League of Women Voters running the debate, and provide debate analysis.

Ford Carter Debate: Preparing to Resume after Technical Difficulties (06:07)

Amid much confusion, networks try to reestablish a connection with the debate venue, and those at the venue discuss how to resume after audio cut out during Jimmy Carter's answer.

Ford Carter Debate: Post-Debate Spin (07:47)

DNC chairman Robert Strauss tries to sound somewhat objective in analyzing the first Ford-Carter debate, while promoting Carter as winner. He suggests Ford held his own, considering he isn't very bright. Ford's press secretary Robert Nessen argues that Carter is learning from scratch. Harry Reasoner scores the debate as a boxing match, round-by-round.

Ford Carter Debate: Resuming After Technical Difficulties (02:13)

Moderator Edwin Newman introduces the resumption of the Ford-Carter debate after technical difficulties interrupted Carter's response on intelligence agencies. Carter says there has been too much government secrecy.

Ford Carter Debate: Carter's Closing Statement (03:20)

Carter says America has been divided, and it is time for unity. We need government-industry-labor cooperation. Faith in the people is the solution; America needs a President who derives his strength from the people.

Ford Carter Debate: Ford's Closing Statement (04:20)

Turning around the trust issue, Gerald Ford argues that Carter has promised more than he can deliver. Ford says government, industry, and mass education have become too big, and we need a move toward individualism.

Ford Carter Debate: Moderator's Final Words (00:57)

Moderator Edwin Newman thanks the candidates and promotes the next upcoming debate between President Gerald Ford and Governor Jimmy Carter.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford Debate (9/23/1976): U.S. Presidential Election Debates

Part of the Series : U.S. Presidential Election Debates
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter engage in the first of their series of Presidential debates in 1976 at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, the first Presidential debates since Kennedy-Nixon. This debate on domestic policy focuses on the challenges of combatting both inflation and unemployment. There is little direct clash over Watergate, but at the thematic level there is much discussion of restoring trust in government and confidence in America. This film includes ABC news coverage during a 28-minute delay due to a breakdown in audio at the Walnut Street Theater.

Length: 118 minutes

Item#: BVL94913

ISBN: 978-1-68272-163-6

Copyright date: ©1976

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.