Carter vs. Ford Debate "Housekeeping" (01:56)
NPR moderator Pauline Frederick introduces presidential candidates Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford and outlines the debate format.
Republican Foreign Policy Record: Carter (03:33)
Carter argues that the Ford Administration has failed to maintain U.S. strength and prestige, excluded Americans from foreign policy, and become a global arms merchant. He will be strong in defense and domestic policy as president.
Republican Foreign Policy Record: Ford (02:06)
Ford criticizes Carter for wanting to cut the defense budget. He outlines Defense Secretary Schlesinger's projection for how cutting $5-7 billion would affect the military and result in a weaker negotiating position.
Communism Containment: Ford (03:40)
Ford advocates negotiating, rather than returning to a Cold War relationship with the Soviet Union. He cites avoiding a communist takeover in Portugal, Soviet weakness in the Middle East, and U.S. relations with southern Africa as measures of success. He opposes having a Soviet nation in NATO.
Communism Containment: Carter (01:54)
Carter clarifies that he hasn't advocated a communist government in Italy, and criticizes Ford's $6.8 billion defense cut. He points out that the U.S. didn't go into southern Africa until just before the election, and supported Portugal’s dictatorship for too long.
National Interest: Carter (03:29)
Carter outlines his foreign policy qualifications and criticizes the secrecy that has resulted in the U.S. losing respect around the world and eroded American trust in government.
Foreign Policy Inclusion: Carter (01:35)
Carter would conduct decision making processes openly, restore the fireside chat, and restore bipartisan Congressional involvement to improve government transparency and rebuild the trust of American people.
Foreign Policy Inclusion: Ford (02:08)
Ford criticizes Carter's proposal to hold private meetings with the Soviet Union on the Middle East. He credits his administration with using transparency during the Sinai Agreement and while informing the American public on foreign policy issues.
Soviet Gains: Ford (05:21)
Ford cites limiting rocket launchers and ballistic missiles, selling grain to Russia, and the Helsinki agreement as proof of successful negotiations with the Soviet Union. He argues that Eastern Europe isn’t under Soviet domination.
Soviet Gains: Carter (02:15)
Carter argues that the U.S. hasn't enforced the third "basket" of the Helsinki Agreement, and that Eastern Europe is under Soviet domination. He criticizes Ford's foreign policy secrecy and weakness under pressure from the Soviet Union and Arab nations.
Middle East Arms: Carter (04:29)
Carter says he'd never impose a food embargo but he'd withhold military equipment from Arab nations if they stopped oil sales again. He criticizes the Ford Administration for dealing arms and for failing to address domestic energy security, inflation, and unemployment.
Middle East Arms: Ford (02:06)
Ford states that the U.S. has supplied 45% of Israel's military and economic aid during his presidency. He defends arms sales to Iran as necessary to maintain an alliance.
China Relations: Ford (02:45)
Ford will follow the Shanghai Communique to normalize relations with China, while maintaining relations with Taiwan and supporting peace between the two nations. He doesn't support selling arms to China.
China Relations: Carter (01:26)
Carter clarifies that the U.S. is shipping arms to Iran and to Saudi Arabia, and has weakened relations to Israel after the Yom Kippur War. He would pursue normalization with China while preserving Taiwan's independence.
Pentagon Budget: Carter (04:58)
Carter argues that the U.S. global influence and economy have suffered under Ford. He advocates using bilateral relationships to establish global peace—rather than continuing “balance of power” policies—and believes that both national security and economic strength are possible.
Pentagon Budget: Ford (02:09)
Ford argues that national security can't be maintained under Carter's proposed defense cuts. He outlines bilateral and multilateral efforts he's made with industrial nations, and says relations with Japan and Israel have improved.
SALT Negotiations: Ford (05:43)
Ford discusses developments in his talks with Brezhnev aimed at establishing a second nuclear arms limitation agreement that would last until 1985. He believes new cruise missiles can be included in SALT II.
SALT Negotiations: Carter (02:08)
Carter argues that Ford has made no progress towards a SALT II agreement, and has only recently spoken of nuclear nonproliferation. He advocates a moratorium on nuclear testing and stopping uranium re-enrichment sales to nations that aren't U.S. allies.
U.S. Strength: Carter (02:15)
Carter believes that America is militarily strong but has failed to uphold principles, national unity, or respect of allies. He argues that strength overseas depends on economic strength and government transparency.
U.S. Strength: Ford (02:07)
Ford argues that unemployment was low when the U.S. was at war, and defends foreign policy as meeting high morality standards as demonstrated in peace, food aid, and disease eradication efforts.
Foreign Intervention: Ford (06:43)
Ford defends foreign policies pressuring governments to respect human and civil rights as morally justified. He argues that initiatives in southern Africa prevented bloodshed and communist takeovers, and advocates U.S. leadership in resolving regional conflicts through negotiation.
Foreign Intervention: Carter (02:13)
Carter points out Ford's involvement in establishing the Chilean dictatorship, and criticizes "shuttle diplomacy." He disagrees with Ford's insinuation that employment can only be high during war, and reminds viewers that Ford and Kissinger nearly started another Vietnam in Angola.
Panama Canal Question (03:23)
Carter explains why he wouldn't give up control of the zone but he would continue negotiating with the Panama government. Ford says he won't relinquish control, and clarifies that he initiated nuclear non-proliferation a year before Carter did.
Mayaguez Episode Question (04:28)
Ford says a GAO report criticizing his actions during the Mayaguez rescue mission was politically motivated, and says he saved the lives of crew members. Carter believes the American people should have been notified immediately after the incident.
Boycott of Israel Question (03:53)
Carter says he'll stop the boycott of American Jewish business by Arab countries, as a matter of protecting the Bill of Rights. Ford says he's taken steps to pass legislation punishing U.S. businesses cooperating with the boycott.
Vietnam MIA Question (02:16)
Until North Vietnam provides information on American soldiers missing in action, Ford won't agree to admit Vietnam to the U.N. Carter criticizes Ford for failing to send a commission to Vietnam to negotiate MIA information.
Closing Statement: Jimmy Carter (03:32)
Carter says the 1976 election will determine leadership, American principles, and priorities. He warns against nuclear proliferation and government secrecy, and advocates peace, economic strength, providing food for the world, and restoring American pride and trust in government.
Closing Statement: Gerald Ford (02:01)
Ford says that his presidential leadership has resulted in America being strong, free, respected in the world, and at peace. Frederick thanks candidates and announces the next debate.
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