WASHINGTON--House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) said yesterday recent comments by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) have convinced him that Kennedy is considering seeking the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination.
O'Neill's comments came several days after he said he had "strong feelings" that Kennedy would not run. O'Neill's comments yesterday followed Kennedy's statement Monday that he is not ruling out the possibility of running.
John C. White, Democratic National Chairman, said yesterday he believes a competition between Kennedy and President Carter would not necessarily split the Democratic Party.
White said earlier that he believed a race between Kennedy and Carter would virtually assure victory for the Republican candidate in the general election.
"It would be a classic struggle," White said yesterday, but he added that "we'll fight it on the issues, and unify and support each other strongly. It could work out very well."
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