Kennedy Returns Fire


Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) launched a new salvo of criticism at the White House and President Carter during a visit to Harvard this week.

Kennedy concentrated his fire on two targets: an incumbent administration that he claims "trumpets weakness as a virtue," and a president "who fumbles his power away" when dealing with domestic issues.

In a prepared speech given in the Kennedy School Forum, and during a subsequent question-and-answer session with students in Sanders Theater, Kennedy reiterated his disdain for Carter's refusal to debate the situations in Iran and Afghanistan, saying, "A president cannot afford to posture as the high priest of patriotism; he must be a public leader as well as a political one."

Kennedy added that, "No president should be re-elected because he happened to be standing there when his foreign policy collapsed around him," a line that is fast becoming a main theme of the Kennedy campaign.

Discussing Iran, Kennedy took part of the credit for the proposal of an international commission to investigate the reign of the deposed Shah of Iran. Kennedy said the Carter administration "stubbornly resisted this solution," a statement that provoked vehement reactions from Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance on Wednesday.


Kennedy received two of his most enthusiastic ovations from generally receptive crowds when he called the proposed reinstitution of military registration unnecessary symbolism and said "in my energy program there is no room for nuclear power."

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