Ford's assessment of fellow presidents released





In 25 years of interviews with his hometown paper that could only be released upon his death, former President Ford once called Jimmy Carter a "disaster" who ranked alongside Warren Harding, and said Ronald Reagan received far too much credit for ending the Cold War.

"It makes me very irritated when Reagan's people pound their chests and say that because we had this big military buildup, the Kremlin collapsed," Ford told The Grand Rapids Press.

Ford contended his own negotiation of the Helsinki accords on human rights did more to win the Cold War than Reagan's military buildup.

The best president of his lifetime, Ford said, was a more moderate Republican: Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Harry Truman "would get very high marks" for his handling of foreign crises, Ford said. He also praised Richard Nixon as a foreign policy master, despite the Watergate scandal that drove him from office.

Ford considered John F. Kennedy overrated and Bill Clinton average. He admired George H.W. Bush's handling of the Persian Gulf War and had mixed opinions of Carter, who defeated Ford in 1976....

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network