NEW YORK — Former President Jimmy Carter, in one of his sharpest attacks yet on the man who defeated him in 1980, said President Reagan is an obstacle to peace but gets kid-glove treatment from the media.
Pointing to the media circus surrounding the Geneva talks this week between Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko, Carter said:
"This went on routinely when I was President . . . and it was not a matter of great news.
"But this Administration has so completely fouled up . . . that just the fact the secretaries of state met with each other was a matter of profound moral importance," he told the Young Men's Hebrew Assn. on Thursday night.
Carter lashed out at what he called Reagan's failure to make progress on the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, which Carter initiated, and condemned "the almost total absence" of Reagan's personal involvement in Mideast peace efforts.
During the Camp David talks, Carter said, "I didn't have to turn around to Secretary (of State Cyrus) Vance and say, 'Would you show me where the Sinai Desert is?' "