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Scandal Vindicates Charges Against Reagan: Mondale : Mondale Says Iran Scandal Shows He Was Right in '84

March 04, 1987|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Walter F. Mondale, rolled over by a landslide in the 1984 presidential election, said the Iran- contra scandal has vindicated his campaign charges that Ronald Reagan was an absentee President.

"It was a theme in my last campaign, but who listened?" said Mondale in an interview in today's New York Times.

"I said the President was out of touch, out of control, uninformed, unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes and burdened by some Rambo-like concepts bound to get us in trouble. Who listened?"

Mondale, vice president under Jimmy Carter and the Democrats' choice to challenge Reagan in his bid for a second term, told the paper that he felt "vindicated" by the Tower Commission report on the secret arms deals. The report found that Reagan had not exercised sufficient control over the activities of the White House.

"Now Americans see it and the collapse of the President in the polls is precisely for those reasons I talked about--a President who wasn't in charge, a President who was isolated, absent from policy-making," Mondale said.

Mondale, 59, now an attorney with a Chicago-based law firm, said the controversy in Washington has improved chances for a Democratic victory in 1988.

"There's simply more incentive now to reconcile our differences because people want to win," said Mondale, who has met with leading Democratic contenders in the 1988 race.

And he said the Iran-contra scandal had gravely weakened Vice President George Bush's drive toward the White House.

"His association with Reagan, which has been such a valuable asset, will be just the reverse."

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