Page:Carter Interview with Harry Reasoner (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter 1st debate)(Gerald Ford Library)(1554406).pdf/11

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MR. REASONER: You haven't gotten into as to what title you might have?

SENATOR MONDALE: No, except in this sense: I told him I was interested in, first of all, the opportunity to participate in the major decision-making process so I could be heard; secondly, that I wanted some significant functions in both the domestic and foreign fields. I said that is what he wanted.

MR. REASONER: Senator, are you going to continue to make an issue of the Nixon pardon in the campaign?

SENATOR MONDALE: I think it is very important. You know I am not questioning Mr. Ford's motives. That is not the issue. But, that has bothered me from the time it happened, and I said so in my book in 1974. This isn't something I just said at that Convention.

There is nothing more sacred to American life than the notion of equality before the law. You know the Supreme Court words above the door in the Supreme Court building say, "Equal Justice Under Law," and that has bothered me greatly.

Now, I don't intend to just dwell on it. I think people know about it. You don't have to emphasize it all the time, and there are many other issues we have to talk about. But, that does bother me, and I am willing to say it.

MR. REASONER: Has Governor Carter warned off it?

SENATOR MONDALE: No, he has said that he is not going to make it an issue, but he also said that he wouldn't have granted the pardon. We have decided that in our campaign, you know, that if we disagree on issues or disagree on emphasis, that we are just going to do it.

I know that that may not be believable, but we are going to try it. This old notion that a Vice President should just be an identical carbon copy of a President, I don't think it is believable. It certainly is not comfortable. I doubt that it is good Government. Of course, it is Governor Carter's Administration, but we are just going to try to be open about it.