CBS Evening News for Monday, Aug 23, 1976
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(Studio) Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960 provided new dimension to president campaigning.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd
(DC) (Film of 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate shown.) Result of debates made successive candidates wary of debating, but Ford needed bold stroke because he was behind in polls. (Film of Republican conv.) [FORD - says ready and eager to debate Jimmy Carter.] Ford and Carter staffers say they want rigid format formerly used to be relaxed. [Ford campaign manager Rogers C.B. MORTON - says rigid format prevents discussion and questions and answers by candidates.] [Carter press security Jody POWELL - says they want sort of free interchange between candidates.] Federal Communications Commission has cleared way for debates; details noted. Independent candidate Eugene McCarthy protests ruling. [McCARTHY - says debates should present broad alternative to 2 ptys.] Senator John Pastore, with jurisdiction over broadcasting, says no legislature likely to allow networks to hold debates rather than cover them. [PASTORE - says he wouldn't introduction legislature if League of Women Voters felt it would interfere with their initiative.] League debate format noted.
REPORTER: Fred Graham