CBS Evening News for Monday, Aug 30, 1976
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(Studio) Federal Election Commission clears way for president debates sponsored by League of Women Voters. Jimmy Carter says he and President Ford in rough agreement with regard to form and length.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd
(DC) Federal Election Commission says League can sponsor debates because of history of nonpartisan activity. Rules with regard to funding cited. Debates not required to be open to any but Ford and Carter. [Federal Election Commission vice chairperson Thomas HARRIS - says independent and new party candidates don't have to be given role in debates.] Format makes it easier for League to stage debates. [League exec. director Peggy LAMPL - says question was one of distinguishing among many who've announced for presidency.] Eugene McCarthy and Lester Maddox have indicated they may go to court over issue and League says it may sponsor some special debates.
REPORTER: Marya McLaughlin
(Atlanta, Georgia) Carter indicates tentative agreement on length, number and dates of debates, but not necessarily on subjects. [CARTER - says if debates have free format people can size him and President up better on general opinions, but if Ford goes in briefed on 1 subject with documents and memorized speech, it takes away debate aspect of mtgs.] Carter comments on Federal Election Commission decision on 1st leg of 2-day tour. [CARTER - says 1 legal problem solved and is confident debates will go ahead to show where country and role of President ought to be.] Some Carter aides say he's underdog in debates because of Ford's years in DC. Carter couldn't afford to reject challenge to debate but trying to get ground rules that work more to his advantage.
REPORTER: Ed Bradley
(Studio) White House says no final agreement on debates yet.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd
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