ABC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 06, 1977
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(Studio) Recent polls indicate President Carter is losing popularity. There are no polls with regard to Vice President Mondale, but indications are that he, too, is losing popularity and, according to some, power.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
(DC) Mondale's duties at beginning of term contracted to those he undertakes now, such as swearing in federal judge and attending Federal Paperwork Commission Candidate Carter had promised that Mondale would have major responsibility; but it's now questioned if this has become true, and if so, what are his responsibilities. Mondale says he's general adviser and friend to President, that difference in his role and that of previous VP's, is that he spends more time, officially and in private, with Carter. [MONDALE - thinks he has more access to President than other VP's have had, but that others should answer question with regard to amount of his influence. Feels his role is challenging and he's involved in all issues. Says access and time spent with President isn't necessarily influence.] Outside White House inner circle, reaction is mixed with regard to VP's influence; where there's criticism, usual comes from old, liberal supporters of Mondale. Labor leaders, include George Meany, are example; they aren't happy with administration economic policy and some wonder with regard to Mondale's influence. [Machinists' Union president William WINPISINGER - feels that Mondale is supporting liberalization of economic measures, but just isn't in major view right now.] Mondale offended some of best liberal support in Senate this week, by making ruling that stopped filibuster against deregulation of natural gas prices. There was report that Israeli foreign minister Dayan was disappointed with Mondale during recent meeting, reflecting feeling of some in Jewish community that VP not as strong on Israel now as in Senate. [American Jewish Community spokesperson Hyman BOOKBINDER - notes Mondale won't be immune to political fallout if administration fails to carry out commitments. Believes VP knows this.] Decline in support of Mondale is small crack in administration, 1 not needed in wake of Bert Lance affair, discontent in country with regard to Canal treaty and uneasiness with regard to the economy.
REPORTER: Catherine Mackin
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