DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former President Gerald Ford Friday accused President Carter of 'cowardly' blaming the Federal Reserve Board for failed fiscal policies instead of taking the blame himself.
Ford, during a stinging attack unleashed while campaigning for Republican congressional hopeful Donald Young, said Carter bears responsibility for the board's actions because he appointed a majority of its members.
'President Carter, when the going gets tough, will do anything to save his own political skin,' Ford said. 'This latest action by the president is cowardly.'
Carter Thursday criticized the Fed for pursuing a monetary policy divorced from considerations of its effects on the economy. He said a move by the Fed to tighten the nation's money supply was 'ill advised.'
Ford also criticized Carter for mudslinging in his campaign against Ronald Reagan. Asked whether his criticism of Carter might be construed in the same vein, Ford replied: 'If you look at the performance, it's a very accurate characterization.'
Ford charged Carter has failed to achieve his economic goals, diminished U.S. stature in the international arena and weakened the military.
'When you look at the campaign promises candidate Carter made in 1976 and look at his performance, again I say in very measured terms, Mr. Carter in 1976 misled and deceived the American people,' he said.