WHIPPANY, N.J. -- Former President Gerald Ford said Monday night that President Reagan was properly notified of the attack last week by Libyan jets on U.S. fighter planes.
At a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial nominee Thomas Kean, Ford said there was no harm in the delay by Reagan's aides in reporting to him the incident.
Ford said also he was 'not in a position' to criticize the communication of events to the president. If the 'events had gone badly,' Ford said, Reagan would have been duly warned.
'I see no harm in the president not being notified,' he said.
Government officials said the Libyans fired at U.S. F-14's flying over the Gulf of Sidra, which the U.S. considers international waters. The jets had taken off from the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz.
On another topic, Ford said he would only support the sale of AWAC planes to Saudia Arabia 'under certain controls. I don't think we should turn over that highly sophisticated equipment,' without proper monitoring, Ford said.
On domestic issues, Ford said it is advisable for states to tailor their fiscal policies along the lines followed by the Reagan administration.
The economies of the country and New Jersey are similar, Ford said, a comment that boosted Reagan's call for state cuts to mirror federal budget cuts.