NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Former President Gerald Ford Friday reaffirmed his support for President Reagan's economic policies and said 'the prospects are that we will have economic recovery.'
'We had economic pneumonia' when Reagan took office, Ford said during a civics lecture and question-and-answer session at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics.
'When you have that kind of economic problem, you need pretty tough medicine. The president prescribed pretty tough medicine,' he said.
Ford's day-long visit marked his appointment as the first holder of a professorship honoring the late Sen. Clifford Case, R-N.J.
Ford said the only 'really significant adverse development' of Reagan's economic policy was an increase in unemployment. But he said the jobless rate appeared to be declining.
Ford was critical of the way members of Congress have adjusted to the advent of television coverage. He said they have lost the ability to function in unified political groups as a result.
'You shouldn't have all those damn prima donnas down there who think God annointed them because they are superstars on the tube,' the former president said.
Reflecting generally on the press, Ford said the media had given him and his wife 'a hard time,' particularly in taking pictures of him falling while skiing.
Reflecting on President Carter's handling of the takeover of the American Embassy in Iran, Ford said Carter waited too long before taking decisive action.
'The quicker you act, the better off you are,' Ford said.
The Clifford Case Professorship of Public Affairs will be awarded annually to nationally prominent figures.