Reagan once took his lumps on the debate question. Now he's looking good. Last winter, Reagan was criticized when he refused to join other Republicans for a debate during the Iowa caucuses. But he learned fast. During the New Hampshire primary that followed, Reagan gained points during two highly publicized debates.
Now the spotlight has turned to Carter. John Anderson has decried the President's refusal to debate third-party candidates. Barry Commoner of the Citizens' Party says Carter is "eroding the political conscience of the country." Libertarian Party candidate Ed Clark says "voters should have a chance to compare all these candidates."
Meanwhile, Reagan stays above the fray. He's willing, Reagan says, to go on stage with any candidates the League of Women Voters chooses to invite to three major debates planned this fall.m