Nation: On Who Will Whip Whom

Carter and Kennedy duel over competing health plans

The Congressmen could hardly believe their ears. Joining a small group of legislators attending a White House dinner, the President was asked the inevitable question about Ted Kennedy and made an altogether unexpected reply. "Excuse me, what did you say?" asked a startled William Brodhead of Michigan. "I don't think the President wants to repeat what he said," interjected a worried Toby Moffett of Connecticut. "Yes I do," said a cocky Jimmy Carter—and then stated again, loud and clear, "If Kennedy runs, I'll whip...

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