Los Angeles - Former president Gerald R. Ford told a group of West Coast journalists here yesterday that segments of H.R. Haldeman's book, "The End of Power," released this week were "one-sided" and difficult to comprehend.
"It is all pretty interesting but I don't understand it," the former chief executive said. "I wish someone would explains it."
Ford said he personally had "no evidence one way or another" concerning some of the contentions made by Haldeman, former president Richard M.Nixon's chief of staff, about Nixon on's culpability in Watergate.
Ford said former secretary of state Hendy A. Kissinger, with whom he had dinner Thursday evening, and other top Nixon administration officials are likely to challenge Haldeman's interpretation of events. Kissinger's "vigorously differs with what Haldeman has said," Ford said, but declined to reveal his specific objections.
At the breakfast meeting Ford also criticized President's Carter's handling of the current national coal strike. He suggested Carter should have convened a "special panel" of former secretaries of labor to act as "a board of review" onthe union contract dispute.
Ford said he felt the administration clearly lacked an experienced negotiator like his own labor secretary, W.J. Usery. He said Labor Secretary Ray Marshall's primarily academic background provided "no real experience for handling a situation like this."
Ford said he felt President Carter's political position was weakening due to problems with the economy, foreign policy and Congress. He said congressmen on both sides of the aisle considered the Administration's liaison staff "rank amateurs," and he say nothing on the horizon likely to halt Carter's downward trend in the public opinion polls.