Republican candidate John B. Connally said yesterday that if he were president he would be better able than Jimmy Carter to deal with a Democrat-controlled Congress and push through his legislative programs.
Connally, interviewed on "Issues and Answers" (ABC, WJLA), said he comes by his "wheeler-dealer;" image by "knowing how to deal with members of the legislature" on a personal level. Connally said that most members of Congress are wheeler-dealers "and I think I know how to deal and operate in that kind of environment."
"There are two ways to deal with the Congress," Connally said."First, you deal with them on a personal basis, and I think I know how to do that."
"The other way you do it is you gain enough support of the people," he said. "You lay out your program, you explain it, you articulate it, you gain the support of the people to the point where they put pressure on the Congress to support the president's program."
Connally said that when he was secretary of the treasury under President Nixon, the Republican administration was unable to secure passage by the Democratic Congress of much legislation that might have averted today's energy and inflation problems.
"This president, former presidents have a limited ability to do anything with respect to inflation or energy or anything else unless they have the cooperation of the Congress," Connally said.
Conally repeated his belief that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), and not Carter, will be the Democratic nominee in the 1980 election.
Meanwhile, on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WDVM), Sen Henry J. Jackson (D-Wash.) repeated his assertion that "the only viable alternative, if the president fails in the early primaries, is Sen. Kennedy."
Jackson said that if Carter enters the early primaries "and is losing decisively, that's the time some of us should talk to him" and convince him to withdraw.
If the economy is in bad shape and Carter's public standing is still low, Jackson said, then "the president cannot go to the people and ask to be renominated and reelected."
Jackson repeated, however, that he still supports the president, should he decide to run.