Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, rejecting any private platform compromise with President Carter in advance of the Democratic National Convention, said yesterday he plans to argue his case personally before the convention's platform drafting committee.
"I'm going to speak at the platform, the hearing" later this month, the Massachusetts senator told reporters after he was interviewed on national television. "I'll make the presentation."
Kennedy's comment was one more indication that he intends to stay in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after the conclusion of the primary season. Virtually all surveys show President Carter will clinch renomination in tomorrow's eight-state primary windup.
"I am still hopeful of being the nominee," Kennedy declared during the interview on "Meeting the Press" (NBC, WRC). Responding to a peace overture by Carter on a separate interview show broadcast yesterday, Kennedy said convention delegates -- not he and Carter -- should decide what positions the party platform will contain.
Kennedy declared anew that Carter risks leading the Democratic Party to defeat in November by promoting "carbon copies" of Republican economic policies.
"I think the fact comes down to June 3, that a vote for Mr. Carter is really a vote for Mr. [Ronald] Reagan," he said.
Kennedy also said he doesn't believe his seven-month campaign for the nomination has resulted in any bitterness between him and his rival.
"I want to make it very clear. In the course of my campaign, I have never questioned the personal motivatons of the president other than the political decision not to debate," Kennedy said.